Greens with Fruit and Mustard Vinaigrette

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By Freya Bellin

Fresh leafy greens are among spring’s treasures. Arugula, mustard greens, and spinach all abound at the farmers market these days, and there’s no better way to honor these flavorful greens than with a simple salad.

Summer fruits like raspberries and strawberries are great salad ingredients, but while we’re still waiting for berries and stone fruit to grace us with their presence, you can use apples and pears or dried fruits for this salad. I tossed red mustard greens with thinly sliced apples and chopped dried dates. The combination was sweet, spicy, and quite refreshing. Try the cheese and nut variation if you’re looking for a bit more heft. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

Fire Sale! My New Kindle Single (all my favorite grilling recipes) is Now Only $1.99

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Memorial Day weekend is famous for BBQs and sales. I figured I’d make things easy on myself this year and just combine the two. My new Kindle Single, Bittman’s Kitchen: What I Grill and Why, is now only $1.99 (used to be $2.99.) It’s a collection of my very best grilling recipes; sort of like a roadmap for how to eat your way from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I can almost smell that charcoal now. . . 

Posted in Mark Bittman Books

Barley with Cucumber and Yogurt-Dill Dressing

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Makes: 4 servings

Time: 40 minutes

Cool, crunchy, and chewy, this is a perfect summer salad, and quickly made with pearled barley, which cooks relatively fast. Other grains you can use: brown rice, wheat berries, cracked wheat, pearl couscous, or wild rice. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

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Posted in Middle Eastern, Produce

Fire Up the Coals: I Just Released My Very First Kindle Single (on Grilling)

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I just released my first (and apparently the first) food-related Kindle single. It’s called Bittman’s Kitchen: What I Grill and Why, and it costs $2.99 (is it just me, or are “books” getting cheaper?). This one is a compilation of my very favorite grilling recipes, the ridiculously easy, remarkably delicious dishes that I cook over and over again (because I’m too lazy, and they’re too good). I’ve written short essays to go along with each recipe, and included some indispensable grilling tips like how to stock a griller’s pantry and how to master doneness (not necessarily a no-brainer). So polish those tongs, stock up on charcoal (or propane), and happy grilling!

 

 

 

Posted in Mark Bittman Books

Spinach-Bulgur Patties with Skordalia

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By Freya Bellin

As someone with a lot of experience eating frozen veggie burgers, I can promise that making burgers from scratch is infinitely more delicious. These patties are meant to be appetizer-sized finger foods, but I made a couple monstrous ones to serve on rolls as veggie burgers instead. Or you could still make mini patties and serve them as sliders. Either way, these are great. You must be patient cooking them, and allow each side to really crisp up. This will help them stay together better when flipped, plus the crunchy outside is a nice texture contrast. Amazingly, the starch from the bulgur thickens up the mixture and acts as a paste to hold the ingredients together: no cheese or starch needed.

Skordalia, the dip that accompanies the patties, may be my new favorite condiment. It is a perfect complement to these burgers, but is also quite versatile, almost like hummus. It has a really unique flavor: super garlicky, nutty, and a little spicy. It would work great for crudités, pita, pretzels, or pretty much anything that can be dipped. Try it—you’ll be hooked. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in Recipes, Vegan

Dandelion Greens with Double Garlic

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Makes: 4 servings

Time: 15 minutes

The first measure of garlic mellows as it cooks with the greens; it’s the second that adds a real kick. Substitute minced ginger for the second addition of garlic if youl like.

Other vegetables you can use: broccoli raab, gai lan, beet greens, turnip greens, chard, bok choy, tatsoi, kale or collards (separate thick stems as needed), cabbage, or spinach. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

Teriyaki Noodles with Asparagus and Edamame

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By Freya Bellin

As the weather finally becomes mild, the word picnic has returned to my vocabulary, and I’ve started mentally collecting good recipes for outdoor eating. Not all tasty dishes make tasty picnic fare, but fortunately, most pasta salads will do the trick—especially if they taste good at room temperature, like this one. I love how filling soba noodles are, and they still match well with light sauces and green veggies, as in this recipe. The sauce is simple but flavorful, and the asparagus and edamame are a beautiful, springy contrast to the dark noodles. Try to get your hands on some of the lovely asparagus that’s out there while it’s still super fresh. And happy picnicking!  Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in Japanese

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw

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Makes: 8 servings

Time: 30 minutes

If you want restaurant-style coleslaw, you take shredded cabbage and combine it with mayo and maybe a little lemon juice. This version is far more flavorful with far less fat. I like cabbage salad (which is what coleslaw amounts to) on the spicy side, so I use plenty of Dijon, along with a little garlic and chile (you could substitute cayenne for the chile or just omit it if you prefer), and scallions.  Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

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Posted in American, Vegan

Easiest Bean or Grain Salad on the Planet

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By Freya Bellin

There’s no joking here with the superlative in the title of this recipe. It is truly the easiest salad ever. And what’s even better is that it’s also the most versatile. There are endless ways to vary a basic vinaigrette (see suggestions below), so you’ll never get tired of experimenting with flavors. My favorite addition is about a teaspoon or two of Dijon mustard to the recipe below.

These salads do well mixed with other ingredients, too, like extra veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers, etc.). I really like combining both beans and grains into one salad and serving that over mixed greens—it makes for an easy lunch to pack. I find that I need a little more dressing for the grains than the beans, since they absorb the liquid. It’s worth just making extra dressing if you think you’ll use it within a few days. Homemade is so much better than the bottled stuff. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

Halibut Steaks with Creamy Saffron Sauce

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Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

You can use the stand-alone sauce in this recipe with any simply cooked fish (steak or fillet), though I especially like it here, with the gentle butter-poaching technique and a delicate-tasting fish like halibut.

Other seafood you can use: any thick white fish steaks or thick fillets, or scallops or shrimp. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

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Posted in Recipes, Seafood