Arsip Tag: vinaigrette
I know you all think I must be immune to this, but I go through phases of Down With Cooking all of the time. Sometimes, I’m just extra tired. Sometimes, the food outside the apartment is way more tempting, as it has been since we’ve moved into a new neighborhood full of intriguing sandwiches, hummus joints and more new flavors than I could pack into a year. Other times, I lack inspiration, or worse, an appetite as I did through that needling first trimester. I have cold cereal for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly for lunch. I fib my way through it on this site, plugging in recipes I have backlogged and sticking to simple things like snacks of pickled grapes in hopes that if I do not force it, it will come naturally back to me. I fear cooking becoming a chore, though I know even this worry is a luxury exclusive to people who share blocks with six eateries.
Four days after we moved apartments and kitchens, we took off for four days in the country. I didn’t unpack the kitchen before we left and I didn’t unpack it when we got back. We were at a standstill, this newer smaller kitchen of mine. Nothing fits in it, including the fridge (though it’s in there anyway, ugh, I’ll discuss that mess when I’m able to without grinding my teeth). The dishwasher we’d swooned and were sold over was broken, we needed to buy a cabinet for the living room before we could even unpack our dishes, the sink was borked, the wall had no room for our pot rack and we accidentally forgot to unpack the entire bin of perishables (mayos, jams, boullons, mustards, yeasts, cheese, butter, shudder) finding the box 10 days later (post-heat wave with no air conditioning yet, to boot) suitable for nothing but the trash bin. It was not looking very promising.
My only hope was that one day I’d get hungry, hungry enough that I’d go back to my old self who never cared how little space I had, just that I got to make the food I wanted to in it. My strain of madness has gotten me through a wedding cake and a zillion projects better suited for kitchens with more than two square feet of counter space so I trusted it would not stay dormant forever. [I also trusted that it would not take three weeks to rouse from it slumber, but hey, I can’t be right all of the time.]
Well, it has finally happened, and not a second too soon. Oh, the kitchen’s not unpacked, far from it. But a bare minimum of pots and pans are, the dishes cabinet arrives Tuesday, the sink no longer sprays water to the ceiling, the dishwasher does it’s dishwashing thing, we’ve started buying bits and pieces of groceries again and, oh, this: The girl who thought she could never love a kitchen without a skylight on top has discovered that she’s actually totally smitten with the delicate, angled light that filters in from the kitchen window.
And I know we should get started with something more exciting than salad — yawn, Deb, really! — but sometimes it’s these basic things you miss the most when you let everyone else cook for you. I saw a variation of this a while back in Gourmet and was completely stuck on the pairing, which with it’s fennel seeds and bitter endive and celery probably couldn’t be filled with less popular ingredients if it had tried. But that’s what cooking at home is all about, getting to eat the food you’re excited about, even if it will never win a placement on a coveted menu and I, for one, am quite pleased to be back to it.
One year ago: Martha’s Macaroni and Cheese
Two years ago: Pineapple Upside Down Cake [wow, only two of my favorites from the archives. If you make them, can you share with us?]
Endive and Celery Salad with Toasted Fennel Seed Vinaigrette
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
Despite my drive to make this, the grocery forces were not with me. The (awful) (yes I know I should be more poetic about it but it really is awful) Whole Foods I was auditioning in Union Square didn’t have Belgian endive (which is so gorgeous if you can find it) or frisee, and the paltry bundle of celery I got didn’t slice up to make half the amount the recipe suggested three stalks would. Fortunately, salads are infinitely flexibile and not requiring any kind of religious devotion to their ingredient lists and quantities, so have fun with this. Make it yours.
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (1 large)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound frisée (French curly endive), torn into bite-size pieces (10 cups) [we swapped butter lettuce]
3 Belgian endives, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide slices [we swapped regular green endives]
1 bunch of celery ribs, thinly sliced crosswise (1 to 2 cups, depending on the size of your bundle)
In addition: Either an electric coffee/spice grinder or exceptional skill crushing spices in a mortar and pestle
Grind fennel seeds in grinder until ground but not powdery. Transfer to a small bowl or cup, then stir in oil until combined. Let stand 15 minutes.
Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, salt, and sugar in another small bowl or cup until salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir fennel oil, then add to shallot mixture in a slow stream, whisking until combined.
Toss lettuces and celery in a large bowl with just enough vinaigrette to coat. Season with black pepper to taste.
Pairing: I think this salad would be fantastic with maybe some shards of your favorite hard cheese and a poached egg on top, should those of you out there not be at a point in your lives when runny yolks are verboten. (Sniffle.)
Happy Pie For Breakfast Day, friends! Do you see what I did there? I made it official, which means that you need not feel any regret that you may have innocently come upon a lonely wedge of leftover pie in the fridge this morning, and before you knew it, before you could responsibly hash out the pros and cons of setting your day to the tune of pie, and not, say, a muesli, fresh fruit and herbal tea detox, you in fact did have pie for breakfast and it was wonderful. You need not feel any regret because it’s a holiday, and it was important that you joined in the celebration. You were only doing your part. (Gobble, gobble.)
And now that we got that out of the way, I bet you could go for a salad. No, not a Salad of Thanksgiving Repentance; that would be rather dull. It might include wheat germ, and it’s too soon for all of that. I firmly believe that on the road from total overindulgence to the kind of mood that leads to my gym being jam-packed with Resolutes on January 1st, there should be some in-between. A salad, yes, one with several whole and wholesome ingredients, but also one that you look forward to eating because it in fact tastes amazing. And for that, I nominate this one. It comes with a warm bacon vinaigrette and old-school vibe. It’s not even a little sorry.
Before I took off to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, Washington DC, Toronto and Chicago on the whirlwind last few weeks of the book tour during which I have missed you all terribly, I went on a serious spinach salad bender, surprising nobody more than myself. If you’d offered me this salad any time in the last 15 years, I’d have pushed it away without regret. For a while there, spinach salads were both ubiquitous and terrible, the classic flavors co-opted with everything from raspberry vinaigrette to honey-drenched walnuts better suited for an ice cream sundae topping. But as will always happen, after a long break, I started craving the old-school version, the one you might have found on a steakhouse menu up until a while ago, and I think it’s fairly well established how warmly I feel about steakhouse classic salads. This one belongs back among their ranks.
A bright pile of baby spinach leaves is scattered with wispy slivers of red onion, thinly sliced white mushrooms (please, no fancy mushrooms here), coins of hard-cooked egg and then the piece de resistance, tiny bits of bacon rendered in a pan until crisp and salty and perfect, and its smoky renderings whisked with a pinch of Dijon and red wine vinaigrette in a skillet to make a quick, hot dressing that you pour over the salad, gently wilting the onion, spinach and mushrooms and leaving you wondering why you don’t make this every week of the year. You should. There’s still time.
Book Tour: To say that the last few weeks of book tour-ing and meeting so many wonderful people have been incredible would be the understatement of the century. They’ve been mindblowing, overwhelming, humbling and maybe a tiny bit exhausting, but a good exhausting. One I’d do again in a heartbeat. Which is awesome, as it’s not over yet. Boston I know both the Tuesday and Wednesday events are sold out (boo!) but both include details about how you can stop by a bit later for a signing, even if you couldn’t get tickets. I hope I will get to see everyone that missed out. Darien, I can’t wait to see your beautiful library on Thursday. Texas, I will be counting down the second until I can finally get to Book People on Friday in Austin and Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston on Saturday. [All Book Tour Details, here.]
One year ago: Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Biscuits
Two years ago: Upside-Down Cranberry Cake
Three years ago: Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
Four years ago: Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips
Five years ago: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Apples, Roasted Stuffed Onions and Simplest Apple Tart
Six years ago: Not Your Mama’s Coleslaw and Indian-Spiced Vegetable Fritters
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Adapted from several places, but my favorite version is Alton Brown’s
To hard-boil eggs, well, there are a million approaches out there (see this comment section if you don’t believe me). Mine is to cover a large egg with cold water and put it on the stove and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, set a timer to exactly 9 or 10 minutes, and reduce the heat to medium. Once it’s done, I often plunge it in icy water so that it will stop cooking immediately and also chill quickly. At 9 minutes, large eggs will be a little tender in the center, as you can see in the top photo. At 10, it will be a fully-cooked (but not overcooked) egg.
