Ottolenghi’s cacio e pepe comes with a wonderful Middle Eastern twist

There is absolutely nothing wrong with traditional cacio e pepe. Far from it. But — and you knew there’d be a “but,” didn’t you? — I did come across a recipe recently that makes one small addition to the classic, and it was such a beautiful complement that I knew I’d be making it this way for years to come. It’s from the great and powerful Yotam Ottolenghi’s new book with Ixta Belfrage, “Ottolenghi Flavor.” The London-based Israeli chef has brought new awareness of Middle Eastern ingredients to

The key to a better cauliflower soup: Don’t skimp on the garnish

The garnish ingredients can be raw or cooked, as long as they’re pleasant enough to eat. In the case of this recipe from Christopher Kimball’s new cookbook “Cookish,” the garnish consists of some of the almonds that you use to start off the dish by frying in oil and harissa spice blend (rather than the paste). The almonds offer richness and body to this cauliflower soup, making it creamy without cream. The spice blend gives a mild kick of heat, but don’t fret: If you can’t easily find it, you c

A sweet potato and mushroom quesadilla-pizza mash-up that’ll surprise you

At first glance, you might not think that Jacques Pépin and Haile Thomas have all that much in common. He, of course, is one of the best-known chefs in the world, an 84-year-old Frenchman whose books (including classic encyclopedias of technique) and public TV series (including with Julia Child) have made him a true culinary icon. She is the 19-year-old daughter of Jamaican immigrants who this year wrote her first cookbook, “Living Lively," focused on healthy, plant-based recipes.

A stuffed portobello only food writer Nigel Slater could design

Nigel Slater is a food writer’s food writer. The prolific British author’s famously brief recipe introductions read like haikus: “Roasted pumpkin. Smooth, silky mash.” “Autumn mushrooms, ribbons of pasta, a breath of aniseed.” “Crisp pastry. Warm banana. The scent of maple syrup.” They remind me of Ruth Reichl’s much-satirized tweets. He’s a cook’s cook, too, long advocating a season approach

Instant Pot spaghetti delivers a saucy dose of nostalgia, with little hands-on effort

My husband had just finished roasting summer squash from our garden. As he spooned the squash into a storage dish, the alarms blared: carbon monoxide, a.k.a. “the silent killer.” Before he had a chance to text me — I was traveling — he called 911, evacuated the house and waited for the firefighters to show up. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know the drill, which involves opening doors and windows, blowing a big industrial fan and using CO detectors more

Maangchi’s Korean tofu is a crunchy, sticky, spicy-sweet delight

If you’ve followed along on my ongoing efforts to create the crunchiest, most flavor-packed tofu possible, you know that I’m a fan of using cornstarch to get that crust. Last year, I found what I thought was the uber-recipe, one that calls for you to press moisture out of the tofu before marinating it in a hoisin mixture, coating it in the starch and pan-frying. As good as that was, as soon as I saw YouTube star Maanghi's

Hearts of palm fills in for the seafood in this plant-based ceviche

Los Angeles chef Jocelyn Ramirez remembers when it hit her: She and a friend were making a salad for dinner, and her friend brought out some hearts of palm. “I took a bite, and thought it had the texture and even a little bit of the taste of crab meat,” Ramirez said. She filed it away. The memory came in handy when she started moving toward a plant-based diet. She had been experiencing thyroid problems she wanted to treat through food, and she had made vegan smoothiies

Grilled Indian yogurt sandwiches offer a cooling crunch and creaminess in each bite

When Chetna Makan was growing up in central India, one sandwich showed up more often than any other in her and her classmates’ lunchboxes: a grilled number filled with cabbage, bell pepper and more, bound in yogurt. “Also, it’s so hot in India, it’s quite a cooling sandwich,” she said, adding that it gets its creaminess from yogurt rather than “mayo, which is completely unhealthy. You can add vegetables, and it’s just crunchiness you can taste.”

Beat the heat with this quick-cooking skillet of garlicky beans, broccoli and pesto

The other day, I was so excited that it was under 80 degrees for my morning walk with my dog — he’s gotten short shrift as the days have gone from hot to hellish — that I didn’t mind the light rain. Neither did he. It started out as a drizzle, but within 15 minutes the drops got larger and fell faster, and just when I was thinking we should head back home, we just … didn’t. We kept walking, it kept raining, and we had a nice, long, refreshing, meditative, wet and, most importantly, cool morning.

With a handful of ingredients and a smart technique, this sweet potato hash is ready in 20 minutes

In the pantheon of using-up-leftovers dishes, hash is at or near the top, alongside fried rice and the frittata. Do I need to even state the obvious, that you shouldn’t limit hash to breakfast or brunch? I didn’t think so. It’s flexible, too: Saute whatever allium you like, add cubed potatoes or sweet potatoes, fry them all up, fold in leftover vegetables and/or meat, top with an egg if you like, serve, eat. This version by vegan writer and YouTube star Jenné Claiborne, author of “Sweet Potato Soul" ...

The grill brings out eggplant’s best flavors in this colorful summer salad

Eggplant takes to grilling like perhaps no other vegetable I know. The spongy flesh soaks up smoke flavor from a charcoal or wood fire and turns buttery without the use of much oil, which eggplant usually devours. Try to grill thin eggplant slices and you’re in for heartache; they go from lightly charred to incinerated in the blink of an eye. You’ve got much more wiggle room if you keep it whole, the way I do when making baba ghanouj or other spreads, or almost whole, as with this recipe for a

Peak summer corn doesn’t need to be cooked. This bright salad with snap peas and zucchini proves it.

For many of us, summer just isn’t summer without sweet corn. And while I like to cook it all sorts of ways — steam, grill, pan-fry, even microwave (trust me!) — when it’s at its peak, mere hours out of the field, I can’t argue with the logic behind not cooking it at all. It’s so crunchy and juicy and, yes, sweet when you don’t apply even the slightest bit of heat. Plus, it’s so considerate of corn to come along right when we’re trying to keep our kitchens cool. [Summer is for grilling corn. He

This saucy, smothered tofu with peppers and onions will have you dreaming of the Mexican coast

Mexican cuisine, says Eddie Garza, doesn’t have to be all about cheese, meat and lard. In his 2016 cookbook, “¡Salud!,” he points to pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica’s “big focus on fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.” As his grandmother told him, “Before the Spanish came to Mexico, food was provided by the sun and earth.” The son of Mexican immigrants who grew up in a border town at the southern tip of Texas, Garcia ...

This roast cauliflower sandwich proves vegetables can be hearty and even indulgent

The cartoonish idea of a stacked-high sandwich is so ingrained in our culture it has a name: a Dagwood, referring to the “Blondie” comic-strip character known for entering a sort of fever dream as he dreams of, assembles and consumes them. I’ve devoured my share of Dagwoods over the years, and before I stopped eating meat they were of course layered with it, in various forms. More recently, I’ve made a point of trying to demonstrate, now and then, that a vegetarian sandwich can also be hearty and even indulgent — messy in the best possible way. My latest offering is a wonderfully simple take from the book “Tasty Pride,”

Here’s a spring lover’s grain dish: An aromatic pilaf topped with two types of peas

I judge my spring garden by two metrics — how well I treated my peas and how well they’re treating me. Did I plant them at the right time — as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring? Did I keep enough of the birds and squirrels away to prevent the pilfering of those pea seeds before they had a chance to sprout and grow? And did I give them a trellis to climb as soon as their shoots were stretching their limbs in search of one? This year, with so much more time at home — and needing gard

An Instant Pot and tiny lentils deliver big ‘baked’ bean flavor fast

Baked beans are a thing of beauty: A little sweet, a little tangy, and cooked so low and slow the flavors infuse every morsel. They’re a traditional side to barbecue, especially in the South, while in Maine my sister and brother-in-law like to eat them over roasted potatoes. The only issue is, my favorite version takes a long time, because I first cook the beans from dried (I like to use Jacob’s Cattle, cranberry or pinto) very simply on the stove top until tender, then add the flavorings and b

The sharp, rich flavors of a muffuletta make this salad an ideal pairing for pizza

At first glance, you’d think a muffuletta, that famous New Orleans sandwich piled with cold cuts and a spicy olive salad, simply isn’t for vegetarians. At least not in its most traditional form. And yet, even in the place that invented the sandwich, Central Grocery, you can order one without the meat. For those of us whose favorite parts of a muffuletta are the olive salad and the soft sesame bread that gives the sandwich its name, it makes perfect sense. [Home-delivered muffulettas, deep-dish

This chickpea salad has a royal backstory that doesn’t involve chickpeas

I wasn’t around for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II; I wouldn’t be born for a dozen years. Even if I had been, I doubt coronation chicken — so named because it was created for the occasion — would’ve been on my family’s menu the way it was across the pond, where it became Britain’s first “TV dinner” for those watching the ceremony on the small screen, according to historian Joe Moran. Culinarily, culturally and geographically, West Texas is about as far from Buckingham Palace as anypl
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