Back to Basics: How to Cook Vegetables

I was on the Today Show this morning (the first of three days in a row) demonstrating vegetable cooking techniques from my new book, How to Cook Everything: The Basics. For me, the easiest way to think about it is to group vegetables into three categories: greens, tender vegetables, and hard vegetables. You can cook the vegetables within each category pretty much the same way, so once you learn a few basic techniques, you’ll be able to cook any vegetable you can think of. Check out the video (above) and a simple recipe from each category here, and stay tuned for techniques for cooking meat (tomorrow), and desserts (Thursday).

Posted in Behind The Scenes, Produce

Today Show: Perfect Rack of Lamb

Making rack of lamb for the holidays? Here are three ideas for what to put on top.

Posted in Behind The Scenes, Recipes

Sunday Supper: Fennel and Orange Salad

This week on the Today Show I didn’t cook anything (none of the dishes involved any heat, which makes them perfect for Summer). Here’s one of the all-time great salads to get you through the dog days. Serve it with some crusty bread and you’ve got a light meal. Adapted from How to Cook Everything.

Fennel and Orange Salad

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 15 minutes

Among the most underrated vegetables, fennel has celery-like crunch and a widely appealing anise flavor. Combined with orange, it really shines.

1 pound fennel (1 large or two small bulbs)

3 small sweet oranges or tangerines

Salt

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, basil, or chervil leaves

1. Trim and core the fennel and cut it into small cubes, 1/4inch or so, or into thin slices (or shave it super thinly on a mandoline).

2. Squeeze the juice from one of the oranges, pour it over the fennel, add salt and lime juice, and let it sit (for up to several hours) while you prepare the other oranges.

3. Peel the remaining oranges and slice into wheels; then slice in half again, removing any pits and tough, fibrous material. Add the oranges and cilantro to the fennel, toss, taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Posted in Behind The Scenes