Herbed rice with shrimpy kimchi tomato sauce from “That Sounds So Good” by Carla Lalli Music.
While many of this year’s new cookbooks were written during the depths of the pandemic, they still manage to feel bright, fun and inspiring. In other words, they’re just what you need this winter, whether you’re trying to expand your culinary horizons, tackle a weekend-long baking project or develop new meal-planning strategies.
These 10 titles are The Chronicle food team’s favorites from 2021, with an emphasis on local authors and fall releases. (We also have some great spring recommendations.)
They’re notably diverse, including a deep dive into Native American cuisines, a modern look at regional Mexican favorites and a guide to Chinese-style baking. There are also thorough looks at specific ingredients, like the wonderful world of beans and grains as well as the art of fresh pasta.
And remember: Cookbooks always make great presents for the holiday season.
“Black Food” is celebration of voices from the African Diaspora in the form of recipes, essays and art
Departing from acclaimed chef and cookbook author Bryant Terry’s focus on vegan or vegetarian food, “Black Food” is a compendium of recipes that showcase the diversity of cuisines within the African diaspora. But it is so much more than a traditional cookbook. Interspersed between recipes for cocoa-orange catfish and jerk chicken ramen are essays on activism, poetry and art by more than 100 prominent writers and chefs. Terry has even created a playlist to go alongside chapters in the book that feature titles like “Black Women, Food & Power,” and “Radical Self Care.” This book — Terry’s final cookbook — is full of practical cooking knowledge, and he hopes readers will gain a deeper insight into the culinary history and traditions of the African diaspora. — T.W.
“Black Food: Stories, Art & Recipes from Across the African Diaspora” edited and curated by Bryant Terry (4 Color Books; $40; 320 pages).
“Grist” by Abra Berens.
Beans, lentils and whole grains star in “Grist,” a mostly vegetarian book from farmer-turned-chef Abra Berens, who also wrote “Ruffage.” Not only does Berens provide 140 recipes for cooking these nutritious, shelf-stable and often ignored ingredients, but she also lists multiple seasonal variations for each one. That means once you make her anchovy-marinated corona beans with beets and arugula this winter (see recipe below), you can easily throw together a mustard-marinated version with asparagus in the spring. The book will particularly appeal to those who like to plan out their meals for a week, with guides such as how to use a big pot of lentils over several days without getting bored. — J.B.
“Grist: A Practice Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes” by Abra Berens (Chronicle Books; $35; 448 pages).
The cover of “Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food” by Brandon Jew and Tienlon Ho.
‘Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown’
This is not just a cookbook for Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant Mister Jiu’s but a beautiful ode to San Francisco’s Chinatown, full of history of rich imagery that make it stand far apart from other restaurant cookbooks. Of course, you’ll also find recipes for many of chef Brandon Jew’s classics, from the squid ink wontons to crispy-skinned roast duck. And they’re often challenging, as you might expect from a high-end restaurant. But you’ll also find some weeknight-friendly options, such as a vegetarian kung pao dish made with romanesco and steamed whole fish topped with sizzling green onions. — J.B.
“Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food” by Brandon Jew and Tienlon Ho (Ten Speed Press; $40; 304 pages).
The cover of “Mumbai Modern” (Countryman Press) by Amisha Dodhia Gurbani
From the East Bay food blogger behind the Jam Lab, “Mumbai Modern” infuses Californian pride in farmers’ markets and seasonal produce into a mix of creative and traditional Indian recipes. The recipes are all vegetarian, with a focus on whole foods instead of trendy plant-based meats. Many reflect author Amisha Dodhia Gurbani’s devotion to her mom’s Gujarati cooking, such as a seemingly simple dal that manages to hit each of the cuisine’s sweet, spicy, salty, sour and bitter notes. Others feel more rooted in the Bay Area, like a colorful orange-beet salad topped with spiced paneer nuggets. — J.B.
“Mumbai Modern: Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by Indian Roots and California Cuisine” by Amisha Dodhia Gurbani (The Countryman Press; $35; 400 pages).
The cover of “Mooncakes and Milk Bread” (Harper Horizon) by Kristina Cho.
