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vegan earl grey + chocolate shakes

vegan earl grey + chocolate shakes // the first messcotoneaster // the first mess
Straight up: I’ve overextended myself this holiday season. Oh, you too? I think it’s safe to say that we could all use a milkshake and a pat on the back right about now. Emotions run high and the frantic aspect of it all doesn’t seem to offer any relief (like when I overheard a bundled up elderly woman kindly asking where the chocolates were at Target the other night—cried. Like big time.) Something frothy and sweet, and maybe just a little assurance that all of our efforts are worth it could certainly help in some way. This is true in the busyness of life in a general sense; not just the month of December.

So I’m here to help with a simple little treat and a virtual high five for all the things you got goin’ on–the multiple shopping lists, the handmade hostess gifts, conveying sentiment in a way that feels just right, making the best cheeseboard ever, hitting that high note in “silent night,” flooding your sugar cookie cutouts with precision, foraging for decorative twigs to tie on your packages, planning a perfect Christmas morning breakfast, strategizing your boxing day scores well in advance, working in some time to partake in Beyoncé’s “visual experience” (you got to), shovelling the driveway like a boss, buying enough dog food to make it over the obligatory 3 day holiday retail closure, syncing your twinkle lights up to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, giving up and realizing that just telling someone how grateful you are for their light and a big hug is probably more than enough… I know that you got all of this on lock.

I’ve got mad faith in the healing properties of a chocolate shake, like a magical salve for your entire being. My little version here has an earl grey-steeped almond milk that totally brings it, and some premium vanilla from vegan baking pro/total sweetheart Ashlae. I add a little citrus zest to the milk to really enhance the bergamot in the tea. Since I went the extra step on the steep + chill earl grey milk move, I rely on some particularly good chocolate ice cream from the people at Luna & Larry’s to make this come together quickly. If you have time to make your own, this recipe without the hazelnuts would be just right.

Anyway, short and sweet today. I probably won’t be back with a post until the new year (but I’ll still be doing stuff on Instagram, Twitter + Pinterest, no doubt). Once I get through all of the things, I’ll be taking a couple days to just chill the most. Hope you all have a restorative and full holiday. Sending my big hugs for the start of 2014 too. It’s gonna be a big one, I can feel it :) Thanks as always for your love and kindness here. xo

vegan earl grey + chocolate shakes // the first messvegan earl grey + chocolate shakes // the first messvegan earl grey + chocolate shakes // the first mess
vegan earl grey + chocolate shakes
serves: 4 small servings or 2 very adult portions
notes: I like to blend a shake with ice to get it super frothy, but this is personal preference. Leave it out if you want a smoother kind of feel.

shakes:
1 1/2 cups almond milk (I used unsweetened)
3-4 earl grey tea bags, or 4 tsp loose leaf earl grey tea
strip of orange zest
splash of maple syrup (if you used unsweetened almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
6-8 scoops of non-dairy chocolate ice cream
big handful of ice (optional)

to serve:
coconut whip
shaved dark chocolate

In a small saucepan, bring the almond milk, tea, and orange zest to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to steep for 10 minutes. Strain and cool the mixture completely in the fridge (or place the pot in some snow if you have it in your area–worked like a charm for me).

In a blender combine the earl grey milk, maple syrup, vanilla, chocolate ice cream, and ice. Blend on high for a minute or so, or until you have a creamy, smooth and homogenous mixture. Pour it out into glasses and serve with coconut whip and shaved chocolate if you like. Enjoy immediately.

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These look wonderful, and I sure could use one right now (6am -that’s ok right). So overextended even though I planned not to be. Oh well, it always works out in the end (true words from my 7 year old!)

Claire (Eat Well. Party Hard.)19/12/2013 - 9:21 am

If any proof exists that our souls are on the same plane, it’s the fact that I read this post WHILE getting down to the Beyonce experience. For maybe the fifth time.

Shake looks so, so boss. Big hugs for a present-(both kinds)-filled 2014, and for shakes at all times of the year.

Ali @ Inspiralized19/12/2013 - 9:35 am

you are a total genius, I love this blog!

