For my first cookbook, I teamed up with cooking teacher and best-selling cookbook author Lynn Alley for a book that shows cooks and gardeners how to make the most of fresh herbs such as mint, dill, rosemary, and thyme. The key to cooking with fresh herbs is to keep things simple and let the flavor of the herbs shine, so the recipes are made with only a few readily available ingredients that showcase the vibrancy of each herb.
We shot the cookbook last summer at Lynn's house in San Diego. Lynn styled the food and Melissa Gardner was the prop stylist. The book's appealing design came from Julie Barnes at Andrews McMeel. And Lane Butler at Andrews McMeel did a great job of editing and managing the whole project.
I shot all of the book's photos and had the pleasure of tasting all the dishes. The one I will always remember is the Savory Tomato Sorbet with Oregano: the flavors offered an unexpected and refreshingly delicious surprise.
GARNET YAM RÖSTI WITH INDIAN FLAVORS
2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil 4 large red or garnet yams, grated 1 tsp salt, Freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed 2 tsp cumin seeds, crushed. 2 egg whites ½ cup plain yogurt, ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro ½ cup thinly sliced scallions, ½ Serrano chile, chopped finely
Place the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat and allow the skillet to heat thoroughly, 3 to 4 minutes. It’s important not to get the skillet too hot, as the potatoes on the bottom will cook before the insides are done.
Toss the yams with salt, pepper, coriander and cumin seeds, and egg whites. Place the yams in the skillet and press them down with a spatula into an even layer. Cook for about 10 minutes, rotating the skillet a couple of times to avoid hot spots, until the bottom of the rösti is golden brown.
Loosen the rösti on the sides and bottom of the pan with a spatula, slide the rösti out onto a plate, then slide the rösti back into the pan, browned side up. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the underside of the rösti is also browned.
Gently run a spatula around the sides of and underneath the rösti and slide it onto your serving plate. Top with yogurt, cilantro, scallions, and chile and serve immediately.