Lentil Soup with Olives and Shaved Veggies

Lentil Soup with Shaved Veggies

There is a restaurant in San Francisco called Outerlands that serves excellent, seasonal cuisine in a rustic chic settings.  Although everything there is delicious, their soups in particular are outstanding.  On a recent trip to Outerlands, we had a lentil soup that completely blew our minds and changed everything we thought about lentil soup.  Gone was the boring, mushy soup.  This soup was topped with crunchy shaved vegetables and spiked with smoky, salty olives.  It was one of the best soups we ever had.  We went home and immediately began planning with a homemade version.  Here is our recipe:



1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

1 cup green lentils, rinsed

4 large leaves kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

6 cups water

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

2 medium carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced using a mandoline

1 medium head fennel, very thinly sliced using a mandoline

12 kalmata olives, coarsely chopped

Smoked olive oil for serving (optional)




1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minutes.

2. Add lentils, water, salt and pepper.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. 

3. Add kale and cook until wilted and soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in olives.

4. Serve with shaved veggies on top and drizzled with smoked olive oil if desired.



Cheese Pupusas with Curtido

Cheese Pupusas


Pupusas are a traditional Salvadoran dish made with a thick, handmade corn tortilla stuffed with a variety of toppings.  They are served with a vinegary slaw called curtido.  These cheese ones are basic and comforting.  Once you've mastered these, play with other stuffing such as been and cheese, pork, or all three.  Easy to make and delicious, make sure you assemble the curtido the day before to give the flavors time to meld and the cabbage to soften.



-1/2 head of purple cabbage, shredded

-1/2 yellow onion, very thinly sliced

-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

-1 1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp sugar

-1 tsp dried oregano

-1/2 tsp chili flakes

-2 cups masa harina

-1 1/2 cup water

-12 oz queso Qaxaca or mozzarella, grated

-3 tbsp olive oil



In a large bowl, mix together cabbage, onion, 1/2 tsp salt and oregano.

In a small bowl, mix together sugar and vinegar until sugar is dissolved.  Toss with cabbage mixture. Place in refrigerator and let sit overnight.

In large bowl, mix masa harina, water, and 1 tsp salt. 

With lightly greased hands, form masa mixture into a golf ball sized ball.  Use your thumbs to hollow out the inside of the ball and fill with cheese.  Close the top of the ball around the cheese and flatten together with your palms to about 1/2" thick. Repeat with remaining cheese and masa.

Heat large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a very small amount of oil (about 1/2 tbsp) to lightly grease the pan.  Add as many pupusas as you can without overlapping.  Cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.  Repeat until all are cooked through.*

Serve warm with curtido (cabbage slaw). 

*Don't worry if some of the cheese escapes.  This will just add flavor.


Beet and Freekeh Burger with Tahini Sauce

Beet and Freekeh Burger

This delicious veggie burger combines the earthy nuttiness of freekeh with the sweetness of beets.  Studded with salty feta and topped with a tahini sauce, avocado and pea shoots, it has everything we want in a meal. 

Beet and Freekeh Burger



1 1/2 cups grated beets (2-3 beets)

1/4 cup fresh mint, minced

4 oz feta, crumbled

1/4 cup freekeh

2 eggs

1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

Zest and juice from 2 lemons

2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

1/4 cup tahini

2 tbsp olive oil

Brioche buns, avocado, and pea shoots for serving



Add freekeh and 3/4 cup water to small pot. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender and water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Mix together freekeh, beets, mint, feta, eggs and black pepper. Form into 4” burgers on a plate. Don’t worry if they fall apart easy right now.

Heat olive oil in large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Using a spatula, gently add the beet burgers trying to keep them together as much as possible. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, mix together tahini, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a small bowl. The consistency should be similar to mayonnaise so if it is still too thick add 1-2 tbsp water to thin it out.

Serve burgers with brioche buns, tahini sauce avocado and pea shoots.

Caramelized Onion and Cheese Empanadas

Caramelized Onion and Cheese Empanadas
These flaky, delicious empanadas are stuffed with caramelized onions and jack cheese then served with a tangy chimichurri sauce.  Great on their own as an appetizer or with a salad for dinner.  Feel free to experiment with different stuffings - we've tried everything from traditional beef to spinach and feta and you really can't go wrong!
-13 tbsp butter
-1 small yellow onion, quartered and sliced
-8 oz jack cheese, shredded
-3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
-1 tsp dried parsley
-1 tsp dried basil
-1 tsp chili flakes
-1 1/4 tsp salt
-3 cups flour
-2 eggs
-4-5 tbsp ice water
-1 shallot, minced
-3 tbsp cilantro, minced
-3 tbsp parsley, minced
-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
-1/4 cup olive oil





Heat 1 tbsp butter over medium-low heat in small pan. Add onion and cover. Cook 20 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to medium high. Cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 cloves garlic and cook 1 minute.

Meanwhile, cut remaining 12 tbsp butter into 12 pieces. Place flour and 1/4 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in butter and mix in using your fingers until dough looks like small peas. Add 1 egg and mix. Add ice water 1 tbsp at a time until dough pulls together and can be formed into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and return to fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together cheese, onions, dried parsley, dried basil, 1/2 tsp chili flakes and remaining 1 tsp salt to form the empanada filling.

Separate remaining egg into egg white and yolk.

