What’s cooking in Nana’s kitchen?

What’s cooking in Nana’s kitchen?

A delicious blend of basil, cilantro, dill and parsley goes into this healthy dressing.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (July 28, 2023) — When I was a child, my Nana’s kitchen was filled with wonderful smells, warmth and love.

She taught me so much in that kitchen that made me who I am today: a grandmother giving – to a child, a teenage daughter, a neighbor – inspiration, collaboration, wise tales, structure and, most of all, a lot of love.

The kitchen has always been the place that I come to with all my joys, woes and hopes. The years that I was at Mt. Diablo High School, I had the honor of working with teenagers not just in the classroom and garden but in the kitchen. It gave me the opportunity to share all that was taught to me by the wonderful wise women from my childhood.

So much gets passed on through the creation of food in the kitchen, feeding yourself and others. Slowing down, chopping, cleaning, swapping stories and sharing solutions to life’s troubles while preparing food – somehow we’ve lost that in our fast-food society.

Gathering place

The kitchen is a place where everyone gathers and you’re safe and not alone. It has always been the heart and soul of my life. And the kitchen satisfies not only your physical hunger but the hunger that you have for connection with others.

My hope is that we all slow down. There is so much to learn and teach. Be a lifelong learner.

Welcome to my kitchen. Feed your soul and your belly.

Salmon is so easy to prepare and can be paired with tasty sauces for a perfect combo. These sauce recipes make use of fresh, seasonal herbs. Rather than buying fresh-cut herbs at the store, purchase the plants and put them in your garden.

Baked Salmon with ­Seasonal Sauces

Top baked salmon with Tomato Basil Salsa.

Baked Salmon: 1 serving

  • 4½ oz. uncooked salmon (will make a 4-oz. serving)
  • Spritz of avocado oil or hint of butter
  • Sprinkle of salt

Spray salmon with avocado oil or top with a hint of butter; sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Green Goddess Dressing:
Makes about 4 cups

  • 1 bunch each basil, cilantro, dill and parsley
  • 3 T chopped garlic
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • ⅓ c. lemon juice
  • ⅓ c. red vinegar
  • 1 T salt
  • 1½ c. Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
  • 2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Tear off and discard stems from herbs. Place herbs in food processor or blender and pulse 15 times.

Add garlic and shallot and pulse to blend.

Next, add lemon juice, vinegar and mayonnaise or yogurt and pulse 15 times.

Add salt and slowly add olive oil while food processor is on. (If olive oil is not added slowly, the dressing will separate.)

Tomato Basil Salsa:

Makes enough for 4 filets

  • ½ c. cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 T chopped basil leaves
  • ½ T fresh minced garlic
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients. Spread a small amount on each salmon filet after baking.

Send your questions and comments to cindymgershen@gmail.com.

Cindy Gershen
Cindy Gershen

Cindy Gershen is an educator, nutritionist, chef, and co-author of “Fat Chance Cookbook.”