If you’re freaked out by raw red onion, you can actually add it to the dressing in the skillet for the last 10 seconds to soften it and remove more of the bite, and pour the onions and dressing over the salad together.
Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 spinach salad enthusiasts
4 ounces baby spinach
2 large white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 small or medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 large egg, hard-boiled (see above), chilled, peeled and thinly sliced
4 pieces thick-sliced bacon (about 4 ounces), finely diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar
1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place spinach in a large, wide salad serving bowl. Scatter with mushrooms, red onion (see above for a different, mellower way to add the onions) and coins of hard-boiled egg. In a large skillet, fry bacon bits over medium-high heat until they’re brown and crisp and have rendered their fat. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out of the skillet and spread them on a piece of paper towel briefly before sprinkling them over the salad. Pour out all but two tablespoons of hot bacon fat from the skillet. Reheat over medium and quickly whisk in the red wine vinegar, honey and Dijon. Pour over entire salad and season salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve hot. Repeat tomorrow night.
I was going to offer today a kind of loose apology. “Sorry, guys, for all of the potatoes and eggs and utter randomness of recipes this winter,” and then shamelessly go onto blame this approaching third-trimester (ack, too soon) situation with its still-unpredictable food cravings I’m in but then I realized: this is actually nothing new. There isn’t a recipe in the almost 9 years and 975-deep archives on this site that hasn’t been fueled wholly by hankerings, usually arbitrary ones. Some people have lesson plans and editorial calendars, I have whims. It’s just now I have a tiny thing — a future rock star, if the dance party from 2 to 6 a.m. last night is indication — to blame for it.
Thus, without apology, is the latest iteration of my ongoing obsession with Salade Lyonniase, which I made for the first time here in 2007, when the only dance parties keeping me up at night were my own. Hailing from Lyon, the salad is traditionally made with bitter lettuce (usually frisee, but escarole, other firm lettuces and frankly, whatever you have around that you like to make salad with, will do), a poached egg and a shallot-bacon vinaigrette, poured warm over the salad, gently wilting everything. In 2012, inspired by a riff on it from the sandwich chain ‘Wichcraft, I started putting it on a bun with a fried egg and with the unconventional addition of blue cheese and it’s been hard to remove it since. And now in 2015, I’ve strayed even further from tradition and turned it into a warm potato salad. Je ne regrette rien.
Warm potato salads don’t always get the love over here that our cold mayo and minced pickle summer versions do, and while I’m eager for the weather associated with them, steaming potatoes accented with crispy salty bits, the richness of a soft egg and a sharp vinaigrette makes a lovely, comforting and luxe weeknight dinner that feels perfect right now between seasons. And yes, I said dinner. It has protein (eggs) and a green vegetable (lettuce), my standards aren’t much higher than that. Prepare to put this meal on repeat.
More potatoes-meet-salads: Last year’s beloved Warm Lentils and Potato Salad, a beloved and seasonally perfect Spring Salad with New Potatoes, the Horseradish Potato Salad I never wait for summer to eat, Alex’s eternal favorite Dilled Potato and Pickled Cucumber Salad, posh Lobster and Potato Salad, and two more mayo-free riffs, one with tzatziki and the other with pesto and green beans.
One year ago: Sizzling Chicken Fajitas
Two years ago: Coconut Bread
Three years ago: Carrot Cake Pancakes
Four years ago: Oat and Maple Syrup Scones
Five years ago: Irish Soda Bread Scones
Six years ago: Penne with Potatoes and Rocket
Seven years ago: Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake and White Bean Stew
Eight years ago: Mighty Russian Morsels and Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Cauliflower Slaw
1.5 Years Ago: Fudgy Chocolate Sheet Cake
2.5 Years Ago: Homemade Wheat Thins
3.5 Years Ago: Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Potatoes with Soft Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette
Salade Lyonnaise is traditionally made with poached eggs, and while I’ve got a technique that works pretty well for me [follow along over here], I started making soft-boiled-then-peeled eggs several years ago and haven’t poached a one since — I do so here as well. Crumbled blue cheese isn’t traditional either, but then again neither are potatoes.
