The paperback release of STIR by Jessica Fechtor, comes out TODAY, April 5th. At the age of 28, a brain aneurysm shattered Jessica Fechtor’s world, and cooking helped her put the pieces back together. This bestselling, touching memoir is about how food connects us to ourselves, our lives, and each other—especially in the wake of life changing events.
At the age of 28, Jessica Fechtor was happily immersed in graduate school and her young marriage, and thinking about starting a family. Then one day, she went for a run and an aneurysm burst in her brain. She nearly died. She lost her sense of smell, the sight in her left eye, and was forced to the sidelines of the life she loved. Jessica’s journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as she was able to stand at the stovetop and stir. There, she drew strength from the restorative power of cooking and baking. Written with intelligence, humor, and warmth, Stir is a heartfelt examination of what it means to nourish and be nourished.
Woven throughout the narrative are 27 recipes for dishes that comfort and delight. Stir is sure to inspire, and send you straight to the kitchen.
Not only is Jessica Fechtor a bestselling author, but she writes the popular food blog, Sweet Amandine. Filled with delicious recipes and gorgeous photography, she has handcrafted her own scrumptious corner of the internet. She is a PhD candidate in Jewish Literature at Harvard University, and lives with her husband and daughters in San Francisco. She doesn’t believe in secret recipes.
Below, I want to share with you one of my favorite passages and recipes from Stir:
“Chapter 8: Just in Case”
“Kale and Pomegranate Salad
My mom still pokes fun at me for a phone call she received one night that week, after Eli and I made a salad together for dinner. “Mom,” I said, “he cut the mushrooms just right.” I had found a guy who shared my salad aesthetic, and while I admit that salad compatibility does not necessarily correlate with romantic compatibility, there is something to be said for standing at the counter together, rinsing, drying, slicing, talking about whatever, and ending up with a big bowl of salad that suits you both to a T.
Here’s a salad we make as often as we can each fall while pomegranates are in season. The dressing gets its zing from pomegranate molasses, something I first tried at a Seattle restaurant called Sitka and Spruce, where they drizzle the sweet-tart syrup over yogurt and sautéed dates. The dish was genius, and I was hooked. I bought a bottle of pomegranate molasses when I got home—you can find it at Middle Eastern markets and a lot of mainstream grocery stores—and I’ve kept some on hand ever since. I brush it with olive oil over carrots and beets before roasting, add it by the tablespoon to glasses of sparkling water, spoon it over hot oatmeal, swirl it into yogurt, and whisk it into dressings like the one here.
I like my dressing on the sharp side, especially in a salad with such strong, sturdy ingredients. If you want to tone it down, add more olive oil by the teaspoon, whisking and tasting between each addition, until the balance is right for you.
One more quick note: This salad calls for dinosaur kale, the flat, dark green kind also known as lacinato or Tuscan kale. I prefer it in its raw form over curly kale, which can be tougher and harder to chew.
For the salad:
- 12 leaves dinosaur kale, stripped of their stems and thinly sliced
- ½ head of radicchio, thinly sliced
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- Seeds from half a large pomegranate (about ½ cup)
- A handful or two of roasted and salted pistachios, shelled
For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more to taste; see headnote)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Shake or whisk together the dressing ingredients in a jar or mixing bowl. Depending on how heavily dressed you like your salad, you may end up with more dressing than you need. Start with half, toss, taste, then add more, as needed. Serves 4.”
So, in honor of the paperback release of STIR, I am giving away a copy of this book to one lucky reader! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway will end on April 11, 2016 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.
You can also purchase STIR on Amazon today!
You can follow Jessica on Twitter: @sweetamandine and Instagram: @sweetamandine.
Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.