Near and Far Yogurt Bowl
Until I read Heidi Swanson’s new cookbook, Near and Far, it never occurred to me to sprinkle popped sorghum and rose petals on yogurt. To use dairy as a canvas. To turn breakfast into an offering.
But here I am, using my extra hour of daylight to draw down my best clay bowl. To ladle out the local yogurt I love. Slicing oranges, separating pomegranate seeds, heating an iron skillet to toast grains that, ordinarily, I’d just boil.
The last months of traveling and teaching and editing a new book have left me feeling like a breathless dervish, to be honest. To relax, I read cookbooks in bed and flag pages that look restorative (bone broths, savory grain bowls) — it’s a very good sleep send-off.
Do I make the recipes? When they haunt me.
So many recipes in Near and Far inspire my veg and dairy-loving side: Salt-Baked Sweet Potato (page 52), Ricotta Breakfast Bowl with Flower Pepper (page 81), Chicory Soup with Creme Fraiche (130), Tartines with Sheep’s Milk Cheese (page 249).
I love when a cookbook hands me a passport to new places. In Near and Far, each chapter begins with a list of pantry items from a place — Morocco, Japan, Italy, France, India. The recipes that follow are loosely inspired by specific moments: a woman eating a dish of dal in a spice market, for example.
Photographs of dishes, of street scenes and tablescapes, set a mood and showcase the talents of writer and photographer Heidi Swanson. If you haven’t visited her blog, 101 Cookbooks, you must. It’s a…digital sanctuary. Does such a thing exist?
Do yogurt and dried rose petals go together?
Now they do.
Yogurt Bowl from Heidi Swanson’s Near & Far
I took a lot of liberties with this recipe, which is why I am giving you the original. Even with my substitutions — pomegranate molasses instead of fresh pomegranate juice, puffed sorghum and buckwheat in place of puffed quinoa cereal, pepitas in place of sunflower seeds, and oranges because I wanted extra acidity — the combination tasted glorious. I especially loved the silk-delicate dried rose petals, which melted into the dairy, and the nutty crunch of the grains.
2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate juice
A drizzle of honey
A dallop of Greek-style yogurt
A handful of puffed quinoa ceral
A sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds
Whole pomegranate seeds or fresh or dried rose petals (optional)
A bit of bee pollen (optional)
In a bowl, swirl the pomegranate and honey into the yogurt, then sprinkle with nuts and seeds.
If you want to try puffed sorghum and toasted buckwheat, which is what I used, it’s very easy. I’ve started tossing tossing them onto salads and soups.
Puffed Sorghum: Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, and when the pan is hot, add your sorghum grains. Cover with a lid and shake the pan often as the grains pop.
Toasted Buckwheat: Add a little oil to a warm skillet. Toss in the buckwheat and toast over medium heat, stirring frequently. They turn wonderfully crunchy in about a minute, and they taste very nutty.
Disclosure: I recently signed up to become a member of Blogging for Books, which provided me a complimentary copy of Near & Far. Ordinarily, I am not a joiner of things, but knew I wanted to review this book, and I was curious to explore the program. So far, so good.