Beet salads. I have to admit that I used to think of rendering fresh beets into smooth, juicy, orbs of crazy magenta was such a taxing chore that I reserved cooking beets for pre-determined occasions. A special side dish, for a special purpose. It’s taken me maybe eight years to understand that cooked beets—and the endless beet salads that can be made from them—are one of the simplest, easiest things to prepare, and to keep on hand. And when you … Read More
Summer’s a good time for a ‘mezze meal.’ With so many vegetables in season, you can easily pull together a colorful assortment of stuff to dip and mix from a plate with pita. This isn’t a very elaborate version of what that could be—try a colorful assortment of lots of salads and sides for a casual dinner party—but it hits the spot, and fills you up in all the right ways, making you feel both healthy and satisfied.
Aren’t the holidays grand? You get to see your co-workers get drunk on the company tab, eat gingerbread to soak up eggnog, and see strangers dressed as Santa Claus on the subway if you’re in the city like me. Maybe that last part wasn’t a huge bonus of the season. But the point is, you get to party more. Throw off your shoes and–even if you’re not wearing elf socks–enjoy a little whimsy and respite from the weekly dredge more … Read More
What do you do with one whole week’s CSA share for a single meal? My friend Wen-Jay, who runs Local Roots CSA, decided to put me to this challenge to help kick off the winter CSA season. I was up for the challenge, but had another to contend with: what do you do with a big batch of food when you live alone and have no other mouths to feed? I eventually determined it would be a soup, and salad—preferably … Read More
I’m not averse to wheat or gluten myself (knocking on wood), but I’m well aware of friends and general masses of folks who are looking for that delicious diversion from eating such products. So, for the crispy, crackly “crust” on a fish fillet, I crushed a grainy mixture of aromatic spices instead of looking to starch-based solutions. Then, since we’re creating such a textural complement to the otherwise tender fish, why not make fish itself the crusty crouton for a … Read More
Being burglarized is not fun. You come home, find out someone’s snuck in through your window, pushing around your tomato plants on the fire escape to steal your stuff inside. I lost my Macbook Pro, and a camera. No, not fun. But what they didn’t steal were my plants, my food, my goshdarn enthusiasm for all that, and a crusty laptop tucked in the closet, going seven years strong.
I have been seriously craving hamburgers lately. Not the cutely compressed, miniature snack-cum-calorie-whoppers wrapped in grease-blotched paper, but the mean, towering, impressive type stuffed with fixins’ that might come with a steak knife at the side. Oddly, though, I was craving the whole big sandwich affair more so than meat, and wondered if that could be sated without.
I love the combination of earthiness, creaminess and pungency in a European herring salad, where the pickled fish is tossed with chopped potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and beets. This combination, sometimes including chopped apples, is enjoyed in Scandinavia, Russia and Northern Germany — essentially, wherever the ground is frozen much of the time. Well, the ground hasn’t been frozen for a while in New York, but we’ve still got rations of winter’s potatoes and beets before spring vegetables enter the scene. … Read More
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.
I find the mild flavor, mild texture, and outrageous color of roasted beets so enjoyable that I’ll pop them into my mouth whole like popcorn. Only, it’s not all the time that I get to roasting a few beets, especially when it’s been as warm as the last few weeks in New York. However, I did roast a lot of very good beets the other day — good, because they were just in season at the farmers’ market (rather than … Read More