At the farmers’ market this week I stumbled upon some gorgeous, perfectly crisp and sweet snap peas. Snap pea season is so short in our hot climate so I was amped to get a giant bag at their peak of perfection. When I got home I realized how over-zealous I was and that we’d have to eat snap peas every day to use up the obscene quantity I had bought. Darn;)

Anyway, sushi grade ahi tuna might be a bit tough to source but I always find it really fresh and vibrant at our local asian market. This recipe has a a great mix of contrasting textures and flavors. The crunch of the peas and radishes against the tender ahi flesh pairs wonderfully with the pepper radishes, sweet snap peas and spicy ginger vinaigrette. To die for! We like it heavy on the ginger over here so adjust for your personal taste:)

ahi tuna, snap pea, salad, radish, recipe, food photographer, los angeles, Crystal Cartier

SALAD

  • ~1 pound fresh ahi tuna, salted and peppered, seared at high heat for 2 minutes each side, cut into chunks
  • ~1 pound sugar snap peas, strings and tops removed and chopped
  • 8 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup ginger vinaigrette
  • salt and pepper

VINAIGRETTE

  • 1/2 cup macadamia nut oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon seedy whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

~Toss all salad ingredients together in a large bowl.

~ Toss all vinaigrette ingredients except macadamia nut oil into a blender and blitz until smooth. While blending, slowly add the macadamia nut oil until it emulsifies. Store leftover vinaigrette in fridge.

~Drizzle salad with desired amount of vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve immediately if desired, but flavors gain depth from chilling for an hour then serving.

ENJOY!!!

ahi tuna, snap pea, salad, radish, recipe, food photographer, los angeles, Crystal Cartier

There’s this “fast casual” Los Angeles restaurant Lemonade, which now has a few locations. They celebrate a very Southern California style cuisine with eclectic fresh flavors. They have several dishes that I really love so I’ve been working through their new cookbook a bit. Unfortunately, the recipes I’ve made directly out of the book don’t really live up to the dishes at the restaurant (maybe their keeping a few secrets to themselves) so I’ve been trying to tweak them to get closer to what I eat at the restaurant. This particular recipe was pretty true so I only made small modifications to intensify the flavors.

Cauliflower can be a tough one, lacking much flavor unto itself, it gets a lot of help from roasting and then tossing with a flavorful vinaigrette. This is my interpretation of a really fun side dish I tried at Lemonade and it’s a delicious, healthy way to get some more cauliflower in your life. The book says that they make their curry oil using green apple chunks and onions to infuse flavor so that’s what I tried. It was brilliantly delicious! If you’re up for modifying recipes to perfection, I’d recommend taking a look at the Lemonade cookbook for some interesting inspiration.

I use macadamia nut oil here because it’s light, super healthy, and has a high smoke point. You can use any oil you see fit if macadamia isn’t in your pantry.

What do you love making with cauliflower?

cauliflower, curry, roasted, side dish, recipe, food photographer, los angeles, Crystal Cartier

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3-1/2 cup vinaigrette

VINAIGRETTE

  • 1 cup macadamia nut oil
  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon high quality curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon seedy whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • salt and pepper

~ Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss florets with olive oil and spread on baking sheet. Salt and pepper generously and roast cauliflower for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

~ Meanwhile, make the curry oil by heating a couple tablespoons of the macadamia oil in a large skillet, add onion and apple and sauté for a few minutes until fragrant. Stir in curry powder and turmeric and sauté until the spices darken slightly.

~Stir in the rest of the oil and boil for a few minutes so the flavors can infuse. Let cool then strain oil through fine mesh filter, discarding onion and apple.

~In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, agave, vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, and a few grind of salt and pepper. Whisk this mixture into the curry oil. Refrigerate leftover vinaigrette for later use.

~ In a large bowl, toss roasted cauliflower with almonds and golden raisins. Then add 1/3-1/2 cup of the vinaigrette according to your taste and toss to coat.

*I’ve found that this dish tastes equally wonderful hot and cold

ENJOY!!

cauliflower, curry, roasted, side dish, recipe, food photographer, los angeles, Crystal Cartier

cauliflower, curry, roasted, side dish, recipe, food photographer, los angeles, Crystal Cartier

 

When life gets crazy and I can’t escape the maelstrom of my own whirling thoughts, it’s time for a little hike. A restorative stroll through nature is the most essential ritual to revive my mind and provide a clarity of perspective. If you’re stuck in the office today and unable to escape to the outdoors, I hope you can take a brief respite from the daily grind while scrolling through some of the gorgeous scenes I stumble upon in my attempts to escape reality.

Nothing cures quite so completely as nature…

lifestyle photography, nature, sunny, lifestyle photographer, vazquez rocks, hike, crystal cartier, los angeles

lifestyle photography, nature, sunny, lifestyle photographer, leaf, trees, hike, crystal cartier, los angeles

lifestyle photography, nature, leaves in river, lifestyle photographer, hike, crystal cartier, los angeles

lifestyle photography, nature, sunny, lifestyle photographer, tree stump, hike, crystal cartier, los angeles

lifestyle photography, nature, sunny, lifestyle photographer, trees, river, hike, crystal cartier, los angeles

lifestyle photography, nature, sunny, lifestyle photographer, grasses, field, hike, crystal cartier, los angeles

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