Chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons

Regular followers have probably noticed that I don’t cook much meat or poultry. In part, this is due to cost and environmental reasons.

But it’s also due to taste. I cook for leftovers, because I, like many of us, am too busy to cook multiple nights each week. And I often find meat leftovers…uninspiring. How do you reheat them without them drying out? (Does everyone know something about this that I don’t?) Plus, soups, grain salads, vegetarian stews, and so on all get better after a night in the fridge, rather than worse.

For me, the one exception to this rule is any meat or poultry that can be reheated in a sauce. The sauce helps keep the meat moist while it reheats.

That’s where this recipe comes in. Continue reading “Chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons”


Butternut squash lasagna with sage, caramelized onions, and tofu ricotta

Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, but for whatever reason—you’re a vegetarian, your guests are vegetarians, you don’t like turkey, or you don’t like weeks of turkey-themed leftovers—want to skip the bird?

Look no further. This lasagna capitalizes on big fall flavors: butternut squash, caramelized onions, and sage. It’s hearty: noodles and squash means enough starch that nobody walks away hungry. It’s beautiful: that burnt orange dotted with green baked sage leaves looks impressive and celebratory. Continue reading “Butternut squash lasagna with sage, caramelized onions, and tofu ricotta”

Five-hour, three-meat ragu

Most of my meals are vegetarian or vegan-ish. I have no problem with eating meat. But I usually cook for leftovers, and the idea of eating red meat every night for the rest of the week feels a bit…heavy. So most weeks, my my menu includes a big batches of a great soup and a hearty grain salad.

But them sometimes—sometimes I eat ragù. And oh my, it is about as far from a hearty grain salad as one can get. The way the braised meat practically melts over the pasta–the umami of the meat and cooked tomatoes–a glass of red wine on the side–it’s a visceral experience. Continue reading “Five-hour, three-meat ragu”

Gravlax salmon with dill-mustard dressing and homemade pickles

It’s Labor Day in Australia this Monday, Columbus Day in America the next. Whatever the reason for your upcoming day off, we can all agree that three-day weekends should include at least one leisurely brunch, preferably with a group of good friends.

But may I make a suggestion? This weekend, trade the coffee queue (Australia) or brunch line (America) for a morning meal with friends at home, and serve this salmon.

It is impossibly easy to make: just pile salt, sugar, and dill on a piece of salmon, chuck it in the fridge, and let the fish cure for a day or so.

Continue reading “Gravlax salmon with dill-mustard dressing and homemade pickles”

Chocolate, cherry, and hazelnut fougasse

A little over a year ago, a dear friend (and fellow graduate student) and I had an idea: to cook our way through an entire cookbook. Think Julie & Julia, but with more camaraderie and a tighter budget. We settled on David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen because it boasted solid reviews, stunning photos, and stories about Paris that delighted us with their enthusiasm and their sarcasm. (Sorry, France, I love you, but you do bring it on yourself sometimes.)

And so, every Sunday night for a year, my friend and I convened in her kitchen or mine to chop, sauté, braise, boil, and bake. She is impatient with processes—why does hot cheese take so long to cool?—and hates buttering baking dishes. I am far too cavalier about touching hot pans and foods. We came to refer to David Lebovitz as “Daveed” and talked about him as if he were in the kitchen. (“Daveed didn’t explain what milkshake-like consistency meant!”) But we shopped, chopped, cooked, ate, counseled, and laughed together, proving that the very best thing about food is how it brings people together. (And that is saying a lot coming from someone who can rhapsodize about eggs simmered in tomato sauce.) Continue reading “Chocolate, cherry, and hazelnut fougasse”

Sweet corn tofu frittata with roasted cherry tomato compote

Fretting about the impending end of corn season? Can’t face the idea that tomatoes will soon disappear? Wondering what kind of unjust higher power might make summer produce season so short and winter “produce season” so long?

Same here.

Make this to embrace the best of your farmer’s market, while it lasts. It is Sunday cooking: you have to prep the frittata, bake it, and let it set before serving, plus you have to roast the tomatoes. But it serves six–enough for a Sunday dinner with friends who also want to squeeze every last bit of summer weekend goodness out of the day. Or, you know, to provide a bright, filling lunch for you, the chef, every day of the week. You choose.

This recipe is vegan. I am not. Fellow non-vegans: do not be put off by the tofu filling. You will be licking the leftovers out of the food processor. I promise. Continue reading “Sweet corn tofu frittata with roasted cherry tomato compote”