Dinner with Bittman: Braised and Glazed Butternut Squash


Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Braised and Glazed Butternut Squash

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

This is your go-to recipe for everyday winter squash; it will work with any variety, but I usually turn to butternut because it’s so much easier to deal with than all the others. Once you peel and cut the squash, you braise it in a small amount of liquid, then boil off the remaining moisture to glaze it. Other vegetables you can use: any winter squash (except spaghetti), though they will all be more difficult to cut and peel than butternut.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

Behind the Scenes at the Minimalist


Just finished shooting twelve minimalist videos in two days. Here’s what we’re up to when the cameras aren’t rolling (notice the intense concentration on that rack of lamb).

Posted in Behind The Scenes

Dinner with Bittman: Chard with Orange and Shallots

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Chard with Orange and Shallots

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 25 minutes

A perfect winter dish, this warm salad has vibrant color and tangy sweet-sour flavor. The skin of the orange or tangerine becomes almost candied and provides a nice chew, but if you’d rather not eat it, simply peel before chopping.

Other vegetables you can use: any chard, bok choy, kale, or any cabbage. For the citrus, use kumquats (quartered) if available.

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You Want Chronicles? I’ll Give You Chronicles!


Today is the first “normal” day I’ve had in more than two weeks. I know this because I had steel-cut oats (with soy, mirin, and rice vinegar, fantastic) for breakfast. Otherwise I couldn’t tell.

Last week began in Philly, with a talk at the Free Public Library; I thought it went well. Loads of people, all very friendly. Finished signing at 9.00 or so, and ate at the hotel, the Palomar. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised; I know Kimpton (the hotel chain) tries to work on its restaurants, but I haven’t been that impressed overall. But Square 1682 was really, really good: a warm octopus salad, followed by a tiny little cassoulet … obviously not a big enough sample to judge by, but I’d go back. Not that I know when I’ll be in Philly again.

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Posted in Travel

Dinner with Bittman: Pasta with Leeks and Parsley

Recipe from How to Cook Everthing.

Pasta with Leeks and Parsley

Makes: About 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

Leeks become tender quickly enough to make a distinctive sauce for pasta in little more time than it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. And teamed with the classic southern Italian quartet of garlic, chile, parsley, and olive oil (butter’s good, too), the sauce is delicious.

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Posted in Italian, Recipes

Dinner with Bittman: Stuffed Mushrooms

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes: At least 6 servings

Time: 30 minutes

Another good use for button mushrooms, which have a fine shape for stuffing.

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The Food Matters Cookbook Chronicles: St. Louis


Oftentimes when I’m signing books for people they ask if they can take my picture. Last week in St. Louis I (for the first time) replied, “Fine, if I can take yours.” Really fun. Here are some of them.

Posted in Behind The Scenes, Travel

Less-Meat Mondays: Beet Tartare


By Freya Bellin

In the spirit of Mark’s recent spread on the wonders of the food processor, I thought I’d take a pass at this beet tartare.  The end result wasn’t what I had expected, but that, of course, doesn’t mean it wasn’t delicious.  I found it to be less of a tartare and more of a bright, refreshing raw vegetable salad.  The vibrant beet colors make it perfect for entertaining, and it’s a no-cook recipe to boot.  I made one batch with golden beets and dill, and another with red beets and chives, both for color contrast and taste comparison.

My preference was for the golden batch; golden beets have a mellower flavor than their red counterparts, which allowed the flavors of the other ingredients to come through a bit more.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the dish tasted even better on day two.  I’m attributing that to the lemon juice, which had a chance to soften the beets overnight and let the flavors really soak in.  For an impressive presentation, scoop some tartare onto endive leaves, or just serve it in a bowl with a side of hearty crackers. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

Beet Tartare

Makes: 4 to 8 servings

Time: 30 minutes

I first learned about beet tartare—just love the name—from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who uses roasted beets. I’ve eliminated that step and use raw beets. You can serve the dish as you would traditionally serve beef tartare: with chopped hard-boiled egg, onions, cornichons, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, or even a crumbling of strong blue cheese, like Stilton or Roquefort. You can have a bit of fun with color here: make one batch with golden beets and another with red—serve them side by side for a spectacular presentation.

2 pounds red or yellow beets (about 4 large), peeled

1⁄4 cup chopped red onion

1 tablespoon olive oil, or more as needed

1 to 2 tablespoons grated horseradish, or to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more as needed

1 tablespoon chopped capers

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, tarragon, or chives

Salt and black pepper

8 slices whole grain bread, 2 small heads endive, or crackers, for serving

1. Cut the beets into quarters and put them in a food processor; pulse the beets until they’re ground up into small pieces—about the size of grains of rice—careful not to overprocess. If you don’t have a food processor, grate the beets instead. If the beets release a lot of liquid, squeeze them gently with your hands or drain them on paper towels to remove some of the moisture.

2. Combine the onion, oil, horseradish, lemon juice, capers, and herbs together in a bowl large enough to hold the beets. Fold in the beets and sprinkle with salt and pepper; taste and add more lemon juice, oil, or seasoning if needed. If you like, chill quickly in the freezer or refrigerate for up to a day.

3. Toast the bread and cut each slice diagonally into 4 toast points. (Or separate and trim the endive into leaves.) Serve the tartare cold or at room temperature with the toast points, spooned into endive leaves, or in a bowl next to crackers.



Posted in Produce, Recipes

Eat a Carrot First, Ask if It’s Organic Later

Here I talk with Malcolm Jolley about the new book, the perilous state of our food system, and what it might/should look like in the future.

Posted in Produce