This week's tablehopper: fresh start.


The taco tropical (shrimp and jicama) at Loló.

How’s your head today? Did you hit it pretty hard last night? I was in the Mission for a little bit in the early evening, and Cinco de Mayo was definitely getting underway. Meanwhile, my co-cleansing friend and I decided to have a healthy dinner at Gracias Madre, feasting on a spinach and mango salad with a spicy chipotle dressing, and one of my favorite dishes there, the “enchiladas” with mole and mushrooms (take a peek on Deep Dishing for pics and tips). Instead of a delicious margarita, I was drinking some celery-kale concoction they were offering, and was therefore feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for my workout in Alamo Square this morning.

It’s a funny thing about cleanses: I sort of dread them, but as soon as I start, I feel a kind of relief that it’s underway. As someone surrounded with a ton of temptation all the freaking time, it’s nice to be able to set up a little blockade and just focus on extremely healthy and nourishing ingredients for a while (and not just tasty, meaty, boozy, buttery ones). Although trust me, I certainly had some fab “final meals” this week at Loló (I will never tire of their shrimp jicama tacos) and Oliveto (hello, lamb’s tongue salad and a beautiful glass of Royale Réserve, Philipponnat, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ Champagne).

This month is a time for me to return to my kitchen full time, filling my apartment with brown rice and nori and vegetables (the Gagliardi delicatessen gets pushed to the back of the fridge). I’m going to be trying out the recently released Clean Start by Terry Walters (look for a bookworm from me in the coming weeks), and I always cook a bunch from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking (one of my favorite cookbooks, ever). So I’m very pleased to be running a bookworm this week from Pete Mulvihill on Heidi’s latest book, Super Natural Every Day. I’ve already cooked a couple dishes from the book, and am happy to get some of her new recipes in my repertoire—she really understands delicious.

I hoped to have finished transcribing and writing up my interview with Daniel Boulud for you today instead of a review, but it’s going to have to wait for next week.

Sunday I am going to be celebrating my dear mother, the woman who always filled my lunch bag with persimmon cookies instead of pink-and-white frosted ones, made her wonderful whole wheat bread for my sandwiches, and even sliced off the top of oranges and scored them so they’d be easier to peel. She has nourished me all my life, and in more ways than one. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for being raised with such love and tender care. And while we honor (and remember) and give thanks to our mothers this Sunday, it’s important to do so each and every day—motherhood is a full-time job.

Best wishes to all.

Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Friday, May 6 2011