A Salad for Salad Haters: Radicchio with Anchovy Dressing

Thanksgiving's over and holiday parties are getting started. With all that heavy food (not to mention the cocktails), even those who are not the biggest salad fans need to try to sneak in a vegetable or two. Not saying I hate salad personally, just that I'd rather eat stuffing than salad. I might rather eat stuffing than about anything, though. For those who share my preferences, this is the go-to salad. Strong flavors from the anchovy, the garlic, and the bitter radicchio punch you in the palate like a prizefighter. The wallop makes up for the fact that you're eating rabbit food. The … [Read more...]

Simple Summer Suppers: Broccoli and Bagna Cauda

Nobody ever believes me when I tell them the rain doesn't start until my birthday (October 7th). Summer ends at Labor Day, they insist. Nope, it's not true. As the center of the universe--or, my universe, anyway--summer doesn't end until I turn another year older. So until that happens, I will continue to make the kind of simple summer suppers that are easily eaten outdoors, even if it's getting dark at before dinner time. I'll let the green in my vegetables, the yellow in my egg yolks, the bright flavors in my olive oil, light up the night. One of the cardinal rules of a summer … [Read more...]

Just Bento Cookbook and Turnip Salad Recipe

I want to crawl into a bento box. Curl up real tiny with the apple rabbits and carrot stars, atop a soft and gentle bed of white rice. Pull around me a blanket of nori and have my self a siesta. Wait, though, not just any bento box. The breathtaking (yes, I said breathtaking) cedar box that Makiko Itoh brought when she spoke at the book event Viv held recently. With a beautiful box like that, you feel obliged to make a beautiful lunch to match. Sadly, I don't see myself getting a $75 bento box anytime soon. But a girl can window shop, no? The event, where Itoh cooked up a feast of bento … [Read more...]

Simple Summer Salad: Radish

One of the great things I've learned by eating as an adult is that salad is a vague term, and it can be a great one. Growing up, salad meant one thing: Mixed greens and a bottle of Newman's Own Caesar Dressing. I know, compared to the evil salads that exist out there, it is not so bad. But for every dinner of my childhood, this sat out on the table and I came to hate it. I went through phases. Sometimes I thought I hated dressing (perhaps I only hated ones that came in bottles). Other times I thought I hated lettuce (though I think it was more the bitter radicchio). It only got worse when the … [Read more...]

Celebratory Salad

"Something's wrong with the tomatoes" B told me, standing over my epic bounty from the farmer's market that morning. What? They had been beautiful that morning, luscious and ripe, like they were just waiting to explode juicy, summer tomato-ey goodness everywhere. "They're like greenish," he explained. I drew in a deep sigh of relief and explained to the Indiana boy that not every tomato is perfectly shaped and perfectly red, that in fact, these were my perfect tomatoes. The next day, after a long day of oystering, I prepared to make an amazing salad out of the killing I'd come away from the … [Read more...]

Sundays are Good Days

I woke up this morning and went up to the first day of the Broadway Farmer's Market as it opened at 11am. Perusing the market, I actually managed to get out with out spending ridiculous amounts of money, but with a large amount of delicious food. I've only been home for about an hour and I've already had two different kinds of arugula salad. Here are my variations for home use: anchovy filets, sauteed in olive oil, hot oil poured over the top of the arugula to wilt it, then crisp up asiago cheese in the oven and sprinkle for crunch. Salt, pepper. Version two, used oil left clinging to the pan … [Read more...]

Doing Things Twice: Mango Salad and Duck Prosciutto

Some parents have to ask their kids "if Jimmy jumped off a bridge would you" because their kids are liable to follow. Not me. My parents had to be out in front, pulling dangerous objects (electrical sockets, sharp knives) out of my path, hoping that I did not get the idea to jump off a bridge. I never feared trying things once, and I certainly didn't need a friend to do it first. No, my problem is with doing things a second time. This continues to be true with my cooking. I have a lot of mangoes and duck prosciutto, I'll make a daringly spicy salad. That's easy. What's harder for me is … [Read more...]