Serves 2 to 3 as a meal, 4 if you’ve got another dish out (we also roasted asparagus)
1 1/2 pounds fingerlings, or small red or yukon gold potatoes
4 large eggs
1/4 pound frisee (French curly endive) or another sturdy lettuce
6 ounces slab bacon or thick-cut bacon slices
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese, or more to taste
Cook potatoes: In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with cold water, set a timer for 25 minutes (for small red or gold potatoes), and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender but not falling apart, which for small red potatoes usually takes me 25 minutes (fingerlings, because they’re thinner, might be worth checking at 20). Drain and when cool enough to touch, but still hot, halve lengthwise and arrange cut side up on a platter.
Meanwhile, cook eggs: Bring medium saucepan of water to a boil. Lower eggs into it and boil for five (for a runnier egg) to six (for a less-runny but still loose egg) minutes. Drain and rinse egg briefly under cool water until cool enough to handle and carefully peel — because the egg inside is so soft, I recommend chipping off smaller pieces at a time and running it under water as needed so you don’t accidentally rip it open. Set aside.
Prep salad: Tear frisee into bite-size pieces and put in a large bowl.
Right before you’re ready to serve everything, make vinaigrette: If using slab bacon, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices, then 1/4-inch thick sticks (lardons); if using bacon slices, just cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch lardons. Cook bacon in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, until bacon is 3/4 as crisp as you’d like it to get. Add shallots, and cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in red wine vinegar and Dijon and let simmer for 10 seconds. Immediately pour 3/4 hot dressing over potatoes and last 1/4 over frisee in bowl, tossing the lettuce to combine evenly. Season both with salt and pepper.
To finish: Top dressed potatoes with peeled eggs and use a knife to cut them into quarters, so they break open over the potatoes. Season cut eggs with salt and pepper again, sprinkle potato dish with blue cheese. Serve with frisee on the side or on top.
Note: I’ve made this a few times (can you blame me?) and sometimes I got a lot of “renderings” from the bacon and had more than enough dressing for the potatoes and side bowl of lettuce and a couple times it felt a little scant. If you don’t feel like you have enough dressing to stretch over the potatoes and lettuce, just cover the potatoes well. The lettuce can be always be lightly dressed with a splash of olive oil, teaspoon of red wine vinegar plus the salt and pepper.
If you think you’re not a lentil person, have you tried lentils de puy? Tiny, almost nutty in flavor and keeping intact when cooked, they’re so wonderful in salads, warm and cold, I’m convinced that they can convert anyone. Sure, they’re a household staple in France, but here they can be found at a lot of grocery stores or ordered online.
- 1 1/2 cups dried lentils de puy or other small green lentils
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium zucchinis (about 6 ounces each), diced
- 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, diced
- Leaves from 3 fresh sprigs thyme
- 2 small or 1 large garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large balls of burrata (or 4 smaller ones), at room temperature (see Note up top)
- Sea salt and more black pepper
- A few small basil leaves for garnish
Meanwhile, make vinaigrette: Blend basil, mustard and vinegar together in a food processor. With machine running, drizzle in olive oil in a thin stream. Season well with salt and black pepper. You’ll need to scrape the machine down a few times to get all of the leaves minced. No food processor? Very finely mince leaves on a cutting board with a sharp knife. Place in medium bowl and whisk with mustard and vinegar. Drizzle in olive oil in a thin stream, whisking the whole time. Season well with salt and pepper.
In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, onion, thyme, salt and pepper and cooking, stirring frequently, until softened and just barely picking up color, about 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add cooked lentils back to pan and stir to mix and re-warm; you can add a splash of water if they’re sticking. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Assemble: Transfer lentil-vegetable mixture to a large, wide serving bowl and stir in 2/3 of vinaigrette. Place intact* burratas on top and then cut into quarters with a sharp knife so you don’t miss any of the wonderful stuff that spills out. The warmth of the lentils will melt it further. Drizzle with a little extra vinaigrette, a few pinches of sea salt and a couple extra grinds of black pepper. Scatter basil leaves over and dig in.
