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Summer Bounty Pasta and Brie

My friend Ellen called asking for a recipe I had given her many years ago. "The no-cook one with lots of fresh tomatoes and basil," she reminded me. I had just been thinking of that recipe as I walked through the Union Square Farmers' Market with whiffs of basil and tomatoes. Funny she should call to ask about it. When I made it recently, I realized that I can no longer tolerate uncooked garlic. I could 21 years ago when I tested this idea for my Express Lane Cooking column. If you also can't tolerate raw garlic but love the flavor, add whole crushed cloves to the bowl, removing and [...]

By |2020-08-25T00:07:13-04:00September 9th, 2020|Entrees, Recipes|0 Comments

Escarole + Escarole and White Bean Soup

When I see a beautiful head of fresh escarole in the market, my mind goes into planning mode. With about 10 cups of coarsely chopped escarole from one head, I often make more than one meal from it.  First Pasta e Escarole then Escarole and White Bean Soup, the latter from my defunct daily syndicated column, Express Lane Cooking (ELC). In ELC, I divide the ingredients into Necessities (what you need to purchase or have), On Hand (ingredients generally in your pantry) and Not So Necessary (ingredients that you can add if you want to, yet they are not necessary for the success of the recipe). Then, after I tell you how to make the soup, [...]

By |2020-07-19T12:48:12-04:00July 15th, 2020|Entrees, Starters|0 Comments

Introducing Escarole + Pasta e Escarole + Escarole and Bean Soup

I was introduced to escarole by a Florida Italian neighbor of my folks. After cooking by her side for about a week, I began my love affair with this amazing veggie. This recipe (and the escarole and bean soup that follows next week)  are from that cooking orgy. Like other leafy greens, this lettuce-like veggie packs heaps micronutrients and fiber with few calories. Escarole is a relative to endive, radicchio and other bitter greens. Before using, be sure to rinse the escarole thoroughly in a few changes of water because it can be quite sandy, like leeks. For this recipe, no need to dry before using. Just leave the water [...]

By |2020-07-04T09:19:33-04:00July 8th, 2020|Entrees, Recipes|0 Comments

Pepper Vodka (and More) from “Beyond The North Wind” by Darra Goldstein

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) When I received notice that my friend Darra Goldstein had unsubscribed from my NewsBite newsletter, I reached out to learn, "why?" and learned she wasn't unsubscribing, just eliminating duplication as she was getting it twice. During our email interaction, she had mentioned the upcoming publication of her latest book, Beyond the North Wind, another tome exploring Russian food. Darra is the founding editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. She's also the Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, Emerita at Williams College. I was looking for a simple recipe to share. She suggested the Pear and Carrot Relish, one of her favorite easy [...]

By |2020-07-08T15:13:34-04:00July 1st, 2020|Recipes, Starters|0 Comments

“Nostalgia on a Plate” Meatballs For My Nephew’s Recipe Book

For newlyweds, I assemble a baker's dozen favorites from my syndicated columns and out-of-print cookbooks as the start of their recipe collection. For one of my nephews, I wanted to include his grandmother's potted meatball recipe. I had taken notes watching her make those famous sweet & sour meatballs. I did make them once from those cryptic notes yet never "kitchen-tested" a written version. Having warned him of such, my insides smiled when he wrote to me after making them, "Nostalgia on a plate." (Meatball photo by my nephew.) Hilda’s Sweet & Sour Meatballs Makes 6 to 8 servings. "I’m writing t