photographs by Brittany Ambridge text by Ali Cayne
Ali Cayne cooks up a cozy,
autumnal classic to
welcome the season.
This spring, when Michelle Adams and Robert
Leleux first told me that domino was coming back to
life, I actually started to cry. I cried because I still
missed this magazine, which inspired me and made
my imagination open up in directions that it hadn't
before. And I cried because there's something
beautiful about holding semigloss pages in your
hands and flipping them back and forth over and
over again, an experience that just can't be
replicated on a laptop. But, mostly, I think I cried
because someone out there in Corporate Land
finally heard our voices and made the great decision
to give the people what they want.
Maybe that sounds a little dramatic to you. I mean,
it's a design magazine, after all, not health care. No
one's life will be saved by a shelter mag. But I believe
that domino's revival proves that when people are
dissatisfied and speak out about it, corporate
America sometimes listens up.
Of course, my next thought was food! (My next thought is
almost always about food.) I immediately pitched
Michelle and Robert a food and entertaining column–of
which this piece is the first installment. I've always
thought that while shelter might be lovely alone, it's even
better with the smell of warm bread wafting through
your apartment or fresh herbs flowering in your garden
or a group of friends laughing around your table, feasting
on a meal by candlelight. So while you will, I'm sure,
relish every page of the new domino, I'm hoping that
you'll also join me in this attempt to take it a step further
as, together, we consider ways to make our dinner tables
even more delicious and sustainable.
Cooking is the single most effective way to make the food
system in this country healthier and more equitable.
And, I promise, it will make your apartment feel even
more beautiful. It doesn't have to take too much time,
and it will likely foster better relationships with
everyone you love. So let's start this column off with a
favorite Haven's Kitchen recipe that you can serve to a
group of friends to welcome domino back. Fill your home
with the people you love, put some fresh rosemary twigs
in little jars on your table, and light a bunch of candles.
Buy a big loaf of crusty bread, some viscous organic olive
oil, a few bottles of good red wine. Play some Edith Piaf
on Spotify, and make a toast to living beautifully and
celebrating the crisp, sunny promise of fall.
curried butternut squash soup
For this recipe, I recommend using the
freshest, highest–quality local ingredients
you can find; butter from grass–fed cows
and organic vegetables, olive oil, and
broth are not only healthier but will also
yield delicious results.
1 medium butternut squash
7–8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
tablespoon + ⅛ teaspoon curry powder
1 medium onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced, fronds discarded
½ teaspoon chili flakes (or to taste)
1 quart vegetable broth
2 tablespoons butter or ¼ cup cream or ¼ cup vegetable broth (optional)
6 dates, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Halve the butternut
squash. Remove the seeds to a medium bowl
and set aside. Cover the squash with 1 to 2
tablespoons of olive oil so that it's evenly coated
and then season with salt, pepper, and 1
tablespoon of curry powder. Roast the squash
halves, skin side down, on a baking sheet for 45
minutes, until golden brown and tender
throughout. Scoop the warm flesh from the skins
into a medium bowl. Discard the skins.
Separate the reserved seeds from any strings or
squash flesh and rinse in a colander. Return the
seeds to the bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of
olive oil and season with salt. Spread in a single
layer on a baking sheet. Roast at 350°F for 15
minutes, until golden brown.
Heat a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add
¼ cup of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of
the pot. Once the oil has warmed, add the onion,
fennel, and a large pinch of salt. (The salt will help
draw out water from the vegetables.) Adjust the
heat so the vegetables are gently sizzling, stirring
occasionally. Keep an eye on the onions to make
sure they don't brown.
Once the vegetables are softened and
translucent, add ⅛ teaspoon of curry powder and
the chili flakes and continue to sweat until
fragrant. Add a quart of vegetable broth and the
roasted squash. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered,
until the broth takes on the flavor of the squash,
about 15 minutes.
Blend the squash mixture in a food processor or
with an immersion blender until smooth. If you
desire a creamier soup, adjust the consistency by
adding butter, cream, or an additional ¼ cup of
broth and stirring until smooth. Taste and adjust
the seasoning. Ladle into individual bowls and
arnish with the chopped dates and toasted