Spelt Risotto with Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and Parsnips

I’ll be the first to say that there is no risotto without rice. And a very starchy rice at that, such as Arborio, which thickens its cooking liquid like pudding. Whole grains such as spelt, wheat berries and oat groats just don’t do this, you see, and they take much longer to cook. But this time, for me, it was well worth the wait. Whatever you want to call it, this “risotto” with the nutty-tasting ancient grain spelt was even … Read More

Roasted Beet & Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots and Almonds

If this isn’t a refreshing way to enter winter eating, I don’t know what is. I’m talking about the leanest, meanest days for finding fresh produce, the doldrums of harvesting. Yeah, we’ll be here for a while longer. Luckily, there are always some dried fruits, nuts and grains that have been stored away for safekeeping — and only the toughest of the fresh root vegetables survive, like beets.

Lemony Grits with Baby Carrots & Sage

Not exactly the same thing as shrimp ‘n grits, but then, these little carrots might just fool you upon first glance. Talk about making something exciting out of two not very exciting, (laughably) non-exotic, and non-expensive ingredients. Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Wheatberry & Bean Salad with Roasted Spring Onions & Asparagus

I had a hell of an eating weekend. I spent most of Memorial Day lazing on Prospect Park’s great lawn, soaking in sun and smoke from the hibachi grill that friends had rolled in to char up several chickens and some good, marinated steak. The previous two days were spent celebrating my brother’s commencement in Providence, a family reunion filled with food outings each step of the way. My uncle determined, on our way back, that he was going to … Read More

Ris-Oat-O with Fresh Corn & Zucchini

We’re in a fall transitional time, when savory spoonfuls of something warm might appeal, but bright summer produce is still abound. I was going to make some oatmeal for breakfast, but this happened instead. Luckily, by the time these oat groats had softened, it was lunchtime, too.

Here’s Lookin’ At You Cook (Paella), June Russell

I was at a backyard party in Brooklyn a few weeks ago hosted by my friend June. I’d been to her paella party at about this time of year last summer, and so I knew what kind of yumminess to expect from this event. I got there a little late, again. June was just adding the shellfish to a paella pan, plunking clams and mussels hinge side down into the rice. The wide, cast-iron pan was placed on top of … Read More

Spelt Pilaf with Pickled Radish, Pumpkin Seeds, Golden Raisins & Parsley

In the past couple months, I have gone off such the deep end into Eastern philosophy it’s embarrassing. I’ve traded coffee for tea, drunken bike crashes and homemade hangover brunch parties (as recalled in The Art of Eating In) for bikram yoga and granola with soy milk. I don’t know what’s going on. My latest obsession is with macrobiotics. It stresses the importance of many of the things we’re already privvy to about food (unprocessed, well-balanced), but much more, like … Read More

Brown Rice & Radish Bibimbap

If that isn’t the most fun food name to pronounce, I don’t know what is. Bibimbap is lots of fun to make, too. It simply means, “mixed rice” in Korean and it’s an everyday, meal-in-one-bowl. Any vegetables you have on hand will do; you can marinate some sliced meat and sautee it to add, too. Then you just assemble everything on the rice, add a dollop of spicy gochujang and an egg to pop. You can mix in a little … Read More

Sourdough & Spent Grain Bread

Behold a new era of bread-baking. Since hearing so many success stories about no-knead bread in the aftermath of publishing The Art of Eating In (which included a recipe for a parmesan peppercorn version), I’ve rekindled a passion for the home-baked loaf. While the no-knead method liberated the baker from spending much time and effort, my current bout of baking pride involves the least amount of ingredients that need to be purchased. As long as you’re handy with what’s around.

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