I’ve had an earworm for the last few weeks. Ever since finding a record called “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by Jay & the Techniques, the title track has been playing in my head nearly constantly. It’s a great song—have a listen. This pie is not what the song is actually about, but I just couldn’t shake the idea of making it. In an uncanny confluence of new seasonal fruits and old musical discoveries, apples, peaches and pumpkins all happen to be in … Read More
I’m a big fan of two-ingredient “salads”—if you’ll allow me to call them that. What makes a salad a salad? It’s not uncommon to see a “tomato salad” with just tomato and dressing. So is the imperative on fresh vegetables? (Not so! What about chicken, egg or grain-based salads?) Does it need to be cold? (No! Warm or room-temperature salads are a typical Moroccan side, like with carrots, for instance.) To me, it seems the word “salad”—and especially if we look at … Read More
This dish is part-recipe, part-stress therapy. When I served it as part of a baby shower brunch recently, people kept coming up to ask me a) Was that raw cabbage? and b) How did you cut it? You don’t cut it, I told them. You have to roll up your sleeves and tear it with your bare hands, which I demonstrated by air-tearing. It’s a lot of fun.
The taste and scent of celery root offends some, and this I had not known before. To me, the cleaned bare root looks, smells and tastes fairly innocent at first, then slowly creeps more complexity. The herbal, vegetal nuances are beguiling, surprising and intriguing to me. And combined with the sweetness of apple and the dairy richness of butter, it’s pure harmony.
I wasn’t sure what to call this condiment — it is a jarred, preserved sauce (so it could be called simply “preserves”). But it doesn’t have to be; it could also be used immediately, like any old sauce. It’s sweetened with sugar so it could be a jam, but it has enough savory complexity to qualify (I think) for a chutney. It also has a strong dose of vinegar so it might as well be an agrodolce — the tangy, … Read More
Last weekend was Karol and Dave’s wedding. And Karol — as evidenced by numerous blog posts chronicling her bake-off victories — is a master of making apple pie. The perfect golden crusts, tall mounds of apple-y ooze, and her signature crimped, lattice-woven tops, were the delight of many parties she has treated myself and friends to throughout the years. I wanted to honor that at her wedding somehow. But a wedding must have cake.
For me, it’s pretty difficult to separate “fall pasta dish” from “squash.” It’s perhaps second only to severing “brown butter” from the presence of “sage.” These things just go together like beets and goat cheese, it would seem. But look what happens when you squash kale inside ravioli (because you’ve used up your squash), and toss them with brown butter, apples and sweet onions (because your sage plant died while you were traveling) instead? It’s a new marriage of flavors … Read More
I decorate my home with food, not flowers — a bowl of peaches or tomatoes to grab from in the summer, jaunty new herbs like mint in the spring, and a fetching squash of some type to plunk on the coffee table in fall and winter. A great pile of apples often paints the scene, from mid-September to about May. If you’re like me, you’ve probably found yourself equipped with a good squash and clutch of apples from a recent … Read More
Never pass up the chance to buy rhubarbs whenever you can. Even if you only have the means or capacity to get a few stalks. You don’t have to make a whole pie; and you can always put them up as a jam. So bright and tart-tasting, easy to prepare, and limited to a short window of spring, rhubarb is worth the risks of getting creative with — or adding to whatever you’re making anyway.