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Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, California by Travis Lett

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Notes about this book

  • Smokeydoke on November 21, 2016

    30 Sec Book Review: Essential? No. Keeper? Yes. Great California-cuisine recipes from the famous Gjelina restaurant in Abbot Kinney. Photos accompanied every recipe. TLDR: This was a well-written, well-thought-out cookbook. I loved the weight measurements next to the volume measurements. I loved the photos next to every recipe. That was priceless when recreating the harder dishes. Most the recipes I tried were great, there was a heavy emphasis on fresh, Californian produce and I loved that. Recipes are intermediate to hard and required some prepping. My favorite recipes are the Mushroom Toast, Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Parsley & Vinegar and the Kaboucha, Olive Oil & Bittersweet Chocolate Cake. The latter was fabulous. He has an entire chapter devoted to the famous Gjelina pizza, which I looked forward to making. Overall a wonderful book that I will return to often.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Soffrito

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      This is a make ahead fresh pantry item that will hold in the fridge for up to one week. It is suggested to add just before serving (for the beans, p. 311). It would have been helpful to have a picture of what this should look like. I, of course, have made soffrito fresh at the time called for in a recipe, but never ahead of time. FWIW, I added the soffrito to the beans and reserved the oil for repurposing.

  • Charmoula

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      This is a necessary component of the Chicken and Escarole Soup. The recipe yields a cup and 1/2 of sauce, and it only holds for a few days in the fridge, so you may want to cut the recipe in 1/2. The sauce is similar to a very flavorful chimichurri sauce, so if you are short on time or ingredients, you could easily sub one for the other. Note that you can get preserved lemons at TJs these days.

  • Parsley salsa verde

    • FJT on August 09, 2017

      This was very tasty and made some pan-fried cod much more interesting.

    • Frogcake on December 16, 2017

      This salsa verde is really nice. Would definitely make this again in a pinch. Served with bbq salmon and leftovers were eaten with cheese and crackers. Also excellent on omelettes.

  • Chimichurri

    • TrishaCP on June 10, 2018

      Not a traditional version, but I really liked the cilantro, smoked paprika, and shallots in this version.

  • Green harissa

    • VineTomato on March 16, 2017

      Was not able to get fresh tomatillo in UK - used the wahahaca tomatillo salsa which might have affected the outcome

  • Bagna cauda

    • VineTomato on May 21, 2017

      I had a hankering for a delicious anchovy hollandaise served by my favourite restaurant, so decided to create something similar at home. Of course, this is not a hollandaise! Was a little disappointed that the end result is just some fried garlic and anchovy, it does not really come together as a sauce, I was expecting a blend or some other trickery, but it was still delicious. I had throw the first batch of garlic away as it burned, 5 minutes in hot olive oil (they specify hot) for chopped garlic is way too long. I kept the heat lower and took the garlic off the heat after a couple of minutes. I served it with grilled tender stem brocolli. They also provide a ridiculous quantity for a home cook - I cut it down for just enough for one serving. It is heavy on the garlic so not something I would liberally spread on food during the course of the week.

  • Black olive & anchovy aioli

    • Frogcake on December 16, 2017

      Oh my, this is delicious in an intense way! So flavourful-great with grilled anything and slathered on bruschetta.

  • Pomodoro sauce

    • Delys77 on March 06, 2017

      Essentially just tomatoes, oil, basil, and salt so use the best of all ingredients. Very nice with canned San Marzano but go lighter on the salt (maybe half as much).

    • TrishaCP on August 29, 2017

      I made this with a combination of seconds tomatoes from the farmer's market, and Roma tomatoes and basil from my garden. It is an excellent sauce. I had way more yield than called for, probably due to the juiciness of my tomatoes, so clearly didn't reduce the sauce enough. I plan to reduce it more prior to using in pizza and pasta dishes.

  • Smoky tomato butter

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      Okay, yes, this IS a recipe for compound butter that includes three sub-recipes. But it's so worth it. Furthermore, I skipped one of the sub-recipes (the shallot confit -- I replaced it with a few chunks of onion I'd recently sauteed in tomatoes) and this was still insanely delicious.

  • Tomato confit

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      This is absolutely wonderful and lends itself to many applications. I skipped the step that involved skinning the tomatoes, because I tried some of the confit in one of Lett's restaurants, and I'm pretty sure that tomato had the skin on. The result (both restaurant and homemade) was still delicious.

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      A truly special version of sundried tomatoes. If needed, one could be substituted for the other. The recipe calls for red pepper flakes but this is better made with a reconstituted charred Anaheim chile added to the oil when ready to store them.

  • Shallot confit

    • Delys77 on March 06, 2017

      The shallots come out nice and pale and the oil is just golden deliciousness!

  • Garlic confit

    • Delys77 on March 06, 2017

      Dead simple easy and delicious. Took about 50 minutes in my oven.

    • FJT on September 03, 2017

      Easy to make as long as you can stand peeling all those cloves! I made a half recipe because I wasn't sure how much garlic confit I'd use in its 2-month shelf life, but after just a few days I've already found lots of uses for it.