Crista19/12/2013 - 10:08 am

i LOVE this.

Lindsey19/12/2013 - 10:24 am

You’re constantly coming up with the most BOMB beverages. Love the combo of soothing earl gray and the comfort that chocolate provides :) Merry, merry and happy, happy in 2014 xo!

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan19/12/2013 - 10:29 am

Girl you are steeping that milk and making it all earl grey up in hurrr! Love it!

Jessica @ conveganence19/12/2013 - 10:52 am

I wish I had this in front of me right now! Think I’ll prep the tea mixture and coconut whip on Christmas Eve so I can enjoy this on Christmas morning :)

dishing up the dirt19/12/2013 - 12:36 pm

These sound amazing. You are a total genius girl!

Michelle19/12/2013 - 3:13 pm

Um, ya, this looks wonderful Laura! You’re a star. Merry Christmas and enjoy the R&R. Looking forward to more from you in the New Year! xo

Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe19/12/2013 - 6:12 pm

I laughed out loud at the “buying enough dog food to make it over the obligatory 3 day holiday retail closure” part. I’m totes with you there. Especially because my dog eats raw food and therefore I can only buy a couple of weeks worth at a time. Sounds like you deserve a break – ENJOY!

Harriet19/12/2013 - 8:10 pm

This looks stupefyingly delicious. Tea-infused anything is magical.

Thank you for your words on the festive craziness – this year I’m feeling a very relaxed Christmas is required, with lots of warmth and love.

Wishing you the merriest of Christmases, Laura! XX

Emma Galloway19/12/2013 - 8:36 pm

This looks perfect! Ill be making one as soon as we get home. Happy holidays to you love, I hope they slow down for you soon xxx

Kathryn20/12/2013 - 7:14 am

Happy holidays Laura. Wishing you lots of love and laughter for 2014 xo

[…]  Image Source […]

sarah21/12/2013 - 10:52 am

Oh, I love you. Every night for the last month, my kids ask me to sing Silent Night to them before bed – and half the time I ace that note, and the others, well, they don’t mind.

This looks so good! I’ve overextended myself, too, and could sure use this shake.

Much love to you, Laura. I hope your holidays are merry and bright. And let your heart be light. xo

Ashlae21/12/2013 - 4:02 pm

HELLLLLLL YES! So stoked the vanilla snuck through security. I made a chai version of this for my post-workout indulgence – used cinnamon ice cream (it’s all I haaaaad), hella cacao powder, and protein powder. So good. You rule.

dana21/12/2013 - 4:49 pm

smitten smitten smitten with this post/recipe/these photos! Love it all, friend!

Stacy Feyer Salo21/12/2013 - 9:35 pm

I am going to try this over the holidays. So gorgeous. Great job!

Kasey21/12/2013 - 11:53 pm

Oh, YES. I just made a big batch of Sarah Kieffer’s peppermint bark, and am getting quite close to overextending myself. These look brilliant. Happy holidays dear friend!

Irina @ wandercrush22/12/2013 - 2:10 am

Sometimes Christmas is synonymous with stress, which is a terrible thing to admit—but in the end it always wraps up to be perfectly sentimental, festive, memorable, and all the things that the holiday season is meant to be. Beautiful photos as always, and three cheers to Earl Grey. I’m returning to London soon, and the first thing I’m gonna do is have a huge steaming mug of it.

ines22/12/2013 - 3:23 pm

yumiiiiii, what a great and beautiful way to drink christmas spirit ;)

autumn30/12/2013 - 8:27 am

healing power of ice cream all the way. For some reason, I would have never thought of putting early grey and chocolate together, but it makes so much sense (citrus+chocolate=magic). I hope you’re enjoying a restful internet break.

QueenSashy01/01/2014 - 9:55 am

I so overextend myself every day of the year as an excuse to get a chocolate shake… Have a happy one!

