Vegetables

A Sweet and Sour Squash for Holiday Sides

A Sweet and Sour Squash for Holiday Sides

  Sometimes, I crave something so often, it might seem repetitive to anyone watching. I'll think, "hmm, I don't have a recipe test to work on tonight, so I can make whatever I want." And as if I pushed play on a paused song, I go right back to where I left off...

Thai Tomato Salad, Celebrating My Homegrown Harvest

Thai Tomato Salad, Celebrating My Homegrown Harvest

In Minnesota, we plant our tomatoes, then we wait. It's been a hard year in the garden, but the tomato plants seemed to really like the fact that it rained for the entire month of June, and a good part of July. The ten thousand lakes and creeks and rivers all jumped...

Simple. Spring. Asparagus.

Simple. Spring. Asparagus.

Our local asparagus is in, despite weather so tiresome that we can barely stand to make small talk about it. It seems that we shifted from winter to summer overnight, and the asparagus was there, pushing its way out of the muck. Kudos, asparagus! Huzzah and hooray for...

Why Aren’t You Eating Yucca?

Why Aren’t You Eating Yucca?

I recently found myself in first a Cuban joint, Victor's 1959 Cafe, and then a few weeks later, an El Salvadoran place called Pupuseria La Palmera. When I perused the menus, I realized something about myself. Whenever I see yucca on a menu, I order it. Yucca with...

Massage Those Collard Greens for a Terrific Winter Waldorf Salad

Massage Those Collard Greens for a Terrific Winter Waldorf Salad

It's always darkest before the dawn, or maybe "it's always whitest before the thaw" is more appropriate. Yes, I'm talking about Winter, just a little. Locked in the house, it's easy to fall into eating lots of comforting carbs. So we have to make sure that we are...

Deep, Dark Sweet Potato Love

Deep, Dark Sweet Potato Love

I've come to see the sweet potato as a kind of orange Sweden. In all the food rules that swirl around me, the Garnet Yam is an island of neutrality. Vegan? Paleo? Gluten-Free? Just trying to find some tasty grub? The trusty sweet potato is on your short list for good...

Brussels Sprouts, More Than a Baby Cabbage

  I made the trek to my wintry Farmer's Market on Saturday, where there was still a surprising wealth of produce. My teeth were chattering as I fumbled with my money with my blue fingers, speed shopping to get out of the cold. Then, I spied a quintessential Fall...

The Beauty of Grilled Cauliflower

One of the great things about cooking is that you can follow your muse, becoming slightly obsessed with certain foods or flavors, then moving on when another one catches your fancy. The wide world of plant foods offers up a bounty of inspiration, with each seasonal...

Chasing Plenty in London, at The Ottolenghi Empire

Like many Americans, I was introduced to Yotam Ottolenghi by the rave reviews of his restaurants in London, which were so exciting that American magazines and newspapers splashed brilliantly colored photos of his food across their pages. Then he released his book,...

The Lucky Number Seven and Happiness

We all hear about how many servings of fruits and vegetables we should eat, ranging from the five-a-day of the USDA to healthy eating experts who nudge it up to 8 or 9. Too bad most Americans have a hard time getting up to five, unless you count french fries and...

Before Kale Stole the Spotlight, We Loved Broccoli

Kale. It's on t-shirts, it's a statement, it's a movement. Kale chips are hot, people are blending it into smoothies, juicing it, cutting edge restaurants are serving kale salads. Did you hear, kale has more iron per calorie than steak? Don't get me wrong, I love...

Fast and Tasty Sweet Corn Saute

It's that time of year. The sweet corn is ripe and ready, and time to feast. I've been enjoying the heck out of it, boiled and slathered, grilled, and my current fave, sauteed. I have decided that the cooking method that will heat up the kitchen the least is to cut...

Start Seeing Black Pepper!

Salt and pepper are ubiquitous, such a part of our eating culture that we don't really pay them much attention. It's a shame, though, if you have ignored black pepper. Especially if you are using that horrible old pre-ground pepper that has been sitting in the shaker...

Super-Fresh Carrots by the Bunch

I didn't have to go to Mexico to get a really, really good carrot, but that's what happened. In early June, I taught cooking classes at the paradise that is the Rancho La Puerta Spa, and I was enlightened by a bite of a humble carrot. You see, at every cooking class...

Ripe, a Beautiful Journey into Vegetable Paradise

Those of you who buy and use cookbooks may already have suspected this, but we cookbook authors are an odd lot. Our passion for food leads us away from the sociable table and the friendly farmers market to the confinement of the testing kitchen and the computer room,...

We’re All Irish On St Patrick’s Day

First things first, I'm not Irish. I have some Scottish blood mixed with my all-American mutt lineage, which may make me a stone's throw from it. But when St Paddy's Day rolls around, we can all be Irish for a day. The idea of a simple, rustic cuisine based on local,...

The Secret Ingredient for Satisfying Vegan Food Is….

Today I wanted to touch on a secret weapon in the vegan and veg cooking arsenal. And that is smoke. In my book and classes, I often talk about using umami to give meatless foods a sensation of meatiness. Umami is abundant in animal proteins, but it can also be found...

In Defense of the Humble Spud

Potatoes have been a popular food for centuries, one of those elemental ingredients that can be cheap food for the masses one day, then whipped or turned into an haute gourmet masterpiece the next. These culinary chameleons originally flourished only in Peru, where...

Old- School Italian Tradition Expressed in Fractals

I was rushing through my local supermarket the other day when I was struck by something beautiful. Here in the depths of winter, we are surrounded by grey snow and greyer skies, so the occasional splash of color seems to waken something primal. There on a display...

King Kabocha

When Fall weather starts blowing in, signaling the icy times to come, there is one consolation. Beautiful sweet winter squashes start piling up at the market, where we can pick from an astonishing array of shapes, sizes and colors. The colossal Hubbard dwarfs the...

Local Exotica:Yard Long Beans go Italian

A great resource that we have at our markets in the Twin Cities is the Hmong growers. Every farmers market has several of these dedicated and hard working farmers. They grow everything from beets to watermelon. But what gets my culinary juices flowing is all the Asian...

Winter Blues? Feed Your Brain with the Mediterranean Diet

We know the Mediterranean Diet is good for your heart, but a recent study has found that it is also good for your mood. In a Spanish study conducted at the University of Navarra, researchers found that the more closely people followed a true Med diet, the lower their...