Nov 15th, 2011
It's another round of head-to-tail cooking, for the underrated root vegetable! And for good cause: radish greens are a true superfood, among the most nutrient-rich of all leafy greens, yet they tend to become a little coarse and bitter-tasting while the root beneath them matures. No matter -- mash them into a silken fresh pasta to toss with the lightly cooked radishes, too.
Daikon Radish Greens Pasta with Seared Daikon, Chilies, Garlic and Lemon
Nov 13th, 2011
Think spring is the best time of year to eat leafy greens? Fall's cabbage, Swiss chard, lettuce and spinach are just as great, if not better, having been sowed in summer's warm soil. In this region, it's usually a sure bet that they'll mature in time for the first frost to hit, but before they wilt in strong sun. And despite the recent snowstorm on the Northeast, New York's local greens are looking ship-shape, especially the spinach.
Palak Daal (Spinach and Lentil Curry)
Oct 2nd, 2011
Covered in grime, knobby as a goblin, and incredibly fibrous and tough, celery root deserves a place in the "Now who'd have thought to eat that first?" category of foods. But perhaps once was sliced into, and its gruff shade gave way to a moon-like pallor, and a deliciously fresh scent was released; that may have been enough to compel one. And since then, many have done much to showcase the unlikely edible's charms. Like slicing the root finely, and dressing it fresh.
Creamy Celery Root Salad With Red Peppers and Mustard
Sep 29th, 2011
Whisk, ladle, sizzle, and flip. These four steps epitomized the quick weeknight dinner for me during a certain time, when all I wanted to eat were Korean-style pancakes stuffed with fresh vegetables and anything-goes in the fridge. Those, and dunk -- the sound of soy sauce soaking up the tip of one of them before it crunched in my mouth. It was certainly quicker to make than fried rice or noodles, another practical way to toss in any number of ingredients with starch. And some of my friends liked the recipe I posted for it one time so much that they became addicted at times, too.
Savory Mushroom & Scallion Pancakes
Sep 19th, 2011
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 the fresh tomato sauce. Loved the way the eggplant, roasted in rounds and added to the sauce later, melted to a custard to thicken it all, and clung to the al dente-cooked pasta.
Heirloom Beans with Roasted Eggplant, Tomato & Zucchini
Sep 7th, 2011
The most enjoyable aspects of Vietnamese summer rolls are their coolness, contrast of textures, and copious fresh herbs. This suits us most in mid-to-late summer, when herbs are taking over the garden, humidity reigns, and late-season rain and tropical storms can feel like a monsoon. So take it from the Vietnamese, and have something cold and refreshing to keep you awake.
Fresh Veggie Summer Rolls with Shiso and Thai Basil
Sep 1st, 2011
Here's one way to eliminate fattening nuts from your salad: dry-toast a whole grain to toss in. You'll still get a similarly satisfying flavor and the energy-packing proteins and fullness. But with more fiber, and less fat.
Watercress Wheatberry Salad with Cucumber & Yellow Tomato
Aug 20th, 2011
They say shakshouka, a common Israeli breakfast dish, is difficult or taxing to make, or that canned tomatoes are the best option to create a thick and savory sauce. But it was the first thing I could think of to whip up when I could find little else but ripe tomatoes and fresh eggs in the icebox one morning last week. I don't mean that in a nostalgic way, using the word, "icebox" -- for the past couple weeks, I've been living on a single-hull sailboat docked at the San Francisco marina.
Shakshouka, On A Boat
Jul 6th, 2011
Who needs rice with black beans when there's sweet corn, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, Swiss chard, and if not peppers just yet, then new, sweet-tasting potatoes, in season now? That's my summertime take on the Latin American classic, with the black beans on the bottom this time.