Sophia03/01/2014 - 10:30 am

When you first mentioned the earl grey shakes I was hoping you would post the recipe! Although earl grey is not my number one favourite tea (that honour goes to Darjeeling, swiftly followed by hochija and chai), citrus and chocolate is one of my favourite flavour pairings so immediately warmed to the idea of a bergamotty chocolate shake!
Also, I cannot get your idea for a vegetarian charcuterie platter out of my mind, so many possible ideas – I hope you post some more recipes for that too!

dervla (the curator)09/01/2014 - 1:14 pm

wait, are you serious? earl grey AND chocolate?! My two favorite flavors ever. I’ve had them in a cookie, but NOT a drink yet. YUM Happy new year, Laura!

Jourdie03/02/2014 - 9:55 am

Dude. Earl Grey reminds me of the months I spent in Paris as a teenager, and milkshakes remind me of being a kid in California. This is basically all the great memories of youth put together in the best way, because shakes are totally the best answer to all things. Thanks bunches. Happy late New Year!

whitney14/04/2014 - 11:30 pm

i love your blog. it is my favourite cooking blog. i made your lentil soup the other night and i screamed out happiness. it was incredible. i will make these shakes tonight. thank you.

mustard roasted broccoli pâté with leeks + lemon

mustard roasted broccoli pâté with leeks + lemon // the first messmustard roasted broccoli pâté // the first mess
Hypothetically speaking, if I had some sort of restaurant or space that served food to people that were A) willing to hang out with me and B) willing to pay for it, I would serve a version of this–on a big wooden board with lots of pickled veg, warm olives, a pot of mustard, really good bread, maybe some radishes and other crunchy roots. I could pair it with some other little veg-based charcuterie-ish concoction (I’ve been working on a few). There would always be a broth-y soup AND a puréed one with baller garnishes. There would be solid brown liquor representation and homemade, super warm-spicy ginger beer on draft. And salads that totally wouldn’t suck. Eggplant bacon + avocado BLT’s (working on that one too). Oh, and vegan earl grey chocolate milk shakes, some cozy bench seats, not-too-heavy, but just-heavy-enough silverware…

I might have got a little carried away there, but you get the idea. I like that rustic, all hands in, no fussin’ around kinda vibe implied by charcuterie/cheese boards. The preparation requires a bit of forethought, but the result is worth it. You get a variety of goods that are easy to present/enjoy with people you like. Obviously these sorts of things are traditionally made with meat. The potential for variety in flavour and texture is kind of exciting when you think about vegetables in this context though. My inspiration came from rillettes, which is generally prepared by slowly cooking cuts of salted pork (or other meats, sometimes fish etc.) in fat until soft. From here, the cooked meat is raked and mixed with the fat until a paste begins to form. The sheer amount of fat is what sets the mixture and allows it to keep for a while.

So yeah! Not entirely my thing, but sub in some broccoli + hella good extra virgin olive oil in for the off cuts + pork fat? Count me in. Ina Garten is kind of my queen when it comes to entertaining basics and her grainy mustard roasted potatoes are pretty much the best. I love broccoli with the sharp zing of a mustard-y vinaigrette, so I thought I could intensify that flavour union by taking my home girl Ina’s approach. I threw in a leek with the roasting broccoli to get some sweeter, caramelized qualities. Once everything’s soft, it goes for a whirl in the food processor with lemon, tons of olive oil, a little extra mustard, salt, pepper and some parmesan/nutritional yeast. I’ve tried this with both cheesy options, and can honestly tell you that they are equally good.

I save a bit of of the lightly blitzed vegetables to garnish this pâté of sorts and then pour a nice cap of EVEN MORE olive oil on top. This creates a textural thing and helps to preserve the brilliant green. I worked for a chef that grumbled to me once about a certain/uncertain cook at the restaurant making a batch of vinaigrette with all extra virgin olive oil and then storing it in the fridge overnight. The one litre container of it was solid and obviously not fit for immediate usage upon our realization at lunch the next day. Cool thing though? That approach gives this riff on rillettes the solid heft we’re looking for. Someone else’s mistakes = my vegetarian charcuterie success. Anyway, this recipe is pretty easy, has normal/everyday ingredients and comes together pretty fast (minus chill time). Be a holiday hero to your plant-y friends. C’mon, do it.

