Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. I won’t finish that familiar rhyme but the first part is thankfully very much true. Each of the three components in this concise side dish are beans or bean products. This doesn’t include the drops of vinegar, which was made with rice. However, if you served this with steamed rice to make for a complete meal, you’d essentially be eating a typical Eastern version of “beans and rice.” (See what I meant about … Read More
I couldn’t decide whether to cook the crisp cubanelle peppers I’d gotten from the market or chop them up to serve somehow raw. So I went with the best of both worlds, softening the pale-green pieces along with onions, garlic and fresh tomato for a Spanish rice infused with chicken stock, and mixed the remainder with fresh lime juice, onion and mint leaves for a refreshing topping. Yeah, I’ve had a serious craving for Mexican food lately.
Why have I not been making gnocchi every day? It’s luscious, filling, delicious and much easier than rolling out pasta at home. A classic potato gnocchi is simply flour and boiled potato, but it takes a certain tool (ricer) and timing to make a fluffy mound of warm, moist potato to absorb the flour. While you can do this any time of the year, fresh fava beans in the pod are only in season locally right about now. These lovely beans … Read More
Grilled asparagus is such a pure, seasonal delight it really needs little embellishment to serve. But if you want to round it out to a light meal, here’s an easy and healthful way. I went Middle Eastern with the accoutrements for this dish, blending up a creamy red lentil base and lavishing it with some tangy yogurt, fresh mint and lemon. Combined with some char on the asparagus, it’s both cooling and savory, a satisfying snack indeed.
What a delight to find zucchini so early in the season at the Greenmarket last weekend. There was just one small crate of them at Grand Army Plaza early in the morning, and I snagged two ripe ones with shiny, lizard-green skins that appeared to be stretched across their juicy flesh like balloons. With such prime, squeaky-fresh zucchini like this, I don’t even want to cook them. I just want to slip a knife through them, and toss the lime … Read More
I was seeking advice for a gumbo I was to bring to a fundraiser cook-off last weekend. I’d wanted it to have lots of densely packed greens, like a traditional gumbo z’herbes, but also seafood, okra and perhaps some bacon. “Why don’t you do something like Hoppin’ John?” my friend Karol, a Southern food expert, suggested. This was one of her famed dishes, and one time, she’d added some greens like spinach to it as a variation. It was really … Read More
It’s very easy to hide a great deal of things in a pot of black beans. Good things, bad things, all kinds of things — and no one may notice. Cooked to a velvety sauce, with strange lumps that once used to be part of a bean suspended throughout, the soup is thick as tar and opaque brown-black as fudge. You don’t know what’s hiding in it.
Sometimes a food becomes so iconic for one dish that it’s rarely seen in preparations otherwise. This is certainly the case for split peas, which I’ve seldom eaten, seen, heard about, nor read about being used for anything else than soup. And that soup carries the stigma of being cooked with a ham bone, most commonly. This is still a soup-y dish, but it doesn’t adhere to the status quo for split peas. Because there’s really no need to.
I had guests over for dinner last weekend and came up with a five-person entree on the fly. I’d zoomed through the Greenmarket, picking up a pint of multi-colored cherry tomatoes, a firm eggplant, and a couple small, pattypan squashes. These all went into a pasta with a hearty portion of Italian sausage from Flying Pigs Farm for the meat-eaters in the crowd. We all loved it. Loved how the dish was colorfully studded with well-sized chunks ‘o stuff. Loved … Read More