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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
This bowl is a perfect year-round healer when you are feeling under the weather. The simple ginger-turmeric tea and coconut milk broth is as easy as boiling water, and would make a nutritious snack all on it’s own. The whole thing comes together with no fuss in under 20 minutes. It’s just the thing if a little virus, heartache, or disappointment has you down. The gingery goodness will have you feeling as sprightly as a bright yellow daffodil in no time.
Just like the verb cooking, loving calls for a lot of trial, practice, mistake-making, and what can feel like wasted time and resources. But your flops are exactly how you learn to love better. The trick is to not give up. Keep practicing. Your acts refine. Your acts become who you are. With a little tenacity your love looks more like the souffle you’d hoped for and less like the dog’s breakfast.
A hot bowl of soup sends a message: I’m Ok. Are you Ok? I’m here. Together we’ll keep our chins up. You are important. I am glad for you in my life. Take nourishment. Following these simple rules of thumb, you can have a creamy but cream-less pureed soup once a week all winter long and never grow bored. The same goes for the herbal drizzle. This really is a choose-your-own-adventure bowl of goodness.