Niçoise Redux

Sometimes a salad is just so good you have to blog about it twice. And so, my friends, I invite you to join me on a virtual journey back to the French Riviera as we revisit the Niçoise, deconstructed and put back together.

Deconstructed Niçoise

I’ve been known to grumble on this blog about food trends. I never want to see another red velvet cupcake or Korean beef taco again. More

Salvaging the Most Boring Pepper on Earth

People have found all sorts of creative uses for green bell pepper across an array of pan-cultural preparations. You’ll find large chunks of it dominating entrees in cheap Chinese restaurants; lengthy slivers in pasta primavera at Olive Garden and Buca di Beppo; long-simmered squares floating in albondigas soup at your favorite Mexican dive. Among the world’s varied peppers, ranging from the tiny fiery pequins of Mexico to big sweet Hungarian peppers to vibrantly hot thai chilies, green peppers are not my favorite.

From this...

But even the most pedestrian vegetables can have their moment to shine. And so I humbly present the green bell pepper, re-introduced and all dressed up for its ascension to glory. More

In Awe of Niçoise

Like a wayward lover, I can be accused of shifting allegiances toward salads. It’s just that there are so many great salads, and I have so much love in my heart. On this very blog alone, I’ve swooned for Caesar, gobbed praise on Cobb. But today I’ve got a new cruciferous crush — the noble Niçoise.

La Grande Motte, France

As a boy of 12 or so, I visited the French seaside development of La Grande Motte — not far from Nice. I remember a large shopping mall, strange pyramid-shaped buildings and boats. More

Party Dip Goes Piedmont

The author (center, rear) and friends, hour 8, pitcher #12 — Vesuvios bar North Beach, San Francisco

Next time you’re having a dinner party at your home, dispense with the crudites or the waxy wedge of brie. I’ve got something better for you. It’s called bagna cauda (or bagna calda, if you prefer — easier to pronounce), it hails from the Piedmont region of Italy, and you’ll marvel how your guests gather around it, each trying not to look like the guy who’s hogging it all. More