Stuffed Tomatoes with Bulgur, Almonds, Capers & Herbs

Serving punch in watermelon bowls, clam chowder in bread loaf bowls, grilled beef in lettuce cups — who doesn’t love edible vessels? They can elevate humble-looking dishes to eye-catching hors d’oeuvres, but they’re not always the most practical, no-fuss solutions. Here, it just made sense: I was making a chunky, whole grain salad, and instead of chopping tomatoes to toss in it, I stuffed the ripe fruits to the brim.

Calamari and Tomato Stew with Capers & Chilies

There are two ways to prepare squid (aka calamari) with succulent results: very quickly, as in searing, grilling, or flash-frying; or very long, as in braising, stewing, or slow-roasting. Anywhere in between will yield rubbery, rigid bands like undercooked cartilage. I went with the latter preparation for this late-winter, almost-springlike, one-seafood stew. It could be plopped on top of pasta, or sopped up with pieces of bread. Tentacles had never been more tender.

“Shallow-Fried” Eggplant with Feta, Capers and Pickled Swiss Chard Stems

posted in: Recipes, vegetarian | 1

I’m fond of using up kitchen “scraps.” I was working in the kitchen of a soon-to-be new restaurant in Brooklyn, when I scraped together a family meal (aka nosh for the staff) using some celery trimmings, chicken legs, and somewhat dried-up knobs of ginger after they were grated to the last stubs. Here, I’ve salvaged the stems of a leafy bunch of Swiss chard to chop finely and quick-pickle, and pair with capers and crumbles of feta cheese in a … Read More

Beet, Egg & Potato Salad with Pickled Fennel and Capers

I love the combination of earthiness, creaminess and pungency in a European herring salad, where the pickled fish is tossed with chopped potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and beets. This combination, sometimes including chopped apples, is enjoyed in Scandinavia, Russia and Northern Germany — essentially, wherever the ground is frozen much of the time. Well, the ground hasn’t been frozen for a while in New York, but we’ve still got rations of winter’s potatoes and beets before spring vegetables enter the scene. … Read More

Breadcrumb Crusted Zucchini with Rainbow Chard

I’m finally getting some color this summer. Each week, my CSA share has given me bunches and bunches of greens: lettuces, bok choy, Russian kale, snap peas, tat soy, fresh herbs and the occasional candy colored radish or berry-red beet. I was thinking I might turn into the Green Giant consuming it all. But this weekend, I took a retreat to North Fork to visit my friends at Garden of Eve (again), and teach a homemade vegetable dumpling-making class. It … Read More

Lemony Egg Salad with Basil and Capers

posted in: Recipes | 22

I will preface this by saying that I really wanted this recipe to be lemon and dill egg salad, but I couldn’t find any dill today. Stuff happens. Anyway, when I was chatting with Kate McDonough of The City Cook just before our stint on the Brian Lehrer Show last Friday, she mentioned that among the cheap lunch ideas some of her acquaintances were getting back in the habit of making was egg salad. We agreed that, even though egg … Read More