(* Unless you’re me and tripped walking home from errands yesterday because you were carrying too much and smashed blueberries, cherries, heirloom tomatoes and burratas and now I am grumpy despite having a Muppet bandaid on each knee.)
It’s really unfortunate timing, because we’ve got a long year to go and I at one point had many great and luminous cooking plans for it, but they’re all cancelled now because on the afternoon of January 4th, before 2019 had really even kicked in, I ate the best thing I had or will all year or maybe ever — because what would the internet be without some unnecessary melodrama — and I threw it together from a mess of leftovers in my fridge.
Don’t you hate it when those lifestyle guru-types tell you about the meals they threw together from their leftovers, which just happen to be in tip-top shape, chromatically balanced, and Instagram-perfect. In real life, or at least mine, leftovers are a lot of Let’s Never Speak About That Again, the best of intentions cut short by poor planning, the now shamed and guilt-ridden humans responsible for the disgrace vowing to do better by that murky bag of herbs and liquefied cucumber next time.
But not last week. Last week, on January 1st, I made David Chang’s Bo Ssam, something I do once a year or so when I want to make a jaw-dropping feast for a crowd with exactly three ingredients (pork shoulder, salt, sugar) even a person living through the aftereffects of an evening of daquiris can handle. Of course, because most three-ingredient recipes are a lie, there are a few other things you make to serve with it: a Ssam sauce (it’s like a vinaigrette), a ginger-scallion sauce (a riff on the classic Cantonese sauce), rice, and I always like to serve it with marinated julienned carrots and thinly sliced cucumbers so needless to say, these leftovers were well above-average. Bo Ssam makes a lot; we ate it on the 1st, the 2nd, and the 3rd before we were finally out of pork, but I still had a smidge left of everything else so for lunch on that 4th day of the year, I put it all in a bowl and topped it with a crispy fried egg.
But first, I crisped the rice. The world of crisped, stuck-pot, scorched, fried, bimbimbap-ed, tahdig-ed and socarrat rice is vast and nuanced and fascinating and I’m not going to even try to do it justice here, but what they all have in common, what they all know, is that cooked rice that’s been allowed to crisp is a glorious thing. My favorite — short-grain brown or white rice — is particularly good at this, starchy and thick enough to be both crackly edged and tender-centered in a single grain. (What a showoff.) It, apparently, smells like popcorn when you cook it.
I have told every single person I’ve seen or spoken to since about how amazing this lunch was (their eyes mostly glazed over, it’s fine, I understand) and now it’s your turn. I’ve tried to pare it down to just the most essential parts — crispy rice, a crispy egg, and a ginger-scallion-sauce-meets-vinaigrette — plus whatever crunchy or leftover vegetables you have around. I hope it becomes your new favorite 2019 meal, too.
One year ago: Boulevardier
Two years ago: Crusty Baked Cauliflower and Farro
Three years ago: Ugly-But-Good Cookies and Swiss Chard Pancakes
Four years ago: Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake
Five years ago: Coconut Tapioca Pudding and Chicken Pho
Six years ago: Ethereally Smooth Hummus and Gnocchi in Tomato Broth
Seven years ago: Apple Sharlotka
Eight years ago: Vanilla Bean Pudding and Pizza with Bacon, Onions, and Cream
Nine years ago: Barley Risotto with Beans and Greens and Poppy Seed Lemon Cake
Ten years ago: Almond-Vanilla Rice Pudding and Light Wheat Bread
Eleven years ago: Lemon Bars and Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Twelve years ago: Balthazar’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and World Peace Cookies
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Bourbon Peach Smash
1.5 Years Ago: Confetti Party Cake
2.5 Years Ago: Peaches and Cream Bunny Cake
3.5 Years Ago: Green Beans with Almond Pesto
4.5 Years Ago: Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings