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A special yet nice-and-easy cauliflower recipe with brown butter, hazelnuts, sage and pears adapted from chef Andrew Carmellini.

Andrew Carmellini's Cauliflower Recipe Brown Butter Hazelnuts Sage Pear | Umami Girl

Note: I first published this recipe and the following text on Serious Eats in January, 2011. I’ve updated the photos and tweaked the recipe. Hope you love it!

Andrew Carmellini's Cauliflower Recipe Brown Butter Hazelnuts Sage Pear | Umami Girl

If this Cauliflower Recipe with Brown Butter, Pear, Sage, and Hazelnuts sounds familiar, maybe it’s because you’ve seen or even bought chef Andrew Carmellini and wife Gwen Hyman’s beautiful book Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food. Or maybe you’re a long-time reader of Fine Cooking and remember it from the September 2008 issue, where it was doubled for presentation as a Thanksgiving side dish. That’s where I first learned about it.


This shrimp skillet is a quick weeknight meal for the changing season that’s packed with both veggies and flavor. It’s low in carbs, too, if you’re into that sort of thing. 🙂

Shrimp Skillet with Kale and Shiitakes | Umami Girl

Note: I originally published this recipe and text on Serious Eats in March of 2011. I’ve tweaked the recipe and updated the photos here.

Shrimp Skillet with Kale and Shiitakes | Umami Girl

These adolescent days of early spring are awkward for vegetable lovers. The mailbox is full of magazines bursting with peas, asparagus and even strawberries. The air is flush with anticipation. Bellies are all a-rumble. But for many of us, twiddling our thumbs and leaning awkwardly with our friends against the walls of the middle-school gymnasium during the slow dances, the fertile days of real-life spring are still months away.

Shrimp Skillet with Kale and Shiitakes | Umami GirlShrimp Skillet with Kale and Shiitakes | Umami GirlWhat to eat during this ungainly season? Doritos with French onion dip? Pepperoni pizza? Munchkin donuts? Oh wait, this isn’t a real eighth grade dance. All we need to do is stick with earthy, savory winter produce like kale and shiitakes for a little while longer while nature continues to work its magic. In the grand scheme of adolescence, it’s hardly traumatizing at all.

Talk to you soon.

Carolyn xx

This buttery shortbread crust makes a delicious bed for a wide variety of sweet fillings, from bittersweet chocolate custard to lemon curd to fresh berries with a dollop of whipped cream. 

How to Make a Shortbread Crust for Practically Anything | Umami Girl

How to Make a Shortbread Crust for Practically Anything | Umami Girl

Just a quick post today to introduce you to my favorite shortbread crust. It’s buttery and gently sweet and somewhere between flaky and crumbly. It comes from our longtime fave bittersweet chocolate tart, but it works equally well with lots of other sweet fillings. Including a filling I like to call Dumping All The Berries In There And Also Maybe Some Whipped Cream On Top. (more…)

Maturity is not all it’s cracked up to be. Except for the spring vegetable pizza. It’s a pie worth growing old for.

Spring Vegetable Pizza | Umami Girl

Quick note: I originally published this post in May of 2009. Recipe and photos updated March 2017. Original text follows. And hey, I did eventually make the pizza we had at Primo (you’ll see what I mean at the end of the post). It took 8 years, but it was worth waiting for.


Maturity is sneaking up on me. I am not a big fan.

I’m not talking about the trappings of adulthood — kids, mortgage, CVS card, stand mixer. Those have been around for a while. They’re pretty hard to miss, and they’re generally pretty harmless. But recently a number of more insidious grownup behaviors have started lurking in my shadow. Perhaps this partial list of things I’ve been craving lately will clarify my meaning:

  • To be home to put out the garbage on garbage night
  • Freshly painted baseboard moldings
  • One uninterrupted night of sleep
  • To not be at a bar, or, really, walk past one, on Cinco de Mayo
  • Pesto (but only when I really let my hair down)

Also, there’s the existence of the bulleted list itself, by way of explanation.


Even though I feed my family like it’s my job (literally), it’s not always easy to get everyone to eat their veggies on a busy day — myself included. Garden Lites muffins make that job a little more fun, and we couldn’t be happier.

Garden Lites Mufffins Review | Umami Girl

Everyone knows I’m seriously into vegetables. I mean, I literally wrote the book on kale (along with some friends), and I am not ashamed to say that I’ve even published articles from a vegetable’s perspective (though…maybe I should be). On top of all that, I’m very lucky that my kids aren’t particularly picky eaters. Even so, there are many days when I could use a little help feeding everyone their veggies.

Garden Lites Mufffins Review | Umami Girl

And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Myself included. Eating vegetables makes me truly happy (look, I’m 40 and keepin it real — not even sorry), and yet there are probably a couple of days a week when I don’t make the time to feed myself enough fruits and veggies until dinnertime. Even when I’m wearing my rad English burnout tank that says “You give me butterflies” — and when will I ever be more on my game than that?  (more…)


Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.

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