roast chicken with schmaltzy cabbage

I didn’t know I needed a new roast chicken in my life when Helen Rosner, the New Yorker’s roving food correspondent and all-around fascinating person, posted on her Instagram a few weekends ago that she didn’t have her usual …

I didn’t know I needed a new roast chicken in my life when Helen Rosner, the New Yorker’s roving food correspondent and all-around fascinating person, posted on her Instagram a few weekends ago that she didn’t have her usual vegetables to put under her roast chicken so she was using cabbage instead. Yet the very next evening, so was I, plus twice since then, and likely one more time before this week is out and I have a hunch I will not be alone. Rosner won a James Beard award for an essay I still routinely quote from to my kids (“but chicken tenders have no terroir!” because we live in opposite land where they don’t like them but I do — but that’s a whole other blog entry) because it delights me so much. A year ago she nearly broke the internet when she said she likes to use a hairdryer to get the crispiest chicken skin. All I’m saying is that when Rosner talks about chicken, I find good reason to tune in.

all you need (plus some butter)cut into thick quartersa cabbage jigsawbaste with butter

Look, I really like cabbage. I was never tormented with it as a kid, so I love it with the abandon of someone who chooses it. I like it in salads. I like it pickled. I love it roasted. But even if you’re not me, even if you’re cabbage-hesitant, I think you will find cabbage cooked slowly in salty buttery chicken drippings until charred at the edges and caramelized throughout — the cause of fighting at dinner over who got the best pieces of cabbage (!) — to be best thing to eat with roast chicken since potatoes.

Read more »

carrot and white bean burgers

I’m really enjoying Lukas Volger’s new cookbook, Start Simple: Eleven Everyday Ingredients for Countless Weeknight Meals. It came out two months ago, a positively bizarre time in which we entered and left our homes with abandon, ca…

I’m really enjoying Lukas Volger’s new cookbook, Start Simple: Eleven Everyday Ingredients for Countless Weeknight Meals. It came out two months ago, a positively bizarre time in which we entered and left our homes with abandon, casually hugged friends we were happy to see, and if our nose became itchy, we’d scratch it and not stand paralyzed in panic afterward. What salad days! Volger’s new book wasn’t created with pandemic cooking in mind — what was, really — but it feels just right for right now because each chapter focuses on a staple our local store is miraculously not out of (tofu, tortillas, beans, greens, squash, and more), and the recipes have refreshingly short ingredient lists and unfussy assemblies. Volger’s vegetarian cooking is very doable, the kind of do-ability that comes from the fact that this is clearly the food he cooks for himself at home, so all of the kinks are smoothed out. Everything sounds so good — smoky chickpea salad with olives and lemon and black beans with scallion-lime vinaigrette from the bean section are on my shortlist — you might find yourself wondering why this unwavering simplicity isn’t the goal of every cookbook.

most of what you'll needgrated carrotminced shallottoast crumbsadd carrotsmix it allmix and mashedmixedform into pattiespan-fry

Read more »

roasted cabbage with walnuts and parmesan

I began making variations on this dish about a year ago and since then it has become — and I’m sorry, I know how annoying unrelenting, gasping praise of every recipe that crosses your social media threshold can sound, despite feeli…

I began making variations on this dish about a year ago and since then it has become — and I’m sorry, I know how annoying unrelenting, gasping praise of every recipe that crosses your social media threshold can sound, despite feeling certain that here it’s warranted — everything. It’s a warm salad for cold weather. It’s Starter Cabbage for people who are cabbage suspect (savoy is lacier and less heavy than the white/red stuff). It’s a quick vegetable dish that’s not a salad or bland broccoli that my kids, by some rare miracle, agree to (they like the crispy crackly outer leaves). It’s even better from the tray (which keeps it hot) than it is from a plate, which is basically a reward for being as lazy as I prefer to be. With prep and even oven-warming, it takes exactly 20 minutes to make. Finally, it’s the kind of humble, economical dish that feels good at a time of year when we need to shell out for so many extra things.

all you'll need

The recipe is inspired by one in that astoundingly good vegetable cookbook I talk about a lot here (see: this asparagus salad and this soup) because I think (ahem, after my own two) you might enjoy it a whole lot: Six Seasons. I made, okay, quite a few changes — the cooking time was too long without flipping it, and it’s better when cooked on two sides. The original recipe has saba (an acidic wine reduction) or vinegar but I got the flavor I wanted with just lemon. There were breadcrumbs but I skip them; the cabbage is roasted in butter, not olive oil, but I found it just smoked a lot. I add lemon zest, since I’m already using a lemon. The nuts are already toasted in the recipe, but mine never are so I worked it into my take, below. Honestly, I haven’t looked at the original recipe in so long (you won’t need to once you’ve made it once or twice), I had to pull down the book just to see what changes I’ve made.

