When I was a child, my mom would serve us braised leeks drizzled with creamy vinaigrette. Even at a young age, I recall enjoying the buttery sweetness of the leeks. The recipe below is a great combination of those sweet, caramelized leeks and simply braised cod. The cod may be replaced with any fish fillets of your choice. Be sure to wash the leeks thoroughly by soaking them in a big bowl of water as described here, to remove all the grit hiding between its many layers.
The chewy, nutty farro that forms the base of our grain bowl was supereasy to make: We just poured it into plenty of boiling salted water and cooked it like pasta. While the farro cooked, we roasted broccoli rabe, red bell peppers, and sweet Italian sausages all on the same baking sheet and prepared pickled grapes to add some juicy brightness to our bowl. We mixed a portion of the pickling liquid with mustard and the garlic-infused oil left over from the garlic chips to make a potent dressing. We stirred some into the drained farro to ensure that every bite was flavorful. Topped with roasted vegetables, sausage, pickled grapes, and garlic chips and drizzled with dressing, this grain bowl makes a satisfying hot dinner or a great packed lunch.
This soup of pasta and clams is a Sardinian classic that’s all about simplicity. It relies chiefly on the flavor inherent in the soup’s two main ingredients: chewy, toasty spherical fregula, and arselle, the small, briny, succulent hard-shell clams found along the coast.
A classic Roman peasant meal, coda alla vaccinara is a lush braise originally prepared by slaughtermen (vaccinari) who were often paid with the undesirable parts of the animal. It’s from these parts, like oxtail, that they made delicious dishes and proved the underestimated worth of these inexpensive cuts.
Meat loaf is an iconic American dish with European origins, which has become one of my favorite meals to make at home because it’s so adaptable. And it has personal significance for me because it’s the first dish Michael cooked for me. My aromatic version offers a hint of heat, a bit of sourness, and an unexpected whisper of sweetness.
These eggs are exactly what they sound like: fried eggs combined with teeny croutons. I like them on top of vegetables or rice bowls. You can add a sprinkling of herbs like dill to the pan, but not too much while you’re cooking the eggs—you don’t want to introduce excess water. As written, this recipe makes fried eggs with little salty, crunchy breadcrumb bits embedded in them. If you want to go breadcrumb-crazy, or if you have more than one slice to use up, tear up 2 or 3 slices of bread. In Step 4, you’ll need to scooch the breadcrumbs aside in spots to make little nests that you can crack the eggs into.
We first had this in Sydney in a funny little tapas bar we used to go to called Capitan Torres. When we were in Spain we discovered that it was a staple of most traditional tapas bars. We liked the fact that you could use a plain cultivated mushroom and turn it into something with so much flavor.
The Atlas Mountains are a huge draw for avid trekkers looking for challenging peaks and spectacular scenery—as well as for wandering chefs in search of authentic Berber cuisine. I was staying in a tiny village called Tacheddirt to learn about traditional barbecue, and on my last night there, a trekking guide named Abdul arrived at my friend’s house, starving hungry. He knocked up a frittata made with spiced vegetables, herbs, olives, and eggs. Served with masses of soft bread, it was perfect for anyone who had had a long day on the mountain. And if you’re not on the mountains, it’s superb served with a fresh salad as a light lunch.
Like cucumber, watermelon loses much of its spirit when subjected to heat, so I almost never recommend it any way other than cold and raw. I’ve made an exception here because more people need to know about the wizardry that happens when watermelon and pork cook slowly together. Everybody who eats this will think the watermelon is tomato. Everybody.
This “pizza” is extremely popular in Vietnam and is often ordered at street-food stands to be eaten straight off the grill. And we totally understand why. Either in spite of or because of its simplicity, it tastes fantastic.