Joe Yonan

Journalist, cookbook author

Washington, DC

Joe Yonan

Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post
Weeknight Vegetarian columnist
Author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook"


A sub for cheesesteak lovers who don’t want the steak

I used to avoid making dishes in which vegetables play the part of meat. You know the ones: The “burger” made of ground beets, whose crimson color makes the patty look like rare beef. The mushroom medallions that evoke seared scallops. The roasted red pepper that’s a ringer for a raw tuna slice.
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Here’s how DBGB makes eggplant a top seller: Coat it in a sweet-sour glaze.

“My grandmother cooked a lot of eggplant,” says Ed Scarpone , chef at DBGB Kitchen and Bar , referring to his childhood in Connecticut. “Eggplant Parm all the time.”. Now that he’s the one behind the stove, he still loves the vegetable but prefers to give it a treatment whose name in Italian — agrodolce — makes it sound fancier than it is.
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Cook this when you’re sick of winter, but spring vegetables aren’t here.

After what seems like the longest winter since I lived in New England, I’m ready to move past the soups and stews and am hungry for lighter, brighter food. The problem is, the ingredients for those types of dishes haven’t exactly been easy to come by. With a few exceptions here and there, farmers markets lately have been full of the same produce as the month before, and the month before that, mocking me with their root vegetables.
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If you were to cook only one bean for the rest of your life, make it this one

I know I probably shouldn’t say this, for fear of tempting fate, but here goes: I never tire of cooking with chickpeas. Competition is fierce, but they’re my favorite legume: sturdy enough to hold their shape in a slowly cooked stew but super-creamy when pureed (see: hummus). Great as an appetizer (fried/spiced), in soups or on salads.
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Sometimes, all you want is a big bowl of pasta. This is for those times.

I know, because I’ve said it myself — is that some of them should really be called carbotarians. They eat meals that are technically vegetarian because there’s no meat, but the dishes don’t feature vegetables in any interesting way, either. And guess what that leaves? These are the pasta-with-butter and grilled-cheese-with-nothing people, whose diets remind me of a child’s — and a picky one’s at that.
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For a dose of warmth, make a stew in the original slow cooker: a tagine

Long before the slow cooker, there was the tagine: a clay cooking vessel from northern Africa whose conical lid promotes condensation and moisture retention, bathing the stew inside (also called a tagine) with steam and coaxing its ingredients to silky tenderness. In Morocco, it was the original set-it-and-forget-it cooker, sitting on bricks over coals and left to do its thing for hours.
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How to cook tender beets and creamy polenta in mere minutes

We all want shortcuts, but in the kitchen we don’t want to taste them. The goal, especially when company is involved, is food that seems as if it took more trouble — and time — than it did. Joe Yonan is the Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and the author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook."
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Plate Lab: The Manhattan heads south

I n Peru, there’s more to cocktails than the beloved pisco sour. So when ThinkFoodGroup cocktail innovator Juan Coronado was researching drinks for China Chilcano in Penn Quarter, he took inspiration from another of the South American country’s popular drinks: the Capitan, which he calls “the Peruvian response to the Manhattan.”.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: Say hello to sweet potato broth

Food trends seem to come at the speed of light nowadays. You hear somebody mention the words “bone broth,” and you think, “Isn’t that just stock?”. A little part of you continues to think, “Isn’t it just stock?”. and wishes everybody would just shut up about it, already. And the whole thing reminds you of why you don’t listen to commercial music radio anymore: Some perfectly catchy tune is reduced to the most annoying earworm ever just because some DJ has no imagination.
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PostTV: The Super Bowl dish to please them all

Want to make a single dish that can satisfy paleo, vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous palates? Here it is.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: And that’s a wrap, with avocado and white beans

Here’s the rap on wraps (sorry): At some point they became so ubiquitous — and they’re often so boring — that they turned into the poster child for bad sandwiches everywhere. For those of us who strongly prefer corn tortillas over the flour ones often used in wraps, it was especially grating to see their growth, and all too easy to condemn them.
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Plate Lab: Izakaya Seki’s garlic fried rice is a bowl of late-night comfort

fried rice with garlic chips — looks plain and even unassuming, but all it takes is one taste to realize that this is pure comfort food, a perfect balance of flavors and textures in each bite. At the stove behind the bar, Hiroshi Seki , chef-owner of the restaurant on V Street NW , makes the technique look simple.
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Joe Yonan

Joe Yonan is the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook” (Ten Speed Press, 2013), which was named among the best cookbooks of 2013 by The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, and NPR's "Here and Now.” In 2011, he wrote “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One,”. which Serious Eats, David Lebovitz, and the San Francisco Chronicle named to their best-of-the-year lists.

Joe was a food writer and Travel section editor at The Boston Globe before moving to Washington in 2006 to edit the Post’s Food section. He writes the Post’s Weeknight Vegetarian column and for five years wrote the Cooking for One column, both of which have won honors from the Association of Food Journalists. He also writes regularly about his efforts to grow food on his 150-square-foot urban front yard. His work from the Globe and Post has appeared in four editions of the “Best Food Writing” anthology.

In addition to his writing and editing, Joe frequently speaks about his work at conferences, book festivals and other events, and has taught many cooking classes through such venues as Central Market, Stonewall Kitchen, Culinaerie, L’Academie de Cuisine and SideTour.

Joe, who grew up in West Texas, spent 2012 in North Berwick, Maine, on leave from the Post to learn about growing and homesteading from his sister and brother-in-law and to work on “Eat Your Vegetables.” He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Cambridge (Mass.) School of Culinary Arts.