Read more »

skillet ravioli with spinach

One of the biggest shocks of my post, cough, 30 life is that I have become, well, a jock. It unfolded in such an innocent manner, I barely registered what was happening. I always swam laps but every couple years I take a break from it to tortu…

One of the biggest shocks of my post, cough, 30 life is that I have become, well, a jock. It unfolded in such an innocent manner, I barely registered what was happening. I always swam laps but every couple years I take a break from it to torture myself into becoming “a runner” (read: jogging and sputtering). I usually fail and go back to swimming but this time it held my interest longer. Then I decided to throw in a day a week with a trainer because I’m just not the kind of person who does burpees on my own volition. Then I found out my trainer used to be a boxer, and so I started that too. Then I got my mom’s old bike and it turns out that biking around the city is vastly superior to any other mode of transportation. And then my husband decided that he wanted to get back into tennis and I was bummed I’d never learned and now we both take tennis classes once a week. If you think I’m about to break into some horrifically boring speech about, like, the power of exercise, don’t worry, I’m still me. If there was any takeaway here, anyway, it would just be that once I realized I did not care whether I ever achieved greatness in any of these sports — I have no desire to run races and spend more time gesticulating my racket in the direction of a tennis ball than I do hitting it — I was free to truly enjoy them.

all you needsaute garlic, wilt the spinachset asidefrozen or fresh ravioli

Read more »

chickpea and kale shakshuka

The fact that it’s taken me almost 10 years to find a new version of shakshuka to fuss over, is as much a testament to the superbness of the classic as it is a compliment to these new additions. Shakshuka, if you’re unfamiliar with…

The fact that it’s taken me almost 10 years to find a new version of shakshuka to fuss over, is as much a testament to the superbness of the classic as it is a compliment to these new additions. Shakshuka, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a North African dish, largely Tunisian, of eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s also one of the most beloved recipes in the Smitten Kitchen archives, right up there with broccoli slaw and my mom’s apple cake, and for good reason: it’s about the highest calling of eggs-for-dinner I’ve found, and I think we know how hard I’ve studied this category. This recipe takes it a step further into the realm of a stew, with chickpeas and kale, and it comes from a wonderful book out this past spring, Family, by Hetty McKinnon.

what you'll need

McKinnon got her start in Sydney, Australia almost 10 years ago with a salad-delivery service she ran out of her home kitchen and biked the deliveries around town, which sounds amazing right now, doesn’t it? Now in Brooklyn, she co-founded Neighborhood Studio, a communal cooking space. Family, her third cookbook, focuses on vegetarian comfort food with an eye towards the daily ritual of cooking, however your family might look, and it might be my favorite yet. It’s incredibly down-to-earth about weeknight cooking; you get the sense that these are recipes that have really worked for her family while keeping the people who cook from finding it a drag. I’ve made the spinach and halloumi gozleme, the cacio e pepe broccoli with white beans (I mean, talk about all of my favorite food words in one title), I’m eager to try the tofu larb, but this, this is the dish I’ve now made three times since May and don’t expect to stop any time soon. It’s hearty and comforting, so perfect for this first day that really feels like fall.

Read more »

simplest spaghetti al limone

In 2011, I shared a recipe for spaghetti with cheese and black pepper (cacio e pepe) but it always bothered me that it contained extra ingredients and that the technique left a wide margin of error. In 2018, I finally cracked the code at home …

In 2011, I shared a recipe for spaghetti with cheese and black pepper (cacio e pepe) but it always bothered me that it contained extra ingredients and that the technique left a wide margin of error. In 2018, I finally cracked the code at home and ran to the internet to tell you about it. Today I’m sharing what I hope will be a similar glow-up for spaghetti (or fettuccine) al limone, a classic pasta dish from, depending on who you are asking, Genoa, Amalfi, Sicily and further (the common thread is, no surprise, places where lemons are grown). In its simplest form, spaghetti al limone contains only lemons, olive oil, parmesan, salt, pepper, and a few leaves of fresh basil in an uncooked sauce. Versions abound, including mine from 2011, with cream, butter, wine, shallots, or more, usually simmered and reduced. Garlic, ricotta, and/or goat cheese are not uncommon. I suspect it’s less due to a blasphemous streak or attempting to bait this parody account, but because they are all delicious. You should feel no obligation to choose.

Read more »