‘Mooncakes and Milk Bread’
Billed as the first English-language cookbook devoted to Chinese baking, “Mooncakes and Milk Bread” came at a perfect time given the Bay Area’s recent obsession with creative Asian pastries. East Bay food blogger Kristina Cho of Eat Cho Food straddles tradition, with recipes for classics like pork buns and springy steamed sponge cakes, as well as more contemporary creations, such as mooncakes stuffed with a pistachio-honey filling and loaves of bread swirled with black sesame and green matcha (see recipe below). Most importantly, the book is written with easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step visual guides so you can feel confident folding dough into intricate shapes just like the professionals. — J.B.
“Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakeries” by Kristina Cho (Harper Horizon; $29.95; 304 pages).
Chef Freddie J. Bitsoie’s cookbook New Native Kitchen
‘New Native Kitchen’
Building on his groundbreaking work at Washington, D.C. restaurant Mitsitam Cafe, part of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, chef Freddie Bitsoie has partnered with James Beard Award-winning writer James O. Fraoli on this rich, modern collection of recipes showcasing the foods of the indigenous peoples of North America and the Pacific Islands. Many of the recipes are ideal for everyday cooking such as the three sisters salad featuring corn, squash and beans with shallot vinaigrette or the stewed chicken with golden tomatoes. Sometimes, Bitsoie offers short cuts such as using Trader Joe’s frozen bison patties for the bison burgers recipe in the book. And for harder-to-find ingredients like Amaranth seeds and Manoomin, there are suggestions for where to shop for them online and recommendations to seek out indigenous producers. A notable section is the “Puddings & Sweets” chapter, which counters a common misconception that dessert isn’t a part of indigenous cuisines. Expect chocolate and piñon nutcake, warm apple bread pudding and more. — T.W.
“New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian” by Freddie Bitsoie, and James O. Fraoli (Abrams Books; $40; 288 pages).
“Pasta” by Missy Robbins and Talia Baiocchi is one of The Chronicle’s top cookbooks of 2021.
Missy Robbins is exactly who you want to write a pasta book. The chef behind one of New York’s most celebrated pasta destinations, Lilia, she writes about shapes and the regions of Italy they come from with humble authority. In ways, “Pasta” is like an encyclopedia, explaining 45 different pasta shapes and providing 95 recipes for what to do with them. Perhaps the most valuable takeaway is Robbins’ advice for marrying the pasta with its sauce — something home cooks can apply to any recipe and not just Robbins’ 24-yolk egg dough. That said, you’ll also want to cook many of these recipes, such as a pistachio-broccolli pesto over pillow ricotti gnocchi or a side of eggplant bathed in a staggering sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. — J.B.
“Pasta: The Spirit and Craft of Italy’s Greatest Food, with Recipes” by Missy Robbins and Talia Baiocchi (Ten Speed Press; $40; 416 pages).
“That Sounds So Good” by Carla Lalli Music.
‘That Sounds So Good’
Many of the best cookbooks are personal, and Carla Lalli Music’s “That Sounds So Good” feels especially so. It features an essay from her son about the family’s Friday night ritual of spaghetti and clams (plus the recipe), family photos and is named after the enthusiastic stamp of approval her father gives when they’re debating what to make for dinner. The former Bon Appetit editor’s second cookbook is also highly approachable. It’s organized by occasion rather than ingredient, with quick but still satisfying recipes for busy weekdays, like herbed rice topped with the magical trio of kimchi, shrimp and butter; or longer weekend projects like ragu. The “Burning Clean” chapter, designed for lighter eating after a weekend of indulging, is full of bright, vegetable-forward dishes that quickly make their way into your regular cooking rotation. Like Lalli Music’s first book, every recipe comes with a list of “spin it” suggestions. Out of basil for the herbed rice? Grab chives, cilantro or perilla leaves. — E.K.
“That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week” by Carla Lalli Music (Clarkson Potter; $35; 288 pages).
‘To Asia, with Love’
The chapter titles of “To Asia, with Love” immediately draw you into Hetty McKinnon’s world (“Rice is Gold and All the Things to Eat With It;” “Lucky Noodles;” “Finding Empathy in Salad.”) The recipes are her homage to the mix of food she grew up eating in a Cantonese home in Australia — an exploration of her own third-culture identity. This might look like instant ramen tossed in a miso, butter and Vegemite sauce, or a bowl of congee-esque savory oatmeal topped with creamy avocado. Lean on this vegetarian cookbook to learn the basics of making dumplings, filled perhaps with asparagus or butternut squash, and hand-pulled noodles. “It is not distinctly Chinese, nor Australian, but rather a third interpretation of the two cultures,” McKinnon writes of her cooking. — E.K.