Also! I’ve been making some stuff in other places lately. Here’s a little rundown with links: sweet potato chips AND homemade pumpkin spice lattes for Food 52, vegan + wholesome eggnog over at The Chalkboard and some GF + vegan maple chai jammer cookies for a little sweets fête at Daily Candy. More to come too–holidays hip hip! :)

mustard roasted broccoli "rillettes" // the first messmustard roasted broccoli "rillettes" // the first messmustard roasted broccoli pâté // the first mess

mustard roasted broccoli pâté with leeks + lemon
serves: makes about 1/2 a litre
notes: If you’re opting for the vegan version with nutritional yeast, you will need a bit more olive oil in the mix to achieve that extra moistness and go a bit heavier with the salt too.

3 cups broccoli florets
1 leek, white + light green parts only, rough chopped
1 tbsp heat-tolerant oil, such as grapeseed
1 tbsp + 2 tsp grainy mustard, divided
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
salt + pepper
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 – 1 1/2 tsbp lemon juice
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese OR 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + extra for the top
flaky sea salt, like Maldon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the broccoli florets and leeks with the heat tolerant oil, 1 tbsp of mustard, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Once everything is coated, spread the mixture out on the baking sheet. Roast the vegetables until lightly browned and tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor. Pulse the mixture until the broccoli is finely chopped. Scoop up a spoonful to garnish the tops of your rillettes with. To the food processor, add the remaining mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parmesan/nutritional yeast. Pulse until everything is combined. With the motor running, drizzle the olive oil in through the feed tube. Continue to run the motor until you have a smooth, lightly chunky paste. Remove the bowl from the food processor and check the mixture for seasoning and adjust.

Scrape the rillettes mixture into your serving vessel and scatter the reserved fine chopped broccoli bits over the top, Pour a solid layer of more extra virgin olive oil on top. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours or until the rillettes + oil layer are mostly solid.

Sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt on top of the rillettes before you serve it with sliced bread, olives, pickles, vegetables etc.

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Sophia12/12/2013 - 9:52 am

This looks and sounds amazing – since moving to Italy I have slowly but surely adopted the Italian way of cooking vegetables long and slow in ample amounts of olive oil. It completely changes the flavour of cauliflower, broccoli etc. And a vegetarian charcuterie platter? Very much on board with that. Oh and that aubergine BLT too please – I have played with making aubergine bacon a few times, nothing perfect yet but even the first attempts were so good. Cannot wait to see your recipe! Also, I love that I am not the only one who thinks about the food they would serve in their hypothetical restaurant/cafe … I have my own list of pastries and cakes I would serve in my cafe. Congrats on the various features too!

Ashley12/12/2013 - 10:33 am

I loved reading the vision of your restaurant and this idea is for veggie charcuterie is insanely creative. I’m just disappointed you left out the pork fat. ;) xo!

Amanda12/12/2013 - 10:37 am

Heck yes! This looks absolutely incredible, I love the idea of adding some veggies to a charcuterie platter. I am not a vegetarian but always prefer vegetables, so having something green and fresh to balance out the weight of meat and cheese would be welcome. I’m putting this right at the top of the things I must make for holiday get togethers!

Kris12/12/2013 - 10:47 am

Let’s start that restaurant! :)

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan12/12/2013 - 11:22 am

I adore this! It is so hard to find vegan/vegetarian charcuterie and this is bomb ass awesome girlfriend.

michelle12/12/2013 - 11:34 am

What Kris said, for real. Why isn’t that a real place? My favourite meals are often just salads and good bread and cheeses and dips. Picnic dinners. I guess that’s why mezze is so appealing.

Make it happen, girl. I’d be there all the time, even if it was in Niagara :)

dishing up the dirt12/12/2013 - 12:40 pm

This is pure genius. It’s so hard finding delicious vegetarian charcuterie. Can’t wait to give this a whirl!

I love this recipe, genius! And the first paragraph of this post had me transported to a magical place…sounds like you need to start a restaurant!!

