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 favorite spring ingredient, with a dose of drama

F orget the tableside Caesar salads of yore. One of the most dramatic presentations in modern restaurants happens when a waiter pours colorful pureed soup around a beautiful garnish sitting in a bowl. The garnish starts to float, the aroma rises, and you sigh as you reach for a spoon. At the Grill Room in Georgetown, chef Frank Ruta keeps the drama going as you sip his artichoke and almond soup, with its spark of chili-pepper heat.
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When 3 favorite spring ingredients appear, there’s just one option: Cook.

We seasonal-cooking evangelists have one preeminent guiding philosophy: Start with the ingredients that beckon to you at your favorite farmers market or farm stand or even your own garden, and let them dictate (along with what you already have in your fridge and pantry) what you cook and eat. 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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It’s not technically risotto, but it’s also a whole lot easier

Some restaurant techniques don’t translate all that well to a home kitchen. such as this workaround to the traditional method of making risotto — are so helpful as to be game-changers. Matt Kuhn, chef at Nopa Kitchen + Bar in Penn Quarter, wanted to simplify the process, which typically involves gradually cooking rice in hot stock and frequently (if not constantly) stirring as the rice swells and releases its starch, becoming creamy.
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A Mexican dish that gives vegetables the amor they deserve

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." He writes the Food section's Weeknight Vegetarian column. View Archive. In fact, for the longest time, it seemed that if you wanted Mexican dishes featuring vegetables outside the holy trinity of corn, beans and peppers, you pretty much had to invent them yourself.
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This is when prepping fava beans is worth the trouble

Fresh fava beans require commitment: Their prep involves a three-step dance of shelling, blanching and peeling. And that’s before you even cook them. It’s a good thing they make their annual debut in spring, when I’m so excited about seasonal produce that I don’t mind rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.
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Polite meets brash in a stacked Korean appetizer

We like to say that Koreans , they cannot live without kimchi. And if they want to have soju,” the popular clear distilled alcohol, “they have tofu and kimchi.”. That’s how chef MyungEun Cho describes one of the anju, or drinking snacks, at her Bul restaurant in Adams Morgan. This traditional one combines two seemingly opposite ingredients.
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A pig-loving chef who knows her way around a vegetable patch, too

At this point, it’s no longer news that a chef previously known for working with meat — glorifying it, in fact — might also be passionate about vegetables. April Bloomfield of Spotted Pig fame is the latest to make her passions public, in her new book “A Girl and Her Greens,” whose title follows the same lead as her first book, “A Girl and Her Pig.”.
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Here’s your path to a better salad dressing: Put a pickle in it.

At the risk of sounding like a “Portlandia” sketch, there’s one way to elevate a salad, a sandwich, even many a main course, and that’s to put a pickle on it. Or in it. Or around it. It’s largely a matter of that sourness, of course: just the touch you need to cut through rich elements. But a close second would be the almighty crunch.
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A taco-filling revelation: Grilled plantains

A day in which I learn a new taco-filling idea is a good day. I have my standbys, including lentils and other beans (black, pinto and garbanzo), squash, greens, corn, poblano peppers, sweet potatoes, eggs — in various combinations and with countless nuts, cheese, herbs, condiments and other add-ins.
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Color these eggs classic, and French

B rendan L’Etoile was honeymooning in the French region of Burgundy in 2013, just as he was developing menu ideas for Chez Billy Sud, the Georgetown spinoff of the Petworth bistro. Every place had one dish in common: oeufs en meurette, eggs poached in red wine. “My wife and I were like, ‘What is this magic?’.
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From Greece, the cool-as-a-cucumber-and-yogurt condiment

Tzatziki is a powerhouse of cool. In the Greek condiment, three ingredients known for their cooling qualities — yogurt, cucumber and dill — combine forces to make for a breath of sheer freshness dolloped on anything that needs it. 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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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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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.