What We’re Reading: Tyler Florence Fresh

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For many of us, eating well means focusing on whole foods, unprocessed ingredients, and fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. But what happens when a restaurant chef takes on the world of healthy cooking?


Tyler Florence Fresh is unlike any wellness-themed cookbook we’ve ever seen — that’s why we chose it for our January Cookbook Club pick. The Food Network star and chef at Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco and El Paseo in Mill Valley, California, takes a bold approach to fresh ingredients, celebrating everyday foods prepared in innovative ways. It all starts with the ingredients themselves — from artichokes and citrus to octopus — and from there, a restaurant-worthy dish with surprising flavor and beautiful presentation is born.


In addition to ingredients, Florence shows how a few simple techniques can elevate the flavor of easy-to-find ingredients in unexpected ways. Some are familiar, such as searing or even quick pickling, while others can bring new experiences into the home kitchen (think vegetable confit and making “pearls” of liquid flavor).


Below, we share two recipes from Tyler Florence Fresh. Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more about our Cookbook Club!


Kale Salad with Apple, Walnuts, and Roasted Grape Vinaigrette





½ pound red seedless California grapes

2 tablespoons honey

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice


2 Golden Delicious apples

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup walnut halves

4 cups lightly packed mixed winter green leaves (such as green and purple kale, beet greens, and chard)

½ cup crumbled mild blue cheese, such as Humboldt Fog



Make the vinaigrette. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the grapes into small clusters, reserving a handful of loose grapes. In a large cast-iron pan, combine the grape clusters, honey, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt. Toss to coat evenly, then roast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the grape skins are slightly blistered. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the roasted grape clusters to a plate and set aside. Allow the pan to cool slightly, then add the cider vinegar, lemon juice, and ¼ cup olive oil. Season with a little pepper, then add the reserved raw grapes to the pan. Use a whisk to crush the grapes and mix the liquid into a vinaigrette.


Roast the apples and walnuts. Core the apples and slice them horizontally into ¼ -inch-thick slices. Arrange them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the walnuts in a single layer on a small roasting tray. Roast the apples and walnuts for 15 to 17 minutes, until the apples are slightly puffy and the walnuts are deeply colored. Remove, and season the walnuts with salt while still hot.


Prepare the kale. Wash the greens, then remove any tough stems so you have only the tender leaves. Tear into bite-size pieces if needed.


To serve, set the apple slices on a large platter and top with small clusters of roasted grapes. Scatter with the greens. Crumble the blue cheese and walnuts over the top. Drizzle with the roasted grape vinaigrette, and serve. Serves 4.


California Grass-Fed Beef with Spinach, Parmesan, Lemon and Olive Oil



1 head garlic

Extra-virgin olive oil


Tuscan Spinach

2 pounds spinach

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed

1 cup heavy cream

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Charred Lemon

1 lemon, halved lengthwise



Grapeseed oil

1 (1-pound) flatiron steak

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

½ cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Fresh baby spinach leaves


Roast the garlic. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Break the garlic head into unpeeled cloves and place them on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and then fold the foil to form a pouch and seal tightly. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and open the pouch (so the garlic doesn’t steam). Set aside until ready to serve.


Make the spinach. Wash the spinach in several changes of water to get rid of any grit. Drain the spinach, but keep some of the water clinging to the leaves. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add the spinach and garlic. Cook, turning frequently, until the spinach is wilted down evenly. Remove the garlic. Put the spinach into a colander and drain well, pressing out as much liquid as you can. Chop the spinach coarsely. Heat the same cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add the cream and nutmeg; cook until it reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until the spinach is hot. Keep warm.


Char the lemon halves. Heat a grill to high. Grill the lemon halves cut-side down directly over high heat for about 2 minutes, until they are well marked.


Cook the steak. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Set a large sauté pan over high heat, and when it is smoking hot, add a drizzle of grapeseed oil. Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then season it all over with salt and pepper. Sear the steak in the pan, 3 to 4 minutes per side, so it forms a nice crust with deep color. Transfer the steak to a plate, tent it with foil, and allow to rest for 5 to 6 minutes.


Cut the steak into thick slices and serve with the creamed spinach and roasted garlic cloves. Top with the shaved Parmesan and garnish with the charred lemon halves and some baby spinach leaves. Serves 2.


Recipes adapted from Tyler Florence Fresh by Tyler Florence, (Clarkson Potter/Publishers New York) 2012.


Love collecting cookbooks? Enjoy trying new recipes? Join us for a monthly Cookbook Club class. Led by our talented culinary experts, these exclusive cooking classes showcase recipes from a different cookbook each month.

  • Each 1½ – to 2-hour class features cooking tips and techniques and a three-course tasting menu from the book’s best recipes, prepared while you watch.
  • Class fee of $75 includes the cookbook with signed bookplate.
  • Participants receive a 10% discount on store purchases the day of the class.
  • Available monthly at select stores; class times vary by store location.
  • Space is limited and reservations are required. Call a participating store to register.

One comment about “What We’re Reading: Tyler Florence Fresh

  1. Linda Woodward

    Kale is a scary veggie, but this sounds eatible. Tyler has been one of my favorite from the beginning on TV. Now that we eat, with a special smart diet, because of age and a heart thing. This is very interesting and does sound yummy. We will buy the book and try.


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