Weekends are a time to put things on the back burner. I mean that literally, of course. It’s a time to slowly melt a great pile of onions to sweet, sticky bliss, bubble a pot of marinara sauce, or make chicken stock for the sake of good cooking sometime else. Sometime less languid than the weekend.
It is strange seeing winter squashes beside watermelon at the farmers market. Eggplant and enormous turnips. Sweet corn and cabbage. Winter and summer mixed with colorful abandon—that’s what early fall is for. I couldn’t resist plunging for the pumpkins and winter gourds while picking up some tomatoes, too. We won’t have the latter in-season in the Northeast for much longer, but it’s a warm welcome to squash season, having the best of both worlds.
We live in blessed times. I mean, seasonally. It’s late-spring, and we have things popping out of plants that are incredible and edible (and not edible, but fragrantly incredible, like wild lilacs, too). I recently had the plum privilege of being a judge for a cookoff held by GrowNYC, where I got to observe the making of, taste the outcome of, and help decide the winner of two very excellent dishes prepared by local restaurant chefs. Held in partnership with … Read More
Breaded, frozen fish sticks were a fairly staple kids’ food in my time. (Are they still now?) Bland and inoffensive logs of cod, the ads for them always promised they’d be crispy, with an ethereal, ear-chattering canned crunch sound so elusive from any food, let alone fish. Short of this satisfaction, they always needed something — they needed some help — but I can recall only dipping the finger-shaped nuggets in ketchup as a kid. This does not sound very appetizing, I … Read More
I really want to call this a vegan, miso-based “Caesar” salad, but know that the powers of food purism would call this foul. No, it doesn’t have Romaine lettuce nor egg yolk, nor anchovies nor parmesan—but it does have a punchy piquancy that I’d equate with that of the classic dressing we know and love. And it was inspired by Caesar (salads, nothing Roman to look at here)—which are nowadays often found with the deeper-green brassica kale in place of lettuce—through … Read More
“How do you cook clams?” is a question I’ve heard a lot from home cooks over the years so let’s get a few things straight: Clams are amongst the cheapest, tastiest, quickest- and easiest-to-cook seafood. They’re also resoundingly sustainable (you can do much worse with shrimp if you’re going the shellfish route). They help clean the ocean, they fortify us with minerals and omega-3’s, and they’re commonly found on restaurant plates. Especially with pasta. But you can have that at home easily, too.
These cold, tough months of winter, I’m always in the mood for a warm bowl of pasta. But marinara sauce can get tiresome, and it looks like we’ve got a long winter still to go. So I made this simple pasta with garlic, mushrooms, and crispy slivers of olive oil-fried kale. I had it as leftovers next, and its flavors had really combined and popped. The oil was deep-green from absorbing that kale. It had also absorbed that lemon, softening … Read More
Whenever I have a plethora of random vegetables with no assigned purposes, I start to panic think along the lines of stir-frying them. This tends to happen a lot in the summer, when stockpiles of goods from farmers market strolls begin to overbear my fridge. Everything looks so good, and there are so many kinds of vegetables in season now–eggplants and peppers, beans and leafy greens–it’s like looking at a menu that you want to order everything from. But fortunately … Read More
Kale is the new salad green. A couple decades ago, choosy eaters eschewed iceberg for the more nutritionally dense, greener, leafier types of lettuce like romaine. Then, they went onto fluffier, miniature, mixed ones often including — or solely consisting of — baby arugula (RIP AKA “rocket”). Their spicy kick lent complexity to sides, and they’re also very nutritionally dense, much more so than romaine. Baby spinach greens, too, played a role in this evolution, beckoning the health-conscious for its … Read More