On those occasions when you’re left to your own devices for dinner, and you don’t particularly want to spend too much time cooking, but you also want a dinner that’s satisfying, this sandwich from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express is just the thing. (It helps if, like me, you’re part otter, and love pungent fish that comes in tins.) Preparation time: The amount of time it takes to boil an egg.
Anchovy & Egg Sandwich on Rye
This is a decadent dinner. One you enjoy on a special occasion with special people, some candlelight and a good bottle of wine. We felt like we were actually dining at Alice Water’s Chez Panisse when we sat down to this lush, umami-filled celebration of wild mushrooms and hand-rolled pasta.
Wild Mushroom and Hand-Rolled Pasta Handkerchiefs
Visiting Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley was one of our life’s culinary highlights. Since then, we’ve made countless recipes inspired by or directly from her amazing cookbooks. Now — with springtime bursting out around us — is the perfect time to make this herb-filled thin-crust calzone. (If you have herb beds, you may already have most of these herbs already!)
Herb and Cheese Stuffed Crostata
A few years back, Melanie went to New Mexico with some Peace Corps buddies, and stopped by a cafe outside of Santa Fe called Harry’s Roadhouse. It made such an impression that she bought their cookbook. This enchilada recipe is one of our go-to’s. You can make this with chicken, or go vegetarian and use cannelini beans instead.
Cannellini Bean Enchiladas with Green Tomatillo Sauce
When Melanie came back from Costa Rica, she brought some Ducal brand refried black beans, among other things. We used the black beans to make these black bean masa cakes. And we liked them so much we ate them three nights in a row. Clearly, this recipe from Michael Natkin’s Herbivoracious cookbook is addicting. The rich and crispy black bean masa cakes sit on top of a sweetly crisp bed of lettuce, with a spicy sweet potato topping and queso fresco to finish the whole thing off. Incredible.
Masa Black Bean Cakes with Sweet Potatoes
Even though the skies were overcast all day Sunday, the temperature felt invitingly warm for gardening. We’ve been itching to plant our April vegetables
Melanie calls this a great shoulder season. What does that mean? I had no idea either. She says it means the weather is flirting with coldness at night, but warm enough with the promise of spring that you can go ahead and plant your April vegetables. Well, both Melanie and the soil thermometer are right – it’s warm enough to start planting.
Soil Thermometer Says…
This lentil salad is rich and sweet with the fresh flavors of slow-roasted tomatoes. It’s hearty and satisfying with the meatiness of the lentils; and it’s stuffed so full of fresh herbs that it tastes like springtime. This recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s PLENTY is another must-eat from his inspiring vegetarian cookbook. We paired this with a roasted halibut and it was amazing.
Lentil Salad with Roasted Tomatoes