About two weeks ago, my copy of Super Natural Every Day, finally arrived in the mail. A little beat up (thanks USPS), to be sure, but nothing like it’s gonna look in a few months. I have a tendency to devour my cookbooks like I do great literature. You should see my copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. I had to put it in a plastic baggy because the pages are no longer attached to the binding. One of my long time go-to cookbooks, Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean, compiled by Melissa Clark, is literally falling off its spine, and its pages are lovingly stained with tomato soup. It looks like I’ve owned it much longer than the 12 years its been in my possession.
I didn’t have a chance to sit with Super Natural Every Day until the day after I received it. The night before, however, I attended a book signing at The Cleaners where Heidi Swanson was the guest of honor. At her side the beautiful, and glowing Kim Boyce (one of my favorite people ever) was signing copies of my other all time favorite cookbook (and James Beard’s, apparently), Good to the Grain. The line led to the door, seemingly never ending, and I imagine those two beauty’s had scratchy throats and sore smiles by the time 9pm rolled around.
Watching Heidi that evening, I knew that I was in the presence of someone very special. Her blog, 101 Cookbooks, and her first cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, has made her a celebrity in many circles. However, noticing the expression on her face that night, she was just so gracious and humbled as if she couldn’t believe all those people were there for her. I probably don’t need to tell you all of this as, if you read her blog, then you know that her warm personality shines through in her writing and photography.
I’ll take being in the presence of Heidi and Kim over any royal wedding.
The next day, I curled up in bed as the warm sun streamed through our western facing windows and read Super Natural Everyday, cover to cover, occasionally dosing off and dreaming of a sunny San Francisco.
Heidi Swanson’s Chickpeas and Dandelion Greens
I usually tweak recipes, but this recipe is so simple and perfect that made it exactly as Heidi did. By the way, if you haven’t guessed, this is the first of many blog post celebrating Heidi’s recipes.
What you’ll need~
2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one 15 oz can
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3-4 handfuls dandelion leaves, stems trimmed
Grated zest of one lemon
Put your chickpeas in a medium bowl.
Add olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and two pinches of salt to a cold skillet.
Turn on the heat to medium, and stir until the garlic just begins to sizzle. Add the dandelion greens and stir until they start to wilt.
Stir in the lemon zest.
Pour greens over chickpeas and stir to combine.
Add salt to taste.
Serve warm with a couple of corn tortillas.