Cauliflower Vichyssoise with Chive Flowers

The chive flowers are blooming once again which means it's time to make my one of my favorite warm-weather soups:  Cauliflower Vichyssoise with Chive Flowers (and parsley oil). You may be astounded to know that the beautiful soup in the photo below is made with only six ingredients.  Four for the soup; two for the parsley oil. This soup is classically made from potatoes and leeks, both the chive leaves (straws) are used and the edible flowers pulled apart.  It is a dish of many virtues and healthy as can be. I saw some lovely crimson rhubarb at the market, too.  Look here tomorrow for radically simple ways to prepare it. Have a meaningful Memorial Day.


Cauliflower Vichyssoise with Chive Flowers (adapted from Radically Simple) This more healthful riff on classic vichyssoise is still luxuriously suave.  For a stunning presentation, blanch a bunch of parsley and puree in a blender with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup water and salt; add a swirl to each serving to dance on the white velvet background.

2-1/2 pound cauliflower, or 1-3/4 pounds florets 2 large leeks 1 cup light cream 1 bunch chives with chive flowers Break the cauliflower into small pieces and put in a 4-quart pot.  Add 5 cups water (water will not cover the cauliflower) and 2 teaspoons salt.  Chop the white parts of the leeks to get 1-1/2 cups.  Wash well; add to the pot.  Bring to a rapid boil; reduce the heat to medium.  Cover and cook until the vegetables are very soft, about 24 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes.  In 2 batches, puree in a food processor until ultra smooth, adding 1/2 cup cream to each batch.  Transfer to a bowl; add salt and pepper.  Cover; refrigerate until very cold.  Add water or additional cream if too thick.  Garnish with chopped chives and flowers, and optional parsley oil.  Serves 6


Cooking Light Bonanza

This month's double anniversary issue of Cooking Light magazine (November 2012) looked good enough to eat.  The headlines, scattered all over the chocolate-hued cover, were obviously meant to delight.  "The Best Fast Meals Ever," "Best Recipes of Our First 25 Years," "The Most Delicious Desserts" and more.  Hard not to fall in love. I write a column for Cooking Light called Radically Simple and in this edition are three stunning starters meant expressly for your Thanksgiving table.  There's a tri-colore salad (endive, watercress, radicchio) with an addictive bacon-cider-maple dressing; a creamy pumpkin-red pepper soup thickened with sweet potato and perfumed with five-spice powder and rosemary, and phyllo cups filled with ricotta, chèvre and fresh thyme.  Looks like you cooked all week.  Yet the recipes, in keeping with the column's intention, are radically simple to prepare. But this special issue has had me devouring each of its 296 pages and  inspiring me to cook so many OPR!  (Other People's Recipes!)  Want an idea?  There's Creamy Lobster Pappardelle, Cavatappi with Browned Brussels Sprouts and Buttery Breadcrumbs, Scallion Pancakes with Korean Dipping Sauce, Fiery Chicken Thighs with Persian Rice, Soy-Citrus Scallops with Soba Noodles, and Fresh Ginger Cake with Candied Citrus Glaze,

And I was totally wowed by the food of 13-year old Flynn McGarry, the culinary avatar to the mesmerizing talents of pianist Lang Lang when he was of a similar age.

To the list of most important Italian cookbooks of the last 25 years, however, I would stand up and add the delicious and encyclopedic tome Naples at Table, written by renowned Italian cooking expert, historian and teacher, Arthur Schwartz.

Best of all (and I love to learn new things every day), was a word I stumbled upon in the ingredient list for a winter citrus-and-escarole salad.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I had never heard the word before!  Pomegranate arils!   Apparently, it's a popular crossword puzzle word.  Look it up!

Here's my recipe for Creamy Pumpkin-Red Pepper Soup.  Enjoy. Creamy Pumpkin-Red Pepper Soup Hands-on time: 30 min. Total time: 60 min.

The soup can be topped with a variety of things: I love Parmigiano-Reggiano and rosemary, but savory sprinkles like chopped smoked almonds or toasted pecans would be lovely. This tastes even better the next day ... or the day after.

3 cups chopped peeled fresh pumpkin 2 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled sweet potato 1/4 cup chopped green onions 1 teaspoon five-spice powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided 5 cups no-salt-added chicken stock (such as Swanson) 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss well. Place vegetable mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender, stirring once. 3. Combine vegetables, stock, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Place half of vegetable mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining vegetable mixture. Stir in butter. Top with rosemary, if desired.

Serves 6

On the Road to Morocco (and Madrid)

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer. My husband, daughter and I are off to Morocco and Madrid and will be traveling for two weeks (I hope our house guests enjoy themselves!). We are returning to places we have loved in the past and visiting a dear friend in Morocco whom we haven't seen in 14 years.  His family has grown as has ours. It's been a time of rapid growth in the world and I know we will see many changes on our journey. Yet some images remain steadfast. I can already inhale the sweet fragrant mint tea that awaits us in Marrakesh. I look forward to "breaking bread" with our friend's family during Ramadan. Excitement rushes through me as I imagine a slow walk through the Prado; tapas at 11 p.m., and a bit of sultry Flamenco afterwards. It will be a joy to see all of it through the eyes of our 16-year-old daughter. During the next two weeks I will be sharing reviews of two new favorite vegetarian cookbooks, some news from our trip, and who knows what else. In the meantime, here are two recipes from Radically Simple -- with evocative flavors from Morocco and Spain -- meant to whet your appetite on a balmy summer night. Couscous Salad with Dates & Toasted Almonds

I developed this recipe for Bon Appetit magazine, and I'm told it became one of their most popular salads. Quite versatile, it can be part of a mezze offering or a great accompaniment to roast lamb. For best results, do not refrigerate and serve at room temperature.

1/3 cup slivered almonds scant 2 cups couscous 1-1/2 cups cooked (or canned) chickpeas 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 scallions, finely chopped, white and green parts 10 large dates, pitted and finely diced 1 teaspoon ground cardamom grated zest and juice of 2 lemons 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Lightly toast the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Set aside. Add the couscous to the boiling water and stir. Cover and remove from the heat. Let sit for 4 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the almonds, chickpeas (drained and rinsed), olive oil, scallions, dates, cardamom, lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons (or more) lemon juice.  Stir in the cilantro, salt and pepper.  Serves 6

Avocado Soup with Fino Sherry

If you pre-chill the ingredients for this awesome soup, it can be made in a minute!  It has a mesmerizing flavor and velvety texture.  If making the soup ahead of time, chill well and add the sherry (and optional garlic) at the very end.  More awesome still:  crumble blue cheese on top and serve with Marcona almonds.

2 medium-large ripe avocados 3 cups chicken broth, chilled 2 cups buttermilk, chilled 2 tablespoons fino sherry 1 small garlic clove, optional

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the flesh into a food processor. Add the broth and 1-1/2 cups of the buttermilk. Process until very smooth.  Stir in the sherry and garlic, pushed through a press. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and drizzle each serving with a bit of the remaining buttermilk which will float on top. Serves 4 or 5

Asparagus: Two Radically Delicious Recipes

It is impossible not to marvel at the bountiful bunches of asparagus at the farmer's market this week. In fact, they even look appealing at our supermarket. Here are two simple preparations:  Chilled Asparagus Tonnato with "Confetti" -- perfect for a first course or side dish, and my rather unusual Truffled Asparagus Soup with Pineapple Reduction. The soup is asparagus to the second power, made from boiled stalks and garnished with roasted tips. But the real surprise is a syrupy reduction of pineapple juice. It all makes a compelling flavor match that is among my favorites. Note:  If you boil the asparagus "peelings" in salted water until just tender and shock in cold water, you will have a tangle of something that looks a lot like fettuccine. Sometimes I toss it with freshly cooked pasta or use as a garnish for a salad or cold dish. Chilled Asparagus Tonnato with "Confetti" The inspiration for this dish comes from vitello tonnato -- the Italian preparation of cold sliced veal covered with a creamy tuna sauce and sprinkled with capers.  Here the tuna sauce is fashioned from oil-packed canned tuna, slices of lemon, garlic and olive oil, and pureed until it has the texture of thick heavy cream.

1-1/2 pounds medium asparagus, trimmed 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 5-ounce can oil-packed Italian tuna 1 large garlic clove 1 large lemon handful of mesclun or edible flowers, torn into tiny "confetti" pieces 2 tablespoons large brined capers, drained

Bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil; fill a bowl with ice water. Place the asparagus in the boiling water. Cook until crisp-tender, 6 minutes. Drain immediately and plunge into the ice water; let sit 3 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and divide the asparagus among 4 plates. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Combine the tuna and its oil, the garlic, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 thin lemon slices with rind (without seeds) in a food processor or blender.  Process until very smooth, adding enough water and lemon juice so that the texture is thick and creamy.  Add salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the asparagus and sprinkle with the "confetti" and capers.  Serves 4

Truffled Asparagus Soup with Pineapple Reduction Although there are several steps, this is a radically simple means toward a complex flavor profile.