    • Astrid5555 on November 23, 2015

      Great on pizza! Don't skimp on the olive oil. I did not want to use half a bottle of olive oil for this recipe and did not cover the garlic gloves enough. Ended up quite dark, fortunately no impact on the taste.

    • rglo820 on December 06, 2017

      I quartered the recipe in a very small casserole, though in retrospect I don't know why since this has a very long shelf life and myriad uses. It seems like a lot of oil at first glance, but along with the garlic confit you get a wonderfully fragrant oil that can be used any number of ways, so it's not worth skimping. Mine was done in 45 minutes and perhaps could have been taken out a bit earlier, but again, it was a much smaller quantity than the full recipe.

    • adelina on September 05, 2017

      I did not have fresh thyme but did not wanted to stop me from making this last night. Love that you can make this in the oven vs stove top. It took 45 minutes at 350 and think that it was good. I served it over roasted potatoes but will be serving with many more things in the next month.

    • clcorbi on March 09, 2017

      Lovely garlic flavor. I let this go for 50 or so minutes in my oven, and it was a bit too long. The cloves were pretty browned, but didn't taste bitter, so I have still been using the confit. Next time I will have a bit more watchful eye when making a batch.

    • saarwouters on February 05, 2018

      We have this on hand all the time. We go through it quite fast, because we use it to bake potatoes, grill vegetables, or we just drizzle it onto some toasted bread we eat with a salad. The peeling is a bit of work, but totally worth it!

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      I couldn't be bothered to prep all that garlic, so I made this with the already-peeled cloves from the grocery store. The final product turned out beautifully, though I had to make it twice: the first batch scorched terribly. Part of that was negligence on my part, but it's also important to heed the instructions about making sure the garlic is completely submerged in olive oil before roasting. In my case, that meant using more olive oil than the recipe called for, though I imagine the shape/depth of your roasting dish is what really matters here. And watch this carefully toward the end of the roasting time!

  • Crispy shallots & shallot oil

    • DKennedy on October 26, 2016

      Excellent. I increased the amount of shallots called for in the recipe, frying them in batches. The shallots are excellent and would be great on any salad or for other uses. The oil is delicious, and perfect in the dressing on page 88.

  • Pickled red onions

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      Easy and delicious! However, the full recipe makes a ton.

  • Mixed lettuces with yogurt dressing & warm croutons

    • TrishaCP on June 10, 2018

      This is a great salad. The mix of herbs is very nice, and the yogurt and croutons went really well with the spicy salad mix that I get from my CSA. I do want to play around with techniques to reduce some of the oil in the dressing and the croutons in the future.

    • Astrid5555 on July 03, 2016

      Only used baby spinach and arugula together with the radishes and fennel. Nice mustard flavor from the arugula, loved the yogurt dressing. The croutons provided a nice textural change from the greens and vegetables. Will make again!

  • Escarole & sunchoke salad with smoked almonds & preserved lemon

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      This is the second recipe I made out of the book and it came out quite good. I really love the way this one tastes at the restaurant and will admit, mine didn't have that perfect balance of flavors but it was still a wonderful salad. The bitter escarole pairs perfectly with the rich preserved lemon dressing and sun chokes, while the salty cheese and nuts seem to find a way to balance everything out. Note that I subbed Persian saffron sprouted almonds for the smoked, using a recipe from Snackistan. Next time will try to seek out smoked almonds.

  • Arugula & radicchio salad with crispy shallots & shallot oil-sherry vinaigrette

    • DKennedy on October 26, 2016

      Made this as a starter for our supper club menu. The recipes for the crispy shallots and shallot oil vinaigrette were perfect as written.

  • Dandelion greens with lemon-anchovy dressing

    • Delys77 on March 14, 2017

      Another lovely recipe but a fair bit of tweaking on my end. No dandelion greens were to be had so I used arugula. I also only went with 2 large anchovies that I had rinsed. On the whole this was just right for us. A very well balanced and lovely dressing for a sharp greens. Careful with your general seasoning due to the saltiness of the anchovy.

  • Grilled kale with shallot-yogurt dressing & toasted hazelnuts

    • TrishaCP on May 13, 2017

      This is incredibly delicious. It was my first time grilling kale but I will definitely use that technique in the future. It gives good flavor as well as a nice chew. The dressing is easy to pull together but requires the shallot confit.

  • Pizza pomodoro

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      This is incredible. Yes, it's just another recipe for -- basically -- pizza margarita, but somehow, the tomato confit really elevates this. I used a different pizza dough but I think that's a matter of preference.

  • Pizza with spinach, feta & garlic confit

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      This is a wonderful pizza -- and I'm a not a huge fan of spinach on pizza. Somehow, the garlicky olive oil that comes from the confit, plus the richness of the feta, gives the whole thing a rich and buttery taste. That sounds off-putting, but it wasn't: I made this as part of a pizza night and every guest nominated this as his/her favorite.

