In two weeks, I will board a plane with a one-way ticket to Nashville. I will leave my home in Oakland for the last time with no set plans to return. I will “move”—as we call it now. “Away.”
It is here in Oakland that I embraced and stoked my love for baking and cooking; here that I acquired my first tarot deck and began to study the cards; and here that I discovered the sacred practice of ashtanga yoga and energy work and completed a harrowing cycle of deep healing.
And much more that I know will find its way into future writing, reading, teaching and storytelling.
As an ode to this magical land, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes that, to me, screams California. What could be more California than figs in early fall, cashew paste in lieu of cheese, and fried kale? Probably not much.
I hope you’ll use this recipe in the spirit of creativity and freedom. Add to it, revise it, mix and match to your heart’s content. That’s how we do things here.
Fig + Cashew Pizza with Caramelized Onions + Kale
(makes two 9-inch pizzas)
10 ripe figs, sliced cross-wise
1 cup of raw cashews, washed + soaked for at least 2 hours
1 tbsp cumin (freshly toasted and ground preferred, but store-bought OK)
1 bunch of lacinato kale. washed + sliced into very thin strips
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
Pizza crust of your choice (prepared according to instructions)
salt + pepper to taste
After soaking, place cashews in a food processor and grind on high until cashews form paste.
Add water while cashews are grinding to obtain your desired spreadable consistency.
Add cumin and a pinch of salt. Taste and add more if desired.
Remove cashew paste from food processor and set aside.
Meanwhile, coat a skillet generously with olive oil and add chopped onions on medium heat.
Stir onions often until caramelized. For a more detailed caramelized onion recipe, go here.
Remove onions from skillet and set aside.
Coat skillet with olive oil again, on medium heat, and add kale strips.
Sauté kale until dark green and soft, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Remove kale from skillet and set aside.
On your ready-to-bake pizza crust, spread cashew paste all over until distributed evenly.
Add fig slices and push them into the cashew spread if possible to make them stick.
Add caramelized onions.
Place in oven and bake according to crust directions.