As soon as Luna was old enough to chew solid food, I was making her this very basic but very delicious stir-fry, which delivers a shocking amount of rich beefy flavor despite its short ingredient list. The secret is the oyster sauce, which adds serious umami, so much so that you won’t even miss the beef if you leave it out. Sometimes I’ll make stir-fried broccoli for the kids and it disappears just as fast.
I call this Luna’s Broccoli Beef because it’s one of her favorite foods, but that is a gene she obviously inherited from John, who might love broccoli more than she does. No matter what age you are, there’s a lesson here. Boiled broccoli? Nobody wants seconds. Stir-fried broccoli? You can’t make enough of it. A little garlic, oyster sauce, and a hot wok go a long way.
Everyone and their brother knows what a Brussels sprout looks like. They’re tiny little cabbages that, if cooked by my mother in 1998, taste like an old shoe. But on their stalks, Brussels are one of the most fantastical Dr. Seuss-ian vegetables you’ll ever behold and, when cooked properly to crispy golden brown in a hot oven, their flavor is a revelation. Caesar salad purists may sneer, but the nutty and slightly bitter tahini plays off the sweetness of the crispy roasted Brussels sprouts and makes a perfect cold weather version of this classic salad.
Excerpted from Cravings: Hungry for More
I have felt for a long time that everything bagel spice is the bomb. But I’ve never been that into eating an entire bagel—it’s just too much dough at one time. Cutting them up into pieces and baking them with sausage and eggs though . . . That, folks, is everything.
Excerpted from Dining In by Alison Roman
I ate a lot of squash with brown sugar and butter while growing up. This recipe is my more practical “I can’t have ice cream for every meal” compromise, using honey instead of brown sugar and coconut oil instead of butter. I would probably eat this as dinner on its own, but I happen to know it’s also great as a side with things like roasted chicken or pork chops.
While tender, caramelized, salty-sweet squash is magnificent all on its own, it should be mentioned that the real reason for making this dish is for the toasted coconut gremolata: chips of nutty, unsweetened coconut tossed with herbs, lots of lemon zest, and a bit of Aleppo pepper. It’s wildly addictive, and there is no reason it couldn’t appear over roasted carrots, sprinkled onto a curry or stew, or even over salads as a stand-in for croutons.
Exerted from Ottolenghi Simple
One of the beauties of this dish lies in the exciting contrast between the hot, juicy tomatoes and fridge-cold yogurt, so make sure the tomatoes are straight out of the oven and the yogurt is straight out of the fridge. The heat of the tomatoes will make the cold yogurt melt, invitingly, so plenty of crusty sourdough or focaccia to mop it all up is a must alongside.
Excerpted from Half Baked Harvest Super Simple
I’ve always loved to experiment with cauliflower. Way back in the early days when I first started cooking, and even before I launched Half Baked Harvest, I would make buffalo cauliflower bites for family dinners. The rounded florets reminded me of a breaded chicken nugget, which is why I first thought to coat them in a spicy sauce. Nowadays, I make these black pepper buffalo cauliflower bites, which have a touch more kick to them. Before roasting, I toss the florets with a homemade buffalo sauce spiced with black pepper and smoky paprika, then I roll them in panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, and cheddar. These are definitely not your usual buffalo wing gameday fare, but in my opinion, they’re so much better, especially with my quickfix homemade ranch dip.
Excerpted from Half Baked Harvest Super Simple
Vegetables are a big part of Moroccan cooking, and whenever I’m making vegetarian soups and stews I tend to use a mix of Moroccan-inspired flavors. I make this tagine whenever I’m craving a detox or simply a good amount of spice, vegetables, and protein. You can prepare this whole recipe in the slow cooker or the pressure cooker, making it a great option any night of the week. Just throw everything in, set it, and come back to a colorful pot of warm vegetables, spices, and chickpeas. My favorite way to serve this is over steamed couscous with a side of warm naan.
Excerpted from Duchess Bake Shop
Fleur de sel is a delicate flaky sea salt from France’s northern coast. It’s a great finishing salt and pairs nicely with chocolate and caramel. The fleur de sel and rosemary combination makes these double chocolate cookies one of my favourite afternoon snacks.
Excerpted from Duchess at Home
If you’re ever driving the cider route in Normandy, there’s a charming little restaurant in Cambremer called Au P’tit Normand that is a nice place to stop for lunch. Their warm pain d’épices (gingerbread) in calvados caramel sauce is the perfect comfort dessert. When I asked the owner about it, she replied, ‘Oh, I just threw it together. It’s just a standard pain d’épices—nothing special.’ Well, for me, it was pretty special, and this is my homage to it.
Pain perdu, literally ‘lost bread,’ usually refers to French toast, bread pudding, or any dish where stale bread is used to soak up liquid and cooked, thus giving it new life (the bread is no longer lost!).
In this recipe, the combination of almonds, citrus, and white wine really elevates it and makes it more sophisticated than your standard bread pudding. Don’t worry—the alcohol evaporates during baking, which makes this a suitable dish for adults and children alike.