    • Smokeydoke on March 07, 2017

      Very tasty pie! I'm still trying to perfect the Gjelina dough, so my crust left much to be desired. But the toppings on this pizza were delicious! I was skeptical about putting raw spinach on the pizza, but against all logic, it does not weep and the crust is not soggy. They seem to dehydrate into this delicious herb-texture topping. The garlic and feta give it a nice punch of flavor. Overall, a great pizza, I highly recommend.

    • Astrid5555 on November 23, 2015

      Best pizza I have made in a long time! The garlic confit produces a subtle garlic taste which is delicious in combination with the spinach and cheese. Forgot to check recipe beforehand so had to stick to my usual pizza dough since the book's pizza dough needs to be refrigerated for at least a day.

    • Delys77 on March 14, 2017

      I've been wanting to try my hand at some of the pizzas in this book but I am not a master dough tosser and I hear a few people have struggled a touch with the dough recipe. As a result I did take the easy way out and purchased a pre made par baked crust from a good bakery I know. The topping was excellent. As Smokeydoke says, I was worried about a watery mess but the spinach dried and wilted just perfectly. I did go with a touch more Mozz and I would also add a touch more feta or perhaps some salt as my finished product was a touch under seasoned. In my oven with a pizza stone it took about 9 minutes on convection bake at 450.

  • Pizza with asparagus, sottocenere & sunny egg

    • Astrid5555 on June 18, 2016

      Made without the shallot confit and subtituted Taleggio cheese for the scottocenere cheese because this was all I could find. Since I baked the pizza in my wood-fired pizza oven I decided to poach the egg and then top the finished pizza with it to make sure that it was done within the short time period in the pizza oven. Delicious!

    • Smokeydoke on October 29, 2017

      The pizza is remarkably simple for tasting so good. You simple shred asparagus, then top with fontina cheese (or as Lett recommends, Sottocerne, but fontina is an acceptable substitute), flick on some garlic and shallot confit (I left the shallot confit out). And voila! In the oven it goes. After three minutes, crack an egg on top and put it back in the oven till done. The taste is indescribable. The asparagus almost tastes like green onions but in a good way. The fontina cheese makes such a difference from the usual mozzarella, and it's much more flavorful. I wouldn't take shortcuts with this pizza because it's so simple, the ingredients really shine through and you can taste every one of them. I would use the freshest asparagus and a good, nutty cheese. If I'd change anything, I'll fry an egg on the stovetop, then slide it onto the pizza. Putting the raw egg on the pizza, then putting it back in the oven made the yolk a bit gummy. Photo Included.

  • Pizza with anchovies & roasted pepper

    • Astrid5555 on December 30, 2015

      Delicious! Did not have time to make the tomato confit so just used my regular tomato sauce for pizza and substituted regular mozzarella cheese for the smoked one since this is what I had on hand. Will make again with the smoked mozzarella once available. Update: Made again with smoked mozzarella - even better!!

  • Eggplant caponata & burrata on toasted baguette

    • L.Nightshade on March 08, 2017

      The grill was going, so the eggplant was cooked thereon, instead of in a pan. Nice for a bit of smoky flavor. I made one fairly significant change to the caponata recipe, which is that I added a spoonful of cocoa powder. I just love that bit of earthy depth that cocoa adds. Not wanting to make a decision, I used both currants and golden raisins. No arugula available, so that was not included. Served this on toasted baguette for Mr. NS, on a fork for me. It’s a great combination, works well for a standing appetizer, or a light-ish meal.

  • Mushroom toast

    • rglo820 on December 05, 2017

      This is an extremely decadent version of mushroom toast. I used 8 ounces of store bought creme fraiche, 8 ounces white mushrooms, 8 ounces creminis, and 4 ounces shiitakes, and felt it still made more sauce than you necessarily needed. I served it with a bracing arugula salad to offset the richness. The leftovers were delicious stirred into cooked rice and topped with a fried egg for breakfast. I'd like to try it as a pasta sauce too, possibly with chicken.

    • FJT on September 03, 2017

      This is so good! OK - so it's just mushrooms on toast; who needs a recipe for that? But this takes it to the next level. I made this as an afterthought, not to go on toast but as an extra side to go with a nice ribeye steak. I didn't have anything fancy, just some chestnut mushrooms that needed to be used up and I also didn't have crème fraîche, so I subbed some natural yoghurt instead. I could happily just have eaten steak and the mushrooms! Guess I ought to try it again on toast just as soon as I can buy some more mushrooms.

    • clcorbi on March 09, 2017

      Delicious and comforting. A half-recipe made a nice, light dinner for two people. I used a blend of mixed "fancy" mushrooms from Whole Foods, plus store-bought creme fraiche, which made this pretty fast to throw together.

  • Snap peas & tendrils with prosciutto, soffrito & mint

    • DKennedy on October 26, 2016

      Made this as a part of our super club menu. We had to omit the tendrils but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter. Excellent.

