Spring is in the air — and greens are in the earth. According to a friend who tends a farm Upstate, only the last couple weeks have granted the consistency of warmth needed to thaw the ground and allow for new plantings to begin. Rejoice! But then, not all plants need to be planted, per se. Some prefer to seed spontaneously, in the wild. Introducing the season of wild onions, including those most coveted now in New York City — … Read More
Ratatouille is a soothing meal to enjoy on warm nights or as a light lunch (or brunch, topped with a poached egg). To me, it simply spells summer; common ingredients are zucchini and summer squashes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. To many, it epitomizes simply country fare from France, or brings to mind a children’s film of the same name. Since it’s a flexible dish of peasant origin, you can improvise with the ingredients used, and add any favorites of your … Read More
Oh indulgence, you sinful pride. I eat tuna fairly often, from a can, on bread or an olive oil-drizzled salad. The pale, meaty hunks of fish are pretty satisfying this way. But nothing compares to a thick slab of fresh-caught tuna, seared ’til just golden and ruby rare inside. It’s the perfect indulgence to pair with spring snow peas, also from local origin, and a zesty, tart, umami sauce with fresh, young scallions, too.
Have you done some spring cleaning of your old recipe ideas? I mean, turn over a new leaf in the way you see ingredients and process how you might prepare them? I’m always looking to evolve from my gut instincts on what to do with a certain familiar food, for better or for worse (sometimes, the simplest, most instinctual answers are best). But spring seems especially fitting for turning that equation on its head, and coming up with a new … Read More
It’s not your ordinary side of peas, carrots and potatoes, but they go together just as well as always. Here, instead of your standard frozen peas, are a cache of just-in-season sugarsnap peas, with their edible, crunchy pods. Something about their shape, especially once split open, reminded me of an oblong shellfish, like mussels. I love mussels in a coconut green curry-infused broth. So why not fresh snap peas, in all their green sweetness, for something like that instead?
I go away for one week and return to find that, not only have asparagus made their annual arrival in local markets, but everyone’s had more than their share of it already. “I’ve eaten asparagus for the past four days,” moaned a friend at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket Saturday. “I’m over it.” Well, I have some catching up to do, so rather than dawdle on an elaborate preparation of it, whipped up this quick, ridiculously easy go-to favorite of … Read More
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.
I may never master the all-American macaroni and cheese myself. But after sampling some thirty best efforts of this dish at Brooklyn’s second Mac & Cheeze Takedown on Sunday, I may have some more clues. Mac and cheese is one of those quintessential home-cooked dishes (along with chili, the food that began the Takedown), meant to be shared by many and enjoyed by all. But as I wasn’t competing in this Takedown myself (I’d asked host Matt Timms to but … Read More
Green peas in June, shucked fresh from the pod, are such a rare and delicate treasure that I’m swayed to disbelieve they’re the same things I grew up pushing around on my plate. Whereas the latter version were frozen and already shelled, the presence of the pod makes the legume that much more three-dimensional and full of life to me — tedious as they may be to shell. The flavor of sweet, fresh peas is sublime, and they need little … Read More
It’s a great time to eat your greens. In my garden, the lettuces and stir-fry greens couldn’t be better, tender and succulent from so much rain. But the pea plants have been slow-going after a late sow, just beginning to blossom with white flowers and form tendrils that clasp onto the trellis. Luckily, more experienced farmers have done the wiser and are bringing their mature pods to the Greenmarket now.