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice 2-1/2 pound medium asparagus, peeled 1 tablespoon olive oil 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced 1-1/2 teaspoons white truffle oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the juice in a small skillet and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Set aside. Discard the bottom inch or two from each asparagus spear. Cut off the tips and place in a pie pan; toss with the olive oil. Roast 8 minutes, until just tender. Cut the asparagus stalks into 2-inch pieces. Place in a 4-quart pot with the butter and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and cover. Cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Process, adding as much cooking liquid as needed to make a smooth, thick puree. Add the truffle oil and salt and pepper and reheat. Ladle into bowls and top with the roasted asparagus tips. Drizzle with the pineapple reduction. Serves 4 to 6

Tastes of the Week

November 7 through 13, 2011 Jack o' Lantern leftovers! We never got to carve our pumpkin this Halloween and so a faceless orb has been staring at me for the last two weeks. Small to medium in size, about 3 pounds, including a long graceful stem -- I vowed to treat it with respect and serve it forth for dinner. A radically simple recipe ensued:  Cut a 3 pound, very round pumpkin in quarters. Place in a small paella pan or baking dish, upside down (the seeds and membrane are easier to remove after it's cooked.) Place 1 inch of water in pan and bake at 400 degrees until soft, about 45 minutes. Turn over, cover and bake until very tender. Remove seeds and membranes. Drizzle with good olive oil and a liberal sprinkling of ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice blend) and kosher salt. Drain water; place pumpkin in pan and bake until slightly caramelized. See my recipe for Calabaza Soup with Celery & Crispy Sage (below) -- just in case you, too, have a leftover pumpkin.

The sweet aromatics of ras el hanout (available in Middle Eastern markets and spice shops) are intoxicating. Meaning "top of the shop" in Arabic, each mixture is unique but generally combines more than one dozen spices (and sometimes up to 100!). The predominant perfume comes from cardamom, clove, cinnamon, chili, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and turmeric. It is wonderful rubbed on lamb or chicken or simply sprinkled on tomato soup to take it in an exotic direction. It lent a playful aroma, and taste, to the nutty quality of the pumpkin. It is a spice mixture that has a definitive place in my pantry and in my heart.

Perhaps as I get older, I covet reservations at my friends' tables, even more than at the newest restaurant. And so, last night, we were lucky enough to be invited to the home of Jerry Adler and Beth Lebowitz. They are the perfect couple in many remarkable ways and also in the kitchen where Jerry is cook to Beth's pastry chef. This amazing meal began with homemade ricotta gnocchi -- I was knocked out by their lightness -- with a heady sauce of porcini, prosciutto and tomato paste (also homemade!). It was followed by a luscious pork shoulder (baked for 18 hours and inspired, perhaps, by a recipe in Radically Simple); tiny roasted brussels sprouts, lovely carrots with capers, and golden, crispy roasted potatoes.  A voluptuous onion sauce accompanied the pork which was already generously flavored with coriander seed and garlic. The skin on top of the pork got so crispy that we shared it like a peace pipe and nodded with the crunching brittle sounds of happiness. A wonderful pear clafouti and good strong coffee followed. A brisk, and needed, walk home. Jerry is a crackerjack journalist: Check out his story on heirloom grains in an upcoming article in Smithsonian, and his previous piece on scientist/chef Myhrvold.

This week's most extraordinary food experience, however, took place at the James Beard House during "A Dinner to Remember."  No doubt, I will remember it, and Jerry's ricotta gnocchi, for a long, long time.

You might want to start your own "week of tastes" with the following almost-winter soup:

Pumpkin Soup with Celery & Crispy Sage This soup, adapted from Radically Simple, has an air of the West Indies about it, with its earthy flavors of ginger, scotch bonnet, pepper, celery, thyme and sage (often found in "jerk" recipes.) Butternut or calabaza squash can be substituted for the pumpkin.

