The Breakfast Salad

After a recent post on carbonara, I received a comment from my friend and one half of the dynamite blog duo known as Gourmandistan, Michelle, who confessed to having in the past served a Calvin Trillin Thanksgiving. The writer and humorist had once suggested we (America) should shift away from bland, dry turkey on the holiday, and serve spaghetti carbonara instead.

Salade frisée aux lardons

Salade frisée aux lardons

A perfectly sensible suggestion to this particular cook who finds the traditional Thanksgiving menu, politely put, uninspired. More

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The Gods are Laughing

Somewhere in Heaven or on Mt. Olympus or wherever divine beings congregate, the Food Gods and the Irony Gods are toasting and laughing at me. Because, as I write these very words, I am eating quinoa.

Arugula & quinoa salad with roasted pumpkin, walnuts and yogurt cucumbers

Arugula & quinoa salad with roasted pumpkin, walnuts and yogurt cucumbers

They (those gods) had barely just gotten over their amusement at my new jogging regimen (after years of declaring that I only ran if something was chasing me), and now they had this to entertain them! More

Panzanella

Summer! A magical land of flip flops, sunshine, rock & roll, olive oil, zinfandel, barbecues, sunflowers, golden sunsets, the laughter of children, hummingbirds, wild salmon from Alaska, zucchini blossoms, sand stuck to your feet, pink wine, watermelon, baseball, baby deer in the park, cold beer, and, most of all, tomatoes.

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Summer makes me think of Tuscany. Once, while strolling through Florence with my sister Andrea on a blazing hot summer day, I was wishing I had some sunglasses. The very moment I had the thought, I glanced at a trashcan we happened to be passing, and there sitting on top of a pile of refuse was a pair of almost-new, round John Lennon-y sunglasses. And, they were rose-colored glasses! Tuscany is sort of magical that way. More

Dan Does Louie

A couple years back, my pal Dan (most recently of rattlesnake culinary ambitions infamy) invited us over for dinner. He was making Crab Louie.

Crab Louie, I thought, now there’s a classic dish that doesn’t get much ink in the foodie lexicon. So I decided I would feature Dan’s dinner on my blog. On the appointed night, we arrived wine in hand.

Dan's Crab Louie

Dan’s Crab Louie

“Tell me what you’re doing there, Dan,” I said, iPhone video camera in hand. And Dan, who is a natural on camera, walked me through the process of making this delicious salad while I asked insightful questions and captured it all on the phone. Unfortunately, it was Dan’s phone I was using. More

Chopping My Way to Glory

Lately when I’ve gone to the fridge feeling uninspired and not knowing what to make for dinner, I’ve often turned to something that was missing from my repertoire for years — the chopped salad.

While not codified in the same way as other great salads, the Caesar for example (romaine, anchovy, lemon, parmesan and garlic), or the Cobb (avocado, bacon, egg, chicken, etc.), it is precisely its flexibility that makes the chopped salad so great. More

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