Black Beans with Summer Vegetable Sauté
Jul 2nd, 2011
I find the mild flavor, mild texture, and outrageous color of roasted beets so enjoyable that I'll pop them into my mouth whole like popcorn. Only, it's not all the time that I get to roasting a few beets, especially when it's been as warm as the last few weeks in New York. However, I did roast a lot of very good beets the other day -- good, because they were just in season at the farmers' market (rather than having been in cold storage for several months, from last summer's harvest) -- and I had some stragglers after the popping-whole session.
Spicy Beet Salad With Smoked Almonds on Toast
Jun 26th, 2011
Last week, I got a beautiful, billowy head of napa cabbage in my CSA share. There were only about three other people picking up their shares at the same time as me, but I was able to overhear the same concerns: "What do I do with napa cabbage?" Naturally, I was determined to find a crowd-pleasing application.
Napa Cabbage with Chili-Garlic Sauce and Szechuan Peppercorns
Jun 22nd, 2011
I've been hearing the term "warm salad" being tossed around a lot lately, and feel it might be a new menu buzzword. Perhaps it inspires curiosity, still carries an unlikeliness that hasn't been as indoctrinated into our culture as, say, "chilled soup." Sometimes it makes perfect sense (roasted beets, dressed in a light vinaigrette), other times, seems more of a stretch (sorry, sauteed vegetables are just that). I've used the term for this dish because of its middle-road temperature. The potatoes are piping-hot and crisp, and when tossed with cool vegetables the combined effect is perfectly warm. It's the best way to enjoy it, I think.
Warm Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Olives & Garlic Scapes
Jun 17th, 2011
I'll admit, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by all the greenery that's coming in from my CSA -- and growing on the roof. I hit a breaking point when my friend Wen-Jay (of Local Roots CSA) offered me some leftover stinging nettle from a pick-up day, and I found myself biking home with two swinging backs full of stinging weeds, wondering how I was going to stuff them in my fridge. I thought of buying a juicer -- a quick, mindless solution to getting it all in my body like a transfusion of deep-green. But a classic Spanish recipe, made with mountains of muddled greens and fresh herbs, came to mind instead.
Green Gazpacho (and a preview of the Feast of 61 Local Ingredients)
Jun 13th, 2011
Zucchini and summer squashes are so versatile, and so various in size, color and shape, that they're endlessly fun to create with. From pattypan to eight ball-shaped globes of delicate flesh, we've come to see a lot more heirloom types of these over the last few years, thanks to farmers who've saved their seeds. This recipe can be made with any of them, sliced thinly and arranged in layers to stand in for lasagna sheets -- and soak in all the flavors in between.
Zucchini Lasagna (Without the Pasta Sheets)
Jun 10th, 2011
I've been eating in the style of mezze
a lot lately -- a small pile of sauteed snap peas here, some roasted beets there, etc. So many vegetables are suddenly in season, and piling up thanks to my CSA share, that preparing them all in some congruous fashion can get taxing -- and somewhat self-defeating, as most are so good on their own. So rather than plopping a big, messy pile in front of me, I like to scatter a personal potluck on the table, of delicious but simple things. Well, here's one addition that will bring protein to the party, and is easy to keep on hand.
Herbed Fava Beans
Mar 14th, 2011
If it weren't so easy to make an entire one, I might succumb to ordering a slice of savory quiche at a bakery or for brunch. But it is, and no matter if you incorporate the most luxurious ingredients or leftovers in its airy, yellow mass, definitely more economical than the options above. It's one of my favorite ways to add class to eggs.
Wild Mushroom Quiche with Pecorino & Lemon Zest
Mar 7th, 2011
Hear me out: making kimchee at home is really easy! And the payoffs are practical in the kitchen, too. Here's a look at my first attempt at making a true, Korean friend-approved batch of kimchee, and one way to put it to delicious use: as a seasoning for everyday, ever-versatile roasted potatoes.
