Shaved Eggplant Salad with Jalapeno Spiced Orange Dressing

Recipe by Brenda Anderson
Photography by Chia Chong
Styling by Libbie Summers

A Food-Inspired Life, Libbie Summer, Orange, Citrus


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup agave syrup (or honey)
  • Juice of two oranges
  • ¼ cup chopped mint plus small leaves for garnish
  • ¼ jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 small eggplants
  •  ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese


In a pint jar with a tight-fitting lid add olive oil, syrup and orange juice. Shake well. Add chopped mint and jalapeno pepper, gently shake again. Let stand at least 4 hours at room temperature. Strain dressing through a fine mesh strainer into another jar discarding peppers and mint. Salt and pepper to taste. Very thinly slice eggplant using a mandolin or sharp knife. Place eggplant on platter and drizzle with dressing or, layer in a bowl and pour dressing over top (make sure to shake strained dressing well before pouring over eggplant). Top with shaved parmesan cheese and garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.

  • Servings: 6
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Innactive Time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Please…this is so easy

Recipe courtesy of Brenda Anderson

A Food-Inspired Life, Libbie Summer, Orange, Citrus

Spicy Winter Citrus Salad

Recipe and Styling by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Food Stylist’s assistant Candace Brower
Video from A Food-Inspired Life 

Zing and beauty. A salad that will make you smile even on the dreariest of Winter days. 

Spicy Winter Citrus Salad
serves 4

10 citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, blood oranges, clementine, lime)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like heat)
Kosher salt
1/3 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

Place your cutting board on a baking sheet with sides to capture all the juices as you remove the rinds of all the fruit with a sharp knife and cut each fruit crosswise into ¼-inch rounds. Remove any visible seeds. Arrange sliced fruit on a serving platter.

In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved juices from the fruit, honey and pepper. Salt to taste. Pour mixture over the fruit. Garnish with pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.


NOTE: For a different look to this salad, why not try segmenting your citrus. Here’s a quick fun video to show you how!

Libbie’s Food Styling Props: When the food is so beautiful, you don’t have to do much. Floral fabric is from Fabrika Fine Fabrics. Citrus salad is on a vintage meat tray picked up at Habersham Antiques Market. Bowls with silver rim from the collection of Betty Anderson. Old enamelware serving spoon from an antique shop in Montana. Velvet ribbon tied through the spoon hole brought home from Paris.

Turnip Fries with Sweet Heat Dipping Sauce

Recipe by Brenda Anderson
Photography by Chia Chong
Styling by Libbie Summers
Wine Pairing by Grapefriend 

Not to be out shined by its potato cousin, this turnip can fry with the best of them!
Turnip Recipes, Fries, Dipping Sauce Recipes, A food-inspired Life
Turnip Fries with Sweet Heat Sauce
serves 4-6 

4 large turnip roots, peeled and sliced in to a 1/4 x 1/4-inch strips (we used a chef’s knife, but you could use a mandoline or French fry slicer)
6 cups vegetable oil
¾ cup honey
¾ sour cream
¼ cup Sriracha sauce
Sea salt

Line a baking tray with paper towels and set aside.

For the Sweet Heat Sauce: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the honey, sour cream and Sriracha. Set aside.

In a dutch oven or deep sauce pan over medium-high heat, add oil and bring to 250 degrees F (use a thermometer to gauge the temperature). Working in batches, add the turnip fries to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until just soft (about 4 minutes). Remove with a spyder or slotted spoon and drain onto the paper towel lined baking tray. Turn heat to high and heat oil to 350 degrees F. Plunge the fries into the oil and cook until golden brown. Remove from oil, drain onto fresh paper towels and season with additional salt to taste. Serve hot with the Sweet Heat Sauce.
Turnip Recipes, Fries, Dipping Sauce Recipes, A food-inspired life

Six Simple and Sensational Holiday Sides

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong, Jade and Matthew Take Pictures

It’s the sides that always get me during the holidays. What to make and how to make it unique and delicious. Here are 6 of my favorites!
Unique Mashed Potatoes, Side Dishes, Libbie Summers Recipes, A food-inspired life
1. White Chocolate Lavender Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Recipes, Turnip Recipes, Libbie Summers Recipes, A food-inspired Life
2. Sweet Potato and Daikon Mash

Roasted Carrot Recipe from Libbie Summers
3. Maple Thyme Roasted Carrots
Holiday Sides, Side Dishes, Apple Recipes, A food-inspired life, Libbie Summers
4. Stuffed Baked Apples
Libbie Subbed yogurt for cream cheese in this DELicious mac and cheese!
5. Hot Bacon Mac and Cheese

Herb and Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms
6. Herb and Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms




Raw Cauliflower and Beet Salad

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Photography by Jess Brannen

This salad is as healthy as it is beautiful and delicious. The three of us sat around after we shot these photos and quietly ate every bite of this salad. It was a good day.
Raw Salad Recipes, Beet Recipes, Salad Recipes, Cauliflower Recipes
Raw Cauliflower and Beet Salad
(cauliflower, beets, red onion, pepitas, tahini citrus dressing)
Serves 2

What you need: 
Juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons tahini sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Flake sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

1 small head of cauliflower (I used purple for the color factor), cut into small florets
1 large beet root with greens attached
½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
1/3 cup pepitas

What to do:
Make Dressing: In a small mixing bowl, add all ingredients and stir or whisk until combined and creamy. Add a little warm water if your tahini is not creamy. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside
Prep Cauliflower: Remove any tender greens growing up the side of the cauliflower and set aside. Chop the cauliflower into tiny florets and place in a large mixing bowl. Chop any tender greens on the outside of the cauliflower and add to the mixing bowl.
Prep Beets: Using the large side of a box grater, grate the beet into the large mixing bowl. Chop any tender greens and add to the bowl.
Prep Onions: VERY thinly slice the red onion and add to the mixing bowl.
Stir in the pepitas.
To Serve: Divide salad between two bowls and drizzle with dressing.
Raw Salad Recipes, Cauliflower Salad, Beet Salad, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life


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