Spring Fresh: Cocktail & A Nibble



Who we are.

Asheville via Brooklyn + East Village, NYC.  We are two good friends fortuitously brought together by a common love of food, design and afternoon cocktails.  Marissa’s a nutritionist and food writer in NYC.  Jen is a photographer, writer and stylist in Asheville, NC. Creating an indulgent balance through fresh, healthful food, we inspire each other endlessly and hope to pass on that love for beautifully prepared and easy dishes to you. Together we’re a whirlwind force in the kitchen, behind the camera and beyond.  And we relish every minute of it.

What you’ll find in this column.

To keep things intriguing, we’ll be mixing things up in our posts.  You can expect a smattering of fresh, seasonally-driven recipes, breathtaking photographs, tidbits on how to make eating well an effortless part of daily life, and simple ways to source and cook more sustainably.  Oh, and we’ll surely be musing on various related topics--from travel to family and relationships to easy entertaining and more--because after all, lots of things whipped up with love and intention come out of the kitchen.

Easy, breezy springtime entertaining.

We couldn’t think of a better way to introduce our column and the launch of the Equals Project than with a celebratory seasonal cocktail and a market-fresh nibble to accompany it, perfect for a period of new growth.  Warmer weather, sunshine and loads of fruits and vegetables this time of year keep the options rolling.   Enough so that we’ll often volley ideas back and forth from north to south until we slam on something that gets our hearts racing just a little faster.  We love how food can do that sometimes.  Seasonal ingredients, which are inherently healthy and bring on bright flavor, are on the top of our “inspiration list” when we’re on the hunt for a new recipe concept—rhubarb, radishes, asparagus and strawberries made the pick here.  Jen picked up on Marissa’s memory of a fantastic rhubarb cocktail that hails from a trip to Copenhagen, and Marissa ran with Jen’s vision of emerald asparagus spears and ruby radishes.  And from there, we entered our respective kitchens and got to work.

Our schedules tend to be jammed (we’re guessing that sounds fairly familiar), so we generally seek out a balance between ‘easy, beautiful and delicious’ to keep things streamlined but exciting at the same time.   There’s nothing better than dazzling guests, or just yourself, with food and drink that looks more complicated than it is.  We’re all about ease and taking a few moments to kick back and enjoy yourself and those around you with a good cocktail or two.  Cheers!

~ J + M

Spring Smash

2 stalks of rhubarb, finely chopped 6 strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced 3 tablespoons organic sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine rhubarb, 2 tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, toss well and place in fridge for at least two hours.  Combine strawberries and remaining sugar in another bowl, tossing well together and place in fridge for at least two hours or preferably overnight.

To assemble: Drain off liquid from rhubarb and discard. Divide rhubarb pieces between two low ball cocktail glasses. Drain off syrup from strawberries and set aside.  Divide berries between the two glasses, smash and muddle fruit.  Add 2 tablespoons of the strawberry syrup to each glass. Top w/ crushed ice and add 2 ounces of Bushmills Irish Honey Whiskey to each glass. Stir and drink.


Market Vegetables with Spring Onion, Bacon & Lemon Dip

1 bunch of asparagus

1 bunch of radishes 6 ounces low-fat Greek yogurt zest of 1 small lemon 1 teaspoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons minced spring onion

pinch of red pepper flakes sea salt to taste 2 tablespoons of bacon, finely chopped and cooked until very cripsy (from about 3-4 slices) radish flowers for garnish

Trim asparagus spears and blanch in boiling water for 1 1/2 minutes, plunge into an ice bath and set aside.  Clean and trim radishes and set aside. Mix the remaining ingredients yogurt through sea salt.  Make dip 30 to 60 minutes ahead of time to allow flavors to meld.  Sprinkle dip with crispy bacon and serve with radishes and asparagus.






All images by Jen Altman.

Find us at:

Jen - @fieryeyed | info@jeniferaltman.com

Marissa - @nourishnyc | marissa@nourish-nyc.com