pita and greens benedict with feta cream

Not to talk about the weather but because a dramatic shift in weather also means an actual dramatic shift in our life as farm humans: it is spring!! The snow has melted, the birds are chirping, the heat has been turned off, I’m deep in #VestLife, and the chickens are sooooo happy that they have more sunlight and grass to waddle around in. Last week, Eggboy put his farm hat on for the first time this year which means that spring planting is near and he’ll soon start coming in later and later at night smelling like sweat and dirt. The fields are bare right now but in a few weeks they’ll have little sprouts popping out all over and soon we’ll have a garden!!!! And I’ll no longer have to spend $5 on 15 leaves of basil at the Hugo’s on 32nd. 

Since I’m not the one who tends to the fields, the arrival of spring for me pretty much just means that I work slightly longer hours in the kitchen since supper time is way later, and I go to the gym at night by myself. Usually by the time I get back from the gym, Eggboy’s in and it’s Westworld o’clock, even though the sun doesn’t go down until really late but maybe that’s a good thing because Westworld is creepy.

It’s usually in these warmer months when I start taking on bigger kitchen projects, like learning buttercream flowers or bagels, and I think that this is the year I’d like to finally keep a sourdough starter alive and learn to make good crusty bread.

Ok let’s talk bout this recipeep! 

A solid 70% of the time, my mom and I have the same exact brunch order: eggs benedict hold the hollandaise. Just like pork and creamed soups, hollandaise sauce was one of those things growing up that *other people ate*. Who, really, I can’t be sure, but no one in our family. And I think it was simply because hollandaise sauce is heavy and unhealthy, and, to be frank, completely unnecessary. Or, maybe it’s necessary on other things, but a well-salted and adequately Tabasco’d perfectly poached yolky egg on thick Canadian bacon (I know! Pork! Somehow bacon never counted as real pork in our house!) and a toasty English muffin is nary in need of more. Hollandaise actually kind of hardcore effs it up because it takes a relatively healthyish breakfast option to bellyache status and, honestly, I wouldn’t miss hollandaise if it ceased to exist. Oops, this got dark! But the more I think of it the more I really want to just go back in time and convince the eggs benedict inventor to stop after the egg. 

Here’s a version of eggs benedict that does have a sauce but it’s a better sauce than hollandaise, for it is feta yogurt. It’s a light flavorful deal that adds loads of brightness and I realize I just shat all over the very idea of a sauce on a benedict but in my opinion it makes more sense here. All it does is tie together some great garlicky kale, a poached egg, and a fluffy homemade pita, almost more like a dressing than a sauce. And with this vegetarian version, the feta yogurt fills in for the ham in the protein department. This eggs benedict is salty, creamy, garlicky, and green. It’s one that doesn’t require you to order it without the sauce and a colorful main for your next brunch party. 

And you know what’s cool?? You can poach eggs in advance: Simply transfer freshly poached eggs to an ice bath and refrigerate them in a container of water for a day or two until serving time. When it’s time to serve, reheat them by submerging them in hot water until warm. (more details here!)

As for the thick pitas you see: I made one batch of dough (recipe here) into 16 pitas and rolled them out just lightly, molding them more into slightly flat bread rolls as opposed to a flatbread, so they could be thick enough to get sliced in half. 

Pita and Greens Benedict with Feta Cream

Makes 4


2 oz feta, crumbled

1/2 c (113g) whole milk greek yogurt

1/2 tsp aleppo pepper or paprika, plus more for sprinkling

black pepper

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced

6 oz kale, thinly sliced

Kosher salt 

2 tb water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

4 large eggs

2 thick puffy pitas, halved


In a high speed blender, combine the feta, yogurt, aleppo or paprika, a few turns of pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (this can be made a day or two in advance). 

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the kale, a few pinches of salt, and the water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and wilted. You may need to add the kale in batches if it’s too much to fit in all at once. Season with pepper and squeeze with lemon. Turn heat down to low just to keep this warm while you poach the eggs.

To poach the eggs, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Crack the eggs one or two at a time into a fine mesh sieve and let any loose bits of egg whites seep out (this step isn’t totally necessary but it will decrease the amount of wild rogue egg white bits) and transfer to a bowl. Carefully lower them into the boiling water. Cook until the whites are firm but the yolks are still runny, 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to dry off any excess moisture. 

