If you follow a number of food blogs, I’m sure you will hear a chorus of this sentiment in the coming weeks: Lily Diamond of Kale & Caramel (the blog and now book!) radiates passion for what she does because she lives it. That sense of joy that understands harder times, the complexity and depth, and also the truth in her writing—it all translates in real life. I spent a weekend with her back in February at a retreat in Cambria, California. She picked me up at LAX with a giant hug, the most delicious kombucha, and a batch of Lindsay’s black lentil hummus in tow. There’s a calm clarity and true generosity to her spirit.
Her creative expression, both online and elsewhere, can easily encourage others to unabashedly be themselves. Repetition is rampant in/the nature of the food media world, but Lily’s work always stands out to me. There’s this natural interplay of savoury and sweet, wholesome and sensory-indulgent, bold and understated. She makes it seem effortless, and that’s why it’s so high-impact and inspiring for me.
Kale & Caramel, which was just released this week, is a book I can live with and work from in a spontaneous, fun, and inspired way. I receive a ton of cookbooks, but I admittedly don’t work from them often because I like to move freely and do my own thing. “Self-care” is a term that’s bandied about by health and lifestyle-focused websites, but Lily’s approach is one of practical, living and breathing self-care.
Among the 12 segments devoted to particular herbs and flowers, there’s a recipe for a simple grapefruit, cucumber and rose skin quencher that takes 3 minutes to prepare, but its goodness will give you some extra buoyancy for the rest of the day. Turn the pages back and there’s an oatmeal and oregano mask that will get you excited because you have everything to make it right now. Beyond that, there’s a strawberry and basil cream pie, jasmine shortbread, fresh corn polenta, chopped salad with mint tahini dressing, and so much more.
I’m sharing this citrus sage tonic from the Sage chapter because Lily’s slightly herbal riff on a paloma felt ripe for a certain occasion coming up this week. Here, I have it without the alcohol, but in the book mezcal and tequila are recommended and I’d have to agree that they would be SO perfect (along with a family-sized serving of guacamole please). Happy sipping to all my tonic-lovers out there :) Also, for my LA people, Lily and I are doing an event on the evening of June 20th (along with Jess Murnane) at the Moon Juice location in Silverlake! Details will be available here very soon.
CITRUS SAGE TONIC RECIPE
Copyright © 2017 by Lily Diamond from KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
NOTES: I think a lot of herbs could work themselves in here nicely–like rosemary, basil, cilantro, or thyme. Lily recommends tequila, mezcal, gin or vodka if you’re looking to make this into a cocktail. Also, if you’re wondering why my sage looks so gnarly, I used naturally dried leaves from my plants last year :)
3 fresh sage leaves
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar, depending on the sweetness of the grapefruits
2 large grapefruits, juiced (about 2 cups)
1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 large lemon, juiced (about ¼ cup)
sea salt, to taste
ice cubes, for serving
Use a muddler or wooden spoon to crush the sage into the agave nectar at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the grapefruit, lime, and lemon juices and a few pinches of salt. Shake vigorously, then strain out over ice.