Tag Archives: Lukas Volger

My Zucchini Bread + More Salads

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That’s right: More! Salad! I eat at least one salad a day. I love an elaborate, unusual one like Crack Salad or a Salad Treat, but most often it’s something simple, just some greens topped with whatever vegetables, nuts, and crumbles or shavings of cheese I’ve got lying around. Thus it was a pretty obvious subject when I started organizing the next issue of my digital magazine, Feast by Lukas. “Season’s Salads” has a melon salad spiked with ginger and fresh chilies, a smashed cucumber salad with a nubby sesame dressing, a pear and greens salad topped with savory granola, a torn tortilla salad with tomatoes, avocados, and a chili-lime vinaigrette, and several more.

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This is the 4th issue of Feast by Lukas, which completes the first volume! It’s been so much fun and I feel like it’s starting to click. I hope you’ll check out Season’s Salads issue—the app is free to download in the iTunes store, and within it subscriptions and individual issues are available for purchase ($3.99/issue, or $13.99 for a yearly subscription). And if you’ve read it and like it (or don’t like it, that’s fine and fair), would you…. I hate asking for this, but…. give it a rating and/or review in the iTunes store?

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Introducing Feast by Lukas + Filo with Swiss Chard, Ricotta, and Mushrooms

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Here’s another project that’s been brewing for a little while, one that I’m very excited and proud to share with you: I’ve partnered with 29th Street Publishing to launch my own new digital quarterly magazine for iOS devices, Feast by Lukas! The magazine’s first issue, Holiday, is now available in the iTunes app store. It’s free to download, and full access to the full first issue is just $3.99. An annual subscription, which includes four issues timed to coincide with seasonal feasts, is $13.99.

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One thing I know about the internet is that it’s bursting at the seams with Content, and I’ve felt ambivalent about sending more of it out there—which one reason that posts are so sporadic here. As an avid consumer of that content myself, I found myself wishing for something more substantial—more curated, more tactile, and with a stronger first-person voice. The internet often leaves me wanting to engage with food writers in the same way that I engage with my favorite cookbooks: in the kitchen, yes, but also from my sofa and my bedside table just before I go to sleep. Continue reading

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Beach Linguini with Tomato, Zucchini, Mint, and Pecornio

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In weather like this—here in New York we had a scorcher of a Forth of July weekend—I’ll find my way to the beach the way birds migrate south, the way flowers turn towards the sun, the way sleepeaters get to the fridge. The body knows it needs the sea breeze and saltwater plunge before the mind does.

Food is usually an afterthought. I’ll toss odds and ends—carrots and radishes, a bunch of grapes,  leftover salads, bread, cheese, crackers, whatever—into the cooler with a few ice packs and/or frozen water bottles. But planning ahead has its rewards, and this “beach linguini” has been a hit two years in a row. Last summer I made a batch for my friend Lesley’s and my annual Fire Island day trip. Then this past weekend, it functioned as leftovers. I served the cold linguini for dinner on Saturday night, then took the rest out to the beach.

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Filed under Entrees, Pasta, Recipe, Salads, Vegan option, Vegetarian

Miso Mushroom Sliders + My Ingredient-Themed Dinner Club

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At some point last year, my friend and 61 Local colleague Laura and I were at work, whiling away a slow shift by discussing dinner clubs. We came up with the idea for one that focuses on a curated selection of ingredients, where each 6-course dinner would have an ingredient spotlight, and then each course would have to use it in some interesting way. As we explored the possibilities, we decided that we needed to see this dinner club realized. Laura and I picked the ingredients—olive oil, honey, ginger, miso, mint, and orange—and I assembled our cooks and diners: Camila, Colin, Matthew, Laura, Nozlee, and me.

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Dinner clubs are always fun for someone who likes to cook, eat, and linger over a dining table talking about food. But this one has been so much fun—so exciting, due in part to getting a great balance of food-curious people who are largely new to each other, but also because of all of the creative and delicious dishes that we’ve tasted. A few highlights: For our olive oil dinner, Nozlee made martinis that featured olive oil-infused vermouth. For her ginger appetizer, Laura made ginger-scented meringues stuffed with gingery, curried blue cheese. And at this most recent dinner Colin made a miso-banana ice cream, flavored with kecap manis, the sweet, thick Indonesian soy sauce. Continue reading

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A Simple Green Salad

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A green salad seems so easy, so boring, but it’s one of those essential dishes like pasta, scrambled eggs, or a pot of beans, where the magic is in the details. I make one with pretty much every dinner I serve, and it ranks high in my list of favorite foods—salad with dinner is how I grew up, though I’ve come a ways from the Thousand Island dressing-ed and bagged Caesar salad-ed days of my youth. Nothing is quite as reliably refreshing. A pile of perfectly dressed greens, speckled with few or many adornments, and glistening with some bright zing and rich fruitiness in the form of a vinaigrette, is just what I want to round out a meal.

