Valerie and Katie, the duo behind the Vietnamese street food operation Rice Paper Scissors, tipped us off to The Perennial Plate when they shared A Taste of Vietnam with us for the Screen Play column in Issue No. 11. The Perennial Plate is a weekly documentary series focused on socially responsibly and adventurous eating. Each week, chef Daniel Klein and producer Mirra Fine take viewers on tours of the culinary scenes in locations like Sri Lanka, and India in addition to Vietnam. The videos are a beautiful, face-paced glimpse of each location. And we have to agree with Valerie and Katie when they say the five-minute look at Vietnam’s food culture—from the markets full of fresh fish and exotic vegetables to the food carts winding through the city—left them wanting to book a flight. We’d like to go, too!
This week we’re sharing another recipe featured in the Simply the Best story from Issue No. 11, in which we asked several photographers about their favorite dishes. This panzanella reminds photographer Melina Hammer of warm days in her mother’s garden as a child. It’s easy to understand why with the handfuls of freshly picked basil and vine-ripened tomatoes. If you have these summer essentials growing in your garden—or have access to them at a farmer’s market or store—this might be the perfect thing to make this weekend. We plan to make it all summer long.
The success of this salad is in the quality of the ingredients. Look for heirloom tomatoes that burst with juice and flavor, as well as great bread and fresh herbs. The combination of these is such a rewarding—and simple—meal you’ll want to eat over and over again.
1 loaf of bread (I used challah, but any country loaf will do)
large handful of shallots
a number of perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes*
good extra virgin olive oil
aged balsamic vinegar
large handful of basil leaves
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
*I like a variety of hues and flavors—like the savory, intensely juicy Cherokee Purples and bright, acidic Green Zebras
Tear loaf of bread into bite-sized pieces. In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, fry bread in olive oil. Peel shallots and cut into large wedges. In a bowl, toss shallots with olive oil, then grill on all sides. Cut tomatoes into bite-sized chunks.
Once all ingredients are ready, combine on a large serving platter, and dress with the balsamic and olive oil, and scatter with a bit of large flake sea salt, cracked pepper, and the basil leaves. Make enough for guests to have seconds, because everyone will ask for more.
New York-based Melina Hammer‘s love for eating well and cooking led her to focus on food photography, and a bit of lifestyle and travel photography as well. She blogs about her latest culinary adventures at lickingtheplate.com.
For the article Simply the Best in Issue No. 11, we asked several photographers to tell us about their favorite dishes. Today I’m excited to share the recipe behind the mouthwatering image above: Jessica Comingore’s mom’s granola, which was a staple in their household—and continues to provide fond memories for the two. Says Jessica: “Every time I visit, we’ll start our day with a bowl of graole on the patio, catching up on life.” Sounds like an especially nice way to mark this Mother’s Day weekend!
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp maple extract
Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, almonds, walnuts, milk powder, sunflower seeds, and salt in a 13x9x2-inch metal pan.
Whisk vegetable oil, water, honey, and vanilla and maple extracts in a medium bowl to blend. Add to dry ingredients in pan and stir to coat completely.
Bake until granola is golden and crunchy, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely. Granola can be prepared up to 2 weeks ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
Jessica Comingore is a Los Angeles-based photographer who got her start in interior design. While managing residential and commercial projects and contributing to a textiles line, Jessica developed and honed her photography skills as well. In 2011, she launched Jessica Comingore Studio. In addition to shooting interiors, Jessica also provides branding and design services.
Meg and I are big fans of NYC-based photographer Michael Mundy and his site, An Afternoon With. AAW focuses on Michael’s “simple, tranquil and sophisticated images of interiors [that] are revealing and resonate with the character of their inhabitants.” (We were fortunate enough to collaborate with Michael for a story in Issue No. 2 of Anthology.)
Michael has released two limited-edition publications that feature some of the folks he’s photographed for the site. The second issue’s launch last week coincided with the three-year anniversary of AAW. You can purchase both in his shop, along with a small selection of his prints. We’re crossing our fingers that Michael will offer more editions of AAW in the future!
Fridays are reason enough to celebrate. But today, we’ve got an extra reason: the release of the trailer for our latest issue! We worked with Jennifer L. Kahn to put together this visual treat, and we hope you enjoy it.
(In case you missed it, we posted an online preview of Issue No. 11 yesterday.)