As you know, not much needs to be done to a tomato when it’s perfectly ripe. Salt, pepper, maybe some olive oil. Still, it’s nice to shake things up a little—but maintain that same spirit of simplicity. An easy dish I like is thick slices of ripe tomato sprinkled with soy sauce, scallions, and pepper, maybe a little bit of grated ginger. The following recipe is an evolution of that idea: I applied butter and heat.
It’s one of those 5-minute recipes that hardly merit an actual recipe. Chopped tomatoes get a quick stir in a hot skillet, along with a little butter and a few aromatics. But it blossoms into something more than the sum of its parts. Soy sauce gives ripe tomatoes a lovely savory depth, especially with the slight caramelizing that happens in the hot pan. Fresh ginger brings a little burn. And that brief application of heat in the pan makes the tomatoes extra succulent. Continue reading
This week I shared a new recipe for tofu burgers on Food52. Back when I wrote Veggie Burgers Every Which Way I wasn’t as enthusiastic about tofu as I am now, now that I’ve spent a lot more time enjoying it on its own and in the myriad of delicious ways that it appears in dishes across many Asian cuisines. So I revisited the tofu burger with the intent of making the tofu shine, and incorporated a few great tricks like grating it for a lighter, less tacky texture. Head over to Food52 for the write-up and the recipe, as well as for photos by the excellent Spencer Starnes.
And after the jump, my easiest and favorite way to quick-pickle onions and cucumbers, which will be a welcome accompaniment to all of your Memorial Day ‘que spreads this weekend and through the summer. Can’t believe it’s here already…
What an exciting few weeks it’s been! Thank you for supporting Bowl—the reception has really blown me away. I apologize if I’ve already inundated you with these news items on other social media channels, but if you missed any of it, check out this New York Times article that still has me feeling faint, and bowls in Vogue, and then a few pieces I wrote for Food52: on Dashi, and Vegetarian Pho Broth, and, finally, The Anatomy of a Broth Bowl. (All these links have recipes.) Lastly, if you live in or near Seattle, I hope you’ll stop by Book Larder next Friday.
In spring I always crave kimchi, in part because the dismal farmers market offerings leave me wanting color and assertive flavor, and in part because spring cleaning and probiotics seem to go hand in hand. You probably know that kimchi is a whole category of fermented foods beyond just Napa cabbage, and this carrot version—inspired by the nubby little carrots I did find at the market, though they’re likely the dregs of last fall’s crop—is one I’ve been tinkering with for a few weeks. Continue reading
Last time we did kimchi, 2 years ago (every day, week, month, and quarter—it’s been a quarter of a year since I wrote anything here—just picks up more and more speed, snowball style), it was a quasi-traditional, vegetarian, napa cabbage one, and I live-tweeted the whole process. This one is similar, but a little quicker and therefore arguably a little easier. Scallions are one of the easier-to-get-your-hands-on spring vegetables, available in abundance, so I thought it’d be a good thing to highlight here. Farmer’s market scallions—you can pick up some purple ones!—are thinner and have longer, bushier tops than the grocery store varieties do. They’re also grittier and need a more rigorous cleaning, in several changes of water.
This recipe comes from the latest issue of my digital magazine, Feast by Lukas. In this issue, called “Building Blocks,” kimchi functions as one of those little accessories that makes for easy, tasty, component-style meals. I’ll add kimchi to lots of things—sandwiches, rice and noodle bowls, savory pancakes, in soup, as a topping for crostini, and right out of the jar with a fork. Other dishes in this issue include a “slaw starter,” primers on the #putaneggonit egg, some excellent vinaigrettes, a recipe for “nut muffins” (saying that out loud still makes me chuckle), and more. Also, I’m proud to share that photographer Cara Howe collaborated with me on this issue, and her gorgeous photos—that’s hers up top, and on the cover of the issue—are such a huge improvement to the project I still can’t even believe it. You can download the Feast by Lukas app in the iTunes store, and within that you can subscribe or purchase individual issues. Continue reading
Last weekend I had the extreme pleasure of being asked to prepare a veggie burger for December’s Brooklyn Table dinner. I’d attended several of these dinners over the past year or so and have been repeatedly amazed by Paul, Nicole, and Anna’s culinary skill, dedication, creativity, and finesse. They cook scrumptious (and labor-intensive) 8-course meals in their Brooklyn apartments, and then serve them to two back-to-back groups of a dozen or so people! That is not easy. In gearing up for this latest one, Nicole came to me with the vegetarian headcount and asked if I’d be interested in making a veggie burger. We decided on one of my favorites, the Cashew-Leek Burger from the book. But I wanted to enrich it a bit for the special occasion.
It is so hot here in Brooklyn—it’s the heavy, wet-blanket kind of heat that robs you of your zest for life, inspires temper tantrums when you enter a un-air conditioned subway car, and results in sleepless nights where you find yourself at 3 AM lying diagonally across your bed with streams of sweat dripping into your ears (though maybe those are tears because you’ve been crying, crying because it is just so hot you no longer have any power of reason)—that I am actually tired of hearing myself complain about the heat. Yet, I can’t help it.
So turning the toaster—or even a 23-watt light bulb—on is flat out of the question. ‘Tis the season of watermelon hacked in half and eaten directly out of its natural “bowl.” Of pesto slathered on bread and called “bruscetta.” Or, when feeling more ambitious, of raw, grated beets tossed with orange sections, some nuts, yogurt, and a handful of something green. Of half a head of romaine lettuce topped with pickled red onions and an apple and a little bit of olive oil and black pepper. Stephanie sent me a recipe for a raw veggie burger, which seems like a great idea to try right about now, but given how what I’ve described is a painfully accurate snapshot of my dining adventures, that recipe feels psychologically beyond my scope. Continue reading