One of the highlights of my past summer was attending Annemarie Ahearn’s Salt Water Farm Cooking School.  I found the school when we were planning our trip to Maine and it had been recommended in Goop’s Maine Road Trip Guide.  When I saw that the classes use fresh, seasonal ingredients to prepare simple, nourishing meals, I knew it was something I could totally get into.   And even though I’ve become a much better home cook over the past few years, I still tend to get nervous about veering too much from an exact recipe – so I also loved that the classes teach how to cook instinctively and resourcefully.

The class itself was a small, intimate group of 8.  Each day, we were given a brief run down of the day’s activities, some tips and skills that would be useful – and then we all got to work on different pieces of the meal that always came together beautifully right in time for our end of class feast.  We then spent the last hour enjoying wine, good company, and the incredible meal that we had all had a hand in to prepare.  Overall, the entire experience felt pretty magical – the seaside land, the rustic, cozy kitchen, and the deep connection and celebration of the earth and the bounty it produces for us.

I could not leave our workshop without bringing home a copy of Annemarie’s cookbook Full Moon Suppers at Salt Water Farm.

The book itself feels like an extension of the farm, and is centered around a seasonal menu for each of the 12 full moons of the year.  It’s the kind of cookbook that you can read cover to cover – one that takes you through each of the seasons to gain a fuller appreciation for both the food and the traditions for that particular season.

I reached out to Annemarie for her permission to share the below recipe from her cookbook.  I made this salad a few weeks ago, and thought it would be a perfect one to share for the upcoming holiday season.  And just a quick note on this – and in the spirit of learning to cook intuitively – I had not realized that I was out of lemons, so had to substitute a lime.  I added a tad of honey to balance out the slightly more tart flavor of the lime – and it came out beautifully!

Raw Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad with Cranberries and Almonds

Like most root vegetables, a Brussels sprout can be eaten raw only if it is extremely thinly sliced. A mandoline, one of my favorite kitchen tools, can make such thin and even cuts, rendering a fibrous raw root vegetable delicate and digestible. The same goes for kale leaves. This is a hearty and nutritious winter salad, accented with sweet and tart cranberries and crunchy slivered almonds.  It makes a delicious lunch all on its own.


For the salad

1 bunch red Russian kale

2 cups Brussels sprouts

¼ cup slivered almonds

¼ cup dried cranberries

1 cup finely grated Parmesan

For the dressing

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon grain mustard

2 shallots, peeled and minced

zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Red pepper flakes

5 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper


  1. Carol Howard on November 17, 2017 at 6:39 PM

    Sounds so good. Gonna try it, thanks!

    • Cynthia on November 16, 2019 at 8:38 PM

      I made this at the Full Moon Supper classic at Sat Water Farm last week and it was both beautiful and delicious.

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