Category Archives: Recipes (Savory)

Knives Out — For Fanciful Carrots

Carrots that make you sit up and take notice.
Carrots that make you sit up and take notice.

Get that sharp chef’s knife at the ready — for hasselback carrots.

Yes, the technique that’s all the rage for potatoes can be used just as easily on carrots.

“Hasselback Carrots with Pimenton and Roasted Lemon” is a recipe from the new “Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food” (Harper Wave), of which I received a review copy.

It’s the newest cookbook by the ever-popular Julia Turshen, the New York-based veteran cookbook author, and host of the podcast “Keep Calm and Cook On.”

The book includes 110 recipes that are accessible and far from fussy, such as “Fancy Weeknight Salmon Salad,” “Sheet Pan Lamb Meatballs with Sweet & Sour Eggplant,” “Breakfast Nachos,” and “Coconut Marble Loaf.”

Turshen also includes her trademark lists, such as “Five Things That Are Always in My Refrigerator” (such as kimchi), “Seven Kitchen Organizational Tips” (including the use of turntables in cupboards and refrigerators), and “Seven Ways to Use Left Over Egg Whites or Egg Yolks” (like using extra whites to make spiced nuts).

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Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce

Pistachios and prunes make up the filling and the sauce for this simple pork tenderloin roll.
Pistachios and prunes make up the filling and the sauce for this simple pork tenderloin roll.

This is one of those dishes that looks like you slaved over yet is really as simple as it gets.

“Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce” may have only seven ingredients, but it delivers on flavor and presence so much that it’s definitely worthy of being served to company.

This recipe is from the new “Tuscan Women Cook: Nonnas. Memories. Recipes.” (self-published), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Coleen Kirnan with Rhonda Vilardo, who run the aforementioned Tuscan Women Cook, a culinary immersion program in Italy, in which students learn authentic, time-honored dishes during hands-on, week-long classes.

The recipes in the book are inspired by the family recipes and culture of the Val d’Orsia region of Tuscany, just south of Siena.

Recipes such as “Zuppa di Stracci” (“Stracciatella Soup”), “Ravioli di Ricotta ed Erbe Aromatiche” (“Ravioli with Ricotta and Herbs”), and “Melanzane alla Parmigiana” (a lighter version of “Eggplant Parmesan” that forgoes breading and frying) are sure to appeal to any Italian food lover.

“Filetto di Maiale con Prugne e Pistachio” or “Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce” makes use of a mix of pistachios and prunes (yes, dried plums) in two ways.

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A Twist on Coleslaw — Grill It

Green cabbage gets kissed by the grill to turn coleslaw into something special.
Green cabbage gets kissed by the grill to turn coleslaw into something special.

During the pandemic, I made a new bestie.

Its name: cabbage.

It’s not like it was a stranger before. It had been welcomed into my home many a time. But I sheepishly admit I took it for granted.

It took a shelter-in-place mandate, with the curtailment of regular trips to the grocery store, to deepen my relationship with it profoundly.

Red, green, Savoy, Napa, you name it — I appreciate its low-maintenance nature more than ever that allows it to hold up in the fridge for weeks on end with little attention. When called upon, it can command attention, no matter what the occasion or the company. Best yet, it can be introduced easily raw or cooked in myriad ways.

So, when I spied a recipe for “Grilled Cabbage Coleslaw,” I turned happily to my newfound trusty friend.

This Asian-inspired take on coleslaw is from the new cookbook, Food Between Friends” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy. It was written by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the comedic actor of “Modern Family” fame, and food writer and recipe developer, Julie Tanous.

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Purple Reigns

Chef Eric Ripert turns everyday cabbage into something special.
Chef Eric Ripert turns everyday cabbage into something special.

Leave it to Chef Eric Ripert to turn purple cabbage from pauper to prince.

Yes, in the hands of this gifted Michelin three-starred chef, this lowly veg shines as royalty on the plate.

“Soy-Glazed Red Cabbage” is one of the star recipes in his newest cookbook, “Vegetable Simple” (Random House), of which I received a review copy.

As the long-time chef and co-owner of the venerable Le Bernardin in New York, Ripert has honed the magic touch with seafood. Now, he applies that same exquisite care to vegetables in recipes that are truly simple. In fact, most of them call for just a handful of ingredients along with three to six paragraphs of directions.

You will salivate without feeling the least bit intimidated when you come across recipes such as “End of Summer Tomato ‘Tea’,” Warm Potato, Goat Cheese Parfaits,” “Curried Brussels Sprouts,” and “Corn Cake, Blueberry Compote.”

Wedges of purple cabbage cook in a saute pan on the stove-top with a little water and butter, like making glazed carrots. OK, maybe more than a little butter; more like half a stick. But hey, you can’t fault a Frenchman for that.

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Shaved Asparagus Salad with Asparagus Buttermilk Dressing and Pickled Asparagus Tips

Asparagus shines three ways in this composed salad.
Asparagus shines three ways in this composed salad.

With his trademark crisp white shirt, Christmas-red bow tie, and denim overalls that he’s never without (not even at the black-tie Jame Beard Awards), Farmer Lee Jones is a larger-than-life character.

But he is no caricature.

He is the real deal.

When his family nearly lost its soy bean and corn farm in Ohio during the 1980’s economic downturn, he managed to save it by taking a gamble to transform it.

Instead of growing feed crops like soybeans and corn, he downsized to nurture obscure specialty herbs, fruits and vegetables after a chance meeting with a chef looking for someone to grow squash blossoms.

Today, the small, sustainable Chef’s Garden is revered by chefs nationwide, including Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, and Jose Andres. It’s this farm that we have to thank for the whole microgreens movement. During the pandemic, the farm adapted to changing times once again, offering delivery of its produce to consumers so that Jones wouldn’t have to lay off any employees, despite its main customer base, restaurants, ordering far less because of curtailed operations.

Jones’ story is captured in “The Chef’s Garden: A Modern Guide to Common and Unusual Vegetables–with Recipes” (Avery), of which I received a review copy. Written by Jones with Kristin Donnelly, former food editor at Food & Wine magazine, this lavishly photographed 240-page book is not only packed with recipes, but detailed information about selecting, storing, cleaning and using a wealth of produce. The book hones in on both the familiar and the esoteric, from ramps, hearts of palm, and bamboo shoots to amaranth, arrowhead root, and crystal lettuces.

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