Getting the positioning, lighting, and placement of your cute plate and cutlery just right for the perfect Instagram shot of your avocado toast takes skill.
“This book is for the female millennial foodie…who generally obsesses about what to eat, where to eat it next and how to take a beautiful picture of it,” she says. And while a lot of time, it’s easier to snap a picture of a gorgeous pastel green juice in a to-go cup from your nearest cafe, Keefe is hoping to convert all those ‘grammers into home cooks. “My goal is to get you into the kitchen by providing simplicity, beauty, and chic-ness.” As a bonus, every recipe is super simple (it’s almost like Keefe has seen your jam-packed Google calendar and knows not to request more than an hour of your time).
Case in point: This super quick Toasted Farro Salad, which is made with the chef-fave grain and can be tweaked to match whichever veggies in your fridge are threatening to turn on you, and is delicious served both hot and cold. Just don’t forget the lemon and salt, okay?
“A chef secret that most home cooks don’t know is that all you need to elevate ‘basics’ is acid & salt,” she explains. “That’s it. That’s why simple, beautiful food tastes so delicious. And everyone has both on hand.”
Come to think of it, a nicely styled shot of the two together could probably get some serious Instagram traction… —Lisa Elaine Held
Toasted Farro Salad
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
Fine sea salt, to taste
1/2 lb dry farro
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch chives, chopped
Lay squash in one layer on a sheet tray. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt. Roast 20–25 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
In a large pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and toast farro until slightly browned and fragrant. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer lightly until farro is al dente, 20–25 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. Add squash, hazelnuts, lemon juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt as needed. Top with parsley and chives.
In lieu of butternut squash, hazelnuts, parsley and chives, try…
Spring: sugar snap peas, fava beans, toasted pistachios, and fresh ricotta
Summer: grilled red onions, heirloom tomatoes, corn and basil
Winter: golden beets, walnuts, and pecorino cheese