Beat the heat with this quick-cooking skillet of garlicky beans, broccoli and pesto

The other day, I was so excited that it was under 80 degrees for my morning walk with my dog — he’s gotten short shrift as the days have gone from hot to hellish — that I didn’t mind the light rain. Neither did he. It started out as a drizzle, but within 15 minutes the drops got larger and fell faster, and just when I was thinking we should head back home, we just … didn’t. We kept walking, it kept raining, and we had a nice, long, refreshing, meditative, wet and, most importantly, cool morning.

With a handful of ingredients and a smart technique, this sweet potato hash is ready in 20 minutes

In the pantheon of using-up-leftovers dishes, hash is at or near the top, alongside fried rice and the frittata. Do I need to even state the obvious, that you shouldn’t limit hash to breakfast or brunch? I didn’t think so. It’s flexible, too: Saute whatever allium you like, add cubed potatoes or sweet potatoes, fry them all up, fold in leftover vegetables and/or meat, top with an egg if you like, serve, eat. This version by vegan writer and YouTube star Jenné Claiborne, author of “Sweet Potato Soul" ...

The grill brings out eggplant’s best flavors in this colorful summer salad

Eggplant takes to grilling like perhaps no other vegetable I know. The spongy flesh soaks up smoke flavor from a charcoal or wood fire and turns buttery without the use of much oil, which eggplant usually devours. Try to grill thin eggplant slices and you’re in for heartache; they go from lightly charred to incinerated in the blink of an eye. You’ve got much more wiggle room if you keep it whole, the way I do when making baba ghanouj or other spreads, or almost whole, as with this recipe for a

Peak summer corn doesn’t need to be cooked. This bright salad with snap peas and zucchini proves it.

For many of us, summer just isn’t summer without sweet corn. And while I like to cook it all sorts of ways — steam, grill, pan-fry, even microwave (trust me!) — when it’s at its peak, mere hours out of the field, I can’t argue with the logic behind not cooking it at all. It’s so crunchy and juicy and, yes, sweet when you don’t apply even the slightest bit of heat. Plus, it’s so considerate of corn to come along right when we’re trying to keep our kitchens cool. [Summer is for grilling corn. He

This saucy, smothered tofu with peppers and onions will have you dreaming of the Mexican coast

Mexican cuisine, says Eddie Garza, doesn’t have to be all about cheese, meat and lard. In his 2016 cookbook, “¡Salud!,” he points to pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica’s “big focus on fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.” As his grandmother told him, “Before the Spanish came to Mexico, food was provided by the sun and earth.” The son of Mexican immigrants who grew up in a border town at the southern tip of Texas, Garcia ...

This roast cauliflower sandwich proves vegetables can be hearty and even indulgent

The cartoonish idea of a stacked-high sandwich is so ingrained in our culture it has a name: a Dagwood, referring to the “Blondie” comic-strip character known for entering a sort of fever dream as he dreams of, assembles and consumes them. I’ve devoured my share of Dagwoods over the years, and before I stopped eating meat they were of course layered with it, in various forms. More recently, I’ve made a point of trying to demonstrate, now and then, that a vegetarian sandwich can also be hearty and even indulgent — messy in the best possible way. My latest offering is a wonderfully simple take from the book “Tasty Pride,”

Here’s a spring lover’s grain dish: An aromatic pilaf topped with two types of peas

I judge my spring garden by two metrics — how well I treated my peas and how well they’re treating me. Did I plant them at the right time — as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring? Did I keep enough of the birds and squirrels away to prevent the pilfering of those pea seeds before they had a chance to sprout and grow? And did I give them a trellis to climb as soon as their shoots were stretching their limbs in search of one? This year, with so much more time at home — and needing gard

An Instant Pot and tiny lentils deliver big ‘baked’ bean flavor fast

Baked beans are a thing of beauty: A little sweet, a little tangy, and cooked so low and slow the flavors infuse every morsel. They’re a traditional side to barbecue, especially in the South, while in Maine my sister and brother-in-law like to eat them over roasted potatoes. The only issue is, my favorite version takes a long time, because I first cook the beans from dried (I like to use Jacob’s Cattle, cranberry or pinto) very simply on the stove top until tender, then add the flavorings and b

The sharp, rich flavors of a muffuletta make this salad an ideal pairing for pizza

At first glance, you’d think a muffuletta, that famous New Orleans sandwich piled with cold cuts and a spicy olive salad, simply isn’t for vegetarians. At least not in its most traditional form. And yet, even in the place that invented the sandwich, Central Grocery, you can order one without the meat. For those of us whose favorite parts of a muffuletta are the olive salad and the soft sesame bread that gives the sandwich its name, it makes perfect sense. [Home-delivered muffulettas, deep-dish