Roll out the dough as thinly as possible on a floured surface. Using a small plate as a guide, cut circles of dough about 3-4” diameter.

Fill each circle with 1-2 tbsp cheese mixture and wet the outer edges of the dough circle with egg whites to help them seal. Push them edges together with your finger and use a fork around the whole side to seal them together. Place on greased baking sheet in fridge for 20 minutes.

Mix together shallot, 1 clove garlic, cilantro, parsley, vinegar, olive oil and 1/2 tsp chili flakes to form sauce and set aside.

Whisk egg yolk and brush tops of empanadas with yolk. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Serve with chimichurri sauce.

Taste of Spain


This month's subscription box features the cuisine of Spain.  Drawing from locally produced, seasonal flavors, Spanish food is flavorful without being too complex to cook.  In this box, we explored classic dishes like paella and Spanish tortillas.  Here is what we are cooking this month:


Mini Spanish Tortilla

Mini Spanish Tortilla





Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

Seared Saffron Scallops

Seared Saffron Scallops

Saffron Zucchini with Marcona Almonds

Saffron Zucchini with Marcona Almonds (Veggie Box)

Sri Lankan Mulligatawny

Sri Lankan Mulligatawny

Sri Lankan mulligatawny is a chicken and vegetable soup that is cooked in a coconut curry broth.  Although best made with Sri Lankan curry powder, Indian curry powder will do in a pinch.  We like this served over steamed brown rice and have been known to add noodles instead from time to time.  Easy and delicious, it makes a great weeknight dinner!



2 boneless chicken thighs

1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 celery sticks, peeled and chopped

1 tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp Sri Lankan curry or Indian curry

1 tsp turmeric

20 oz chicken stock

1 can coconut milk

Juice from 2 limes

1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped


Steamed rice for serving



1. Heat coconut oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add carrots and celery and cook 5 minutes.

2. Add curry and turmeric and stir to coat.  Cook 1 minute.

3. Add chicken, stock and coconut milk.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. 

4. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from pot.  Use two forks to shred it and add it back to pot.

5. Season to taste with salt.  Add juice from 1 lime.  Taste and add more lime juice as needed.

6. Stir in cilantro and serve over steamed rice.

Global Grill

Georgian Grilled Potatoes

Nothing says summer like grilling! That's why in this month's subscription box we are taking you on a global culinary tour of different spices you can use on the grill.  From Mexico to Georgia to Japan, we hope you enjoy the world of BBQ.  Here's what we're cooking:

Yucatan Steak Salad

Yucatan Steak Salad with Rojo BBQ Rub

Yemenite Grilled Eggplant

Yemenite Grilled Eggplant with Hawaij

Grilled Salmon with Miso Butter Bok Choy

Grilled Salmon with Miso Butter Bok Choy and Oasaka Seasoned Salt

Georgian Grilled Potatoes

Georgian Grilled Potatoes with Svaneti Salt Blend

Piri Piri Skewers

African Piri Piri Skewers

Grilled Miso Butter Veggies

Grilled Miso Butter Veggies with Osaka Seasoned Salt


Taste of Cuba

Asado Vegetable Bowl

If you haven't had a chance to travel to Cuba you will at least be able to explore this delectable island cuisine with this month's subscription box.  From staples like black beans and yellow rice to ropa vieja and roast chicken with mojo sauce, we hope you enjoy discovering the wonderful depth of flavors found in Cuban food.  Here is what we are cooking this month:

Ropa Vieja, Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Ropa Vieja with Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Caribbean Spiced Corn

Caribbean Spiced Corn

Sweet Potato Fritters

Sweet Potato Fritters (Vegetarian Box)

Asado Vegetable Bowl

Asado Vegetable Bowl (Vegetarian Box)

Roast Chicken with Mojo Sauce

Roast Chicken with Mojo Sauce

Taste of China

Yo Po Mian

The May subscription box features the complex world of Chinese cooking. From spicy Szechuan cuisine to sweet red bean bao, we take you on a culinary tour of this vast country.  We hope you enjoy exploring this delectable cuisine!

Smoked Duck Breast with Rice Salad

Tea Smoked Duck with Rice Salad

Szechuan Tofu or Beef and Broccoli

Szechuan Tofu or Beef and Broccoli

Yo Po Mian

Yo Po Mian Hot Oil Noodles

5 Spice Pork and Greens

Chinese 5-Spice Pork and Greens

Red Bean Bao

Red Bean Bao

Tea Smoked Sweet Potatoes with Rice Salad

Tea Smoked Sweet Potatoes with Rice Salad


Spice Up Your Brunch Workshop

Spice Up Your Brunch Workshop

Join us for a spice and brunch workshop on Saturday, May 7th - Kentucky Derby day! This delicious class will take place from 11am-2pm and will be presented by Vanessa, the award-winning founder of Saffron + Kumquats. In this class we will taste spices that can be used in brunch food and discuss their history and useage, sip on mint juleps and mimosas, and finish with a spice-laden brunch on the patio. On the menu:

  • Cardamom and Pear Financiers
  • Turmeric Coconut Pudding
  • Chili Chocolate Muffins with Sea Salt
  • Mini Spanish Tortillas with Smoked Paprika
  • Herbed Goat Cheese and Honey Crostini

Cost is $95 and space is limited. Email customersupport@saffronandkumquats.com to reserve your place!

Don't forget your Derby hats!

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