Wilted endive salad by Weezie

Posted on 06-21-10 · Tags: , , ,

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Anjuli’s grandmother, my mom, was born in 1910. She did not cook much until she married in 1940, as far as I know. She went through WWII as a wartime bride, exposed to rationing and culinary marvels like Scrapple and Spam. I was a baby boomer, born in ’47, so for me her cooking style was a product of the 50s. She delighted in post-war conveniences: plastic bags, frozen vegetables, cold soda, Tastykakes and Entenmann’s, en masse condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup, and keeping leftovers in the fridge (sometimes too long in my opinion). And she loved iceberg. Salads at home were invariably iceberg, tomatoes, carrots, onions and one of ten kinds of bottled dressing. The only exception to this rule was her wilted endive salad. She’d even make her own dressing. We always ate it as a main course because of the ample bacon and hard boiled eggs. I loved this salad for its heartiness, the texture of the curly, wilted endive, the sweet and sour tones of the dressing, and the lovely, crispy bacon. It satisfied all the tastes. It stood alone beautifully.

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Fire roasted beet salad with radicchio, fresh goat cheese, and black olives by Anjuli

Posted on 01-16-10 · Tags: , , , ,

Cooking in da fire

The farmers’ market here, while quite small in the winter, is rightly so quite proud of its produce. We recently bought some sweet, purple garlic from friends of Matt’s Teague and Kosma Channing, who founded Gemini Farms outside of Santa Fe. We also brought home these two huge, beautiful ruddy beets.

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Ginger lime carrot and onion salad with toasted black sesame seeds by Anjuli

Posted on 12-05-09 · Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Night Pizza

Tonight was the second night this week we thumped and punched and twirled and proofed and flattened and squeezed and generally manhandled some incredibly fluffy and elastic pizza dough. We’re trying to perfect a fluffy, crispy, and light crust that will rise conveniently fast but not too fast. We’re also working on perfecting cooking in the pizza oven — a feat that requires building a tepee of logs and lighting the paper beneath them ablaze while your whole torso is in the oven and making sure to remove your head quickly before your eyes melt. My mother, the pioneering woman she is, has this down pat. It also means adding logs every 10 minutes to keep the temperature up at 500 degrees, maneuvering hot cheese and dough in and out of the oven on peels with handles of 2-3 feet, and using a camping headlamp and a hat to be able to stand in the front of the oven without singeing the tip of your hair and still see at 4pm on a winter afternoon. In short: totally awesome. Anyone nearby will notice a boldness and exuberance combined with sheer giddiness and seriously flushed cheeks in themselves and their cohorts. Not to mention the heat.

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Cavalo Nero Caesar salad by Anjuli

Posted on 11-03-09 · Tags: , , , , , ,

Cavalo Nero Caesar Salad a la Il Buco

It’s not the most romantic photo (apologies, it was so good we couldn’t help but eat it immediately!), but this Cavalo Nero Caesar salad is a stellar addition to the curious category of “winter salads.” I had this one at Il Buco in the East Village a month back and I couldn’t believe how flavorful it was, so I just had to try it myself. I always tend to enjoy the rich anchovy egg Caesar salad dressing in the fall/winter, but Romaine is a ridiculous purchase this time of year. The Black Tuscan Kale (Cavalo Nero) has a much more mellow bitterness than its kale cousins, but the leaves really sweeten up when you parboil them. I find the salad works well both with raw and cooked leaves. Kale is a wonderful winter vegetable, rich with calcium, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. It’s also rich in sulforophane, which boosts the body’s detoxification enzymes and also has anticancer properties.

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Wheat Berry Salad by Anjuli

Posted on 07-31-09 · Tags: , , , , ,

Wheatberry salad w/ watercress, kalamata, cucumbers, red onion, and feta

Grain salads can be your best friend in summer. You usually have something fresh on hand or something to get rid of, it’s all about the produce, and it’s so f*cking hot you want something cooling and excellent that doesn’t require being chained to the stove. In summer you’d be hard-pressed to find a blog or site that doesn’t include a “new spin” on this old favorite. When I found a bag of hard red spring wheat berries in the cabinet I thought I’d give it a try. Since I am not a fan of being slave to recipes (or my stove in summer, apparently), I spent a little time researching what goes well with these grain salad things people love so much.

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Noms Caesar-like Greek Salad by Anjuli

Posted on 07-21-09 · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Noms Greek-like Salad

The origin story of the white brined curd cheese from the Balkans has long been a point of contention. As of 2002 the Greeks have the official PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) on “feta,” which was again upheld in 2005 when Denmark, Germany, and France fought to use “feta” as a generic name for any salty, white cheese. As far as the Balkans are concerned, Bulgarians claim the cheese to be a descendant of their “sirene” from the Trakia region in the Balkan Peninsula.

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Welcome summer… by Anjuli

Posted on 06-16-09 · Tags: , , ,

Green salad from the garden
Sometimes cooking sounds like a sentence of being shackled to the kitchen counter in a prom dress and pink pumps, and makes me want to run away screaming and wielding a knife. A food blog gives you a unique sense of time and cooking. I have realized, for instance, that the domesticity of making food currently gives me hives. Before the blog I simply would have shirked the cooking and ordered takeout, four weeks in a row. While I will never be a housewife angel, I also relish the audience and the gift of nourishing others. I love cooking, and learning, and creating, but hate constraints, habit, and tedious tasks. I move fast and need to keep learning. I rarely put things in my mouth I don’t like, regardless of whether it’s food, ideas, or labels. But if I don’t love to cook all the time, how can I expect anyone else to?

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Frisée salad w/ linguiça, serra, egg, and roasted garlic dressing by Anjuli

Posted on 04-14-09 · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Frisée salad w/ linguiça, serra, egg, and roasted galic dressing

We spent this weekend visiting mom and pop Pelletier in Dighton. In spite of Saturday’s rain we enjoyed ourselves splendidly, visiting a couple of Portuguese bakeries, a supermarket, and a restaurant called TA (Terra Nostra) in Fall River, MA.

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Greens for the SICK by Anjuli

Posted on 03-13-09 · Tags: , , , , , ,

Mizuna and watercress salad with roasted asparagus, toasted sesame and garlic-soy dressing

It feels like we’ve been tackling the flu since our return from Japan (or are we just sick with longing to go back?). When I caught sight of this recipe chock full of garlic, ginger, and dark leafy greens loaded with calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, I thanked its source, Eating Well, for giving me a treatment I don’t need to gag on and swallow with huge gulps of water. Not only are the ingredients healthy, but this salad tickles your sweet, salty, bitter, and sour buds. Throw in some kelp and you’d have all five taste buds present.

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Watercress salad with sesame tofu, ginger chicken, and mystery dressing by Anjuli

Posted on 02-27-09 · Tags: , , , , , , ,

Watercress salad with sesame tofu and ginger chicken in a spicy Asian vinaigrette

I can’t share this whole recipe with you. It’s not a secret. It’s just that I was in a mood when I started it, and ended up opening my cabinets and dumping everything into a bowl in instinctual proportion but without paying attention. So to repeat, you may need to release the tension into the salad dressing, abandoning any care for convention, and relish this spicy concoction. So somewhere in the line of: 2 minced shallots, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon cashew butter, crushed red pepper flakes, a little coconut milk, 1 teaspoon chipotle salsa, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon whole grain English mustard, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, and some pepper. Whisk. Taste. Holy shit.

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