White Marble Alternatives for Kitchen Counters: Part Two


David Piscuskas kitchen, Photographed by Nikolas Koenig for Architectural Digest

The night before  I had what was supposed to be my final counter measure for my quartz countertops (they need to come back one more time, argh!), I had what was hopefully my final freak out over my color/product decision.

While I didn’t end up swaying from my initial pick of Yukon Blanco, it certainly didn’t help that a bunch of folks had recently posted a bunch of lovely photos of projects using my runner-up choice, Silestone Lagoon.  And to compound things, two quartz manufacturers have come out with new marble-like products that look really, really promising.

Because I know a lot of you are just as obsessive about kitchen design as I am, I’m doing one more post of marble alternatives to include some photos from various projects around the World Wide Web as well as the new products.

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Indian Spiced Cucumber, Peas and Mint

Warm Indian Cucumber

For a girl who is constantly cooking new recipes from all types of cuisines, I’ll admit I’ve been in something of a rut when it comes to Indian food.  I’m constantly trying new recipes, yes, but I’m such a fan of Ruta Kahate’s first cookbook (5, Spices: 50 Dishes…. I’ve mentioned it many, many times already) that I find myself , even with a stack of Indian cookbooks on the shelf, cooking almost exclusively from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes.

It was Anjum Anand who finally lured me away from my tried-and-true with a lovely photo of this warm cucumber dish in her cookbook Anjum’s New Indian.  A couple years ago I probably would have passed it by, thinking to myself, cooked cucumbers?

Warm Indian Cucumber 1

But now I know better.  It was actually Cambodian food that made me see the light, specifically this Cambodian Curried Shrimp with Cucumbers.   When lightly cooked, cucumbers add a delicate flavor and a tender-crisp texture.  In this recipe, cucumbers and peas are combined with plenty of Indian spices in a yogurt-based sauce.

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Lamb Meatballs in a Spicy Indian Curry

Lamb Meatball Curry

I’m thinking I need to research techniques on how to style meatballs and/or meatball curry, because I feel like I’m doing this dish a major disservice.   Or maybe I should just blame the fact that I was in too much of a hurry to inhale a bowl or two to take the time to make it look nice and pretty?

Although I’ve only started cooking with lamb in the past couple years, it’s quickly become one of my favorite meats.  And this lamb meatballs in a spicy Indian curry?  It would definitely be a top contender for my favorite lamb recipe.

Lamb Meatball Curry 1

Tender lamb meatballs swim in a thick, spicy coconut milk- based sauce flavored with shallots, garlic and ginger and layers of Indian spice goodness?  The laundry list?  Mustard seeds, coriander, cumin and cayenne.  A touch of apple cider vinegar adds a touch of sour and the chopped cilantro adds that pop of freshness.

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Red and Green Cabbage Salad with Lemon Mustard Seed Dressing

Rainbow Slaw

Let’s face it.  If there was such a thing as a popularity contest for vegetables, the humble cabbage probably wouldn’t have much of a chance.  Not when there’s much sexier vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and ramps out there.

But while I could probably live without some of those other veggies, life without cabbage seems almost unthinkable.  No Korean kimchi?  No Polish kapusta?  No Italian peasant soup?  No spicy Indian cabbage?  Some of my very favorite dishes are made primarily from cabbage.

Carrots and Cabbage

And with each new cuisine I cook, it seems like my love affair with the hardy, leafy vegetable deepens. Cabbage may be considered peasant food in many countries, but I’ll take peasant food over molecular gastronomy any day.

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