Summer Squash “Risotto” with Bacon and Shallot

A brief history of non-risotto “risottos”: At one point, everyone was making risotto with barley instead of short-grain (commonly Arborio) rice. This was undermining the term orzotto, a similar Italian dish made with barley. Then we began to see “risotto” being made with all kinds of other “whole grains for health,” appreciating the nuances of nutty flavor and bite from the likes of spelt, oats, quinoa, wheatberries and more—and I was not one to miss out on the fun. So then it seemed absol-otto awesome … Read More

No-Pastry Quiche Two Ways: With A Bacon Crust and A Zucchini Crust

They say that real men don’t eat quiche. But would real men eat not-so-real quiche instead? I don’t know; I made this pair of not-so-real quiches for a party celebrating the engagement of a lovely girlfriend of mine, where only women attended. I can say with certainty that real women eat not-real quiches when that not-real component speaks specifically to its crust.

Cannellini Stewed with Tomatoes and Pancetta

It’s more filling than a mere tomato sauce, but just as easy to make. I like to make versatile dishes in the winter; things that can keep well in the fridge, and keep on playing new roles well, too, albeit of a similar character. It’s not the Meryl Streep of foods, I guess: this bean and pancetta-studded tomato sauce wouldn’t exactly make a drastic turn in, say, Vietnamese cuisine. But it does wear many hats quite deliciously keeping within a … Read More

Seared Savoy Cabbage Salad with Potato, Bacon and Scallions

Sssizzle. One simple technique — searing — can add dramatic layers of flavor, even in places where you’d less expect it. A salad, for instance. I’ve had slightly charred radicchio and even romaine lettuce, but there’s something about sweet savoy cabbage, with its crinkly leaves, that tastes divine when given the treatment. Also, cabbage, in its many shapes and colors, is inexpensive, hardy, and readily available at a (yes, it’s still) winter farmers market. But the weather is getting warmer, … Read More

Braised Turnips with Leeks and Bacon

Probably one of the last foods I hear talked about what when talking about Thanksgiving are turnips. It’s probably one of the last foods you’ll hear about, period. But it’s something I see in so much variety this time of year at the farmers market, and looking into the turnip’s many virtues, this is not so surprising. They’re an exceptionally useful and easy crop, adaptable to many climates and types of soil, and able to be left in the ground … Read More

Hoppin’ John with Bacon and Collard Greens

posted in: Beans, gluten-free, Recipes | 4

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

Steamed Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Almonds

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this tendency: to fall in love with a certain vegetable for about a week’s worth of nonstop eating at a time, then move onto the next affair. A few weeks ago this happened with beets. Afterward, it was sweet potatoes, roasted simply, with no salt and their skins intact. Now it’s broccoli. Not sure why. We’re old flames, though, a well-established on/off pair throughout the decades. We understand each other much … Read More

Green Salad with Baby Red Potatoes, Bacon, Shaved Smoked Cheddar, and Onion with Lemon Vinaigrette

posted in: Recipes, Sides & Salads | 2

  I suspect that the title is long enough for readers to come to their own conclusions about this recipe, but even so, I’m going to blab.  Chilled red potatoes are my new croutons.  They have this ever-so-subtly satisfying pop when your teeth break into their skins, and taste even more earthy and mildly creamy when cold.  Remember how much you liked the cold potato salad at all those barbecues in the summer that you filled yourself up with it before you got to … Read More