PHOTOGRAPHY BY SQIRL
If you ever find yourself near the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles and ask a local for a restaurant recommendation, chances are you’ll be directed to Sqirl immediately. The tiny spot has become a cult favorite since it opened in 2011, back when Sqirl owner and chef Jessica Koslow was exclusively making jams. Today, the eaterie boasts an extensive (and highly Instagrammable) breakfast and lunch menu of market-driven dishes with special attention to gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options. On a recent visit, while waiting on a line out the door no less, I half-jokingly described the experience as “very LA.” But my brunch order of garnished avocado toast, sorrel pesto rice bowl, and sencha iced green tea quickly proved why the hype was real. It’s certainly worth the drive to the East Side when you happen to find yourself in LA.
But for the rest of us who don’t reside anywhere near Sqirl, Koslow’s new cookbook Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking (Abrams) makes for the ideal kitchen companion. With 100 vibrant and dietary-modifiable recipes offered, Koslow allows readers to rethink the way “healthy” food is cooked and experienced without sacrificing any of the flavors or portion sizes. Below, give the famous Sqirl standby breakfast item, the Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl, a go in your own home.
Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl
Kokuho Rose brown rice, nut-free sorrel pesto, preserved Meyer lemon, feta, and a poached egg.
3 cups (600 g) medium-grain brown rice, preferably Kokuho Rose
Fine sea salt
½ cup plus
2 teaspoons (130 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (25 g) lightly packed kale leaves (stems removed)
2 cups (50 g) lightly packed chopped sorrel leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
1 Preserved Meyer Lemon (recipe follows or store-bought), flesh removed, peel finely chopped
2 to 4 small watermelon radishes, very thinly sliced
¼ cup (60 ml) Fermented Jalapeño Hot Sauce (page 267)
¾ cup (85 g) crumbled sheep’s-milk feta
6 poached eggs (page 22)
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground black pepper