“To Asia, with Love: Everyday Asian Recipes and Stories From the Heart” by Hetty McKinnon (Prestel; $25, 256 pages).
‘Treasures of the Mexican Table’
“Treasures of the Mexican Table” by Pati Jinich.
The newest project from Pati Jinich, host of the James Beard award-winning PBS series “Pati’s Mexican Table,” is at once a cookbook and a history lesson. “Treasures of the Mexican Table” celebrates regional Mexican dishes, both known and unknown, from a pinto bean and masa dumpling soup from a tiny Sinaloan mountain town to melty queso fundido. Get to know the state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatán through seared white beans mixed with toasty ground pumpkin seeds, or Hidalgo in Central Mexico by roasting juicy, chili-rubbed chicken. No fewer than 17 essential salsas pair with almost any dish in the book. — E.K.
“Treasures of the Mexican Table: Classic Recipes, Local Secrets” by Pati Jinich (Mariner Books; $35; 416 pages).
Janelle Bitker and Elena Kadvany are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tanay Warerkar is a Chronicle assistant editor. Email: email@example.com.
Anchovy-marinated corona beans with beets from “Grist” (Chronicle Books) by Abra Berens.
Bean salads are simply better with giant beans, like the Royal Corona variety often stocked by Napa’s Rancho Gordo. In this recipe, adapted from Abra Berens’ “Grist: A Practice Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds and Legumes” (Chronicle Books), those beans are briefly marinated in a zippy anchovy vinaigrette before getting tossed with arugula for freshness and beets for sweetness. Don’t feel fixated on large white beans if you can’t find them, though. As Berens points out, any bean can be boiled, drained and marinated.
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons whole-grain or Dijon mustard
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup sherry or red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups just-boiled corona beans
2 to 4 ounces arugula
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 beets, roasted, peeled and cut into chunks
To make the anchovy vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients together to make a slightly chunky vinaigrette.
To make the bean salad: Combine the vinaigrette with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.
As soon as the beans are cooked through, lift them from their pot liquor, dress with the vinaigrette and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled. To serve, dress the arugula and beets with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Dish up the beans and top with the arugula and several chunks of beet.
Matcha and Black Sesame Marbled Milk Bread from “Mooncakes and Milk Bread” by Kristina Cho.
This loaf is swirled with matcha, the earthy stone-ground green tea powder, and nutty black sesame paste for a striking and delicious combination. In this recipe, adapted from “Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakeries” (Harper Horizon), Kristina Cho demonstrates how to layer two bread doughs together to achieve a marbled effect. Only slightly sweet, it’s a strong breakfast choice. Cho recommends it smeared with salted butter, cream cheese or peanut butter with honey.
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons bread flour
Milk bread dough
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon warm (110 degrees) milk
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
¼ cup granulated sugar, plus a pinch
2 ⅔ cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 large egg
¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
2 teaspoons food grade matcha powder
1 teaspoon canola or other neutral flavored oil, for bowl
1 tablespoon black sesame paste, store-bought or see below
1 large egg
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Make the tangzhong: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the milk and flour and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened to a paste, 2 to 3 minutes. (The texture should resemble smooth mashed potatoes.) Immediately transfer the paste to a small bowl, scraping the sides of the saucepan with a flexible spatula; let cool until warm, 5 to 10 minutes.
Make the dough: In a small saucepan, scald the milk over medium heat, bringing it to a gentle simmer, about 1 minute (Watch carefully, as milk tends to boil over). Pour the milk into a small bowl and cool until warm to the touch (about 110 degrees). Stir in the yeast and a pinch of sugar, and set aside until the surface of the mixture is foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the sugar, flour, salt and egg. Add the tangzhong and milk/yeast mixture and mix on low until shaggy. Add the softened butter, one piece at a time, mixing until fully incorporated before adding the next. Remove half of the dough (about 355 grams if using a digital scale) and transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
Add the matcha powder to the bowl of the electric mixer and continue to knead on medium-high speed until the dough is tacky and slightly sticky, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Wet your hands to prevent the dough from sticking, and pinch and pull the ends of the dough to form a smooth ball. Coat a medium mixing bowl with ½ teaspoon oil. Add the dough to the bowl, gently turning it to cover with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to proof until doubled in size, about 2 hours (or place in the refrigerator to proof for at least 8 hours or overnight).
