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"



Super Bowl Smackdown IX: Loaded potatoes and one sweet victory

Baked, fried or mashed, the potato remains America’s favorite vegetable. But if Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays designed for bingeing on turkey, stuffing and pies, then Super Bowl Sunday is an unofficial holiday designed for bingeing on junk, the greasier the better. It’s the final NFL game of the season, America — Super Bowl XLIX, this year pitting the Seattle Seahawks vs. the New England Deflatriots (sorry, we mean the Patriots) — and you know what that means: It’s time to pig out on the couch and tell pro athletes on Twitter how terribly they’re playing.
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Sean Brock's cornbread: The South in a skillet

Chef Sean Brock shares his recipe for Cracklin’ Cornbread from his new book, "Heritage." (Jayne W. Orenstein and Jason Aldag/The Washington Post) To Sean Brock, corn bread is the simplest thing in the world. And the most complicated. especially if you make it the traditional way, as he does — it is a mere handful of ingredients: cornmeal, buttermilk, bacon, egg, leaveners, salt.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: adding interest to a simple dish

Take a dish of lentils, mushrooms and kale. Sounds hearty, nutritious and simple, yes? Maybe a touch boring, too. But then you employ a few smart extra steps. You brown some butter before cooking onions in it, giving a nutty flavor to the whole shebang. You sear the chopped mushrooms so thoroughly that they get caramelized, almost burned, adding even more depth.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: Home-cooked beans, to the rescue again

Sometimes, more than anything, you need something easy. Easy to make, easy to eat. Maybe it’s because you’re exhausted from holiday traveling, or maybe it’s because you’ve just gotten over a little bout of sickness that has left you a little woozy. 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: A soup that does peanuts proud

Plenty of recipes for peanut soup, which dates to colonial Virginia and has roots in Africa, call for peanut butter. Not so the version chef Drew Trautmann makes at Southern Efficiency, the District’s tribute to below-the-Mason-Dixon-line eating and drinking, in the Shaw neighborhood. “We like old recipes,” Trautmann says, so he was drawn to techniques that start with the nut itself.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: Make 2015 the Year of Tempeh

Maybe one day, because of the growing number of people seeking vegetarian meals, meat alternatives, fermented foods or all of the above, a certain soy product with age-old ties to Indonesia will finally break into the U.S. mainstream. 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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Weeknight Vegetarian: Tempeh cooking tips

Introduce a liquid. Tempeh, especially the supermarket variety, can be on the dry side unless you marinate it, which also adds flavor. That marinade can become a simmer sauce or glaze. Or bake tempeh in a marinade for maximum absorption. Break it down. Slice it crosswise into thin pieces or cut the block in half horizontally, to help flavors penetrate it and to increase the surface area that will get browned.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: Giving vegetables the nigiri treatment

One of the most common questions I get is, “What food do you miss most?”. As a relatively new vegetarian, and one who believes strongly that vegetables should be celebrated, not apologized for, I usually resist answering. Or I demur by saying something like, “I can’t really think of anything.”. 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: 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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For the front-yard gardener, are cover crops worth the trouble?

One day, I fantasize, I’ll be standing at the top of a hill, saying to an heir, “As far as the eye can see, all this is now yours.”. In the reality of now, the only way my property encompasses all that the eye can see is if I take off my glasses, or perhaps look down and squint. When I do, I see my urban garden as a farm in miniature: Acres upon acres translate into square foot upon square foot, rolling fields equal a little front yard, and the only hill I have to stand on is at the top of the stairs leading down to the sidewalk.
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A tart made just for garlic lovers

Last year, at a book party in Charleston, S.C., I heard a sad question. A woman pulled me aside to ask whether any of my dishes on the buffet table included garlic, onions, scallions or leeks. It was sad because, unlike me, she hates those ingredients — or, more accurately, they don’t like her so much.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: A dose of soup from a vegetable-loving German chef

If you had asked me this time last year whether I considered German to be a particularly vegetarian-friendly cuisine, I would have laughed. My opinion wouldn’t have been based on any actual travel to Germany, only on some limited experiences in German restaurants (including mounds of smoked sausages ingested in central Texas).
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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.