Kale & Mushroom Gumbo • Romaine with Marinated Zucchini & Lemon-Garlic Dressing • Levain Rolls • Yellow Cake with Whipped Chocolate Ganache
The world’s falling apart; we’re going to make a better world. Everything’s come to a halt; life is still going on. My emotions are cycling through rage, grief, hope, love, resignation, despair, celebration, exhaustion. Is everyone reeling from the events of the last two weeks and the last three months? Or have you found a way to steer steadily through all the upheaval of a pandemic, economic collapse, and finally doing something (hopefully) about systemic racism? In the middle of all of this, the school year is wrapping up, summer is upon us, and we all still have to eat.
So, today we eat gumbo. I was inspired by Bryant Terry, a vegan chef from Oakland who is chef-in-residence at the MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora) in San Francisco. I was looking up recipes, trying to figure out how to make a gluten-free roux, when I found his recipe for mushroom gumbo that happens to be both vegan and gluten-free. I used his recipe as a starting point rather than following closely, but I’m quite happy with the result. (I used rice flour instead of the millet flour that Terry recommends, added some butter, and added different vegetables, and I’m quite happy with the result). The rice-flour roux doesn’t have quite the thickening power of a traditional roux, but it turned out just as dark and flavorful as a one made with wheat flour. The Creole “trinity”—a mixture of onions, celery, and green bell peppers—gets cooked directly in the roux, so the aromatics soak up all the toasted flavor while they contribute their own fragrance to the soup base. The soup is further flavored with a hefty dose of garlic, thyme, and smoked paprika (since there’s no ham hocks or sausage in this vegetarian version). There are quartered mushrooms, corn, lots of kale, and brown rice—it’s a healthy and hearty soup. And delicious!
I almost put zucchini in the soup, too, but then I changed my mind and decided to make marinated zucchini for the salad instead. I sliced the squash very thinly, then salted it and let it drain. (Salting squash draws out the extra moisture and makes it soft and pliable.) The squash was then marinated overnight in lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic, then tossed with herbs. When you dress your salad, you can toss the lettuce and zucchini together, or you can dress and plate the lettuce, then arrange the zucchini on top.
For dessert, we’ve got yellow butter cake with chocolate frosting. Take a moment to savor the sweet parts of life, and celebrate the end of the school year.
And I wanted to remind you that there’s no delivery next week. We’re headed to San Diego for a little break. Deliveries will be back on the 23rd. Have a good week, everyone.