  • Pan-roasted Romanesco with golden raisins, tahini & sumac

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      I made some modifications so as to be able to get this going along with the other 3 dishes. the recipe instructs “in a hot frying pan, put some oil to coat bottom of pan, put romenseco cut side down. Cook to deep color 3-4 minutes. Stir, cook 3-4 minutes longer. Lower to med and add raisins, cook 1-2 minutes more. Season with salt. Add 2 T. stock to steam. Taste and adjust seasoning." I roasted the romanesco in the oven, turning 1/2 way through. When it was brown in spots, I transferred it to a heavy bottomed pan and completed as instructed above. My romanesco still had quite a bit of bite to it, and I think next time I will par boil it before roasting so as to get it more tender. Other than that, a really yummy dish.

    • L.Nightshade on March 09, 2017

      I don’t recall having trouble with the timing on this, but as I am in the habit of winging it sometimes, I may have extended the cook time and not remembered. I do know I have had a little trouble with timing in at least one other dish. This is exactly the kind of recipe that attracted me to this book; the vegetable recipes are the ones that drew me in. I usually go for the main dishes, then search for accompaniments. One has to enjoy the punch of sweet raisins with a largely savory dish to appreciate this combination, and I do indeed. Lovely dish.

    • hirsheys on March 05, 2017

      I should have parboiled or steamed it a little first, as dkennedy suggested. I like my broccoli etc. well cooked. That said, the flavor is good. Not necessarily something I need again, though.

  • Braised sweet corn, chile, cilantro, feta & lime

    • Rinshin on July 30, 2017

      Mmmm awesome taste using local white corn. Love the idea of making cob stock and also using the corn milk from the cob scraping. Easy to cut the cobs with a bowl underneath so they don't fly out. I had some orange salt I brought back from Japan and used that to finish off.

    • FJT on July 15, 2017

      This is delicious - it's just like the street corn at our local taco restaurant. This is the first time that I've shucked corn etc... Messy job! I'm very tempted to make this next time using frozen corn; I'm sure it won't be quite as good, but it will be much less effort.

    • Baxter850 on September 18, 2018

      Great dish. Made it exactly as written.

  • Braised fava beans, lemon, black pepper & pecorino

    • saarwouters on February 10, 2018

      Delicious! It is a bit of work to remove all the skins from the beans, but worth it. Great as a side dish with an Italian style dinner.

  • Roasted fennel with orange & crushed red pepper flakes

    • Astrid5555 on December 27, 2015

      This was delicious! Made as a side dish for a whole fish dish substituting Aleppo pepper for regular red pepper flakes which added a nice subtle smokiness. Even after the fennel was gone, guests could not stop spooning the leftover juices over everything. On a funny side note, forgot to decorate the dish with the orange segments, the cutting of which was the most time consuming part of the dish.

    • okcook on December 20, 2015

      This dish had a nice citrus note. The cooking directions were good. The fennel had a little bite. As the recipe notes, it is a good side for fish or seafood.

  • Roasted cauliflower with garlic, parsley & vinegar

    • DKennedy on October 26, 2016

      Made this as part of our super club menu. My favorite dish of the night - the vinegar really imparts a wonderful something-something.

    • rglo820 on December 07, 2017

      This was good but the flavor didn't pop as much as I was expecting - I used the full amount of vinegar but felt it could still have used more acidity, and the garlic and red pepper disappeared. Maybe my head of cauliflower was unusually large? I used a 12" cast iron skillet and although it was very full at first, by the time the cauliflower had browned it was in more or less an even layer with most florets having contact with the pan. In any case, I like the technique but would probably ramp up all the other ingredients next time by and extra 50% in an effort for them to come through more.

    • FJT on September 03, 2017

      Another vote for this recipe! We loved this. I agree with cicorbi that the cauliflower had to be cooked in batches and I couldn't get my oven hot enough, so it took longer for it to cook.

    • clcorbi on March 15, 2017

      Absolutely delicious. We had to pan-fry the cauliflower in batches, and then transfer each batch to a baking sheet to roast; you'd need an enormous skillet to be able to pan-fry a whole head of cauliflower in one batch. This is addictively good.

    • Smokeydoke on November 21, 2016

      Great dish, lessen the vinegar, it was too overpowering. 2T at most. The char on the cauliflower brings out the sweetness.

  • Roasted acorn squash with hazelnuts, brown butter & rosemary

    • L.Nightshade on December 02, 2017

      I made this omitting the sugar, which I didn’t miss as the squash is sweet enough. I know that brown sugar adds a little extra something, so if I was making it for a Thanksgiving table, I’d include it. The photo in the book shows the halves on a platter, but the directions state to cut the squash into bite size pieces. I liked the look of the photo, so I stuck with that presentation, which was gobbled up easily enough. Nuts and brown butter over sweet autumn squash, what’s not to like? I’ll do it again.

  • Roasted beets with tops, herbed yogurt & horseradish

    • billreiland on February 23, 2017

      https://nocrumbsleft.net/2016/01/08/roasted-beets-with-tops-herbed-yogurt-horseradish/

  • Roasted beets with avocado, orange, toasted hazelnuts & sherry vinegar

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      I used golden and red beets. Beets are roasted, then quartered and marinated in a dressing that also serves to season the salad. The oranges I had on hand were not that fantastic, and the avocado not as creamy as I’d have liked. Oranges are supremed, avocado sliced. Top the salad with roasted hazelnuts. Despite not having perfect oranges or avocados, it came together as a light and refreshing dish. I loved it, and my beet hating family did not complain. So, all in all, a success.

