Spiced Fennel + Chive Filled Chapati

I’ve been thinking about spicy chapati covered in salt and melted ghee. Maybe it’s the snow and rain we’ve had this week, or maybe it’s the sunshine we have now and the miraculous survival and growth of the greens in our garden that were covered in snow and frozen for days during the last few storms, barely, yet adequately protected by their row cover. These are lemony, crispy, satisfying envelopes of spiced fennel and chives and the addition of fried apples and fried parsley (two of my favorite things) and yogurt makes them beautiful and well rounded. I originally ate these for dinner with ground lamb, and for the lunch the next day with a simple garden side salad. The ghee-fried apples are equally tasty for dessert, again with yogurt and the addition of cinnamon.

Spiced Fennel + Chive Filled Chapati

Chapati dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sprouted whole wheat flour
½ tsp Himalyan sea salt
¾ cup ghee, melted
Method:
1. Stir together the flour, salt and ½ cup water until the mix comes loosely together, then transfer to a work surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until the dough is cohesive and smooth.
2. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, roll into balls, then place in a dish and cover with the melted ghee and allow to rest, covered, for 2 hours or so. Prepare the spice mix, fennel and toppings while the dough rests.
3. Roll the dough into squares. Rubbing a little more ghee on the surface and fill with the spiced fennel and chives. Fold the square closed at the sides and then top and bottom to seal in the filling. It helps to use a little ghee to help seal the pockets.
4. Heat a large cast iron and add half of the leftover ghee. Fry the chapati squares until they are crisp and browned on each side, adding ghee as needed and working in batches to avoid overcrowding.
5. Once all the chapati’s are fried, throw the sliced apples and parsley into the hot, sizzling ghee. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon and fry until slightly browned and crispy.
6. Serve the chapati with the fried apples and parsley, whole milk yogurt, a simple side salad, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

Spice mix
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cracked cumin seeds
6 cloves minced garlic
1 inch minced ginger
Method:
1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the coriander and cumin seeds, then add the rest of the spices and stir to combine.

Fennel + Chives
1 fennel sliced thin
1 bunch chives, chopped
Olive oil or ghee
Himalayan sea salt
Lemon
Method:
1. Heat a cast iron to medium-high and add oil or ghee to the pan. Add the fennel and chives, salt to taste and squeeze lemon juice on top.
2. Cook until the fennel is softened, and both the fennel and chives are slightly crisped. Move the fennel and chives to the side of the pan and add a little more oil or ghee. Bloom the spice mix in this part of the pan until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, then stir it into the fennel-chives.
3. Remove from heat.

Toppings:
1 apple thinly sliced
1 bunch parsley coarsely chopped
Whole milk plain yogurt
Method: see step 5-6 in the chapati dough recipe.




Tribute: Mary Oliver

“Teach the children. We don’t matter so much, but the children do. Show them daisies and the pale hepatica. Teach them the taste of sassafras and wintergreen. The lives of the blue sailors, mallow, sunbursts, the moccasin flowers. And the frisky ones–inkberry, lamb’s quarters, blueberries. And the aromatic ones–rosemary, oregano. Give them peppermint to put in their pockets as they go to school. Give them the fields and the woods and the possibility of the world salvaged from the lords of profit. Stand them in the stream, head them upstream, rejoice as they learn to love this green space they live in, its sticks and leaves and then the silent, beautiful blossoms

Attention is the beginning of devotion.

Mary Oliver, Upstream

Salmon Hand Rolls with Spicy Kimchi and Kumquats

My baby slept well last night, so naturally, I was awake and thinking about breakfast while it was still dark outside. It reminded me of the early days, when he was a newborn and the birds would sing in the spring around 4 or 5 in the morning and I would think, I made it through another night, and I would be so excited for the sun to come up. The birds brought the dawn and the sun followed and made me feel awake and capable, and as the sun went down, I thought about the birds and how their song would comfort me and remind me the sun was coming.

Now, my baby sleeps (usually), but I still wake up sometimes in these dark pre-dawn moments and it’s winter so the birds aren’t singing yet, but thoughts about my morning coffee and what to make for breakfast today provide me with the same comfort and same excitement when the sun comes up and the day officially begins.

When the sun came up today, I made these salmon hand rolls. If you can find kumquats and a good quality, spicy kimchi, they add the requisite sweet, spicy, and sour these hand rolls depend on for tastiness beyond the ordinary. I thoroughly enjoyed eating these for breakfast, as did my little man who appears to especially enjoy the feeling, sensation and surprise of salmon roe in his mouth.

Salmon Hand Rolls with Kimchi and Kumquats

Several sheets of Nori, cut in half
1 filet of salmon (6 oz.)
1 meyer lemon
5 kumquats, thinly sliced
Kimchi, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 handful of arugula
Greek yogurt
Salmon Roe
Togarashi
Ghee
Sea salt

Method:

  1. Mise en place! Prepare your ingredients so you can get rolling. Your station will include: cooked salmon, sliced kimchi, avocado, Greek yogurt, salmon roe, togarashi and arugula.
  2. Heat a cast iron to medium and add a spoonful of ghee. Season the filet of salmon with salt and a generous squeeze of lemon and cook for a few minutes on each side. Medium-low and slow works well for salmon and I always turn the heat off before it’s done so it doesn’t dry out and overcook.
  3. During the last few minutes of cooking, throw the sliced kumquats into the cast iron and cook until the salmon is finished.
  4. With two forks, gently flake the fish apart in the pan, mixing in the juices and kumquats.
  5. Lay out the nori sheet horizontally and place the fillings on the left mid-upper quadrant. Carefully tuck the outer edge under the ingredients and roll into a cone. I am not an expert hand roller and a quick google search about how to roll one is better than any text instructions I can offer.
  6. Eat the hand roll right away. Alternatively, set out all of the ingredients and let people roll their own and serve with a side salad of arugula dressed simply with olive oil and more sliced kumquats.

Sourcing: My wild salmon filet and roe came from Loki Fish Co., meyer lemon and kumquats from the food coop, arugula from my garden, Greek yogurt from Straus, kimchi from Mother in Laws, and togarashi from Healdsburg Shed.