This restorative soup of collards, potatoes and chiles soothes a foster dad grieving a child’s departure

As a result, none of my rotating menu of things he most liked to eat — crispy tacos, Frito pie, New Orleans-style red beans and rice, spaghetti and meatballs, along with sides of cauliflower, broccoli or green beans — made sense to cook anymore. Neither did trying something new, or even tried and true, just for me and my husband. So for almost two weeks straight, after we put away the third place mat on the dinner table, we ate out or ordered in, saving leftovers for lunch. Dear friends helped

Quick-cooking freekeh, snap peas and mushrooms make a hearty grain salad

Freekeh is a grain with an interesting backstory, a legend involving a long-ago fire that burned still-green wheat in the Middle East. I’ve seen some accounts peg it to an act of war, while Roxana Jullapat, in her gorgeous book “Mother Grains,” pins it on two neighboring farmers caught in a dispute. Whatever the truth is, the important part of the story is that the grains were discovered to be still edible once the outer burned part was removed. And not just edible: Pardon the wordplay, but fre

This custardy chickpea pancake with mushrooms and apples makes an easy fall supper

In Italy, the resulting pancake — thin, crisp and eaten in wedges as a snack — is called farinata. On the French Riviera, a similarly made snack is called socca. Then there’s the French snack panisse, which is made by firming up a polenta-like chickpea-flour porridge, cutting it into batons and frying it. And in India’s Gujarat state, the flour becomes a delicious crepe called pudla. I’ve played around with the basic idea for many years, making some pancakes that are thinner and others thicker,

Iraqi-style stuffed vegetables in tomato sauce prove peppers aren’t the only vegetable worth stuffing

So many vegetables, of course — and in so many cultures. One of my favorite Mexican dishes is chile relleno, another stuffed green pepper — although a poblano is a pretty far cry from a plain bell. And what doesn’t taste good when you coat it in a batter and fry it, especially after you stuff it with cheese? The squash family of vegetables is full of great candidates for stuffing. In the winter, pumpkins can be hollowed out and baked to showstopping effect. But this time of year, I’ve got yello

These green goddess grain bowls are a vegan, customizable template worth repeating

I’ve often recommended such an approach, and I stick by that. But what if you haven’t done any of that advance work? Does that leave you out of the grain-bowl game? Of course not. For this recipe, two of my favorite vegetarian cookbook authors — Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence — come to the rescue with a build-from-scratch grain bowl idea that you can make as is, with very satisfying results, or treat as a template. You cook greens with canned beans, brighten with a little lemon, then make a

Meet pizza salad, a family-friendly plate of tomatoes, mozzarella and marinated beans

Marinated beans have all sorts of uses, from simple side dish to grain-bowl topping, but Rosenstrach tosses them into what she calls “pizza salad.” The brilliant thing about it is that the beans’ marinade becomes the salad dressing; unlike with meat marinades, there’s no need to worry about any food-safety issues in the reusing. By the way, you can interpret the “pizza salad” name any way you like here. Rosenstrach calls it that because it reminds her of her family’s tradition of topping tomato

On a low-FODMAP diet? Try this garlic and shallot oil for gut-friendly flavor.

And then a woman wearing a distinctive scowl approached me. “I have a question for you,” she said, with a trace of exasperation in her voice. “I looked through the book, and am wondering: Is there anything on this table I can eat if I can’t eat alliums?” I looked at each dish and thought about it: Garlic, scallions, onions, chives, leeks? At least one of them (if not more) figured into every single dish. When I sheepishly admitted that she was out of luck, she sighed: “Why do so many chefs take

Keep celebrating fresh summer tomatoes with this no-fuss penne pasta

We suggested bruschetta, and gazpacho, and pizza and, of course, what might possibly be the world’s best use for chopped tomatoes: pasta. One of my favorite such pasta dishes doesn’t even require cooking the tomatoes, and that’s a great way to go. But so is this one, in which you cook the tomatoes until they just start to lose their shape, then add a generous amount (at least until it cooks down) of baby spinach. Within moments, you’ve got a gorgeous chunky sauce, just right for tossing with wh

Quickly broil eggplant and bread for this bruschetta with garlicky skordalia

The calculation between indoor and outdoor cooking depends on how effective your air conditioning is (if you have any at all), how airtight and efficient your oven might be, and just what heights outdoor temperatures have hit. Where would you rather be? In Washington, D.C., where the temperature as I write is 96, with a heat index of 108, the answer is clear. I’d rather stand over or near my stove, and save most of my grilling for the spring and fall — or a rare stretch of mild summer weather i

