It’s finally arrived — the season for budding blossoms, bike rides, and all things green. Well, make that Spring 1.0, the beta-test days. We’ve still got frosts and chances of flurries, and at the farmers markets, there’s little green to be seen. Except for those shoots and seedlings grown in a greenhouse. But — tulips and daffodils, mint, parsley and chives! Step aside, winter squashes and brown-speckled apples. A natural changing of the guards has just begun.
There was nothing I was craving more than a luscious red sauce studded with slow-cooked morsels of meat this chilly fall week. This is a diversion from my everyday, quick-cooking routine, which has lately been focused on what fall vegetables are still in season. But, it was cold out, and I had weekend time to spare. A hearty, meaty, proper bolognese sauce was calling like a wintry elf in red stockings. But…
For me, it’s pretty difficult to separate “fall pasta dish” from “squash.” It’s perhaps second only to severing “brown butter” from the presence of “sage.” These things just go together like beets and goat cheese, it would seem. But look what happens when you squash kale inside ravioli (because you’ve used up your squash), and toss them with brown butter, apples and sweet onions (because your sage plant died while you were traveling) instead? It’s a new marriage of flavors … Read More
One great misconception about Asian food is that there isn’t much use of tomatoes. In everyday Chinese cooking, for example, there are tomatoes: in scrambled eggs (which is exactly the way it sounds), in eggdrop soup (as soft, vibrant wedges), and as a base for sauces (like a stir-fry of shrimp). Well, I can think of one space where tomatoes don’t factor in too much in Asian food: noodles. And that happens to be where we encounter tomatoes in Western, … Read More
Too many tomatoes. That’s something I didn’t think I’d ever be saying earlier on in the summer, or, least of all, during the colder months we’re heading into now. But currently, in the Northeast, it’s tomato mayhem. For the last several weeks, I’ve gotten more and more reinforcements of tomatoes from my CSA. I had my volunteer shift last week, and was given the task of sorting tomatoes. There were far too many for the (many of them vacationing) members … Read More
This could either be really offensive or really resourceful-sounding. I’m clearly hoping for the latter scenario. It’s because so many have recently shared with me their frustrations of lettuce overabundance, and salad-eating fatigue, that I deemed this recipe worthy of sharing (and caring) in return. Yes, it’s that point for me, too, thanks to the CSA season: produce is coming in too fast, too soon. Yes, I have reached the maximum capacity of lettuce that can be stuffed in the … Read More
Spring is in the air — and greens are in the earth. According to a friend who tends a farm Upstate, only the last couple weeks have granted the consistency of warmth needed to thaw the ground and allow for new plantings to begin. Rejoice! But then, not all plants need to be planted, per se. Some prefer to seed spontaneously, in the wild. Introducing the season of wild onions, including those most coveted now in New York City — … Read More
Gnocchi might seem tricky to master at home: you want them to be light and somewhat fluffy inside, textured outside, and preferably a little crisped from hot butter in a pan. Instead, first attempts might yield some over-boiled, chewy nuggets that taste like pretty much nothing. If that’s the case you’re working too hard — overworking the dough, over-boiling; gnocchi can be made with much more speed and carelessness. And to give them a seasonal-tasting twist, they can also be … Read More
It’s rare when a dish is both uniquely effortless and divine; this doesn’t happen, for instance, when making a decadent, double dark-chocolate cake. It doesn’t exactly hit the same satisfaction triggers either when you toss together some greens with bacon and cheese. But when you fold all the latter three into some hot pasta, along with silky egg yolks and olive oil, there’s some jingling in the air, and the angels will be smiling down upon your kitchen from above.
You might be wondering why, in the midst of summer, when all the glorious squashes, eggplants, tomatoes and peppers have come into season, did I choose to get cabbage at the Greenmarket? Well, the short answer is that I’m slightly obsessed with cabbages — of all kinds — and I don’t expect anyone to relate. And seeing a new head of Savoy cabbage, with quilted-textured, pristine green leaves on the outside and tightly wound like a rubber band ball, promising … Read More