  • Roasted yams with honey, Espelette & lime yogurt

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      The yams straight out of the oven were heavenly. I really liked the presentation using baby yams. Seek these out if you can find them. Thoughts for next time: I am not sure if the addition of the yogurt sauce was necessary or helpful. I did use coconut yogurt so that might have skewed my results, but proceed with caution before adding the yogurt sauce. Next time I will serve it on the side.

    • L.Nightshade on March 12, 2017

      I used half red garnet potatoes, and half purple Okinawa potatoes, making for an even more colorful dish. Our oven is broken, but the convection works, although somewhat unreliably. I cooked the sweet potatoes at 400º due to convection, but they didn’t come out quite as crispy as I had hoped. The photo seems to show little bits of cilantro, which is not included in the recipe. I did add some of that on top, along with the scallions and a generous dusting of piment d’Espelette. (This is the third or fourth entry I’ve run across, where the photo does not completely match the recipe.) These were quite a hit at the Nightshade house, with Mr. NS still raving the next day. I could have stood them a little crisper, but thought they were delicious with the limey yogurt.

    • TrishaCP on March 30, 2017

      These are really good and have become my standard sweet potato prep when cooking for my mom, who loves this dish. I agree that they weren't quite as crispy as I would have liked following the recipe's temperature. The espelette pepper is delicious with the sweet potatoes, but the true star ingredient is scallions-I would use more next time. I felt like I could take or leave the yogurt sauce.

    • sheepishjen on June 24, 2017

      I loved these, made just as the recipe described. Depending on my yams and my oven, which is a bit unpredictable, I up the heat to make sure they caramelize and get crispy - that or I give them a quick run under the broiler. I think the zesty lime and yogurt sauce adds a great counterpoint to the sweet yams. But depending on the size of the limes, the sauce can be too runny or thick. I just add enough lime juice to get the sauce to a good drizzling consistency.

  • Oven-roasted parsnips with hazelnut picada

    • saarwouters on February 10, 2018

      Good combination of flavours. I usually find parsnip a bit sweet, but the hazelnut picada with mint and lemon balances it out really well. I did add half a garlic clove to the picada for some extra kick. The parsnip gets an extra deep caramalized flavour, because you bake it again for a few minutes after it's been in the oven.

  • Pan-roasted baby carrots, orange, cilantro, sesame & spiced yogurt

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      The method for cooking these carrots seemed quite fussy, to no discernible effect. Neither the white wine nor the orange juice came through in the final product, so I think simply roasting the carrots would lead to a sweeter, richer final flavor. The spiced yogurt and sesame seeds on top were tasty, though.

  • Pan-roasted baby turnips with their greens & chimichurri

    • TrishaCP on June 10, 2018

      We liked this a lot. Chimichurri was a nice vehicle to add some depth of flavor to turnips and their greens without using meat.

  • Grilled king oyster mushrooms with tarragon butter

    • L.Nightshade on March 08, 2017

      I should have read the reports on Chowhound before insisting that Mr. Nightshade brave the freezing wind and intermittent hail to grill these mushrooms. Sounds like the stovetop versions were just as delectable! A couple weeks ago we purchased one of those mushroom logs at our fish market. It looks like nothing more than a stack of rice cakes, but it’s growing king oyster mushrooms in our laundry room. So, of course, I had to take advantage of this recipe. Wow, were these ever delicious! The herbs, butter, and lemon were the perfect addition to the meaty richness of these shrooms.

    • Astrid5555 on May 25, 2016

      This is sooooo good! Made as written with the tarragon butter, but would have been fine even without it. Loved the meaty texture of the mushrooms. Ideal for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

  • Potato, leek & chard gratin with Taleggio

    • L.Nightshade on May 19, 2017

      The recipe calls for taleggio, which would have been lovely, but wasn’t to be found locally. Mr. NS picked up fontina as a substitute, which worked out just fine. I refrigerated the dish to cook the next day, as mentioned in the recipe. Mine was a little flat because the only pan I had was a bit too big. I like the height of the one in the book photo. But no matter, this was decadently delicious! Rich, creamy, cheesy, plus it’s got those healthy vegetables in it! I froze a large portion of it, and it was equally good (and much easier) thawed and reheated. Definitely a do-again.

  • Charred Brussels sprouts with bacon & dates

    • Emily Hope on October 31, 2016

      Oh, man, were these brussels sprouts delicious--sweet from the dates and savory from the bacon. I used some diluted leftover pan drippings from a roast chicken rather than chicken stock, which I'm sure boosted the flavor, but I'd imagine they'd be good either way. Will definitely repeat.