Kimchee Roasted Potatoes
Feb 21st, 2011
My friend was talking about how she'd made spanakopita
, the Greek savory spinach pie, recently. Only, she didn't actually finish making it: "The filling was so good I just ate it up with a spoon, and didn't bake it with the crust." She was also impressed with how much spinach she had eaten; the one-pound bag, the size of a fluffy pillow, had all cooked down to a portion that neatly filled a soup bowl. That's a good way to eat a lot of spinach, I thought. And, why had I never made spanakopita
Spinach & Kimchee Pies
Feb 15th, 2011
Today was gusty like a regular dust storm, at least in Red Hook where I was a-working. And there was some music playing, by a feller named Woody Guthrie, and he was a-talkin about some dust storm in a song called "Talking Dust Bowl Blues." In one verse, he sings, "My wife fixed up a tater stew," and it got me hungry and thinkin' food. So I'll stop with the bad sing-song writing here, but now you know the reason for it.
Roasted Potato Leek Soup with Kale
Feb 9th, 2011
In the summer, beans were for dressing in a gloss of olive oil, tossing with a confetti of crisp, chopped vegetables, and having as salad. In the winter, we simmer them with rich fats, sometimes with finely chopped (less colorful) vegetables, which dissolve into the resulting soup or baked casserole. While it's definitely winter, I tried to make a compromise between these two polar opposite ways to eat beans. Starting with the king-size fava (or "broad") bean, dried.
Hearty Fava Bean Stew
Feb 7th, 2011
I would have named this recipe tom yum
since the popular Thai dish is certainly its inspiration. But it's missing a few crucial -- and difficult to find -- ingredients, and prepared rather on the fly instead of slow-simmered. It wouldn't seem quite right to purists of Thai cuisine. It is, however, absolutely right to those looking to quench their appetite for something a little exotic, restorative and refreshing, and you don't have much time.
Hot-Sour Lemongrass Soup with Mushrooms & Tofu
Jan 25th, 2011
If the fashion sensibility "peasant chic" were translated to food, this would be a runway highlight. It's a melange of the penniless pantry, but manages to come out vibrant with flavor, and chock full of nutrition. A little funky, offbeat, and very magenta (is that an "in" color?), it's what I call making the best of the least -- and the cheapest -- ingredients. It's also filling enough for a one-dish dinner alone, but plop in a poached egg and have with a crust of bread the next day for a hearty breakfast, too.
Red Cabbage & Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Jan 21st, 2011
No, I didn't just sneeze, it's oshinko
! A simple, no-sweat type of Japanese pickle. If you like a salty, crisp snack in the middle of the day, or something to refresh your palate at the end of a meal, try making a big batch of these pickles to keep in the fridge. It takes just three days for them to sit at room-temperature, to their slightly fermented state.
Carrot, Cucumber and Radish Oshinko
Jan 10th, 2011
For a long time, I could never fathom making many beloved, wintry foods without meat. It seemed like if you took the meat away, you'd lose the whole hutzpah of the thing. And besides, we need something to fortify our chilled bones with. Well, it's taken a long journey but in the case of cassoulet, I've decided that it isn't the pork, or duck fat that is the whole hutzpah, it's the tender, melt-in-your-mouth beans swaddled in a creamy, baked-in sauce.
Incredible Vegetable Cassoulet
Jan 1st, 2011
Happy New Year. I'm not one to really make solid New Year's resolutions. But for any given reason, I might make new foodsolutions. My latest determination came after an extended Christmas vacation in Wisconsin. It was extended, because of the blizzard that hit New York City, just the day I was planning to return. And it was foodsolution-inspiring because Wisconsin is practically swathed in butter, cheese and beef.
Dec 20th, 2010
Crispety, crunchety, tang. That's all I taste when I sink an incisor through one of these slices of spring green. All it took was a splash of lemon juice, glug of olive oil, sea salt, and a few minutes' time marinating to bring something like broccoli stems to this level.
Quick-Marinated Broccoli Stems
Dec 14th, 2010
Here is a really good example of the fact that I'm half-Chinese. I have no idea what this is, but I just made it for a snack. It's sort of like hash browns, but with turnip slices, and condiments fit for dumplings. I gotta say, though, it was a lot simpler to make than either of the above, and its taste satisfied somewhere in between.