In the bowl of the electric mixer (no need to clean), add the remaining dough and the black sesame paste. Repeat the previous kneading, pinching and proofing step with the black sesame dough.
Once both the matcha and black sesame doughs have proofed, punch them down to deflate them, then transfer them to a lightly floured work surface. Pinch and pull the ends of the two doughs to form two smooth balls.
Line the bottom and long sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. (If baking in a pullman pan, no need to line with parchment paper.) Divide each dough into three equal pieces. Form each piece into a smooth ball. Roll out a piece of matcha dough into a 5- by 8-inch oval. Top with black sesame dough and roll it out into a 5 by 8-inch rectangle. Fold the long edges of the dough over by ½ inch and then roll into a 4-inch log, starting at one of the short ends. Place the dough, seam-side down, in the loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough (alternating the matcha and black sesame dough in one segment, for contrast), placing them side by side in the pan. Cover the pan loosely with a damp, clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow the dough to proof in a warm spot until it reaches just above the rim of the pan (just below the rim for a pullman pan), 60 to 90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the egg wash, whisk together the egg and heavy cream in a small bowl. (Omit the egg wash if using a pullman pan.)
Brush the top of the dough with egg wash. Bake on the center rack of the oven until the top is golden brown, 30 to 33 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the bread to the rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container (a resealable bag works great) for up to 4 days.
Black Sesame Paste
1 cup roasted black sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup canola or other neutral flavored oil
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the sesame seeds and sugar until the mixture is coarse and sandy. While the food processor is still running, add the oil and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Bryant Terry’s Pili Pili oil from his latest book “Black Food”
Pili Pili (or Piri Piri) is the Swahili name for chiles. In many places throughout sub-Saharan Africa, bird’s eye chiles are either blended with salt, fat, acid, and herbs, or oil is infused with bird’s eye chiles and herbs and used for drizzling over vegetables, grains, and any other food to add some kick. In this recipe, adapted from “Black Food: Stories, Art & Recipes from Across the African Diaspora” Bryant Terry turns to thyme and rosemary to flavor the chile oil.
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 (2-inch) thyme sprigs
2 (2-inch) rosemary sprigs
9 small bird’s eye or Thai chiles
1 cup olive oil
In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the oil starts to sizzle and the paprika has completely dissolved. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the mixture to a small jar or bottle, seal and refrigerate for a few days before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
This is a vegetarian dinner that’s “both filling and virtuous,” Carla Lalli Music writes. Meaty sweet potatoes get steamed and then torn into pieces and charred. In this recipe, adapted from “That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week” (Clarkson Potter), they’re paired with cooling labneh, toasty walnuts and verdant kale sauteed in lime pickle. It’s well worth seeking out a jar of lime pickle, the forceful fermented Indian condiment, to add to your repertoire.
3 small sweet potatoes (1 pound)
½ cup walnuts
⅔ cup labneh
Kosher salt; freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons Indian lime pickle
2 bunches Tuscan kale
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Fill a medium pot with a few inches of water and fit it with a steamer basket. Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Scrub the sweet potatoes, then steam, covered, until they’re completely tender when pierced with a cake tester or skewer, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Toast the walnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet until they’re a couple of shades darker and fragrant, 10 minutes, tossing halfway through. Dump onto a cutting board and let cool. Place labneh in a medium bowl. Cut the lime in half and squeeze its juice into the labneh. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. In a small bowl, stir together the lime pickle and a couple splashes of water to loosen.
Using your hands, strip the kale leaves from the stems; tear leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Wash kale; spin dry. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, then pour in 2 tablespoons oil. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until wilted, bright dark green, and browned in spots, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the lime pickle mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a medium bowl; wipe out the skillet.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove their skins and tear flesh into large pieces. Return the skillet to high heat; pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the sweet potatoes, season with salt, and press down to flatten. Cook, undisturbed, until charred in spots on the underside, 3 minutes. Turn and cook until charred on the second side, 2 minutes more.
Spread the lime labneh onto two plates, dividing it evenly. Top with the kale and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle walnuts over, crushing them with your hands to break them into smaller pieces.