3-1/2 pound piece of pumpkin 6 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups finely chopped onions 1 cup finely chopped celery, plus leaves for garnish 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger 1/2 small scotch bonnet pepper, finely minced 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 20 medium-large fresh sage leaves 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove seeds and membrane from pumpkin. Place in a roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Pour 1 inch water into the pan and bake 1-1/2 hours until very soft. Scoop out the flesh. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a 4-quart pot. Add the onions, celery, ginger, minced pepper, thyme, 2 sage leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook 15 minutes over medium heat. Add the sugar and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and add the squash. Cover and cook 15 minutes. In batches, puree the soup in a food processor until very smooth. Fry the remaining sage leaves in a small pan in 2 tablespoons hot oil until crispy. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.  Serve the soup hot with the fried sage leaves and celery leaves. Serves 6

V8 Soup

Two nights ago, I gave a small dinner party at my house.  Although the style of my cooking has become rather simple, the aggregate of dishes and the worry behind cooking for the man who is writing Julia Child's newest biography (to coincide with her 100th birthday next year) and the general manager of what-will-surely be one of New York's hippest hotels, the Hotel Williamsburg (in Williamsburg!), the pressure was on.  Along with their wives, we were a group of six, chatting about world events, the mystery of Mustique, how courses on the Beatles have became mainstream in American colleges (our guest Bob also wrote the definitive book on the Beatles), and the journey of finding a chef for the hippest new hotel in New York.  We sipped those apple ginger-pear martinis I keep talking about, ate white hummus, and "devilled pecans" and tried to guess what-the-heck was in the tea cup I served in the living room before sitting down to dinner. More about that in a moment.  Dinner began with a dish of "tiradito" the Peruvian equivalent of sashimi but with a shimmering sauce of lemon, garlic and oil.  It was accompanied by a tiny timbale of potato salad vinaigrette, a handful of lightly dressed arugula and bits of radicchio (remember when that was exotic?) and a drizzle of beet vinaigrette. The main course was "My Opinionated Way to Roast a Chicken!" with (a foaming chive-garlic butter sauce), Moroccan carrot puree, steamed spinach and a roasted garlic custard.  Dessert?  A slice of my Venetian Wine Cake (with rosemary, red wine and olive oil -- and it is the ONLY recipe I don't divulge), with lemon-buttermilk sorbet, pineapple flan and creme fraiche.  To drink?  Rose champagne with the first course and a bottle of almost-impossible-to-find Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 1986 with the chicken. But the real intrigue centered around the soup in the tea cup.  I called it "Tomato-Anisette Cappuccino."   Dearly loved, everyone took a guess at identifying its ingredients.  But no one would ever make a soup from V8 juice, anisette, and fish sauce, but me.  It was topped with salted whipped cream and snippets of fresh tarragon.  And it takes only five minutes to make.

Tomato-Anisette Cappuccino You can make this with "original" or spicy V8.  If using the original, you might want to add a few splashes of chipotle Tabasco for more intrigue.

1/2 cup heavy cream 4 cups V8 (or other tomato-vegetable juice cocktail) 1/4 cup anisette liqueur 1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce snippets of fresh tarragon for garnish

Using a wire whisk, whip the cream with a large pinch of salt until thick but not stiff. Set aside.  Put the V8 in a large saucepan.  Bring to boil, lower heat to medium and add the anisette.  Simmer for 3 minutes.  Stir in the fish sauce, salt, pepper and hot sauce, if using.  Pour into soup cups and top with whipped cream and tarragon. Serves 4 to 6

Note:  And speaking of fish sauce, tomorrow morning I will give you the world's simplest recipe for fabulous "devilled pecans" -- perfect for Super Bowl munching. Make sure you have Thai fish sauce, pecan halves, and sweet butter at the ready.

Blizzard Soup & Snowy Day Chicken

Yesterday, when I called my best friend Arthur in New York (I was still in sunny Florida), he ebulliently reported that he was stranded in his Park Slope apartment on account of the snowstorm that hit the East Coast with a vengeance.  "You sound so happy," I said.  Arthur replied, "it's beautiful here and I'm making soup!" Arthur was dicing pancetta as we spoke, and was about to wash some kale and simmer some beans. Then without missing a beat he said, "I'm making Blizzard Soup!" I could see his smile through the phone. With that simple sentiment, I, too, wished I was in my Park Slope kitchen, also making soup.  It reminded me of a winter's day, several years ago, when my husband made the most delicious potion imaginable.  He actually named it "Snowy Day Chicken" but it was really a soup, in the way that authentic Italian bollito misto is a soup.  Large pieces of protein (here, chicken and beef shin) that simmer for hours until they transform and gelatinize (my word) a simple pot of water to perfumed perfection. The intoxicating vapors came from ingredients I didn't even know we had in our pantry:  fennel seed, celery seed, and caraway seed. They lent an air of mystery to the brew, already heady from a bounty of onions and fresh bay leaves.  I remember the first few spoonfuls as though I was slurping it right now.

Snowy Day Chicken Prepare this in your largest pot:  A very large oval casserole with a cover (such as a Le Creuset) is perfect.

