All posts filed under: Evergreen (April – July)

Celery Amandine on a platter

Vintage Celery Amandine for the Home Run

Vintage Celery Amandine is proof that celery is more than a minor-league bench player at your table. There is a reason why celery is last to be chosen for Team Exciting Foods. Grocery store celery is pale, stringy, flavorless, and waterlogged in comparison to locally-grown, bright green, crisp version that hasn’t been trucked half-way around the world. Garden-grown or farm-fresh celery is a different thing altogether.

Banana Coconutty Breakfast Cookies

What Makes Your Mom Special? Banana Coconutty Breakfast Cookies

My mom and I live nearly 3,000 coast-to-coast miles apart, or roughly the same distance as it is from my home to Mexico City. It’s been nearly 16 months since I’ve seen her. If I were with her this week, I’d make mom these tasty Banana Coconutty Breakfast Cookies. I’d actually make a double-batch, and zippy-bag them up for her freezer so she’d have a month of homemade breakfast cookies after I left. Here are fourteen of the ways my mom is very special.

asparagus bean salad

Humble Beans: Lemony Asparagus-Bean Salad

Part two of the Ode to the Bean trilogy recipe is an asparagus-bean salad with lemon vinaigrette. Its crispy lemon-panko topping is pretty special, if I don’t say so myself. It makes a great side dish, but we ate it as our main course and loved it.To bring you up to speed, last week I cooked up one pound of Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans. My objective was to create three unique recipes that wouldn’t having us hating beans by the end of the week. The three recipes– today’s lemony asparagus-bean salad, along with pasta with beans and mushrooms, and brothy beans-and-greens bowl– resulted in three distinct, tasty success stories.

Pasts with beans and mushrooms in a bowl

One Humble Pot of Beans, Three Noble Meals

No other food radiates humble simplicity quite like the bean. Beans are easy to cook, fit most dietary lifestyles, and make a hearty winter stew or a tangy chilled summery salad with equal aplomb. Last week I cooked up one pound of Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans, and made a little game of seeing what I could do with them throughout the week that wouldn’t grow wearisome. The pasta with beans and mushrooms, lemony asparagus-bean salad, and brothy beans-and-greens bowl were each distinct, and each a success.

wine-roasted artichokes on baking dish

Blissful Wine-Roasted Artichokes

Artichokes are another of the short-season wonders, and we try to eat as many as we can while they are available. This terrific recipe is super easy, and makes the most succulent, juicy, and rich-tasting artichokes ever. It’s nice to have a new addition to the ‘choke repertoire.¬†

Have you noticed what happens when a crowd of people eat with their fingers? It’s a magical way to drop barriers and bring people together. Put a bowl on the table for guests to toss their tooth-scraped outer leaves into.

burritos on green and blue plates

Cheap + Quick + Easy: 20-Minute Beefy (or Beany) Spinach Burritos

Some evenings are just not made for fussing over dinner. After a long work day; kids’ sports-music-dance-chess club-art-study group activities; community meetings; and who knows what, all cooks need some go-to quick, hot, hearty, tasty things we can make with our eyes closed.

This recipe got me through the flurry of raising my then-tween and teen-agers, and still is a completely comforting and serviceable years later. Over the years I’ve done a lot of “Making It My Own” improv riffing on this one, and it’s always forgiving and welcome.

beet orange salad on platter

Citrus Rush: Beet Orange Salad

The process of preparing and eating citrus makes me happy. I never get tired of the bright cheery colors; the way the skin’s oils pop when peeled, exploding the most uplifting scents; and how a little lemon, lime, or orange can enliven an otherwise drab dish. April and May wrap up the season for most US-grown citrus varieties, and now is the use-it-or-lose-it window for the freshest citrus. This beet-orange salad is perfect for your spring table.

Carrot Risotto in bowl

24-Karat Feast: Carrot Risotto + Green Garlic Sauce

Passover, Easter, Earth Day, Mother’s Day– Whether your spring celebrations are about freedom from bondage, the resurrection of a savior, or your motherly origins– Mother Earth or your earthy mom– you need a good feast. If you’re tired of the same old scalloped or kugeled potatoes, 24-Karat Carrot Risotto a luxurious and celebratory substitute worthy of becoming a tradition.

Five Ways to Love Your Home Again After Being Trapped in it for a Year

After a year of being trapped in our homes, they may be losing some of their charm. Humans are built for novelty, and here are five no-an-low cost ways to inject some into our home spaces right now. Hint: One of the ways is to learn a new culinary skill, like mastering the perfect sous vide steak-frite!