    • Hannaha100 on November 13, 2016

      I made a vegan version with coconut bacon but not sure I liked it enough to bother again. I did really like this method of charring sprouts and would definitely do that again. As Barb_N commented needs lots of pan space. I only made half the amount but needed biggest pan.

    • Barb_N on November 08, 2016

      Make This Now! That was the bookmark I used, and I urge any Brussels sprouts lover or sceptic to try these. The recipe is quick and easy but results in a nuanced dish with great flavor. I used dried dates (I've had fresh dates from the Asian market and wonder if that is what he really intends). I had to use two pans for charring the sprouts in order to cook them in a single layer. I will definitely make this again.

    • nadiam1000 on December 30, 2015

      Easy and delicious way to serve Brussels sprouts. I used medjool dates - not fresh ones so they did not incorporate quite as well in the sauce; however small bits of date in the sauce did not deter. The vinegar adds a nice tang to balance the sweetness. I am not a generally a huge lover of bacon in recipes but it works well here. Definitely a keeper and this will be repeated.

    • HalfSmoke on July 20, 2017

      Wow! First recipe we've cooked from this book and it was a grand slam! Highly recommended.

    • Kduncan on April 02, 2018

      First time I cooked this they turned out great, when I had to make a large batch for an event, and couldn't fit all the brussel sprouts in the pan, it turned out a lot worse due to over charring some brussel sprouts. At the end the second time the brussel spouts got much more soggy from the chicken stock did they did the first time, not exactly sure what went wrong.

  • Sweet potato hash

    • clcorbi on March 15, 2017

      We had this for dinner tonight--the result was good, but we had to change up the prep to get there. The instructions, as written, produce chunks of sweet potato that are extremely dark on the outside, but hard and uncooked on the inside. You have to cook them over a lower heat for much longer to get a nice, tender bite. We solved this by browning them in the pan for the allotted length of time, then broiling the chunks until they got tender. We then added them back to the pan with the rest of the ingredients, quickly tossed it all together, and served. I imagine you could avoid this problem by grating the sweet potato, or finely dicing it, but then of course you'd have a hash with a totally different texture. Anyway, it was an easy fix. A ton of scallions plus the squirt of lime juice at the end really makes this dish. With a fried egg on top, this made a really nice dinner.

  • Spaghetti pomodoro

    • Delys77 on March 09, 2017

      This is entirely dependent on the quality of your pomodoro. Assuming the sauce is good so will this be. My wholewheat pasta took a few minutes more in the pan. Also don't be tempted to up the sauce as the amount called for is just right.

    • TrishaCP on August 29, 2017

      I used the book's pomodoro recipe and this was outstanding for such a simple dish. I pulled my pasta from the water too early- so I would definitely follow his description of how the pasta should look rather than his recommended timing.

  • Tuna & buckwheat-pasta gratin

    • VineTomato on September 19, 2017

      I used a few subs: store bought buckwheat spaghetti, store brought creme fraiche and about 10 small piquin chillis. The poached tuna was lovely, although it cooked all the way through once left to cool in the oil, a few pieces of the lemon rind and chilli made it to the final dish with fabulous results. The creamy cheese sauce with cabbage was super delicious (make a note to make that on its own with pasta). All together the flavours seemed dull at first - we are used to flavours that pack a punch! You need to take time to appreciate the flavour of the small flecks of tuna and the flavour and texture of buckwheat pasta - it is a lovely dish which can be enjoyed with a bit of mindfulness! As I was making this I kept thinking: tinned tuna next time, but now I'm not so sure. The schlep (and calories) of confit may just be worth it.

  • Chicken & escarole soup with charmoula & lemon

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      This is the first recipe I attempted out of this book and it was utterly delicious. Made enough to feed my whole family once, my husband and me again, and more for the freezer. Substituted 5 bone in skin on breasts for the whole chicken. Also substituted spring onions for leeks and used an Anaheim pepper. The two condiments needed to complete the soup were easy to make, but in a pinch, oil packed sundries tomato could sub for the tomato confit and Chimichurri for the Charmoula comparable results, though it wouldn't have the same zip.

  • Tomato, beet & carrot soup

    • Delys77 on March 06, 2017

      I don't particularly like borscht, which is essentially the inspiration for this dish it seems, but this was a winner. The addition of the tomato paste, harissa, and pomodoro give it more complexity. You can still taste the lovely beets but they aren't the only show in town here. I didn't make the yogurt topping but instead just used plain yogurt. Might go for the spiced yogurt next time.

  • Heirloom bean stew with barley & green harissa

    • VineTomato on March 16, 2017

      Forgot to soak beans, made in pressure cooker and worked brilliantly. Used the Waitrose 10 bean mix - would love to try heirloom beans but seem impossible to get in UK

  • Chickpea stew with tomato, turmeric, yogurt & harissa

    • Delys77 on March 20, 2017

      This is a fairly hearty stew that will be well suited to a vegetarian dinner with some good bread and a salad. I used two cans of chickpeas to save time and this worked well enough. Flavour profile good as is.