Chicken fat (2 tablespoons) from chicken 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped 5 pound chicken 4 carrots, peeled and cut in half, thick ends cut in half, 1 inch sections 1-3/4 pounds beef shank on the bone, cut into 2 thick slices (1-inch each)

Sauté onions in chicken fat and olive oil for 15 minutes over medium heat until soft and lightly browned, stirring often.  Add 1 cup water and scrape up any brown bits.  Add chicken (breast side up), carrots, and the following:

2 large onions, peeled, cut in half, each half in 4 chunks (16 pieces) 1 heaping teaspoon fennel seed 1 teaspoon caraway seed 1 teaspoon celery seed 1 teaspoon salt 2 fresh or dried bay leaves 11 cups water (will not cover chicken) – you want the breast to be exposed 1 large garlic clove, through press

Slip in beef shank.  Add all the giblets, except the liver. Bring just to boil.  Lower to simmer, cover and cook about 2 to 3 hours until beef is tender and chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and beef shank; transfer to a platter; discard giblets.  Slice chicken and beef; serve in large soup plates surrounded with vegetables. Pour broth over all.  Serves 6

Healthy Yummy Dishes

It is a chilly beginning to the first day of November, having dipped into the '30s overnight.  And so I was especially warmed by this note and photo I received when I turned my computer on this morning.  The "recipe book" referred to is "Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs." It was published last year by Bloomsbury and has recently gone into another printing.  I love this book because I did not write it alone.  I had the help of a team of young chefs who helped create, shape, and cook the recipes.  Nothing went into the book that wasn't "teen-tasted."  With all the conversation these days about childhood obesity and getting kids to eat healthier, it is this part of the equation that is most often ignored:  The food needs to taste delicious and to appeal to the taste preferences of teens.  This cannot be done in a vacuum by chefs who don't include kids and teens in the process. Teen-friendly recipes also need to be "blessed" by a nutritionist who can help balance the critical nutritional  factors that make a recipe "healthy."  Helen Kimmel, MS, RD, did an awesome job in determining what to alter to make each recipe nutritionally sound.  We do not believe that kids should "eat by numbers" (meaning calories, carbs, etc.) but that, overall, each recipe should focus on fresh, unprocessed ingredients and be low in saturated fats.  For more information, take a look at this wonderful article written by Jane Brody in the Science section of the New York Times  and enjoy the numerous comments about the book on Amazon by parents and teens alike.

I am looking at the photo to determine what's on Tabbie and Kimberly's table!  I see a bowl of Carrot-Ginger-Tomato Soup (that gets garnished with crispy fried carrot tops! -- see recipe below) and Juicy Chicken with Roasted Spaghetti Squash, created by my daughter Shayna.  It's a real crowd-pleaser.

Months ago, I had the pleasure of being one of the chefs to congregate on the White House lawn to hear about Michele Obama's initiative regarding childhood obesity and the myriad health concerns associated with it -- i.e. childhood diabetes and heart disease.  I say that the issue of "self-esteem" also needs to be addressed and the importance of cultural food preferences in families.  But with all the complexity surrounding this important topic, I say there is one message that is simple enough:  Eat Fresh Food.

Enjoy your day. Dear Ms. Gold,

My name is Tabbie and my friend and I, Kimberly made some dishes using your recipe book. We made them for our family and friends over the summer. We enjoyed your recipes, I hope another one comes out with more delicious dishes. Thanks! :)

CARROT-GINGER-TOMATO SOUP  -- from Eat Fresh Food:  Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs While carrot-ginger soups have become commonplace, this one enlivened with tomato, tastes a bit mysterious and especially fabulous.  Fresh ginger adds a background of "heat" and flavor.  I top it with crispy wisps of fried carrot tops.  Serves 4 or 51 large bunch fresh carrots with green tops (about 12 ounces carrots)
1 large baking potato, about 8 ounces
2 large garlic cloves, peeled 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped 1/2 cup tomato sauce or tomato puree 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Peel the carrots (saving green tops for later) and the potato.  Cut into 1-inch pieces and put in a 3-quart pot.  Add garlic, ginger and shallots. Add 4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a rapid boil.  Lower the heat to medium and cover.  Cook 30 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a food processor with half the cooking liquid.  Blend until smooth, slowly adding the remaining cooking liquid.  Process until very smooth and add the  tomato sauce and butter.  Return to the saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 10 minutes; add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with crispy carrot tops!

Fried Carrot Tops:

1/4 cup lacy green carrot tops
Wash carrot tops and dry well.  Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet until hot.  Carefully add the carrot tops and fry for 30 second or until crispy and bright green.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.  Sprinkle with salt.