Posted November 3, 2020

Warming It Up: Hot Spices & Mediterranean Flavors

Eat + Drink

Share what you whip up with #CCTrend or @Kimpton.

Recipes included: MEDITERRANEAN

  • Lentil Soup
  • Green Goddess Bowl
  • Cardamom Pastries

Recipes included: PACKING ON THE HEAT

  • Tuna Tartare with Gochujang Glaze


Sesame Cheesecake with Fresh Figs & Honey
Pazzo Ristorante (Portland, OR) – Pastry Chef Alisha Falkenstein

Mascarpone Cheesecake_2 (1)Ingredients for the cheesecake:

      • 1 lb. mascarpone cheese
      • 8 oz. cream cheese
      • ½ cup sour cream
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 5 eggs
      • 2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Directions for the cheesecake:

      1. Pre-heat an oven to 325°F.
      2. In a stand-up mixer, cream the cheeses and sour cream together, gradually adding the sugar. Scrape the bowl.
      3. Gradually add the eggs and lemon juice. Scrape the bowl, and mix until a smooth batter forms.
      4. Wrap foil around entire outside of the springform pan, stopping at the top edges. (This will help ensure water doesn’t leak into the pan while it bakes.)
      5. Pour the batter into the prepared and cooled crust. Place the springform pan into a roasting pan, or any deep pan, and place in the oven. Slowly add water so that it is about an inch deep.
      6. Bake at 325° for 1 hour with the water bath. Rotate and bake 30 minutes more, or until the cake has a firm jiggle.
      7. Turn off the oven, crack the door open, and allow to cool for 1 hour.
      8. Remove the cake from the oven and refrigerate overnight.
      9. To serve, garnish with halved fresh figs and a drizzle of honey.

Ingredients for the cookie crust:

      • ¼ cup light brown sugar
      • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
      • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
      • 1 egg
      • 1 tsp. lemon juice
      • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
      • ½ cup almond flour
      • ½ tsp. salt
      • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
      • ½ cup white sesame seeds
      • ½ cup black sesame seeds

To finish the crust:

      • ¼ cup almond flour
      • ½ cup butter, melted
      • ¼ cup honey

Directions for the cookie crust:

      1. Pre-heat an oven to 350°F.
      2. In a stand-up mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Gradually add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla.
      3. Scrape the bowl, and then gradually add in the dry ingredients (almond flour, salt and baking soda).
      4. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, add in the white and black sesame seeds. Mix gently, until just combined.
      5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, divide the batter into tablespoon portions. (These cookies will spread a lot like a Florentine or lace cookie – but don’t worry if they spread together and touch, because they are going into the food processor later.)
      6. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, then rotate, and continue baking until they turn a dark golden brown. Remove and let cool.
      7. Once the cookies are cool, add them to a food processor, and pulse into fine crumbs. Add the additional ¼ cup of almond flour, and pulse once or twice more.
      8. Add in the melted butter and honey. Process until well combined. Press the crumbs together, and if they don’t hold together, add a small amount of honey to help bind them.
      9. Measure out 2-2 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture (or more, if you want a thicker crust). Press the crumbs into a parchment-lined 9” springform pan.
      10. Bake at 350°F for 8 minutes, rotate, and bake until crust is golden brown. Remove the crust and let it cool.

Lentil Soup
Molly Yeh, @mollyyeh

Molly Yeh (1)


      • 1 onion, chopped
      • ¼ cup olive oil
      • 2 carrots, diced
      • 2 stalks celery, chopped
      • 2 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 tsp. dried oregano
      • 1 bay leaf
      • 1 tsp. dried basil
      • 1 (14.5-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
      • 2 cups dry lentils 8 cups water
      • 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
      • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
      • Salt, to taste
      • Ground black pepper, to taste
      • Cumin and cardamom, to taste


      1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
      2. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt, pepper, pinches of cumin and cardamom, and more vinegar if desired.

