Spaghetti e Fagioli (with some eggplant on the side)

The problem with soaking dried beans, which isn’t a probably exactly, and wouldn’t be one in the first place if you’re a little better at stomach-eye coordination as I am, is that you’re usually left with far more beans than you had bargained for. Water plumps up the beans, sometimes creating pot overflows and dried, un-soaked portions at the top. (It’s a bit like planting a magic beanstalk, with less fees, fies, foes and fums.) Ever since the Cassoulet Cook-Off, … Read More

Pommes de Porc Cassoulet (and Jimmy’s No. 43 Greenmarket Cassoulet Cook-Off Recap)

It was a frigid Saturday in New York when seven chefs gathered in the back room at Jimmy’s No. 43 to unveil their steaming pots of the French countryside comfort food, cassoulet. A fluid stream of Greenmarket supporters sampled each one throughout the afternoon until pretty much every bean was scooped up. Asked to vote for their favorite takes, each taster turned their attentions to printed sheets describing the cassoulets, their creators and affiliations. Among them were local and seasonal … Read More

Black Bean Ravioli with Cotija and Fresh Oregano

It doesn’t have quite the timeless ring of “black beans and rice,” but here we are anyway: black bean ravioli. Where cheap comfort food and painstaking pasta-making collide. And like many good twists on classic dishes, this one was difficult and time-consuming to make, even with my disregard to the uniformity of the ravioli’s shape and overall prettiness. But if you’ll recall my last kitchen disaster with black beans, at least these homemade raviolis were edible. Actually, they were delicious, … Read More

Sundried Tomato-Braised Green Beans

This side is: a) 100% vegetables b) 100% hearty c) oddly Christmasy-looking d) all of the above If you guessed “d,” then you hate these kinds of questions because you always know whoever’s posing it is trying to get you to say that. And I don’t blame you. But you’ve got to try these green beans to believe how true it is.

White Bean Confetti Dip

Who says the Fourth of July can’t be red, white, green, yellow, orange, purple and blue? This quick chip and dip snack is an easy fix for barbecue-bringing, and it can be improvised with almost any veggies you might have on hand. Sure, it might not look as bright and pretty in that abstract expressionist painting way as a strictly veggies-only salsa, but white beans go a long way and sure do make one smooth, almost creamy base.

Chickpea & Roasted Red Pepper Penne

I can’t find anything bad to say about this pantry meal. I made it one night accidentally, when I was craving a light pasta dish with maybe a little sundried tomato and some fresh artichoke, neither of which my local Associated Market had. It was getting late, and I didn’t feel up for walking much farther than a block. It had just begun to rain. So dismayed and with lowered expectations as I was, I wandered into my corner bodega … Read More

Turkey Black Bean Chili with Okra

We all know that ground turkey is the new hamburger if you’re looking to go easy on your heart. But I never found this a satisfactory replacement unless it was used in a sauce or stew of some type — in which juices from all kinds of ingredients run free and wild as piglets in a pen. A turkey burger? Not even close… but ground turkey in chili? Seconds, please. Besides, you’re bound to end up draining most of the … Read More

Red Bean Hummus with No-Knead Bread

Since the no-knead bread-off at the Brooklyn Kitchen last week, I haven’t been able to stop making bread. Thoughts of forging a foccacia from the technique, or elegant dinner rolls have been clouding my mind as well. At least one of those urges had been released the other night, when I tried to make a French baguette from the recipe. Knowing well enough that the bread needs to cook inside a dutch oven, or other large, covered vessel able to … Read More

Chickpea Leek Soup

In celebration of “soup month” February and all the cold, soup-worthy weather we’ve been having recently, here’s my contribution to Soup’s On at A Veggie Venture. It’s funny how much the texture of warm chickpeas can parallel that other vegetable commonly paired with leek in a soup–the potato. While leeks cook up insistently savory, the chickpea balances as a more neutral, slightly nutty accoutrement. Thinking more or less of hummous, a little cumin went into this, soft roasted garlic, a … Read More

I Love You but I’ve Chosen Karol Lu’s Champion Vegetarian Chili

My friend Karol always wins at stuff. Whether it’s the Ms. Pac-Man playoff, or the guy at the other end of the bar, Karol just wins. So it was no surprise when her chili took home first prize in the annual “Bruce Chili” cook-off at Barcade. Coming back from a 7th place finish in the 2005 cook-off, her curiously titled batch, “I Love You But I’ve Chosen Chili” struck lightning this year, and is now the reigning 2006 champion to … Read More

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