Amalia12/12/2013 - 1:07 pm

I hope you open a veg restaurant one day! Love all your recipes and looking forward to trying this one as well.

hannah12/12/2013 - 1:39 pm

Sorry, I didn’t get past Earl Grey Chocolate Milkshakes before I had to comment.
Oh. My. God. Died. In. Heaven.
Please say this is a recipe you have to share?! xxx

Ashlae12/12/2013 - 1:43 pm

I’d totally pay to come hang with you + eat your grub. Maaaaybe after you’re finished with the house, a veggie heavy cafe could be your next project – if you haven’t already had it with cleaning up drywall dust. ;)

PS – High fives to being on Team Ina. She’s such a badass.

LaceyAnn12/12/2013 - 1:55 pm

Your restaurant would be my favorite. For sure.

Kerianne12/12/2013 - 3:23 pm

I’m with Hannah – that earl grey milkshake sounds amazing!

Eileen12/12/2013 - 3:23 pm

I would never, ever have thought to use broccoli in pate form, but this sounds fantastic! I love the spicy mustard & salt combination.

Kathryn12/12/2013 - 5:59 pm

This is pretty much my favourite way to eat. I’d cross the ocean just to come and eat at your restaurant.

Eric12/12/2013 - 11:00 pm

Your idea of a restaurant seems wonderful!

Your charcuterie board seems so neat as do the cozy benches, and Earl grey milkshakes(yum!)

I hate (too strong a word maybe? too-heavy silverware too! :D

Also, I’ve followed your website for months, but I’ve never had the time to comment on a post, because I’ve been busy, sometimes I don’t see the e-mails, etc. But, I checked my e-mail today and here I am! I’ve been meaning to say that I love your website layout and design (I enjoy the pink, green and grey colors) and that your photography is really well-done and your recipes are so neat! This is a really creative recipe! The broccoli in the little glass jar is so pretty too, as is the dark brown counter-top you have, they go really well together.

Thank you for having such a neat website!

Also, your eggnog recipe seems really interesting and I can’t believe how you make all these recipes and posts for your website as well as others, you must be fairly busy!

I think I might try the eggnog recipe soon!

Good luck with you other holiday recipes too!

Best,

-Eric

Jodi13/12/2013 - 3:01 pm

You little resto of dreams sounds like my kinda place, especially if your serving up dishes like this! Awesome recipe!

SouthernSpoon15/12/2013 - 4:42 am

My family-in-law loves paté, and I just can’t stand the liver-y flavor. This, however, is my kind of spread. Also a beautiful, fresh, and light option for us warm-weather-holidayers. I’m adding it to our menu for early Christmas celebrations with the Aussie relies next week.

sasha16/12/2013 - 5:44 pm

Hi, love your posts and made this at the wkd, it was special to say the least, great flavours

Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily17/12/2013 - 8:54 pm

Hell yeah! Wanna be partners in crime? I could fall in love w a place like that! l.o.v.e. this. OXOX gorgeous photos. pinned ;)

Peggy @ cooksbybooks.com19/12/2013 - 10:28 am

Made this broccoli pate for our book club holiday get together and it was wonderful. Everyone asked for the recipe so I am posting a link to your blog from my posting for the evening. Happy Holidays! Only recently discovered you blog and I am becoming a big fan. Love the photos too!

Julia21/12/2013 - 4:04 am

This recipe looks amazing and like the perfect thing to have on a small platter of cheese and olives on Christmas Day. Problem is, I’ll be travelling from the 23 to the middle of the 25th – think I could make this ahead of time (the 22nd) and it would still be delicious on the 25th?

Laura Wright21/12/2013 - 9:11 am

Hi Julia, I think you could make it that far in advance. The green colour might fade ever so slightly. Just remember to put a decent cap of oil on top of the pâté before you refrigerate it.
-L

Julia21/12/2013 - 1:17 pm

Thank you, Laura. We will definitely be eating this on Christmas Day. I love your blog – thank you for the all the love and work you put into it.