Excerpted from Trejo's Tacos
Why do we eat turkey only on Thanksgiving?? If it’s prepared properly, turkey can be delicious and easy for any dinner party. This turkey roulade is actually better if you assemble it in advance because the flavors—prosciutto, fennel seeds, garlic, fresh sage, and rosemary—all permeate the turkey. This is classic comfort food with the volume turned up.
We created these salmon cakes for a recipe pairing for Sandhill wines, and they were a massive hit! Every time we make these, they are the first thing to be devoured, zero exceptions. You will want to make extra, trust us. The smoked salmon adds the most amazing flavour, and the dill tartar sauce is off-the-charts good. You can make smaller cakes using a smaller scoop and serve them as an appetizer, or make them as described and serve with a green salad (try our Great Green Salad on page 135) for a light lunch. Honestly, just try them and you’ll see what we’re talking about!
This is the hot “prawn curry,” as it is called here, found on the beaches of Goa. It is very simple to prepare, and is delicious eaten with rice. Normally, several teaspoons of a very red but milder chili powder would be used here. I have suggested less and used paprika to add to the color.
Sweet chile sauce has been making its way into dressings and dipping sauces for a while, but the rise in demand for the hot savory Sriracha sauce—originating in eastern Thailand and made from sun-ripened chile peppers and garlic, ground into a smooth paste—points to an increasing demand for the hot stuff. Recent threats of shortages have created a small panic among those addicted to the stuff. Mixing Sriracha with Greek yogurt and drizzling it over a dish like this is a fasttrack way to reach a sweet-sharp depth of flavor. The fresh herb paste brings in another layer of freshness, along with a visual “wow.” This is perhaps the simplest recipe in the book and, if I were a betting man, destined to become a favorite.
This is a quick way to get a very comforting meal on the table in a wonderfully short amount of time. It’s a dish as happily eaten for brunch, with coffee, as it is for a light supper with some crusty white bread and a glass of wine. The leeks and spinach can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept in the fridge, ready for the eggs to be cracked in and braised.
Spaghetti Bolognese, the most famous Italian dish in the world, doesn’t really exist. Well, at least not in Bologna. The mayor of Bologna recently got so tired of this misunderstanding that he took to the media to put the spaghetti connection to rest, for in Bologna, ragù is served with tagliatelle, which, along with tortellini and lasagne, are the best known pastas of Emilia-Romagna. Ragù (meat sauce) originally comes from Bologna and this is undisputed. There is even an official version of this most famous of sauces, but many cooks, even in the ragù’s hometown, apply their own twist. I’ve put a lot of work and time into the research: I’ve tried count- less wonderful versions, and all the really good ones are quite similar but with subtle differences. One chef includes liver in the sauce, which makes it more gamy; another uses a lot of liquid and reduces like crazy until he has the desired consistency. But the one I loved the most is very true to the original recipe. No particular tricks, just a respect for tradition, great ingredients, and thoughtful execution.
Musakhan is the hugely popular national dish of Palestine. Growing up, Sami ate it once a week, pulling a piece of chicken and sandwiching it between a piece of pita or flatbread. It’s a dish to eat with your hands and with your friends, served from one pot or plate, for everyone to then tear at some of the bread and spoon on the chicken and topping for themselves.
Traditionally, musakhan was made around the olive oil pressing season in October or November to celebrate (and gauge the quality of) the freshly pressed oil. The taboon bread would be cooked in a hot taboon oven lined with smooth round stones, to create small craters in the bread in which the meat juices, onion, and olive oil all happily pool. Musakhan is cooked year-round, nowadays, layered with store-bought taboon or pita bread, and is a dish to suit all occasions—easy and comforting enough to be the perfect weeknight supper as it is, but also special enough to stand alongside other dishes at a feast.
The journey of these rolls can be traced through Lebanon to Armenia, where kubez el tahineh comes from. They are simple to make, impressive to look at, and loved by all. They’re a particular favorite with kids. Eat them as they are, or sliced and spread with dibs w tahini, the Palestinian equivalent of peanut butter and jam, where creamy tahini is mixed with a little bit of grape or date molasses.
Echoes of Greek moussaka are correctly heard here, both in the name and the feel of the dish. It’s a vegetarian take on the hearty, humble, healthful, and completely delicious sheet-pan dish. It works well either as a veggie main or as a side with all sorts of things—piled into a baked potato, for example, or served alongside some grilled meat, fish, or tofu. It’s just the sort of dish you want to have in the fridge ready to greet you after a day at work. It’s also lovely at room temperature, so it’s great for an on-the-go lunch.
Only two ingredients—lemon and milk—are what it takes to make paneer at home. It’s an experiment worth trying (it certainly feels like conducting a chemistry experiment), both for a sense of achievement and for unrivaled freshness. Yotam has published a recipe for it in the Guardian newspaper, but many others are also available online. If you buy your paneer—which makes the most satisfying filling for the grilled eggplants here, as it soaks up the coconut sauce—try to find a soft variety, which has a texture like compressed ricotta. Other varieties, which are harder and slightly rubbery, are more suitable for making vegetarian tikka kebabs, but they will also do if that’s what you’ve got. For a vegan option, use extra-firm tofu. Try to get a good-quality, chunky Indian mango pickle for this.