As with the novel, the demise of the potato is much discussed but never actually materializes, at least not in my house. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should help you cook potatoes that will go with Mediterranean dishes, Eastern European food, Indian, Greek, or sort-of-French recipes. You can stick them in the oven on the shelf below (or alongside) whatever starch-less main course you’re cooking. The first recipe is the most basic and can take endless simple variations. You do have to make sure your potatoes are cut to the correct (and roughly the same) size, though these are forgiving rather than exacting dishes. Cooked potatoes are tender and the tip of a knife will tell you whether they’re ready or not.
I’m cheating here, because this isn’t entirely cooked in the oven, but the brief roasting is what helps Brussels sprouts achieve their optimum potential, instead of waterlogging them in a saucepan. I ate a similar dish at Rotisserie Georgette in New York—a restaurant that specializes in roast chicken—then came straight home and made this. It’s been a regular in my house ever since, and not just at Christmas.
The sauce here is rather like a vegetarian version of the Piedmontese anchovy sauce, bagna cauda (though it’s even more umami-packed). It’s not one of those vegetable recipes that feels like a side dish, where you keep searching for the focus, but has enough different flavors and textures from each vegetable to be layered and surprising.
I’ve heard that when we’re taking good care of ourselves, our bodies crave what they need. Well mine must need whatever is in this salad, because I find myself dreaming about it weekly! I’m also in a phase where I like to combine sweeter, richer foods like sweet potatoes and squash with a tart punch of citrus to balance things. This salad hits all of the right notes, and because it’s served at room temperature, you can make it the morning of and enjoy it all day long!
Is there anything more fantastically homey than that most marvelous of soft-baked cookies, the snickerdoodle? The name is thought to have come from nineteenth-century New England, deriving from the word Schneckennudeln, a type of snail-shaped German cinnamon roll. Snickerdoodles are famously associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch and the Amish communities of Indiana, which explains how they made their way to the Midwest and have long been a homespun favorite here.
Any sausage roll is a good thing, but these are a very good thing indeed. Savory is a really old herb that was used in cooking centuries ago. We wanted to recreate a sausage roll that you might have unearthed in an ancient English recipe in some dusty old book somewhere. And we’ve used plenty of savory to bring that nice herby taste to the fore. These are great for picnics or packed lunches, eaten hot or cold.
This recipe is autumn in a loaf pan. The deep flavor of molasses is the perfect companion to crisp fall mornings, and calls back childhood memories of cooking next to grandma over a wood stove while fog slowly lifts from the mountains. In Southern Appalachia, families relied on locally-harvested sweeteners such as honey or sorghum molasses. Sweet breads like this one were reserved for celebrations and holidays, in contrast to the daily pans of cornbread or biscuits. Each bite of this rich bread tastes like the mountains, like home. The recipe comes together quickly, but be sure to sift the flour to avoid clumping in the loaf. For a more authentic flavor, use sorghum molasses. We recommend serving it warm with butter and coffee!
I’ve made these so many times, so you won’t have to. On the surface this seems like a dead-simple recipe, but it took quite a bit of tinkering to nail. Tahini has a complex molecular structure made up of lots of tiny carbohydrate molecules that cling to liquid for dear life, seizing up the way chocolate does if you add liquid to it at the wrong time. But if you play your carbs right and add the tahini last, after all of the other ingredients, it stirs in smoothly and bakes up into these sexy little squares that get better as they sit around. To make these non-dairy, swap in a neutral-flavored olive oil or vegetable oil instead of the butter.
For this Asparagus Puffs recipe, we blanched the asparagus spears until tender before incorporating them into the cheese mixture. And we were sure to thoroughly thaw the puff pastry so it did not crack when unfolded.
We passed on the processed cheese for more flavorful cheddar in our Bacon-Ranch Cheese Balls. To add creaminess and help bind the ingredients, we turned to cream cheese. Incorporating mayonnaise provided additional sticking power for the coating. A few hours in the refrigerator ensured that the cheese balls set up perfectly.