This technique, roasting mushrooms with a little bit of oil and wine until they become tender with a slightly browned exterior, duplicates the delicious effects of sauteing with a minimum of fat and effort.
This is one of the ways our cauliflower was often cooked at home.
Copyright 1996 From "Savoring Spices and Herbs" By Julie Sahni, Published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York
So simple, so fresh and so welcoming to any additions you want to bring in like cold poultry, or nuts or fresh herbs. This is the great introduction to cooking with your hands. Tearing greens and tossing salads with your hands tells you if there's not enough oil (the leaves are dry feeling when they should have the slightest suggestion of slick) or there's too much fruit. Summer greens are all over the place in tastes, from tart to almost sweet, from crunchy to melting. You want them all in this salad, whatever you can find will make it all the better. And have the fruit underipe so it's almost crisp.
Sophie Coe, my guru when it comes to early Meso-American cooking, in her masterpiece, America's First Cuisines, tells us that the tomatillo (also known in Mexico as "miltomate," "tomate verde," or simply "tomate") was likely the most-consumed "tomatl" (Nahuatl for a general class of plump fruit) in pre-Columbian times. Yes, more than the "jitomate" or red, ripe tomato to us English speakers. That explains, I think, why a mouthful of tomatillo salsa transports you straight to Mexico. It is the gustatory essence of the country - a gleaming contour of fresh green spiciness, herbal perfume and zest.
This recipe's inspiration was Chinese chef Susanna Food of Philadelphia. When we interviewed Susanna, we were struck by her lack of rigid culinary rules. She interprets the traditional Chinese palate with modern Western ingredients, boldly mixing balsamic vinegar with soy sauce, or rosemary with dried yellow soybeans. Surprises fill her books. For instance, did you know that fresh corn is used often in the northern regions of China?
Carlo Mastroberardino, of Avellino's Mastroberardino Wines, says that when he was a boy, his mother made this dish so often he can barely look at lentils anymore. Despite his personal protest, it is one of the most beloved and typical dishes of Campania, where, based in Atripalda (province of Avellino), the Mastroberardino family has been making wine since the 1500s.
Note: Can be prepared in advance; easily multiplied
An oven-roasted potato pancake with a few new twists. Try substituting rutabaga, turnips, parsnips or white potatoes for a quarter of the yams. And do use organic ingredients if at all possible. Serve this as a main dish with a salad or as a side dish with grilled pork or eggplant, and salad of fresh cabbages.