Beluga . . . Parisian nibble . . . Kashmir . . . Roman Holiday . . . unctuously delicious . . . moistest chocolate cake . . . I’m guessing these words and phrases don’t automatically conjure up lentils for you. But that is all about to change.
We are going to banish the wet-wooley-hiking socks reputation that has dogged the lovely lentil and rehabilitate the image of this nutritious gift from the garden. Long the victims of sludgey brown casseroles, lentils have been relegated to the slag heap of cuisine for decades. Sure, the occasional chef has tossed them into his confit of duck, but for the home cook, lentils have suffered from the curse of miserly good-for-you-ness. But no more. Today’s post begins the renaissance of the perfect pulse.
To start with we are going to ignore the lentil’s goody-goody two shoes rep, so I want you to pay no attention to the fact that lentils are Read more
Growing up, artichokes were a springtime treat, steamed and served with little ramekins filled with melted butter and lemon juice for dipping the leaves into before we scraped off all that artichokey goodness from the leaves with our teeth. Simplicity in itself. Eventually, I met my darling and was introduced to his mother’s sublime, steamed artichokes stuffed with a magical triumvirate of bread crumbs, parsley and garlic, lovingly laced with extra virgin olive oil.
“What about some Parmesan?” I would ask her, filled with ideas of improvement, “or even Pecorino, maybe some anchovies?” To which her reply was a shrug, a gesture, the merest raising of an eyebrow to suggest ever so gently that this would be gilding the lily.
We have eaten our artichokes following my mother-in-law’s original recipe for many years, but recently I’ve been searching for a delicious way to enjoy these without all the bread-y stuffing. Trust me, it is not without trepidation Read more
I was shocked, shocked recently to hear a friend say that she never buys parsley — “Why bother,it’s just for garnish.” Quel blasphème! She might as well have told me that you don’t need a little black dress in your closet. Without parsley, my fridge feels positively naked. Parsley is much, much more than a garnish. It is rich in Vitamins A, K*and C, as well as a good source of iron and folic acid. In fact, a cup of parsley has more iron than a cup of Read more
Earlier this fall I broke my ankle and was confined to an armchair. Not being a sit-patiently-with-your-leg-in-acast kind of girl, I spent some time researching which foods would help me heal fastest. Nutrition books were stacked high, search engines whirred away. Leafy greens, check; wide variety of fruits and vegetables, check; almonds and other nuts, check; oily fish, check. Sauerkraut. Uhhh, sauerkraut, really? Honestly, I almost kicked the wall with my good foot in vexation. Now, I suspect that some of you share my ambivalence toward sauerkraut. Read more
Books For Cooks, a wonderful bookstore in London, publishes a small anthology of favorite recipes every year. The following is adapted from Jennifer Joyce’s Small Bites and excerpted in Book for Cooks Vol. 7. I usually soak farro in advance for several hours or overnight to reduce the cooking time.
1 cup whole grain farro (not pearled)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and black pepper
3 stalks, celery, finely chopped
2 ounces Pecorino cheese, grated, coursely
1/4 cup currants, soaked in hot water
Chopped mint, basil, parsley
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tsp runny honey
Soak the farro for several hours or overnight. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the faro, return the water to a boil, reduce and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes (depending on how long you’ve soaked the grain).
In the meantime, marinate the chopped red onion in the lemon juice — this will help to reduce the harshness of the onion. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the cherry tomatoes in a shallow roasting pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until some tomatoes are softened and some are burst. For the vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and honey in a bowl.
Toss the cooked farro with the red onion and lemon juice and then add in the roasted cherry tomatoes, chopped celery, grated Pecorino cheese, soaked currents and herbs Toss with the vinaigrette and serve.