This chickpea salad has a royal backstory that doesn’t involve chickpeas

I wasn’t around for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II; I wouldn’t be born for a dozen years. Even if I had been, I doubt coronation chicken — so named because it was created for the occasion — would’ve been on my family’s menu the way it was across the pond, where it became Britain’s first “TV dinner” for those watching the ceremony on the small screen, according to historian Joe Moran. Culinarily, culturally and geographically, West Texas is about as far from Buckingham Palace as anypl

A breezy barley risotto gets a boost from goat cheese and cider

Risotto has long gotten a bad rap, with a reputation for fussiness — that whole stand-over-the-pot-and-stir thing — that has never really been accurate. It’s a much more easygoing (and even forgiving) thing to make than many people seem to think. Still, I always appreciate seeing different takes on the classic Italian dish that promise to make it even more approachable, especially from other cultures. In his lovely new cookbook,

Take bean dip from ho-hum to fabulous with harissa, mint and carrots

Of all the things you can make with beans, a pureed dip is surely the easiest, and one of the most satisfying, too. When I’m using a pot of beans throughout the week, it’s usually my last stop: I take whatever cup or two I have left and throw it into the food processor or blender with spices and enough cooking liquid to keep it all nice and creamy. But sometimes I add another base element to make a dip along the lines of this one, a combination of carrots and white beans layered with fiery harissa and cooling mint. (If you’ve never tried mint with something spicy, you’re welcome.)

This Peruvian take on beans and rice will remind you why the combination is such a classic

I’ve been thinking about beans and rice a lot lately, and it’s only partly because I wrote a book about the former. I’ve been thinking about how the combination got me through some of my poorest years, when I was putting myself through college after my father cut me off financially. These were the instant-ramen years, but at least a couple times a week I’d sit for hours at Austin’s Les Amis cafe (which we nicknamed “Lazy Me” because of the lackadaisical service) and eat a big bowl of brown rice topped with saucy black beans, salsa, sour cream and sometimes a little guacamole. I can’t seem to remember the exact price, but it couldn’t have been more than a few bucks, because that was about all I could afford.

Beans belong in tacos. This recipe will make you a believer.

An interviewer recently asked me about my favorite things to do with canned beans, and when I mentioned tacos, he was so surprised (“I’ve never thought about that!”) that it surprised me, too. Beans and tortillas are such natural partners in my world — I’ve been eating them together since my West Texas childhood — that I hadn’t really thought this might not be true for everyone. As convenient as canned beans are, if you’ve cooked a pot from dried, as I instructed a couple of weeks ago, you’ve g

When you cook beans from dried, you get liquid gold. Put it to great use in this recipe.

A week ago, I showed you how to cook a simple pot of beans and linked to five recipes you could make using beans from that pot. The theory: Cook this building block once, then have it at the ready throughout the week. Or month. Or quarter. The thing is, beans freeze so well — especially if you cook them from dried and store them in their cooking liquid — that you can also reap the benefits of this easy cooking session over a much longer period. [How to cook a simple, flavorful pot of beans and

How to cook a simple, flavorful pot of beans and use it throughout the week

I’ve said — or written — it so many times, I long ago lost count. But here goes again: The key to quick-but-interesting weeknight cooking is to get in the habit of making building blocks on the weekend when you have time, and then learn to use them in a variety of ways during the week. As a vegetarian, I’m talking about roasting vegetables, steaming grains and, my favorite, simmering a pot of beans. Now that we’re spending so much time at home, you don’t have to wait until the weekend to do suc

This flexible pesto pasta is a keeper for whatever vegetable you have handy

Pesto belongs in the pantheon of flexible recipes. Sure, the classic combination is basil, garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil, but I’ve made it with all manner of nuts, hard cheeses and leafy herbs (or other greens) and been perfectly happy. This is my way of saying: Here is another recipe I’ve tried to design for maximum adaptability and therefore maximum utility in this time of maximum anxiety. This simple, bright and pretty pasta dish from the great Yotam Ottolenghi originally called

Make these mushroom quesadillas work for you, not the other way around

Comfort and ease: That’s what quesadillas have always represented to me, since the very first time I folded a tortilla over some cheese. You can complicate almost any dish, but it’s pretty hard to do that with quesadillas. There’s not much room on a 6-inch corn tortilla, so you’ve got to keep the fillings pretty minimal. My favorites are beans (of course) and mushrooms. For the former, use whatever you have cooked — or in the can. Just warm the beans and mash them lightly with some spices (cumin and smoked paprika are my favorites) and a squeeze of lime if you’ve got it.

A note from the Food editor: We’re in this together. What do you need?

I think I speak for all of us when I say my head is spinning these days, full of more questions than answers. What was certain a few months, a few weeks, even a few days ago is now anything but. People around the world are losing loved ones, livelihoods, their sense of community, security, safety. The fear and anxiety about the short and long term threaten to overwhelm us. And here we are at home, more isolated than ever, just when we need one another the most.
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