Over the last few months I have had the best time carving out a little cozy corner on the Internet through this Fireside newsletter. It’s thrilled me to share new recipes with you, offer up a friendly helper in the kitchen when I can, and share what’s moving and inspiring me these days. The conversations here, on Instagram, and in my inbox have helped me to feel more connected to this community; which right now, is my priority.
Like so many of you, I’m sure, the pandemic has shifted me deeply. I’m still sorting through the rubble and putting the pieces back together in a way that makes sense in the light of new growth, fallen dreams, and new ones emerging. But when I sit back and imagine myself doing the work that I’m here to do I see a clear image of me, sitting in front of a fire, surrounded by books, reading and writing.
I have always held big dreams which I thought meant building big things. Big audiences, big websites, big bank accounts. Now I have visions of creating a space outside for all of us to enjoy, including a long table near a chatty river and a bed of coals to cook our feast. I want to forage porcini in Italy, with the smell of grapes sweetening with the sun. And I want to talk about the winter solstice and create a menu we can all prepare to welcome the new season. To write love letters to carrots pulled straight from the earth and help tend the soil for a bountiful garden. I want to take you all foraging with me in the spring, in person would be amazing, but we can forage through words, giddily filling our baskets with nettles, miner's lettuce and if we’re lucky, morels.
I want to spend hours in the kitchen, slowly coaxing recipes out of the abundance of the earth. Recipes that are worthy to share. The ones where I feel confident that you will enjoy. I want to cook with you and to feed off one another’s excitement over food and feel the volume of our voices slowly lift as the passion stirs within us.
So that’s what I plan to do. To continue to be here weekly with new recipes and words to share. For those who would like to support me in this journey I’m offering a new paid subscription to the newsletter. My body tightens as I write because I find it so hard to bring money into the conversation of this dream but the need to support myself and my family is also my reality. There of course is no pressure. You can continue to receive this newsletter free of charge.
For those who are inclined to opt in to the paid subscription there will be more recipes, essays, conversations for you. There will be giveaways AND a monthly cook along. A regular time for us to gather together (virtually) and cook through a recipe while we chat, pour ourselves a glass of wine perhaps, and connect in a way we never have. I’ve always wanted to invite you all into my kitchen, however messy it happens to be that day, and be together doing what we love to do. By supporting me in this you are giving me the greatest gift; the ability to continue to do what it is I love to do - to cook and share with you.
Kabocha and Red Onion Tart with Gorgonzola
This was a family favorite on our Thanksgiving table.
1 single 9-inch pie dough (there’s a recipe for pie dough in the newsletter with the pecan and apple tart)
1 small kabocha squash
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 sprig rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chili flake
1 cup Gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles
2 cups arugula
Preheat your oven to 400*F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper then set aside.
Roll out the pie dough to roughly a 12-inch round. Transfer to the sheet pan then keep in the fridge while you prep the squash.
Without injuring yourself or someone nearby, slice through the squash. For this I want to end up with about 6 - 8 ounces of peeled and sliced squash which used about 1/4 of my entire squash. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and threddy bits. Quick story about those fibrous insides. When I first set out to cook a pumpkin THAT is what I thought I was meant to roast. Not the flesh but the slimy innards. Anyways, so let’s scoop that out then use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
Thinly slice the squash into roughly 1/4-inch half moons.
Remove the pie dough from the fridge then arrange the onions and squash on the tart leaving between 1 1/2 - 2-inch of dough around the edge. Drizzle with olive oil, fresh rosemary stripped off the stem, chili flake, sea salt, and 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola.
Bake at 400*F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350*F and bake for 20 - 30 minutes longer until the crust is deeply golden, the squash is tender and the onions are charred in parts.
Before you serve, top with arugula, the remaining cheese and if you’d like to go over the top, another drizzle of lovely olive oil, flakey salt and maybe even a squeeze of lemon.