BREAKFAST IS A MOOD: A Q&A WITH MARJORY SWEET OF [ ] IS A BREAKFAST FOOD
Marjory’s mouth-watering food descriptions leave us wanting more (like, a whole plate’s worth.) Her ability to inspire us through words and uniquely creative recipes, paired with her perspective as a farmer, is what makes us want to dig a little deeper when it comes to our relationship with the kitchen. We love the meal-by-meal guidance (first, her book Farm Lunch, now [ ] is a breakfast food) and wanted to pick her brain just a bit more on the simple things, like what she’s eating, reading and growing in her garden this season. Enjoy!
Favorite meal you have eaten lately?
Lots of funky fishy dishes come to mind. Cold roast lamb with anchovy mayo; soupy rice with mussels, dried chiles, and the rest of that mayo; Fergus Henderson's hake and leek pie (I LOVE that recipe-- you poach the fish in wine and then make a silky sauce with the aromatic liquid. Cook the leeks until they "lose their squeak,"). Giant salads with assorted farm greens and Tart Vinegar's lemon preserve (I'm hooked on that salty, sour sludge). Sticky date cake, pistachio cake, coconut layer cake, other cakes I'm forgetting, and a tin of chocolates leftover from Christmas.
I'll have a ____ coffee/tea with ____ and a little/no _____, please.
Any combination of strong coffee and whole milk/cream.
What's the trick to the perfect egg? (your style of choice)
Let's go with poached: strain the egg through a finely meshed sieve and vigorously swirl the simmering water to create a little whirlpool before you drop in the egg. A perfect poached egg can wake up even the most forlorn and questionable leftovers.
If everyone had _____ in their kitchen, the world would be a better place.
Clean water, good music, and a cast iron skillet.
Favorite edible plant growing in your garden this season + what are you going to make with it?
I run a small bakery operation (@doublegrazie) with my friend Marcy Taubes. We both came to baking through farming, so we take a similarly seasonal approach to it. The garden finds its way into what we make all year, but it really starts to get good at this time of year. We are probably most excited about turning all of the fragrant herbs and leaves into ice cream: chamomile toffee, anise hyssop, peach leaf, sour cherry, and the classico seasonal opener: mint chip.
Favorite food book (not the recipe kind)?
Patience Gray's Honey From A Weed. Mesmerizing autobiographical record of her travels throughout the Mediterranean with the love of her life, sculptor Norman Mommens. He is seeking marble for his work and she is eating and cooking her way through these rural places often in very primitive kitchens. Her recipe for spaghetti with ricotta (which instructs you to first eat half the fresh ricotta for lunch with a handful of weeds) is one of my all-time favorites. Other "recipes" revolve around the time it takes to light a fire or take a swim. What an absolute dream.
Last thing you ate/drank?
Milky coffee and a misshapen caramel walnut brioche bun I made at work at 7:15 am. (I feel so on brand with this answer!)
If you can only have one breakfast for the rest of your life, it's gotta be _____ and _____, or nothing at all.
Coffee in bed with my sweetie and a Roman maritozzi con panna.
What are you trying to eat more of?
Zen poems, deep sleep, pizza.
Recipe you're experimenting with lately?
Pansotti! It's a traditional Ligurian pasta. According to myth (or just resourcefulness?) seven different wild greens should be included in the filling. Perfect for spring when all of the greens start emerging in the gardens, meadows, and woods. The dough is extremely delicate, almost translucent when cooked, so it requires some practice. Highly recommend watching the nonnas make it on youtube.
You always seem to host the most magical outdoor gathering with friends. What’s your go-to summer recipe that’s ideal for a summer soiree?
I love a big fritto misto for summer parties. Throw whatever you have (favorite combo: baby squash, radicchio leaves, lemon slices, anchovies, and edible blossoms) in a simple batter (cornstarch, flour, baking powder, salt, seltzer) fry, and then shower the platter with herbs, dried chile, and more salt. Serve with a garlicky salsa verde or aioli, and chilled wine. Something creamy and spoony for dessert.
If your book was an outfit, it would be _____ with a _____ and ______.
Favorite underwear, garden clogs, wool socks, and a Golden State Warriors hat.
Favorite hostess gifts from Vestige?
Canyon Coffee beans, Wonder Valley olive oil, Madre linen "cookie" napkins, Zizi mug, Danica tapers, and for the truly consummate host: Mary MacGill Stone Drop Earrings.