[…] it was a big hit.  I got the recipe for this super easy to make wonderfully zingy pâté from The First Mess blog. How could you go wrong with broccoli which I love dressed up with a grainy tangy mustard and […]

[…] made a Mustard Roasted Broccoli “Rilletes” with Leeks and Lemon  featured on The First Mess, a blog I recently subscribed to. She has some wonderful recipes I am discovering. The mustard […]

[…] isn’t all for carnivores, and this Mustard Roasted Broccoli Pâté with Leeks and Lemon from The First Mess will be a hit with meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Serve with bread, […]

Diana01/01/2014 - 6:05 pm

This may be the most delicious meal I’ve ever prepared. I served the pate with toasted pumpernickel bread and red wine. My “savory tooth” was completely satisfied. Another miracle of healthy, satisfying and delicious food. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

[…] crush: mustard roasted broccoli pate with leeks and lemon. [The First […]

Halley08/01/2014 - 6:35 pm

Okay, I’ve made this twice now and it is absolutely the most delicious thing that’s ever come out of my oven. I can’t believe how easy it is! ALSO. I threw in some garlic confit to roast with the broccoli and all I can say is: Do. This. Now.

Laura Wright08/01/2014 - 6:50 pm

That garlic confit move sounds so, so baller. Thanks Halley! :)
-L

haruspex12/01/2014 - 8:55 am

Mm. What if you made this with Brussels sprouts? (Which I happen to have.) I’ll let you know if I try it.

Alanna24/01/2014 - 1:49 pm

Broccoli rillettes?! That is crazy genius right there. I can imagine how vibrant all those flavors taste against tender broccoli and sweet leeks. Can’t wait to make this – thank you for sharing your beautiful recipe.

CSA Week 14 «21/02/2014 - 8:34 pm

[…] course.  I also recently discovered broccoli is really good with mustard.   Try this recipe for roasted broccoli pate; I made it almost two months ago and I’m still obsessed with […]

some festive fruit! w/ rosemary + vanilla rooibos syrup

some festive fruit! w/ rosemary + vanilla rooibos syrup // the first messsome festive fruit // the first messsatsumas // the first mess
Do you get in those traps where you tell yourself (and everyone within a decent listening radius) that you’re soooo busy, but you’re also like, perpetually stuck in highly sneaky, time-wasting downward spirals? The end of the year brings a lot of heavy, life-y things into the foreground. How did we grow and change? What can I do differently? How can we make it easier? Add to that the million tasks, work, the gift guides, the merry-making… I think it’s easy to feel suffocated by your own life this time of year. Obviously some perspective plays into that, but you know what I mean.

All of the things have been veering on the edge of completely-out-of-my-control lately, so every night before I go to bed, I make a list of things I have to accomplish the next day (FYI: surprisingly effective strategy for getting a good night’s sleep) (Also, magnesium is some good shit). There’s the normal work stuff on those lists, but there’s also things like”remember to put chia seeds on the oatmeal,” and “eat some vegetables before work,” or “drink at least 3 litres of water,” and my fave: “pause and stretch before getting out of bed.” Cool thing? Silly as those reminders seem, I actually accomplish those little bits. The list makes for some structured intent on the wellness front–less of a wishy-washy, completely distant goal. It’s all right there in a quantified or qualified sense under a bolded date in capital letters.

So the legit work seems to follow along when I’m penciling out my stretches and veggie snacks. You know how they would strategically schedule nap and snack times in kindergarten? I guess there’s some wisdom there. I’ve been so contentedly living by the list that I’m experiencing pre-emptive relaxation guilt over our upcoming 48 hour sojourn in Denver this weekend. This also happened last Sunday when we took a little drive into the city to see a friend for a leisurely brunch. On the way there, my head was muddied with ideas of things I should have been doing instead of taking an entire day away from it all. Once I had that warm coffee cup in my hand, I stopped thinking about maximizing any renovation productivity, ingredients I had to buy for whatever shoot, or how my holiday work schedule could translate into any remote concept of free time. The meal and the gathering around it put me in the moment and brought some sense of relief. I think we all look for that in certain ways–whether it’s from a long day at work, unforeseen challenges in day-to-day being, the effing deluge of Black Friday emails, those self-imposed trappings of guilt, or obsessive list-making. Relief is release, however you arrive to it.

