Vegetables


Baked Green, and Not-So-Green, Tomatoes

One evening, I burnt the tip of my left index finger while frying green tomatoes in a cast-iron pan. Instead of using a spatula to flip the cornmeal-dusted rounds, I got right in there, with my fingers. Now, a week and half later, the spot looks like the veneer on an old piece of furniture, […]

Smothered Cabbage

Last weekend, when looking for a recipe to smother an unruly head of overwintered cabbage into delectable submission, I came across these can-do words in Mary Randolph’s book The Virginia Housewife Or, Methodical Cook:   It will much ameliorate the flavor of strong old cabbages, to boil them in two waters, i.e., when they are […]

Overwintered Mustard Greens

  Overwintered mustard greens. Lovely sounding, isn’t it? I love what those three words evoke: a food with a stand-up-and-take-notice personality and a patina of flavor possible only after enduring hardship—the freezing depths of winter.   Right about now, you might find OMGs featured on the menu of some season-driven, farm-to-table restaurant in some food-lively […]

Holly’s Cow Peas — Authentic Country Cooking

It’s honest, simple food that speaks plainly of its origins, its parts, and aspirations. It’s the humblest of food that fit for a king, and it’s startlingly delicious.   Like Hank William’s “Lost Highway,” it’s direct and from the heart; it cannot tell a lie. Like the vernacular dogtrot house or Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling […]

Bean Cuit

  I wrote this post more than a month ago, when green beans were still plentiful. Then, before I had a chance to put the finishing touches on it, I got a story assignment, my first since moving to Richmond. (It’ll be published in the November/December issue of Edible Richmond Magazine). Of course I fell […]

Succotash—More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Succotash is a perfect subject for this posting, my first on the foods of Virginia. You could argue that no dish is more Virginian than succotash, going way back, as many claim, to the Powhatan Indians, a tribe that lived along the eastern shore of what is now called Virginia. And it’s the dish that […]

Collards—from Sir Prince to Ethiopia

It was at 2551 Kennilworth Road in Cleveland where I had my first taste of collard greens. They were a gift from “Sir Prince,” who dated Miss Anna Szolnoky in apartment 2B, across the hall from me. A retired school teacher who still sometimes substitute taught, Anna evoked another age: She typically wore dresses, accentuating […]

A Plea for Soft-Cooked Vegetables

“Mellow, “unctuous,” and “melting away in the mouth” are some of the words Lesley Porcelli uses to describe vegetables that have been cooked using “The Soft Approach,” a form of low and slow cooking and the name of her story, part personal revere and part well-defended thesis, published in this month’s Saveur magazine. I like […]

Lunch for Lynne: Grilled Antipasto with Basil Oil

We’ve had great weather for grilling enthusiasts this summer in Vermont. Until one day last week when I planned a lunch with my friend Lynne. With constant rain coming down, and a wounded chicken to tend to, I decided to cancel our lunch date. The ingredients couldn’t wait until Lynne’s next day off from the […]

Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

This is yet another great recipe from Entice with Spice, an Indian cookbook from Shubhra Ramineni. Aloo Gobiis one of the most popular vegetable dishes in Indian cuisine: If you’ve eaten at Indian restaurants, you’ve probably seen this yellow-tinged medley of potato and cauliflower on the menu or listed as one of the specials of […]




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