I love making new food discoveries, like making new friends. This late summer-almost fall, I came upon some warbled bean pods that were blushed with red on the bright green outsides. Fresh cowpeas, so the sign for them had read. This wasn’t at the farmers market, where I usually find my rare produce delicacies–but at the bodega down the block from me in Brooklyn, which catered to a mostly Caribbean neighborhood clientele and was run by Korean owners. I have … Read More
Ah, fresh fava beans. Who else first heard of this legume via Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs? If so, it was a most disturbing way one can be introduced to a new food (and I am amongst those). No, I didn’t eat fava beans for a good long time after seeing that movie, but it wasn’t because I was afraid. It was because I never did encounter them, least of all fresh and whole still in their pods, until … 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
It’s finally arrived — the season for budding blossoms, bike rides, and all things green. Well, make that Spring 1.0, the beta-test days. We’ve still got frosts and chances of flurries, and at the farmers markets, there’s little green to be seen. Except for those shoots and seedlings grown in a greenhouse. But — tulips and daffodils, mint, parsley and chives! Step aside, winter squashes and brown-speckled apples. A natural changing of the guards has just begun.
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
You know what? I predict that salty, pungent, Chinese fermented black beans will not only sound less creepy but become more widely embraced by American cooks in the near future. Why? Well, we’ve familiarized ourselves with soy sauce pretty well, dabbled with miso paste aplenty, and foraged into Asian grocery shelves for sauces like Korean gochujang and Sichuan doubanjiang (chili bean sauce). All are made from fermented beans. It seems a good time to take a look at them up … Read More
I never regret buying lots of carrots. They’re great for snacking, for roasting as an elegant side dish, and they’re entirely soup-worthy as well. Bonus points for staying crisp quite a while in the fridge. But as much as carrots play a quintessential role in a mirepoix, the basis for so many soups, I’ve never seen them quite fit to play the starring role in one. Carrot ginger? Just not quite enticing enough, sorry. But if we’re going with a … Read More
Things are looking sunny side-up in Brooklyn. First a month of rain, then a scorching week of heat, now it’s clear and mid-seventies, and the first ears of sweet corn from local farms have arrived. All of which inspired this rather hearty breakfast (and, of course, the inspiration of huevos rancheros). But the secret ingredient of stinging nettles in the sauce, and the incredible eggs, were sourced from a grocery delivery startup new to NYC called Good Eggs. Read on … Read More
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.
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.