If like me, you can’t get enough of nuoc cham — that zesty, indispensable Vietnamese dipping sauce for spring rolls, rice noodle salads, and so much more — you will go bonkers for this summery tomato and grain salad.
“Farro and Tomato Salad with Fish-Sauce Vinaigrette” takes a dressing with a similar profile as nuoc cham — minus the lime juice — to dress a colorful, bountiful mix of chewy, nutty farro grains with fresh heirloom tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and a lavish amount of fresh parsley and tarragon leaves.
That quarter head of cabbage lingering in the fridge. The two carrots, once the epitome of crunch, now possessed of droopy ends. That once bright-white cauliflower head starting to go sallow. And those green onions now sadly going limp.
When I peer into my crisper drawer at home, it often feels like a race against the clock. Limiting my trips to the grocery store now means loading up with perishables all at once, each with its own limited life cycle. Tick, tick, tick. When I spy things beginning to wither, like Valentine’s Day roses after the bloom of the holiday has come and gone, I slump dejectedly.
But now, thanks to a genius recipe, I perk up immediately instead to the possibilities.
Because “Korean Scallion Pancakes” or “Vegetable Pajeon” was made for those bits and ends of veggies that hang around a little too long through no fault of their own.
Think Hanukkah potato pancakes gone Korean with kimchi instead.
This genius recipe, published in 2019 in the New York Times, is by one of my favorite food writers, Melissa Clark. She learned the recipe from Chef Sohui Kim of Insa and the Good Fork restaurants in Brooklyn.
Andreas Winsberg is used to growing things. The son of a farmer — David Winsberg of East Palo Alto’s Happy Quail Farms that started the craze for pimentos de Padron in California — he’s been helping his dad plant those prized Spanish peppers and sell them at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmers market since he can remember.
Now, it’s this 25-year-old’s turn to germinate something special of his own.
In late-March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit full bore in the Bay Area and shelter-in-place restrictions took hold, he created Farm Box, a weekly curated farmers market box that customers can get delivered to their door or pick up at the Ferry Plaza farmers market on Saturdays or the Menlo Park farmers market on Sundays.
Farm Box was developed by 409 + Co, a design agency that Andreas founded with fellow 20-something alums of Pennsylvania’s Haverford College, Stephen Davis and Jessie Lamworth.
They didn’t set out to do this. But realizing just how complicated buying groceries and food was about to become for people, they rose to the challenge to build out a new web-delivery business to help small-scale, local farmers, whose goods are so perishable, reach more customers.
“Seeing what my dad was going through, and fearing that the farmers market might shut down, was the impetus,’’ Andreas says. “We’re not in it to get rich, but to help farmers and others who need the boost now.’’
The book is by chef and TV personality Rika Yukimasa, a Japan-native and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
While working as a commercial producer for a huge advertising firm in
Japan, Yukimasa wrote cookbooks on the side. It wasn’t long before that
became her vocation. She’s now written more than 50 cookbooks. She also
hosts a popular cooking show, “Dining with the Chef,” which airs in 150 countries, including on PBS in the United States.
Some people always keep a bag of frozen peas in the freezer to suppress bruises or aches and pains.
Me? I keep one for last-minute additions to salads, soups, stews, pastas, and more.
They are nearly as good as fresh, easier to prep (there’s none involved), and are available year-round.
They add bright color, subtle sweetness, and gentle texture to so many dishes, including this one.
“Spiced Lamb with Peas (Kheema Muttar)” is from the cookbook, “Indian in 7” (Kyle, 2019), of which I received a review copy.
It’s by Monisha Bharadwaj, a chef and food historian, who runs an Indian cooking school in London, Cooking with Monisha.
As the name implies, the book is all about recipes for that take seven ingredients or fewer. Bharadwaj does take a few liberties with that, though. Cooking oil isn’t included in the official count. And some recipes call for simple sauces or pastes from a different recipe in the book.