Toast or grill the pitas. Drizzle with a little olive oil and top with the kale and eggs. Spoon on the feta cream and sprinkle with fresh black pepper and a pinch of aleppo or paprika. Enjoy!

p.s. Enrich and Endure makes Crossback aprons now! Omg, I am obsessed. Keep an eye on Instagram, I’ll be doing a giveaway with them in the coming weeks!!


photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

carrot, feta, and pistachio salad with orange blossom toss + a giveaway!

hello from sunny los angeles where i am in town for a storm of fun things including filming with tastemade, talking about book stuff by the pool with alana (in 80 degree weather! omg), *researching* new restaurants like mh zh and kismet, hanging with extended family and my pops (!) who just happens to be in town too, and celebrating the launch of lily's book!! everyone together now: happy book birthday, lily!!!!

i am so excited that this day has come. lily and i have been talking about her book for two years now, and i still vividly remember the first time she told me about it. i was in los angeles to play an opera (it was this trip!) and after one of the shows lily and alana and i were standing outside at a bar downtown in a cloud of hot dog smell because alana had just bought a hot dog from a cart down the street. i buried myself in that smell because you know how i feel about hot dogs, and then from that cloud lily started listing all of the fresh herbs and edible flowers that her veggie-packed book was going to be organized by. there would be a mint chapter and a thyme chapter, and of course a whole section on roses. my mind went to salads but my nose was still on hot dogs and it created this perfectly wrong full-sensory moment that played out as if the meat scent accidentally got placed on the basil scratch and sniff and i was really, totally into it. 

at the time i was knee-deep in the planning stages of molly on the range, so it was natural that lily and i fell into roles as each other's deadline jazz freakout buddies, or maybe "book bridesmaid" is a more graceful term. (note to everyone writing a book: find a book bridesmaid or two because writing a book is way more labor intensive and freakout-prone than planning a wedding.) i was always so grateful to have a friend going through the same crazy book wildness that i was and i can't imagine going through it again without a friend like lil! now it's her turn to launch her book out into the universe and i am so happy that you'll all get to experience it. the whole situation offers this vibrant colorful approach to fresh things and it'll push you beyond your boundaries in the realm of edible flowers. some of the ingredients, like spirulina or rose petals, might be new to your kitchen, but the techniques are approachable and the world that lily creates within this book is so warm and encouraging.

so get this book. it’s filled with feel-good food and homemade body products that shows mother nature at her best. when you get it you first have to make the salad that eggboy and i have at least once a week, the greek salad with cumin-fried chickpeas and tahini mint dressing.

then you have to do the coconut mint scrub thing. (especially if a neighborhood bird accidentally introduced mint into your garden and now you have a garden of mint.) 

then make the jasmine ice cream that alana is posting about this week, which i’m eating right this very second. 

then you have to throw a hummus night and include this crisp refreshing carrot salad in the lineup. i have done this multiple times! i love having carrots in my salatim repertoire because they add color and starchiness without too much weight. and if you luck out and find rainbow carrots, this salad is a perfect way to showcase them. it’s heavy on the pistachios and feta, which makes me want to whip up a carrot cake with pistachios in it (and feta frosting? no that’d be gross), and it's in the orange blossom chapter, which is a chapter i could cook through five million times before having to buy another bottle of orange blossom water. i am so sensitive to it, i find i only need the teensiest bit to get the full effect. so typically when i make this salad, i start with 1/2 teaspoon of orange blossom water in the toss and then work my way up little by little, as if i were working with rosewater. i’ve also made huge batches of this salad for large groups of people using the shredder attachment on my food processor instead of a peeler to shave them. you can make a lot of it and prepare it a day in advance and it'll stay zingy and fresh. (if you do that, add the fresh mint right before serving though so it stays bright.) 

alright enough about salads, there's a rumor that lily made 36 gallons of cocktails for her launch party tonight so i am going to go drink them all. bye! 

carrot, feta, and pistachio salad with orange blossom toss

serves 4-6

from lily diamond's KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table


for the orange blossom toss:

2 tb olive oil

3 tb red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp orange blossom water

2 tsp honey

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish

1/4 tsp sea salt


for the salad:

10 carrots, washed and tops trimmed and removed

1 c coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish

2/3 c chopped toasted pistachio nuts

2/3 c crumbled feta cheese


make the orange blossom toss: combine the oil, vinegar, orange blossom water, honey, cumin, cardamom, the 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and the salt in a jar, seal, and shake to blend. alternately, whisk the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

make the salad: use a vegetable peeler, mandoline, or spiralizer to slice the carrots into long, thin strips. finely chop a handful of carrot tops (resulting in about 1/4 cup). place the carrot strips and carrot tops in a large salad bowl.

add the mint and pistachios, and pour the dressing over all. toss to combine. gently fold in the feta. top with mint and extra red pepper flakes, if you want an additional kick of spice.


update: this giveaway is now closed. 5/8/2017

p.s. i have one copy of KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table to give away! leave a comment telling me about your favorite salad to enter! open to residents of the continental u.s.