This is a blog post about food. It is definitely not an excuse to post pictures of the stray (available) kitten who lives on the back porch of a friend who had my husband and I over for brunch last weekend.Even if there had been no kitty it would have been a glorious springtime Brooklyn brunch. My husband and I rode our bikes over to Maria’s house. All three of us had been up late at interesting parties, possibly drinking too many tasty cocktails so the brunch was late. It was lunch, if you want to get technical about it. The meal consisted of delicious things that we happened to have in our respective refrigerators. We had creamy Polenta, ramp and pistachio pesto, ramp and goat cheese omelets, Beet Caviar on Seed and Nut Bread, coffee with big dollops of leftover whipped cream from the dessert served at last night’s dinner party and Cardamom Cashew Cream and Rhubarb Rose parfait for dessert. Basically, the meal was proof that we live very nice lives full of good food…and kittens.
After the meal we sat in Maria’s garden, stroking this ridiculous kitten’s belly and drinking Gibsons with Pickled Ramps (also leftover from he previous night’s festivities.) In addition to having astonishing cat whispering skills and being generally awesome at life, Maria is a writer. If you are wondering what sort of book to buy for your fierce, odd, fourteen year old niece try Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. Maybe the fierce, odd, fourteen year old is you…disguised as a grown woman.
The parfait were not so much leftovers as a recipe that I was testing out before putting it on the Eight Course Vegan Tasting Menu for The Illuminati Ball. The parfait passed the test! I’ll be making and serving them this weekend. By the way, The Illuminati Ball is sold out through June 25th and there are only limited seat available for July and August. So, if you are thinking going, apply to buy a ticket!
These parfait are a pretty hilarious departure from the seasonal post that I usually do at this time of year. Typically in April and May, I use food as anti allergy medicine. In 2014 it was Stracciatella with Ramps and Nettles to cure Seasonal Allergies. In 2013 it was Bengal Red Lentil Dal to Defeat Seasonal Allergies. In 2012 it was Curry Chicken Soup with Pickled Mustard to Sooth Seasonal Allergies. You may notice that there was no anti allergy post in 2015. That is because I discovered acupuncture. By all means, make my various anti-allergy recipes, but if allergies are really beating you up try acupuncture. I think it’s pretty funny that this year for allergy season I am posting a dessert with actual flowers in it. In truth, I did feel a little bit allergic after eating the first batch of this stuff…but then I saw my acupuncturist and since then I’ve been fine gobbling up rose petals like a spring doe.
CARDAMOM CASHEW CREAM AND RHUBARB ROSE PARFAIT
Makes 9 servings
for the cardamom cream
- 1 cup raw cashews (pieces are fine)
- 1/4 cup strained lemon juice
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
For the Rhubarb Rose Jam
- 1 lb rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch lengths
- 8 ounces granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dried culinary rose petals
- 2 Tablespoons rosewater
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- the strained juice of 1/2 lemon
- slivered pistachios for garnish
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours and preferably more like 8 hours.
- Combine the sugar and chopped rhubarb in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the rhubarb gives up some liquid and the mixture comes to a boil. Add the rose petals, rose-water and vanilla extract and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until the jam thickens up. Stir in the strained juice from half a lemon and remove the jam from the heat.
- Drain the cashews and combine them with 1/4 cup strained lemon juice, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 3 Tablespoon coconut oil and the cardamom in a blender or food processor. Process until totally smooth & creamy.
- Scoop a tablespoon of cashew cream into the bottom of a cordial glass, followed by a tablespoon of rhubarb rose jam. Repeat the layers and top with pistachios. Freeze for 2 hours or more.
- 15-30 minutes before serving, take the parfait out of the freezer.
MORE VEGAN DESSERTS…