Quinoa with Portobello and Peas

Doesn’t the sound of mushroom risotto just pull you by the tastebuds? Creamy rice, earthy morsels of mushrooms, and often sweet peas buried in between. This luscious dish appears on so many restaurant menus as a standard option, perhaps due to its vegetarian-friendly disposition, and I’m tempted to make it on chillier nights when I feel like eating somewhat “light.” But it requires patience, attention, and some good stock to cook well, three things I don’t always have on weeknights.

Vegetarian Ma Po Tofu, with Photography Lessons

posted in: Recipes, vegan, vegetarian | 4

photo: Brie Passano Last week, I was delighted to sit alongside fellow local bloggers for a panel discussion on food blogging hosted by Edible Manhattan. One of the questions that came up was, how important is photography to you? And another question, or several of the questions, were aimed at understanding what drives readership in a claustrophobic spectrum of sites about food. I’m not a photographer (never learned the ropes formally), but I’d say that photography is important and something … Read More

Chilled Pea Soup with Wasabi Cream

It’s too hot to eat hot soup, but cold soups might benefit from a certain sort of heat. That’s what I figured when I set out to make a smooth, creamy puree of shelled English peas. Chilled soup is a great fix for a hot summer day–light and refreshing yet satisfyingly tasty. Then I recalled the taste of another favorite application for peas: those crunchy, wasabi-glazed snacks.

Herbed Pea and Lima Bean Salad

I was really thinking of bringing potato salad to a party this weekend. This would be a simple, easy-to-store solution for my day of having to schlep around Brooklyn before getting there. Potato salad is always a welcome crowd-pleaser at summer parties. But last Memorial Day, four people brought potato salads to a party. They were all delicious and quite different, but still, four people brought potato salad.

Pasta With Ramps, Peas and Ham

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

Spring Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a soothing meal to enjoy on warm nights or as a light lunch (or brunch, topped with a poached egg). To me, it simply spells summer; common ingredients are zucchini and summer squashes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. To many, it epitomizes simply country fare from France, or brings to mind a children’s film of the same name. Since it’s a flexible dish of peasant origin, you can improvise with the ingredients used, and add any favorites of your … Read More

Seared Tuna Steak with Snow Peas and Ginger-Scallion Sauce

posted in: Recipes, Seafood | 3

Oh indulgence, you sinful pride. I eat tuna fairly often, from a can, on bread or an olive oil-drizzled salad. The pale, meaty hunks of fish are pretty satisfying this way. But nothing compares to a thick slab of fresh-caught tuna, seared ’til just golden and ruby rare inside. It’s the perfect indulgence to pair with spring snow peas, also from local origin, and a zesty, tart, umami sauce with fresh, young scallions, too.

Coconut Green Curry Sugarsnap Peas

It’s not your ordinary side of peas, carrots and potatoes, but they go together just as well as always. Here, instead of your standard frozen peas, are a cache of just-in-season sugarsnap peas, with their edible, crunchy pods. Something about their shape, especially once split open, reminded me of an oblong shellfish, like mussels. I love mussels in a coconut green curry-infused broth. So why not fresh snap peas, in all their green sweetness, for something like that instead?

Fried Rice with Asparagus & Peas

I go away for one week and return to find that, not only have asparagus made their annual arrival in local markets, but everyone’s had more than their share of it already. “I’ve eaten asparagus for the past four days,” moaned a friend at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket Saturday. “I’m over it.” Well, I have some catching up to do, so rather than dawdle on an elaborate preparation of it, whipped up this quick, ridiculously easy go-to favorite of … Read More

Tofu With Chili-Bean Sauce and Peas

Blocks of tofu stir-fried in a spicy, thick sauce studded with sweet peas is a winter comfort food for me. It clears the sinuses, tickles the tastebuds and it’s wickedly quick to produce. I never thought others would care much for it, knowing that tofu can be a tough sell. But after sharing this dish a few times over the years, many have dug in appreciatively and asked how it was done. It’s criminally easy so here goes.