Michael Pollan has written best-selling books about his journeys with food, his discoveries and how that has changed the way he eats. To this end he also has become a terrific chef. It runs in the family as has been shown the terrific Pollan Family Table Cookbook written by his mother and three sisters with contributions by Michael too.
Michael agreed to let us share a meal’s worth of his recipes with the readers of EatDrinkFilms. For more of his recipes including his version of Pan Seared Cod in Thai Broth (which is also in the book and proclaimed by his mother on of her favorites) check out Michael Pollan.com.
Vegetable Salad with Salsa Verde
Yield: 6 servings. Active preparation time 45 minutes, total time 2 hours 15 minutes.
I make a sauce gribiche for this dish by whisking 2 hardboiled-egg yolks into olive oil, then adding 2 chopped egg whites into the finished salsa.
- 4 medium beets (about 1 pound)
- Kosher salt
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets (about 6 cups)
- 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thickly sliced (about 3 cups)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tbsp. brined capers, drained and roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cornichons (French gherkins)
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange beets in a baking dish and add water to reach a depth of ½”. Cover dish with foil and bake until beets are tender, about 1 ½ hours. When cooled, peel and slice into wedges.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a colander and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Return water to a boil and repeat process with leeks.
- In a medium bowl, stir together oil, parsley, capers, cornichons, zest, ¾ tsp. salt, pepper, and garlic to make a salsa verde.
- Arrange beets on a large serving platter and drizzle 3 Tbsp. salsa verde on top. Toss cauliflower and leeks with 6 Tbsp salsa verde and scatter over beets, then drizzle remaining salsa verde over top. Serve at room temperature.
Yield: Makes 6 servings, active preparation time 45 minutes, total time 2 hours 45 minutes.
For this recipe I was inspired by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s recipe for vinegar chicken. He suggests seasoning the chicken with salt a day in advance.
- 3 ¾ pounds bone-in chicken pieces, preferably dark meat.
- 2 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 ½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 ½ cups red wine vinegar
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup canned whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and quartered
- 6 cloves garlic
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 300°. Season chicken with 2 tsp. salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or wide, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Arrange half the chicken in pot in a single layer and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
- Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and cook until much of the acrid aroma has dissipated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and ½ cup water, bring to a vigorous simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Whisk in tomato paste and remaining ½ tsp. salt. Add tomatoes, then arrange chicken in pot, skin side up, pouring over any accumulated juices from plate. Tuck garlic, thyme, and bay leaves in liquid. Cover pot snugly with foil, then lid, and transfer to oven. Cook 1 hour and 15 minutes, until chicken is very tender.
- Let rest 30 minutes; discard thyme and bay leaves. Scatter parsley on top and serve.
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 ripe yet firm Bosc pears, halved and cored
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 6 ounces ricotta cheese, at room temperature
- 6 Tbsp. honey
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°. Put butter in a 9” x 13” baking dish and bake until just melted, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Swirl butter in the dish to coat the bottom completely, then arrange pears, cut sides down, in a single layer in the dish. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Gently turn over pears, drizzle vinegar over top, and roast until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.
- Transfer pears to serving plates, spooning a bit of the ricotta alongside each. Spoon over some of the cooking juices, drizzle pears and ricotta with honey, sprinkle pepper to taste, and serve.
For new recipes from the Pollan Family check out their web site.
Caption: Step into the kitchen with Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan and learn about their family’s philosophy of cooking.
The Pollan Family Table Cookbook is available at your local bookstore or though Indiebound.
Following the screening director Michael Schwarz (The Botany of Desire) will be in conversation with Dean Schillinger, MD, the founding director of UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations. The Center is a partner with the local group Youth Speaks creating a social marketing campaign to empower minority youth to help end Type 2 Diabetes in California. It features the authentic voices of young poets speaking to their peers through in-your-face short films. Check out The Bigger Picture.
*There will be vegetarian goodies from La Mediterranee of Noe Valley before the screening.
For more info and to buy tickets: www.eatdrinkfilmsfest.com