I decided to throw together this little warm-spiced fruit deal for our brunch gathering and  I was so pleased with how it turned out–actually one of the better, simpler things I’ve made in a while. I just had this loose idea for a particularly pretty winter fruit salad with pine-y rosemary, cinnamon, vanilla rooibos tea, a good hit of maple and cool mint. The different bits of citrus and pomegranate are all juicy and tart, the persimmon is soft and delicately sweet, and I like to use bosc pears for a lightly crisp bite. The woodsy sweetness from the syrup helps to veer this dish away from being a simple bowl of fruit, which I generally love to serve alongside a traditional dessert at a dinner get-together anyway, just so that the option to go lightly is there for anyone in need.

satsuma, grapefruit, pomelo // the first messpomegranate // the first messrosemary + vanilla rooibos syrup // the first messsome festive fruit! w/ rosemary + vanilla rooibos syrup // the first mess
festive fruit w/ rosemary + vanilla rooibos syrup
serves: 6 – 8, depending on what else you’re serving
notes: I don’t think a persimmon needs to border on rotten to be ripe. If you’re holding it, it should have the mush factor of a lightly worked-in hackie sack. Also, my favourite vanilla rooibos of EVER is by Mariage Frères (and it comes loose or pre-bagged).

syrup ingredients:
1/4 cup maple syrup
big splash of water
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla rooibos tea
1 sprig fresh rosemary

salad ingredients:
2 ripe persimmons, sliced
1 grapefruit, peeled + segmented
2-3 satsumas or clementines, peeled + segmented
1 pomelo, peeled + segmented
2 bosc pears, cored + sliced
1 pomegrante’s worth of seeds/arils—>Life Hacker comes through with a (EFFIN LONG) tutorial
juice of 1 lime
handful of seeds (I used sesame + pumpkin)
1 sprig of mint, leaves sliced fine

In a small saucepan, combine all of the syrup ingredients. Put it over medium heat and bring it to a simmer, swirling the contents here and there. Once it’s boiling a bit, take it off the heat and set aside. Allow it all to steep for a good 10 minutes or so.

While the syrup is steeping, peel and chop all of your salad ingredients. Throw them all into a large serving bowl, reserving a bit of the mint and seeds for the top. Toss everything in the lime juice. Strain the syrup in a fine mesh strainer right over the bowl of fruit. Toss it all together and garnish with the leftover mint and seeds. Serve it up right away.

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So if you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I’m not a raw food person. I live in a mostlyView full post »

raw raspberry + vanilla chia pudding

I’m going to be straight with you guys: I made up a big batch of this raw and luscious raspberry chia pudding soView full post »

 

 

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Jason @ Plenty Of Zest05/12/2013 - 7:17 am

The colours of this salad are stunning Laura! And I don’t know how you got the shot of the pomegranate, but it’s brilliant :).

Emma Galloway05/12/2013 - 9:22 am

Beautiful! All of it xx

Sini | my blue&white kitchen05/12/2013 - 9:57 am

I’m intrigued by the vanilla rooibos syrup and those black sesame seeds. Just beautiful! I guess I would be the happiest person if I would have this fruit salad for breakfast.

steph@stephsbitebybite05/12/2013 - 10:11 am

This is so gorgeous!!

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)05/12/2013 - 10:14 am

This is one of the most beautiful dishes I’ve ever seen, Laura! Love the contrast of all of the colors and sesame seeds. Your photography always blows me away.

And totally feel you on the holiday craziness. I feel like time is disappearing before my eyes!

Alex05/12/2013 - 10:55 am

I really love that shot of the pomegranate. Stunning!

Sarah @ One Window Kitchen05/12/2013 - 10:57 am

Love this so much– the words, the pictures(!!!), the sound of all those flavors coming together. I agree that writing down tangible, doable tasks is so helpful in giving us some calm and (a very, very tiny bit of) control over our lives.

shanna mallon05/12/2013 - 12:35 pm

i love the hope you’ve inspired in me with this post. totally going to try the list thing. need it!

