"The further along I’ve gotten in my career, the more I think about how I like to eat, how other people like to eat and really started to enjoy creating food that’s simple," says chef Ari Taymor. "Not flashy, not the kind of food that’s going to win awards or anything like that. But just the kind of food that makes me and other people happy." Taymor's desire to make simple and delicious food is definitely on display in his recipe for chia pudding with sorrel, currently available for breakfast at his restaurant Alma at The Standard in Hollywood, CA.
Taymor was inspired to to create a new wellness-inspired breakfast menu at Alma by his recent travels. "I was in Australia for a while, and I was in Mexico, and I think those two countries have a very ingrained breakfast culture," he says on the phone. "It’s very flavorful, but it’s also super healthy, it’s filling enough to get you started." That's what drove him to play around with ideas he experienced while traveling and bring them back to Los Angeles.
But simple doesn't mean boring for Taymor. “With our food, we always like to find a little variation, like a little twist on something that makes it our own," he says, which is why he adds sorrel, a savory, somewhat acidic herb, to his breakfast chia pudding at Alma. "Sorrel is an herb I’ve used a lot, both in savory and sweet, and it just bring this natural acidity and this kind of green, wheatgrass-y flavor to whatever you put it in.”
If you don’t like the taste of sorrel or don’t have easy access to it, don’t worry. Taymor’s recipe is endlessly adaptable to whatever produce you might have available to you. “Whatever fruit’s good and whatever texture of fruit you like is really what it comes down to,” he says. “Right now we have really nice raspberries toward the end of summer here, but I imagine we’ll switch to something like Asian pear or apples or even something like dates. Really, whatever.” As long as you like what you're eating, it'll be good.
Chia Pudding with Sorrel and Coconut
Mix in blender. Reserve until ready to use.
Combine ingredients and soak overnight. Add sorrel juice to chia pudding for desired taste and texture. Top with whatever fruit is good at the farmers market: berries, peaches, pears. Add shaved coconut or flax or cacao or any crunchy seed or nut.