Last November, Merrill and I and our friend Sharelle pored over the lunch menu at Sitka & Spruce in Seattle. And we all immediately homed in on the strangest item on the menu: yogurt with toasted quinoa, dates, almonds, and rose salt. Was it breakfast? Lunch? Who can say no to a chef who has the guts to put a yogurt dish as a lead on his menu?
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The dish -- the clear winner on our crowded table -- was like a Turkish recipe in a West Coast cloak. With each bite of tangy yogurt the quinoa snapped, the dates sweetened, and the rose salt made it all seem a little exotic.
At home, without rose salt, a little digging in my pantry produced a dubious but still vaguely alive jar of olive salt. This worked beautifully. Not quite as mysterious as the rose salt, but it got away with it, as most Mediterranean ingredients do. A good flaky sea salt will work just fine, as well.
I wrote the recipe for 1 serving. Selfish, I am. But if you want to share, you can easily double, triple, quintuple it as you so wish.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.