    • nadiam1000 on December 30, 2015

      My daughter made the Chickpea Stew - she is vegan so this recipe was right up her alley - we did not serve it with the yogurt or Harissa although next time I would like to try them. She added a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and used less Chickpeas - maybe half. Flavors were well balanced and the slight acid at the end is a nice touch. I suspect the tang from the spiced yogurt sauce and heat from the Harissa would add to the dish. I have more chickpeas so i will be making this again. I think it would work well served with some Basmati rice. It is delicious reheated the next day for lunch!

  • Wild rice with chorizo, walnuts & pomegranate

    • clcorbi on March 15, 2017

      Not my favorite recipe I've tried from this book--I found the pomegranate molasses to be a little overwhelming. Also, the rice takes significantly longer to cook than the instructions state. Mine still ended up al dente after easily an extra 20 minutes.

  • Farro with beet & mint yogurt

    • IsaSim on December 01, 2015

      Missing step : no mention of the beets after making a purée. Added it instead of additional water when cooking farro, result similar to the picture and description by author. I liked it, but it wasn't a hit with the rest of the family.

  • Fennel, chile & orange sauce

    • L.Nightshade on May 19, 2017

      This recipe contains what I consider to be a pretty major editing error. In the recipe all of the ingredients (toasted fennel seeds, white wine vinegar, fresh orange juice and zest, sugar, olive oil, chopped fennel, and chiles) are simply stirred together. The headnote however, states “fresh fennel bulb is lightly sautéed before going into a white vinegar-orange brine.” I went back and forth but finally opted not to sauté the fennel, as I prefer fresh things on oysters. Plus easier. This was a tangy and refreshing sauce for our shigokus and kumamotos. There’s a lot going on in the sauce, which may slightly overpower the delicate oyster, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It would be a nice dressing for another fish also, perhaps a crudo, or maybe even on a fish taco.

  • Kanpachi with sesame & chile oil

    • DKennedy on April 17, 2016

      P. 260. Made this last night as part of a multi course crudo meal. This was probably my least favorite crudo of the 4 we had (probably because I could taste the fishiness of the kanpachi. Still, very very good. I didn't torch it. Next time, I will.

  • Snapper with citrus chile paste, cilantro flowers & olive oil

    • DKennedy on April 17, 2016

      P. 263. Made this as part of a multi course crudo based dinner. I substituted ahi tuna for the snapper and pickled jalapeños for the fresno. I also did not let the paste develop for the full time, only for about 45 minutes. I know from experience with his other recipes the sauce would have been much better after the full time, but this was an impromptu dinner plan. I think this was our favorite dish of the night. The tuna was incredibly flavorful on its own and with the sauce, even better. My sauce was not orange like the picture. More of a yellow hue.

  • Mackerel with jalapeño vinegar, roasted garlic, toasted sesame & green onions

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      The sauce is key and I would suggest making it ahead of time so as to allow the flavors to marry. When I first made this sauce I didn’t think it was going to be edible but by dinner time it was fantastic. I used 1/8 of a seeded serrano pepper for the heat source. The roasted garlic paste was problematic. My garlic was over cooked and somewhat following the time line suggested. Next time drizzle with oil before roasting the garlic and not let it go so long in the oven. You are supposed to end up with a creamy paste but mine was quite dry, still the flavor was good. Other than slicing the fish against the grain, (not that easy if you have a piece that is attached to the skin), there isn’t else much to this dish. Delicious. Tip for next time: have the fishmonger take off the skin or buy precut sashimi!!!!! Can substitute other fish - I used ahi and yellowtail with excellent results.

  • Grilled mackerel with ginger, garlic, lime & green onion

    • DKennedy on October 26, 2016

      We planned on making this for super club, but found that Atlantic mackerel, or samara, is next to impossible to find (fresh) on the west coast. Since the menu was already planned, we opted to make the sauce and serve it as a dipping sauce to go along with fresh ahi sashimi.

  • Cioppino

    • L.Nightshade on March 08, 2017

      What was in the fish market was Alaskan king crab legs (poor us). We also got a clams, prawns, cod, and a few local mussels. There are several nested recipes in this one, but I didn’t do all of them. I had fish stock that Mr. NS had made from bones and crab shells, so didn’t make the stock from the book. He had also made and frozen his pomodoro sauce, which was pretty similar to the one given, so I used that. Also (this is starting to sound like I didn’t follow the recipe at all), I had some homemade harissa, so didn’t make that one. I did make the tomato confit! Anyway, back to the subject at hand... I thought this was a fine recipe. Loved the addition of harissa, and the anchovies. You can’t tell by the photo, as this is a deep bowl piled with solids, but it does make plenty of tasty broth, to be sopped up with bread for carb eaters, slurped with a spoon for us others.

  • Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with orange, yogurt & herbs

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      Flageolet Beans: I doubled the bean recipe, using 2 lbs. of beans and 12 cups of Veggie stock. I also increased the amount of celery and carrots (2 each) and used an extra large onion. I did not increase the oil. I soaked them overnight and earlier today I cooked the beans to the point of adding the soffrito. Just before serving, I will reheat the soffrito and the beans and then marry the two. Repurposed the entire cup of olive oil for later use. Served with the roasted lamb as suggested. By far, the best pot of beans I have ever made. Truly special, could eat them all by themselves!