Green Goddess Bowl
Dzung Duong, Honeysuckle

Ingredients for the dressing:

      • ¼ cup tahini
      • 1 clove garlic
      • 1 tsp. honey
      • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
      • 1 tsp. kosher salt
      • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the bowl:

      • 2 sweet potatoes
      • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
      • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
      • 1 tsp. garlic powder
      • 1 tsp. kosher salt
      • 1 bunch lacinato kale
      • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
      • 1 clove garlic
      • 1 cup cooked quinoa
      • 1 avocado, for serving

Directions for the dressing:

      1. In a bowl, combine the tahini, garlic, honey, olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper.
      2. Mix well and let sit for 20 minutes before using.
      3. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Directions for the quinoa bowl:

      1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
      2. Cut the sweet potatoes in 2-inch thick slices. Add to a large bowl and mix with olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder and kosher salt.
      3. On a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread the sweet potatoes and lay them flat. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
      4. Cut lacinato kale into small shreds.
      5. In a medium frying pan, add olive oil and garlic on medium high heat. When garlic is fragrant, add kale and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the kale is cooked down.
      6. In a serving bowl add the warm quinoa, layer with sweet potatoes, sautéed kale, white beans, and half an avocado.
      7. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy.

Cardamom Pastries
Ashley Rodriguez, @ashrod

“If you’re not familiar with cooking or baking with cardamom, there are a couple things to note: Like all spices, buy fresh and buy often. The best-quality cardamom is still in the pods.”

Ashley RodriguezIngredients:

      • 2 sticks butter
      • 1/4 cup sugar
      • 1/4 tsp. cardamom, freshly ground


      1. Shell the cardamom pods and grind the little black seeds for the most fragrant flavor (with cardamom, a little goes a long way).
      2. Substitute the cardamom butter in place of regular butter in the recipe for your favorite pastry dough – or, if you have finished pastries, use it as a spreadable topping, along with cream cheese custard and fresh or preserved plums. Fruit and cardamom are always a lovely pair.


Tuna Tartare with Gochujang Glaze
Dirty Habit (Washington, DC) – Executive Chef Kyoo Eom


Tuna Tartare  w gochujang - Dirty Habit mediumIngredients:

      •  1 lb. yellowfin tuna
      • 10 Tbsp. of spicy sauce (recipe below)
      • Salt, to taste
      • 1 head of frisée
      • 5 slices of French breakfast radish
      • 5 sea beans
      • 1 Tbsp. of marinated trout roe (recipe below)
      • Garlic chips (recipe below)
      • 20 krupuk (shrimp crackers)


      1. Dice the tuna into small pieces. Mix with the spicy sauce and salt.
      2. Using a 3-ounce ring mold, plate the tuna on individual plates.
      3. Top with the frisee, radish slices, sea beans, trout roe, and garlic chips.
      4. Serve the tuna tartare with the krupuk on the side.

Ingredients for the spicy sauce:

      • 3 Tbsp. gochujang
      • 1 Tbsp. sugar
      • 1 Tbsp. corn syrup
      • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
      • 1 Tbsp. green apricot extract
      • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
      • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Directions for the spicy sauce:

      1. Add all ingredients to a mixing box, and stir well to combine.

Ingredients for the marinated trout roe:

      • 1 Tbsp. trout roe
      • 2 oz. riesling

Directions for the marinated trout roe:

      1. Marinate the trout roe in the riesling for at least 3 hours. Strain them and set in refrigerator.

Ingredients for the garlic chips:

      • 3 peeled garlic cloves
      • 1 cup of milk

Directions for the garlic chips:

    1. Thinly slice the garlic cloves.
    2. Soak them overnight in the milk. The next day, bring the milk to a soft boil and blanch the garlic slices. Remove immediately.
    3. Let the slices dry and then deep-fry them at 275˚F.
    4. When the slices turn golden brown, remove them and let them dry.


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  1. H says:

    I read your lentil soup with cumin and cardamom recipe 3 times and still couldn’t find any cumin or cardamom in it.

    • Faith Yi Kimpton says:

      We’re so sorry for that oversight. We’ve updated the recipe to include cumin and cardamom as garnishes. Enjoy!

  2. Enjoy Fine Food says:

    The “Lentil Soup with Cumin & Cardamom” recipe has no Cumin or Cardamon in the ingredients. Sort of discourages me from trusting/trying your recipes, Molly Yeh, @mollyyeh

    • Faith Yi Kimpton says:

      Thanks for catching that oversight, and our apologies. We’ve updated the recipe to include cumin and cardamom as garnishes. Enjoy!

  3. Sandy Kjerulf says:

    The Lentil soup Recipe omits ingredients, Cumin and Cardamom noted in the title; can you fill in amount of these missing ingredients, please.
    Thank you!

    • Faith Yi Kimpton says:

      Hi Sandy, thanks for your eagle eye and our apologies. We just updated the recipe to include cumin and cardamom as garnishes. Enjoy!