Ashley05/12/2013 - 12:46 pm

I feel like our lives are some what of a mirror image right now and your words express exactly how I feel but can’t quite put into words. So, thank you for this. All of it…words, food, photos, and general awesomeness. xo

dishing up the dirt05/12/2013 - 1:59 pm

Loved this post. i can totally relate to all the craziness going on this time of year and feeling out of control. At least we can retreat to our kitchens. Beautiful dish as always.

This is so simple and gorgeous! I love the simplicity and the combination of colors, brilliant!

Christine05/12/2013 - 4:28 pm

Laura, you have a masterful way of gracefully addressing deep and troublesome topics in a tone that feels entirely accessible, relatable, and calm. This irony of the beshackling liberation tactic – here, the list-making strategy that both relieves your anxiety and chains you to guilt – is well familiar to me, but its force is only as strong as we allow. Good pine-and-maple-mellowed fruit, shared around the communal table, is a good antidote to that and other bad-vibe forces. Thanks for creating this.

molly yeh05/12/2013 - 5:38 pm

pause and stretch before going to bed. i have needed that in the worst way this week and i’ve been too busy, like, pinteresting or doing dumb stuff! thank you for the reminder :-)

i love how you make such colorful dishes, even in the winter! and your use of rooibos is brilliant!

HOLLY05/12/2013 - 6:51 pm

Laura! Has anyone ever mentioned that you need to make a cookbook, CAUSE YA NEED TO MAKE A COOKBOOK- I’ve actually considered printing these all out and having them bound (for personal use obvi) but for really, cookbook.

Lindsey05/12/2013 - 7:06 pm

I probably should start making lists so that way when i wake up in the middle of the night I’m not an anxious freak! I will try that technique asap. I was totally thinking up a similar fruit salad, of course not with your genius syrup, but this is more beautiful than I could have imagined – for sure going on my to-make list!

Margie05/12/2013 - 7:12 pm

With my crazy stressed out mind I took the time to read your whole post, look at your beautiful pictures and read every word, and it calmed me. Thank you.

Eileen05/12/2013 - 8:48 pm

This has to be the most gorgeous fruit salad I’ve ever seen. Now I really want to go out and find a pomelo!

Chloe06/12/2013 - 4:33 pm

you LITERALLY nailed it, girl. always love your truth.

[…] This salad.  There are no words for the beauty of the photos. […]

Heather07/12/2013 - 11:38 am

Stunning! And what do you know, I had already signed up for a winter fruit salad for a potluck party this weekend and, this recipe, could not have dreamt up something so beautiful and wonderful if I tried (vanilla rooibos is my fave, and then drizzle it on fruit…say whaaaat?!). Thank you!

Kathryn08/12/2013 - 1:23 pm

Love how you take ingredients I think I know and make me look at them in a whole new way. A beauty of a post. And I’m definitely stealing that list-making trick, I’ve struggled to get to sleep recently and here’s hoping it will help!

[…] recommendation.  I think she was referring more to the texture though.  As Laura so eloquently describes, persimmon’s are at their best when they feel like a “well worn in hacky sack” […]

la domestique10/12/2013 - 10:37 am

I am seriously craving fruit and veg right now, pretty much ready to skip the holiday indulgence and start the New Year’s cleanse. I like how you’ve combined fresh, healthy fruit and festive, spiced flavors here. Can’t wait to try it!

Elizabeth11/12/2013 - 1:25 pm

This salad has been on my mind since last week. For every meal I plan, a voice whispers, “citrus salad.” So there’s that, but also I am very fond of your advice. The holiday stress came down full-force this week, and I’m going to make a point of remembering to stop and stretch or slowly sip some tea. I so feel for you as you get set up in your new place. Not knowing where anything is is a special kind of hell.

Hari Chandana14/12/2013 - 11:55 pm

Looks so colorful and gorgeous.. Awesome pictures too.. first time here.. happy to follow your space :)

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Alanna30/01/2014 - 2:35 am

These photos are so exquisite – I can’t stop staring.. and the flavors sound amazing. Yum!