    • DKennedy on November 22, 2015

      Lamb (leg, bone in): This is a special occasion worthy dish. Spectacular results. Made this for my temple's progressive dinner. Substituted a 7 lb. bone in leg of lamb in place of the lamb shoulder. It was hard to get it brown on all sides in my largest le creuset pan, so I improvised by browning parts on a sheet pan. I added 6 neck pieces so my family could eat left overs. Doubled amount of broth and increased wine to 1 1/2 cups compensate for the larger piece of meat. Also, reduced the wine before adding broth so the alcohol flavor would not overpower. Cooked to the point of reducing the sauce and froze, the meat in one container, the broth in another. Finished on Saturday morning. The morning of, defrosted, defatted the sauce. Added 1/4 OJ and reduced, not to a syrup, I was afraid it would be too dry. 2 cups of fresh herbs (parsley, dill, chives, mint and basil) spread on top of the roast, rather than in the sauce. Served with the flageolet beans.

  • Guajillo-glazed lamb ribs

    • acalexander on March 03, 2018

      Make the sauce ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend. Added an extra caramelized onion

  • Coconut sorbet

    • Rradishes on January 23, 2018

      This was very good, much creamier than I expected. I would call it a coconut ice cream more than sorbet. I used 1/4cup powdered sugar instead of agave nectar. Nice coconut flavor.

  • Blackberry, huckleberry & ginger pie

    • Smokeydoke on February 24, 2017

      Best Blackberry pie ever.

  • Kabocha, olive oil & bittersweet chocolate cake

    • clcorbi on March 15, 2017

      I have now made this recipe twice, once as a cake and once as muffins, and I'm happy to say it's a new favorite. This recipe produces a ridiculously moist, complex cake that is just sort of addicting. I cheated both times by using canned butternut squash purée, a shortcut I wholeheartedly recommend because it makes the prep quite fast. If I make this a third time, I'd like to try roasting the purée to see if I can add in some nice smoky flavor without having to roast a whole squash. The first time I made this recipe I felt like the glaze was too much--it was sort of overpowering in comparison to the cake. That problem was solved by making muffins, which I dipped lightly into the glaze for a nice, thin coating. Now that I've tried it both ways, I definitely prefer my muffin version of this recipe, and that's how I'll make it in the future. I would really, really recommend this recipe.

    • TrishaCP on October 14, 2018

      Wow, this cake is really wonderful. Based on all of the ingredients, I was worried it might be too sweet, but the bitterness of the chocolate and cocoa nibs and the savoriness of the olive oil and squash took care of that worry. Roasting the squash took some time but it wasn't at all difficult- you just need to plan ahead. (I let the squash sit in cheesecloth overnight, but it lost virtually no liquid, so I would skip that step in the future.)

  • Warm date cake with ginger gelato

    • DKennedy on October 26, 2016

      We served this dessert as the finale of our supper club menu. The cake came together easily but when we went to serve it, it was soggy in the middle. It probably needed to cook longer. Served with the ginger gelato (to my mind, a little too spicy) and the caramel sauce (a little to alchol-y). Next time I would use less ginger or steep it for less time and I would omit the whisky, or use only a splash of it. That said, the flavors were very fall and would be nice as part of a Thanksgiving buffet. Susan made the gelato at home before we met the following day. The hard sauce, is a wet caramel sauce and I am getting a little less skittish about making these.

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Reviews about this book

  • San Francisco Chronicle

    Best Cookbooks of 2015: Chef recipes are, by nature, beasts for a home cook...So it’s refreshing to get our hands on “Gjelina,” which...is both stunning and approachable.

    Full review
  • Epicurious

    The new cookbook from Los Angeles restaurant Gjelina is full of complicated restaurant dishes, but it has lots to teach even beginner cooks.

    Full review
  • Eater

    Gjelina’s vegetable-centric approach to Cal-Ital makes it an absolutely essential Los Angeles restaurant. Their cookbook promises to make that style of cooking essential to home kitchens, too.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 145212809X
  • ISBN 13 9781452128092
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 27 2015
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 288
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Chronicle Books

Publishers Text

Gjelina is Los Angeles's most talked-about restaurant, lauded by critics from London to New York to San Francisco and beloved by stars, locals, and out-of-towners alike for its seductive simplicity and eclectic Cal-Med menu from talented chef Travis Lett. This standout cookbook features 125 of the rustic and utterly delicious salads, toasts, pizzas, vegetable and grain dishes, pastas, fish and meat mains, and desserts that have had fans clamoring for a table since the restaurant burst onto the scene. More than 150 color photographs from acclaimed photographer Michael Graydon and stylist Nikole Herriott, plus a tactile, artisanal package, evoke the vibe of Venice Beach and the Gjelina (the G's silent) aesthetic, and showcase the beautiful plated food of Lett's ingredient-based, vegetable-centric cooking. This is the cookbook for the way we want to cook and eat now.

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