Pesto Avocado Portoburger

Warning: If you make this at your next barbecue, your vegetarian friends may want to stand up on the picnic table and leap into your arms, proclaiming forever best friendship. I don’t know this from actual experience, but I can only imagine, after many summers of seeing glum-looking vegetarians skulking from the greasy-smelling fume clouds, nervously glancing at raw ground meat and drippy hot dog packages in the way that one cannot resist looking at a bug after squashing it … Read More

Asparagus, Portobello and Watercress Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

Go East, young asparagus whore. That’s my motto for this salad, only the fourth or fifth dish this spring of what we should call the Asparagus Chronicles. I threw a dinner party last night, and this was one of the test salads I ultimately rejected for the night’s first course. That salad will probably end up in The Book, and the other unused salad was essentially the same as this one, only with olive oil and lemon juice instead of … Read More

Penne and Asparagus Salad with Pecans

This is either a very boring fact or a semi-interesting cooking tip, and if you grew up eating lots of Chinese food like me, you probably already know it even if it’s never been said aloud, but foods that share a similar shape and size go together. They just do. So if you’re cutting up chicken to go with green beans, you do long, thin strips. If you have something like fava beans and you’re cooking it with firm tofu, … Read More

Sauteed Carrots, Dandelion Leaves and Violet Leaves with Argan Oil

I can’t think of a better blend of high and low culinary cultures (haute and “not”) than this fragrant late-spring vegetable dish. Nor a better time to cook it than Earth Day. Happy “green” eating, everyone — with maybe a little orange on the side.

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage

This is the kind of comfort food that I’m talking about when I talk about comfort food — hearty, uncomplicated, slow-cooked and pleasantly easy on your tastebuds. Only I’m not talking about any comfort food from my own sensory memory. This one belongs to Arthur Schwartz, as told in his new cookbook, Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

Seasonality is often a blessing in disguise. Just as much as anyone else, I’ve been chomping at the bit for summer produce to arrive, if not the whole shebang then at least some of the early spring greens. But we seem to be in limbo this weekend in late March: no peas in the pod yet, no sugar snaps or asparagus. No tender dandelion leaves to forage yet in no lush parks. When I arrived at the Grand Army Plaza … Read More

Za’atar Bread with Feta and Parsley

Last night I hosted a housewarming party at my new apartment. Each guest appeared at my door toting a bottle or two of wine, a six-pack of beer or the occasional small housewarming gift. Then, a new-ish friend of mine arrived and dug into her bag a moment. She whipped out a small Ziploc bag with a mound of moss-green, fuzzy-looking dried plantlife at the bottom. “Um…” “It’s Za’atar!” she exclaimed. My suspicions cleared, I excitedly opened the – ahem … Read More

Obama Rolls

The rest of the city may have largely moved on, but I still can’t decide between Hillary and Obama. It’s like deja-vu, back to being a kid in the candy store. I’m standing there scratching my head and weighing a Mars Bar and a Milky Way in each hand, while the rest of the kids have scampered outside, chomping away on their selections. The problem is, there is little difference between a Mars Bar and a Milky Way, just the … Read More

Winter Vegetable Couscous

The first thing you’re probably wondering is why there is a big picture of broth instead of a completed, beautifully presented plate of winter vegetable couscous before us right now. That’s because when I made this at home, I erred on the side of caution and prepared the mostly winter dish with the addition of zucchini, just as I’d seen it done throughout my visit to Morocco. After eating mushy, limp zucchini several times there and then making it at … Read More

Winter Squash Bruschetta

Last year marked one of the least snowy winters that New York City has ever not enjoyed. This year is shaping up to be a little better, but let’s face it, we haven’t had reason to call the whole day off in more than two years, and that’s a shame. The absence of the pure, white fluffy stuff is dire enough as to make people look elsewhere for alternatives. I have a hare-brained theory that this is what’s been fueling … Read More

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