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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"

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The stuffed-pumpkin dish that will make vegetarians (and everyone else) happy this Thanksgiving

If you’re cooking for vegetarians at Thanksgiving, it’s hard to resist the stuffed-pumpkin idea. The vegetarians have their main dish, everyone else has another side, and all is right with the world. As tempting as it is to stuff a single large pumpkin, though, the degree of difficulty rises along with the poundage.
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Give Brussels sprouts the sweet-and-sour treatment

When it comes to food, here are three of my favorite words, especially when they’re together: sweet and sour. What is it about this combination that is so appealing once it hits the palate? It just tastes, well, right. The latest Brussels sprouts recipe to join my weekly repertoire depends on this agrodolce, as the Italians so mellifluously put it.
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One nation, in all its flavors, captured on these pages

This is adapted from the introduction to “America the Great Cookbook: The Food We Make for the People We Love From 100 of Our Finest Chefs and Food Heroes,” edited by Washington Post Food and Dining Editor Joe Yonan (Weldon Owen, 2017). When I was a kid growing up in West Texas in the 1970s, I loved Saturday mornings.
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A quinoa recipe that can win over skeptics

A funny thing happens every time I see a new quinoa recipe. I think: Maybe this will be the one! You know, the one that ultimately persuades me to make this protein-rich grain (technically a seed) part of my weeknight rotation. Sure, I’ve dabbled here and there, and as a self-confessed quinoa skeptic, I’ve come to know which ways work best for me and my palate.
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Why you should roast a head of garlic virtually every time you turn on the oven

Does everyone know about the glorious versatility of roasted garlic? I hope so. But just in case you don’t, the next time you’ve got your oven going for at least the better part of an hour, roast some and you’ll see. Just take a whole head of garlic, cut it in half horizontally, so you get through all the cloves, drizzle each half with olive oil, wrap each in foil, and roast for 45 minutes or so.
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Why would you want to make chili in a sheet pan? Flavor.

I love my sheet pans, I do. Just about every Sunday, as I’m sure I’ve said before, I spend most of the afternoon rotating them in and out of my oven, as I roast vegetable after vegetable. I use those vegetables in various combinations and with various sauces and toppings in grain bowls, salads, pastas, soups, stews and more.
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The best bell pepper for stuffing, in my book, is anything but green

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This is the messy, spicy, overstuffed sandwich that will make you reconsider vegan food

Chef-restaurateur Mike Isabella was emphatic: “Please tell me you’re not going to do a vegetarian sandwich.”. We were talking about my entry into a charity tournament his team has been running for a few years at G, his sandwich shop on 14th Street NW, and now also at Graffiato downtown. Sandwich Madness pits guest “chefs” (in the current rounds, journalists) against one another, each designing a sandwich to be sold for a month.
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Improve your simple bowl of pasta with garlicky, lemony bread crumbs

Carb lovers, this one’s for you. In the vein of potato pizza and squash risotto, it’s a carb-on-carb treatment that is also one of the best, time-honored pantry-friendly dishes I can think of: pasta with bread crumbs. But not just any bread crumbs. These are fresh ones (save the dry ones for another day) that you pan-fry while the pasta is boiling away.
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This may become your new favorite way to cook portobello mushrooms

I love a chef who takes as much care with vegetables as with meat and seafood. And I don’t mean he or she can make a mean salad or stir-fry — dishes that, as delicious as they can be, often combine lots of produce into a single mélange. I’m thinking instead of recipes that demonstrate a focus on the technique of cooking a particular vegetable in a way that makes it shine on the plate.
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A spicy, smoky potato salad with Spanish aspirations

If you’ve ever had the classic Spanish dish patatas bravas, you understand its power. Fried potatoes with a spicy, smoky sauce: If they’re within my reach at a good restaurant, they’re history. And if any of my dining companions are foolish enough to reach too slowly for their share, they’re out of luck.
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A simple, tasty pasta recipe that will help you dispatch that zucchini

Every year, there’s a zucchini problem, and it goes something like this: Too many zucchini, not enough ideas. Oh, sure, you can avoid them. That is, if you’re not a gardener who planted them, or a community-supported-agriculture subscriber who gets them in your box, or a market shopper who was seduced by the stacks of green.
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About

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.