Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I'm Reading Today

Good and good for you.  Here's what's cooking in today's food sections.

Jonathan Waxman is a pioneer of sorts.  With culinary roots in the Bay Area (Chez Panisse) and Santa Monica, Waxman ventured east in the mid-80s to open the legendary Jams in New York.  He took a sabbatical from the scene for ten+ years but returned in 2003 to open Barbuto, again in New York, and get back to his love for cooking all things Italian.  I've yet to go but hear he roasts the best chicken around.  Today's New York Times has an insightful profile of Jonathan-trust me, it'll make you hungry.  To channel his amazing cooking, always simple and fresh, try this recipe for Gnocchi with Spring Vegetables and Basil from his new book, Italian My Way

Happy Persian New Year, if you celebrated this week.  If not, it's not too late.  Especially with this recipe from the LA Times for Chickpea and Noodle Soup with Persian Herbs.  Lentils are seasoned with mint and cilantro, fortified with chickpeas and pasta, and topped with kashk-a Persian yogurt that can be found at most Middle Eastern markets (then again, you can of course you regular yogurt).  I love the rib sticking, belly warming nature of this soup.  A one-pot meal that happens to be vegetarian too.  

I'm a huge fan of broccoli rabe, also known as rapini.  You see it in Italian as well as Chinese cooking. It's distinctive flavor can be described as bitter but, a quick blanch usually takes care of that, making it nuttier and delicious.  Believe it or not, it's from the turnip family, not the broccoli family-sure they look alike but the flavor is all together different.  My favorite way to cook it is, after a quick blanch, sauteing it with garlic, chili flakes, anchovy, and good olive oil.  Today's Washington Post, has another idea; Broccoli Rabe and New Potato Salad.  Just when I thought I'd seen every variation of potato salad this recipe crossed my desk.  A simple vinaigrette is tossed with the warm potatoes and rapini, creating that necessary acidic balance.  Warm or room temp I think this is a perfect way change things up when it comes to veggies.

Happy Reading and Happy Cooking.

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