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

A breezy barley risotto gets a boost from goat cheese and cider

Risotto has long gotten a bad rap, with a reputation for fussiness — that whole stand-over-the-pot-and-stir thing — that has never really been accurate. It’s a much more easygoing (and even forgiving) thing to make than many people seem to think. Still, I always appreciate seeing different takes on the classic Italian dish that promise to make it even more approachable, especially from other cultures. In his lovely new cookbook,

Take bean dip from ho-hum to fabulous with harissa, mint and carrots

Of all the things you can make with beans, a pureed dip is surely the easiest, and one of the most satisfying, too. When I’m using a pot of beans throughout the week, it’s usually my last stop: I take whatever cup or two I have left and throw it into the food processor or blender with spices and enough cooking liquid to keep it all nice and creamy. But sometimes I add another base element to make a dip along the lines of this one, a combination of carrots and white beans layered with fiery harissa and cooling mint. (If you’ve never tried mint with something spicy, you’re welcome.)

This Peruvian take on beans and rice will remind you why the combination is such a classic

I’ve been thinking about beans and rice a lot lately, and it’s only partly because I wrote a book about the former. I’ve been thinking about how the combination got me through some of my poorest years, when I was putting myself through college after my father cut me off financially. These were the instant-ramen years, but at least a couple times a week I’d sit for hours at Austin’s Les Amis cafe (which we nicknamed “Lazy Me” because of the lackadaisical service) and eat a big bowl of brown rice topped with saucy black beans, salsa, sour cream and sometimes a little guacamole. I can’t seem to remember the exact price, but it couldn’t have been more than a few bucks, because that was about all I could afford.

Beans belong in tacos. This recipe will make you a believer.

An interviewer recently asked me about my favorite things to do with canned beans, and when I mentioned tacos, he was so surprised (“I’ve never thought about that!”) that it surprised me, too. Beans and tortillas are such natural partners in my world — I’ve been eating them together since my West Texas childhood — that I hadn’t really thought this might not be true for everyone. As convenient as canned beans are, if you’ve cooked a pot from dried, as I instructed a couple of weeks ago, you’ve g

When you cook beans from dried, you get liquid gold. Put it to great use in this recipe.

A week ago, I showed you how to cook a simple pot of beans and linked to five recipes you could make using beans from that pot. The theory: Cook this building block once, then have it at the ready throughout the week. Or month. Or quarter. The thing is, beans freeze so well — especially if you cook them from dried and store them in their cooking liquid — that you can also reap the benefits of this easy cooking session over a much longer period. [How to cook a simple, flavorful pot of beans and

How to cook a simple, flavorful pot of beans and use it throughout the week

I’ve said — or written — it so many times, I long ago lost count. But here goes again: The key to quick-but-interesting weeknight cooking is to get in the habit of making building blocks on the weekend when you have time, and then learn to use them in a variety of ways during the week. As a vegetarian, I’m talking about roasting vegetables, steaming grains and, my favorite, simmering a pot of beans. Now that we’re spending so much time at home, you don’t have to wait until the weekend to do suc

This flexible pesto pasta is a keeper for whatever vegetable you have handy

Pesto belongs in the pantheon of flexible recipes. Sure, the classic combination is basil, garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil, but I’ve made it with all manner of nuts, hard cheeses and leafy herbs (or other greens) and been perfectly happy. This is my way of saying: Here is another recipe I’ve tried to design for maximum adaptability and therefore maximum utility in this time of maximum anxiety. This simple, bright and pretty pasta dish from the great Yotam Ottolenghi originally called

Make these mushroom quesadillas work for you, not the other way around

Comfort and ease: That’s what quesadillas have always represented to me, since the very first time I folded a tortilla over some cheese. You can complicate almost any dish, but it’s pretty hard to do that with quesadillas. There’s not much room on a 6-inch corn tortilla, so you’ve got to keep the fillings pretty minimal. My favorites are beans (of course) and mushrooms. For the former, use whatever you have cooked — or in the can. Just warm the beans and mash them lightly with some spices (cumin and smoked paprika are my favorites) and a squeeze of lime if you’ve got it.

A note from the Food editor: We’re in this together. What do you need?

I think I speak for all of us when I say my head is spinning these days, full of more questions than answers. What was certain a few months, a few weeks, even a few days ago is now anything but. People around the world are losing loved ones, livelihoods, their sense of community, security, safety. The fear and anxiety about the short and long term threaten to overwhelm us. And here we are at home, more isolated than ever, just when we need one another the most.

Adapt this simple pasta salad to whatever vegetable is in your fridge or freezer

Adaptability. That’s what the world is requiring of us right now, and that’s certainly what we need in our recipes. Because who knows what we’ll find the next time we check our phones, open a paper, scroll through social media? Will we want to go to the grocery store? Will we be able to? Just in case, I take comfort in knowing I can cook with what I’ve got around, and I want to stock up on things that will last.

This lentil soup is so good one nurse has eaten it for lunch every workday for 17 years

Can you imagine eating the same lentil soup at your desk for lunch virtually every workday for almost two decades? I couldn’t, at least not until I talked to Reid Branson, a Seattle nurse manager who has been doing just that. The soup is from Crescent Dragonwagon’s 1992 book “Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread,” and Branson fell so in love with it that it changed his lunch routine for the rest of his professional life.

Blackened seasoning turns chickpeas into the stars of this spinach salad

Once, many years ago, a fellow food writer sidled up to me and asked: “I don’t really cook with spices, do you?” he said. “I just like everything to taste fresh.” I couldn’t have disagreed more. Not only do I adore cooking with spices, but I find them key to adding layers of flavor to vegetables, to unlocking the secrets of dishes from around the world, to getting out of almost any cooking rut. Spices, I said, can make anything taste more, not less, fresh.
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