Pan-Fried Potatoes and Turnips with Chili-Soy Sauce & Scallions
Dec 9th, 2010
Dear Mom and Dad,
Today I had the most wonderful tomato soup. And I actually made it! Okay, it wasn't fancy or very fussy, and actually, it could have been pureed a little bit smoother. But it tasted just about perfect: full-bodied and fresh, not too sour, but not too dulled with milk or cream that you can't taste the tang of the tomato at all. And it wasn't too loose or chunky, like a marinara sauce, either. So I guess I was able to solve all my pet peeves about tomato soup by simply making it myself.
Tomato Soup to Write Home About
Nov 29th, 2010
You could say I'm on a bit of a soba kick lately. I've been slurping up a great bowl of buckwheat noodle soup for breakfast, lunch or dinner almost every day these past few chilly weeks. Let's talk about the soba in a bit; a really good bowl of any noodle soup, in my opinion, is in the soup. It's generally thought that a good broth takes hours or even days to make right. But I've figured out a quick and easy system for turning out a savory mushroom stock that doesn't taste like instant powder and is, moreover, completely natural and vegetable-based. So there's hardly any time needed to prepare a bowl like this in the morning, no matter how hungover I am (and I won't be for long).
Mushroom Soba & Miso-Braised Mustard Greens
Nov 20th, 2010
Last Halloween, Dave introduced me to a dish that involves baking stuff inside a hollowed-out pumpkin. He explained that he'd taken it from a Ruth Reichl recipe in Gourmet
. This past Halloween, I hosted, and I copied Dave's (or Ruth's) dish to a T. (Only mine was in a white heirloom "ghost" pumpkin, and I served a side of beet-and-tomato "blood" soup
.) It's sort of like French onion soup, inside a pumpkin: you stuff stale bread cubes and pour chicken stock inside the pumpkin, and top it with grated Swiss cheese while it bakes. A great concept, I thought, and I loved the addition of the roasted pumpkin that gets scraped up along with each spoonful of the finished stuff.
Chipotle Baked Beans In A Pumpkin
Nov 15th, 2010
Rather than watering it down with milk and cream, or confusing its flavor with a tomato-laden broth, this soup is all about broccoli, from its florets to its stems to its leaves. You'll get a big burst of the broccoli with each spoonful of the stuff, and that's a somewhat new way to experience a vegetable that's been around (and has been disdained, in many cases) for all our lives. It starts out with roasting the pieces to concentrate their flavor even more, and it has roasted garlic and shallots to cement that sweetened touch. A drizzle of distractingly good olive oil to finish and that's your bowl packed with the power food. Eating your greens has never been easier.
Broccoli & Roasted Garlic Soup
Nov 2nd, 2010
Question: Why do we eat coleslaw in the summer, usually? Okay, it's crisp, sweet and cooling, and I even thought it was called "cold slaw" as a kid. But it's made primarily of... winter cabbage. And we'll be seeing lots of heads of those for the rest of the year.
Red Cabbage Salad with Quince, Pickled Carrots and Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
Oct 17th, 2010
I love making hash browns, but it's not exactly the quickest route to a savory breakfast. Nor is it the most nutritious; even if using sweet potatoes, which are richer in beta-carotene and cold weather-helping antioxidants than regular, pale potatoes, you'll spend almost twice the amount of time cooking it to a pleasing softness, and by that time you'll have added more oils to keep it from sticking to the pan. Winter squash is in season, and I've found a new use for any type. Browned in a pan with a hit of fresh peppers, which are still lingering from summer, lemony sorrel and some toasty squash seed oil, I can't think of a better way to start a fall day.