This Southern tomato sandwich is a messy, 5-ingredient ode to summer’s star

This is how Southerners think about the tomato sandwich. Including salt and pepper, it’s a five-ingredient, juice-running-down-your-elbow homage to the season’s crowning glory, and we don’t want anything to distract our attention from the object of our affection. Go ahead and add your cheese, your basil, your bacon, your ricotta, your avocado — all those are nice, but they are not a Southern tomato sandwich. Unlike me, so many other tomato-sandwich fans have an arsenal of childhood memories to

Pile these succulent pulled mushrooms into your next taco, burrito or sandwich

Schinner’s answer: “The truth is that we just want something substantive that’s chewy, tasty, and succulent. I don’t think most people — vegan or even omnivore — care if it tastes exactly like meat; they just want something to bite into with a lot of flavor.” Founder of the vegan cheese and butter company Miyoko’s Creamery, Schinner wrote “The Vegan Meat Cookbook” partly as a response to the new wave of commercially available meat alternatives, including the so-called tech meats introduced by B

Charred sweet corn is the star of the versatile summer salad

I like to shake things up, and I have cooked (or not cooked) corn in all the above ways, and more. But my go-to method involves microwaving the corn in the (soaked) husk, which steams it lightly and makes the husk and silks easy to slip off. A close second is to take off those husks and cook the corn in a blazing-hot, dry skillet, rolling it every few minutes. Some of the kernels brown and char, while the rest turn a bright yellow, and you get touches of nuttiness and even a hint of smoke. You c

How to ember-grill sweet potatoes for smoky, caramelized flavor

Unlike even lean meat, Raichlen points out, vegetables have no intrinsic fat, so they require the smart addition of it in the form of marinades and bastes. But they do caramelize over high heat; with vegetables it’s the plant sugars rather than the proteins that transform. “You’re getting umami flavors you just wouldn’t get by boiling or steaming,” he says. The best way to take advantage of this architecture is by ember grilling, or putting the food directly on coals, turning it frequently to c

These juicy, smoky mushroom kebabs will make the most of your summer grilling

The secret to those mushrooms, it turns out, is pretty simple: They’re packed onto skewers, generously oiled, sprinkled with a little salt, pepper and sumac, and grilled over a medium charcoal fire until they shrink, soften and concentrate. The oil dripping from the grates creates the smoke that flavors them. I’ve had lovage a few times and can attest to its deliciousness, but unless you’re growing it (or know somebody who is), it’s pretty hard to come by. So for my version, I subbed in parsley

Perspective | Frito pie to the rescue, as a new foster dad navigates dinner for an 8-year-old

To say that the past few months since the little guy arrived have been a whirlwind doesn’t do justice to the scrambles involved in learning how to offer stability, safety and unconditional love to a child whose life has sometimes been woefully short on all three. We had gone through dozens of hours of training, which we needed; unlike some of our empty-nester classmates, we have never been parents before. As my husband and I have divvied up household responsibilities, I’ve maintained charge of

Crispy beets with garlic and chiles are a smash hit

Turns out that potatoes aren’t the only good candidate for the treatment, as I learned when I tried a recipe for crispy smashed beets from Gregory Gourdet’s new book, “Everyone’s Table” (Harper Wave, 2021). You first roast the beets whole (leaving on the peels, making this recipe right up my alley), along with Fresno chiles, whole garlic cloves and some water to keep things from burning. Then you let them cool briefly before smashing and frying. Those peels are what turn into the crispy edges an

Eric Ripert gives Caesar salad a French twist: The gratin treatment

His newest book, “Vegetable Simple,” is a gorgeous ode to the philosophy. With stunning photographs by Nigel Parry, the book presents the possibly radical idea that with the same attention to detail that many cooks lavish on animal products, you can create vegetable dishes that sing, without using a lot of ingredients or necessarily even taking a lot of time. The book also connects to Ripert’s Buddhism. When I interviewed him, I asked about his quote on the back cover, which ends with the idea

Egyptian potato salad gets a modern twist from black lentils, buttery fingerlings and garlicky labneh

“I thought, ‘Why don’t I take all these influences and my restaurant training and put some spins on those dishes, but still honor the traditions?’” he said in a phone interview from Toronto, where he lives with his wife and two young children. “They still had to taste like the version they were inspired by, but they could be more interesting.” When it comes to that potato salad, for instance, Massoud switches to black lentils and buttery fingerlings, cooking them carefully to keep their texture

A garlicky pistachio puree turns white beans into an irresistible topping for toast, salads and more

I’d want almond butter, of course, as that was my first non-peanut entry into the category so long ago, before I started making my own with every nut I could find. Everything works. Have you ever tasted cashew butter? Delicious. Pecan butter? Heavenly. Pistachio butter? Almost too good to be true. For the most part I eat them on toast or English muffins, sometimes with a jam to match. And sometimes I cook with them, baking them into cookies or stirring them into soups or stews. But not until I
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