In this series, we spotlight the boundless potential of a single ingredient.
San Francisco-based writer (most recently of Always Home: A Daughter’s Recipes & Stories) and co-founder of design brand Permanent Collection, Fanny Singer, crafted a recipe centered around rocket; aka arugula. Rocket is a great source of chlorophyll, amino acids, and vitamins A, C, E, B, and K. It also contains beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (for eye health), and provides glucosinolates, which help protect against cancer. Vitamin C, especially, is a natural anti-oxidant and immunity-booster.
Chef: Fanny Singer
3 go-to ingredients that double as immunity: Ginger (anti-inflammatory, immunity), passion fruit (Vitamin C), and fresh moringa (protein and Vitamins A, B, and C). I use all three in my morning green smoothie!
Must-have ingredient that delivers an energy boost: Matcha. I drink it religiously—no milk, just hot water. My favorite is Kiwami from Kettl.
Ultimate comfort food: Coming Home Pasta!
Favorite healing ingredient: Olive oil. I use my dad’s biodynamic extra virgin olive oil for cooking and skin alike—a new harvest is this month! I can’t wait for the ‘olio nuovo.’
Beauty mantra:Low fuss, clean ingredient beauty products (and food!), and as much sleep as one can reasonably get.
I love salad—it is genuinely my favorite food—and it’s something that emerges at every meal. My mother (food and climate activist and owner of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters) and I hunger for lettuce so much that whenever we’re traveling to ‘salad deserts,’ we begin to experience palpable low-grade anxiety. Right now, we have a huge crop of my mother’s ‘Victory Garden’ lettuce in the back and front gardens, and the rocket is so big that its leaves are fiery and spicy. At this stage, its flavor is a bit strong to eat in a salad, but I love to make a fresh pesto with it to stir into brown rice (my mom prefers pasta). In the morning, I’ll have a rocket pesto infused brown rice bowl with a poached or fried egg over top, sprinkled in salty black sesame seeds and splashed with a bit of lacto-fermented hot sauce.
1/4 c of toasted chopped almonds
2 cloves of unpeeled garlic
a pinch of chunky sea salt
2 to 3 c of rocket leaves
plenty of good organic extra virgin olive oil
half organic lemon
pepper to taste
To make the pesto, I use Permanent Collection’s super useful (and beautiful!) Japanese style mortar and pestle, hand-thrown by Colleen Hennessey in Mendocino. I add 1/4 c of toasted, chopped almonds, two cloves of unpeeled garlic, and a big pinch of chunky sea salt to the mortar and pound with the pestle to a coarse paste. Once that’s begun to break down, I begin adding handfuls of torn, washed, organic rocket leaves, bit by bit, pounding to incorporate (about 2-3 cups of leaves, depending on how you want to make). Add plenty of good organic extra virgin olive oil—it should be pretty loose. Correct the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary and some ground black pepper. If you want to play up the pungency of the rocket, you can add a nub of fresh serrano or jalapeño chili along with the almonds and garlic at the beginning. Finally, grate in the zest of half a washed, organic lemon and stir to incorporate.