Spicy Squash Hash
Oct 8th, 2010
I'm always looking to cook beans in a hearty application that doesn't involve meat. After all, beans are a protein on their own. From lentils to split peas to baked beans with ginger, chipotle and hoisin, this has offered varied and delicious results. Why am I doing this? I have no idea, I'm not even a vegetarian. I just want to see how best it can be done.
Runner Beans with Caramelized Onions & Dijon Sauce
Oct 3rd, 2010
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.
Ris-Oat-O with Fresh Corn & Zucchini
Sep 27th, 2010
Most of my favorite soups have "peasant" origins. From the poorest "peas porridge" to simple black bean, reheated ribollita to wintermelon and stock, this humble fare reminds me that you don't have to simmer a whole great number of specific things to come away with a really great soup. Especially if your ingredients are great on their own.
Roasted Red Pepper & Parmesan Soup
Sep 11th, 2010
Just another fun way to serve up eggplant, fresh and simple. Because it's got to be cooked, eggplant tends to get weighed down in heavier preparations -- parmiggiana, or an Asian stir-fry with lots of gloppy brown sauce. But I love just roasting a skinny eggplant half, face down like a spear, and eating it straight-up like that afterwards, soft and gooey inside. This was more or less what I did for cooking demonstrations two weekends ago at New York Botanical Gardens' Edible Gardens series, when the theme ingredient was this versatile nightshade.
Sep 7th, 2010
I was inspired to do this by one of my favorite Chinese condiments, pickled mustard greens. The greens are finely shredded, brined with salt, vinegar and soy sauce, sometimes chiles, and in some cases, slightly fermented before going into a can or a jar to be preserved. Then, they're served with almost anything: stir-fries with tofu, a bowl of noodle soup with sliced pork, and, when I was little, sometimes just sprinkled on top of a bowl of hot, soupy leftover rice. It's kind of like sauerkraut, only leafier. Or kimchee, only shredded finer, and not as spicy, garlicky and gingery. You get the drill.
Pickled Swiss Chard
Sep 2nd, 2010
First it was this on a plate with leftover roasted almonds strewn about, a salad. Then it was this, transported to crisps of leftover bread, a crostini. Next it was this, stuffed into my cold burrito from a take-out place that I didn't even go to (somebody else did, and gave me their leftovers). Soon it will be this, on leftover rice that's stuck to a pot in the fridge. Basically, this is really good. Any way you serve it.
Shredded Kale & Sungold Tomato Crostini
Jul 28th, 2010
I don't know anything that doesn't taste good with a slice of a fresh, juicy and tree-ripened summer peach. It doesn't need anything to accompany it, but it sure can give other ingredients a boost. For example, ricotta or goat cheese with a peach slice on crostini. A bowl of vanilla ice cream with peaches. Grilled peaches on shishkabob sticks, in salsa and gazpacho, on a pizza instead of tomato slices, peanut butter and peach sandwiches. I'm eating buckwheat pancakes with peaches on them right now. Life is peachy. So I decided to do as I've done before with citrus fruit wedges, and toss them along with some roasted beets.
Peach and Roasted Beet Salad
Jul 23rd, 2010
Stuffed with what, it really matters little. Do a crab dip type thing, spinach, bacon or pancetta, or this: lots of herbs with breadcrumbs, onion, and the scooped-out squash sauteed first. Sprinkle cheese on top before roasting, or not. Or stuff it with "surprise," what happened to that fun tradition? The object is using the summer squash -- particularly the rounder species, like these lovely eight-ball varieties just in season -- in ways we haven't before.
Stuffed Summer Squash
Jul 18th, 2010
I love it when a dish just makes sense somehow. Feels more efficient. This can often be achieved by using two parts of the same plant, or animal, if in unsuspecting ways. Hey, if eating meat from head to tail is all the rage, then how about vegetables from shoot to root? Stalk to flower? Waste not, want not, and why not cook 'em both together? That's what I thought when I bought a bunch of these lovely tri-colored carrots. Though prepared this way, you might not even guess it was all the same plant.
Grilled Carrots with Carrot Greens Pesto