Spin it: From the Market
Labneh: Greek yogurt or skyr can replace the labneh
Indian lime pickle: Indian lemon pickle or spicy mango pickle can be used instead of lime pickle
Tuscan kale: Any type of kale, such as curly green or red Russian, is fine
Spin it: At Home
Walnuts: Almonds or cashews can replace the walnuts
Lime: Use lemon juice instead of lime juice
Olive oil: Any neutral oil can be substituted for olive oil
Garlic, cumin and chile roast chicken, or pollo ajocomino, from “Treasures of the Mexican Table” by Pati Jinich.
This dish, from the state of Hidalgo in central Mexico, starts with marinating chicken in a powerful, adobo-like sauce of dried chiles, garlic (don’t shy away from the 15 cloves), toasted cumin, and olive oil. There are versions of the chicken by other names in other parts of Mexico, with variations on the types of chiles used. In this recipe, adapted from “Treasures of the Mexican Table: Classic Recipes, Local Secrets” (Mariner Books) you’ll use dried anchos and chipotles for smoke and heat. Pati Jinich advises repurposing any leftover chicken into tortas the next day.
4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried chipotle chiles, preferably moritas, stemmed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
15 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
⅓ cup olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet
3 ½ to 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (8 to 10 legs, thighs, and/or halved breasts)
1 cup chicken broth
Place the ancho and chipotle chiles in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, pushing the chiles down into the water from time to time to submerge, until they soften. Remove from the heat and fish out the chipotles from the saucepan. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the seeds.
Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast, stirring or shaking the pan constantly, until fragrant and very slightly darkened, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Immediately transfer to a small bowl or plate.
Place the ancho and chipotle chiles in a blender, along with 1⁄2 cup of their cooking liquid. Add the garlic, cumin seeds, salt, and olive oil and puree until smooth. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool slightly.
Add the chicken to the chile-garlic marinade and turn to coat each piece thoroughly; set aside while you preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a rack in the middle. Generously oil a large baking sheet. Place the chicken skin side down on the baking sheet and coat with any marinade remaining in the bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt. Roast for 15 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F, turn the chicken pieces over, and spoon on any marinade and juices from the baking sheet. Pour the chicken broth onto the baking sheet and return to the oven. Roast for 45 to 50 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices, if any, run clear when pierced with a knife.
Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.
Ancho chiles are easy to seed, but chipotle chiles are easier to seed after they have been simmered.
You can marinate the chicken for up to 2 days, covered and refrigerated.
The bison burger with caramelized onions from “New Native Kitchen”
Unlike much of the rest of the book, chef Freddie Bitsoie is traditionalizing a modern dish. In this recipe, adapted from “New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian”(Abrams Books) beef patty is swapped out for ground bison. The burger is topped with caramelized onions that are seasoned with fresh herbs and juniper berries. Bitsoie recommends serving it over wilted greens, alongside one of the salads from the book, or on a brioche bun.
1 pound ground bison
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup grated queso fresco
Caramelized Sweet Onions, recipe follows
4 hamburger buns
Condiments of choice
Prepare and preheat an outdoor grill to high heat.
In a large bowl, add the bison, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, parsley, and queso fresco. Mix well by hand, but do not overmix. Divide evenly and shape into quarter-pound burgers, about ¼ inch thick. Arrange the burgers on the grill and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (cook longer if you prefer medium-well). Do not touch or press the burgers during the grilling process. The key is to keep the juices inside. Otherwise, the burgers will be dry. Remove the burgers and let rest for a couple minutes. Top with the caramelized sweet onions and serve on buns with any condiments you like.
Caramelized Sweet Onions
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon ground juniper berries
2 tablespoons agave nectar
In a medium saute pan over low heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, thyme, bay leaf, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Allow the onion to sweat for about 10 minutes, at which time it will begin to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup water and keep sauteing for 15 minutes. If the onions caramelize too quickly, deglaze with another ¼ cup water to slow the cooking process. You want the onions soft and caramelized, not burnt. Add the juniper berries and agave nectar. Stir well to combine, remove from the heat, discard the thyme sprig and bay leaf, and set aside and keep warm.
Elena Kadvany joined The San Francisco Chronicle as a food reporter in 2021. Previously, she was a staff writer at the Palo Alto Weekly and its sister publications, where she covered restaurants and education and also founded the Peninsula Foodist restaurant column and newsletter.
Herbed rice with shrimpy kimchi tomato sauce from “That Sounds So Good” by Carla Lalli Music.