What happens when a chef from Sweden moves to Malibu, CA and opens a restaurant on a pier? Something magical. Helene Hendersen, the owner of Malibu Farm, takes an approach to cooking that feels relaxed, authentic and approachable. Maybe it’s her staunch support of local producers and farmers when sourcing fruit and vegetables for her recipes? Or perhaps it is her believe that the word “non-fat” doesn’t belong on a menu – simply put, eat the real thing and enjoy the experience one can derive from food. It’s this approach to food that drew us to Helene and Malibu Farm for our Summer PB Party series. We teamed up with the Chef to create a menu that was true to her SoCal aesthetic – recipes that are easy to create, easier to adapt to your preferences and taste delicious! One thing to note is that Helene’s approach to cooking is looser than some may prefer since she does not outline specific amounts on some ingredients. That said, she recommends you use your judgement and adjust the amounts to suit your tastes.
For our Summer Beach PB Party, we wanted a relaxed buffet style meal that guests could nosh on throughout the dinner, so Helene choice foods that were delicious hot or at room temperature like Lavash “Pizza” with Cauliflower, Grilled chicken with Fennel Slaw, Greek Quinoa Salad and Saffron Couscous with Snap Peas. We are excited to share two of these recipes with you below and recommend you take the time to look through Malibu Farm’s namesake cookbook which contains countless other delicious dishes perfect for lazy afternoons with your family.
Lavash Pizza with Cauliflower
Serves 2 entree portions or 6 appetizer portions
This isn’t quite a pizza but more of a cracker. However, it is a cracker that is loaded with bubbling cheese, tart crème fraîche and thinly sliced cauliflower. A slice of this delicious “pizza” will have you wondering why you have not tried this combination sooner!
1/2 cup goat cheese or ricotta cheese
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 piece of lavash bread
Shredded three-cheese blend
Lots of finely sliced cauliflower
In a food processor, combine the cheese, crème fraîche and egg. The exact quantities are not important; you just want to end up with a spreadable cheese mixture.
Brush olive oil on a sheet pan, and lay the lavash bread on top.
Spread the cheese mixture on the lavash bread, distribute the shredded cheese over it, and top with lots of finely sliced cauliflower.
Drizzle olive oil on top and season lightly with salt. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven until lavash starts to brown around the edges and get crispy.* Bake until done, remove from oven, place on serving platter and cut into squares.
*Cooking times will vary depending on your oven.
Greek Quinoa Salad
For lemon dressing:
1 small spig fresh oregano
1 garlic clove, grated
Splash of olive oil
Salt to taste
1 basket of cheer tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes, cut in half
2 small cucumbers, cubed
1 pound Feta cheese, cubed
1 bell pepper, any color, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 cup pitted olives
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup cooked quinoa
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl.
Toss the chopped salad ingredients together in a separate serving bowl, add the quinoa, and pour the dressing on top. Be sure to taste for seasoning.
The salad is best if it sits out at room temperature for 30 minutes before being served.