The best way to experience ramps — which are only available for a short window in early spring — is fresh and green as can possibly be. This wild onion, so beloved by foodies, might be the Mary Pickford of the allium family: soft and delicate, with just the right amount of zest and a graceful appearance. Like scallions and chives, you don’t really want to cook with these, lest they lose their especially springy character. I decided to bolster … Read More
I generally shy away from attempting to recreate dishes like chilled soba and sushi because they are perfection-oriented foods. The difference between really good sushi, for example, and so-so are all in the minute details: how fresh the fish is, how expertly it was cut, how perfect the texture and the temperature of the rice was the moment it adhered to the fish and was served to you. It’s no wonder becoming a sushi master takes years of regimented training, … Read More
I was craving the coolness of some type of salad, now that it’s reached 68 degrees this early March in New York. Visions of cucumbers and fresh stone fruit danced in my head, but despite the warmth, it was still no time for such produce. Bah humbug, but here’s a tip for the midst of winter: fresh parsnip has a slightly tropical, fruity taste, especially when tossed with fresh lemon juice.
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.
Sometimes a food becomes so iconic for one dish that it’s rarely seen in preparations otherwise. This is certainly the case for split peas, which I’ve seldom eaten, seen, heard about, nor read about being used for anything else than soup. And that soup carries the stigma of being cooked with a ham bone, most commonly. This is still a soup-y dish, but it doesn’t adhere to the status quo for split peas. Because there’s really no need to.
If this isn’t a refreshing way to enter winter eating, I don’t know what is. I’m talking about the leanest, meanest days for finding fresh produce, the doldrums of harvesting. Yeah, we’ll be here for a while longer. Luckily, there are always some dried fruits, nuts and grains that have been stored away for safekeeping — and only the toughest of the fresh root vegetables survive, like beets.
Chinese New Year is coming up this weekend — the Year of the Dragon is just upon us. Remembering a few good-luck foods for the holiday can be simple: anything long suffices for promoting “long life.” That includes noodles, which are traditionally served on New Year’s, often pan-fried. Make it as fancy as you want with additional ingredients, or as down-home and cheap as this one. With an assortment of healthy winter vegetables, it’s life-lengthening, in more ways than one.
Winter is a time to get back to your roots. I’m not talking about taking up knitting or studying Yiddish or something else important and having to do with your heritage. I’m talking about root vegetables. They’re abundant — probably the only produce that’s abundant — when the ground is frozen, and they’re widely adaptable to many cooking techniques. They also claim a wide range of flavors, from spicy (horseradish) to sweet (parsnip), bitter (turnip), zesty (ginger), fresh (celeriac) and … Read More
Vegetarian dumplings were once a strict equation to me: finely shredded cabbage, minced five-spice tofu, chopped scallions, and maybe some shiitake mushrooms, or clear strands of bean starch noodles. This simple formula I had been raised to identify as the proper filling for a meat-free (and admittedly inferior) version of the favorite comfort food. It wasn’t until more recent years that I realized this colorless, choppy mixture didn’t need to be just so… or just so inferior.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s seeing an entire community of chefs, food writers, and the ecstatic eating public go bonkers over one single dish. Last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), it was latkes. And it was a madhouse. I’ve finally recovered enough from serving as one of nine judges in the Third Annual Latke Festival sponsored by Edible Brooklyn and Great Performances to post a recap, along with a coveted recipe by one of the … Read More