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Good lettuce is a no-brainer. Save rubbery or wilted lettuce for . . . well, you might sauté it if it’s a hearty green like spinach or arugula or throw it into a smoothie, but for the most part you’ll probably just want to compost it. Some lettuces, if it looks like there’s some life left in them, can be revitalized by soaking them in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes. There are lots of good-quality pre-washed organic baby lettuces and lettuce blends out there, and I’m certainly not embarrassed to buy them. But lately, I’ve been most often drawn to the heads of green- and red-leaf lettuce sold still attached to its roots, from one of the stands at the farmer’s market near my apartment. It’s incredible how long these lettuces last—the one pictured, I bought it over a week and a half ago. I just pluck off leaves as I need them.  Continue reading

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipe, Salads, Vegan option, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Entrees

Jeanne Lemlin’s Layered Vegetable Pâté

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If you want a show-stopping vegetarian dish for an upcoming holiday party, this is it. Vegetarian pâté is new to me—I might not be old enough to have experienced it in its heyday, which I’m guessing was the eighties, and I admit I’ve never thought to look up a recipe—but I now understand the appeal. It’s such a striking addition to a feast, such a validating reward for some hard work in the kitchen, and it’s delicious, too, sliced up into thick, cold slabs and smeared on crackers or bread.

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Jeanne Lemlin’s Simply Satisfying is a book I’ve had in my kitchen for a while now. My friend and editor, Matthew Lore, loaned me his copy of the first edition, which was titled Vegetarian Pleasures, published in 1986, and one of the recipes I found there inspired the corn soufflé in Vegetarian Entrees that Won’t Leave You Hungry. Then I had the pleasure of working on the photo shoot for this recent reissue (with photographer Cara Howe and stylist Maria del mar Sacasa), in which the title changed to Simply Satisfying, and sampled many of the recipes firsthand.

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Filed under Appetizer, Recipe, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

A Vegetable Holiday Feast

Behold, Vegetable Holiday Feast: a small holiday gift for you and fun project for me. It’s an e-cookbook-type thing that you can download, for free, onto your smart phone or tablet and use it in the kitchen, or print out and file away with the rest of your recipe clippings. Click here to download it.

I’ve wanted to prepare a full holiday meal, with no concessions or compromises, all my way, for as long as I’ve enjoyed cooking. But doing so isn’t necessarily in keeping with the spirit of any holiday. These big gatherings are about the collaborative effort, the company, and the various traditions, new and old, at play.

So instead I hosted a mock Thanksgiving and for that I did it all my way. My friends who came over to eat with me were happy to do so—we loosely call this a “friendsgiving” and do it almost every year; no matter who’s cooking or what we’re eating it’s fun—and I had the pleasure of spending a few weeks testing and fine-tuning my dream menu. 

Take a look at the result, some of which I’ll single out here on the blog in the next couple weeks. It’s fully vegetarian, with vegan and gluten-free adaptations offered where the substitutions work. It’s full of vegetable-centric dishes, and hopefully you’ll find it to be a good source of helpful ideas and tips as you prepare your own feasts. Here’s the full menu:

Bourbon Pecans
Tangy Roasted Parsnip Dip
Squash and Chard Patties with Feta-Yogurt Topping
Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Chestnut Galette
Quinoa and Celery Root Gratin
Kale and Caramelized Onion Focaccia
Simple Salad with Clementine Vinaigrette
Hand-Mashed Yukon Golds
Apple and Cranberry Relish
Shallot Gravy
Pumpkin Sherbet with Gingersnap-Pecan Crumble

I’m thinking about hand-binding a few copies to have for sale at some upcoming markets and events—let me know if you’d be interested in that.

I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while, but I hope this will give you enough to chew on for the next few months. Enjoy, and most of all, have a terrific holiday.

[Free download: A Vegetable Holiday Feast (PDF)]

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