French Tomato Tart

This week I saw the first promise of tomato season. A few brightly colored cherry specimens were brought home from the local market, as well as the more standard varieties. I was down in Gascony visiting my friend Kate Hill, and her photographer friend Tim Clinch was there preparing to lead a photography workshop. Looking for something tempting and colorful, tomatoes seemed the obvious choice…

tomato tart

This week I saw the first promise of tomato season. A few brightly colored cherry specimens were brought home from the local market, as well as the more standard varieties. I was down in Gascony visiting my friend Kate Hill, and her photographer friend Tim Clinch was there preparing to lead a photography workshop. Looking for something tempting and colorful, tomatoes seemed the obvious choice to be willing subjects for pictures, and for dinner.

cherry tomatoes erika

In addition to the profusion of flowers plucked from the lush garden by the canal du Midi, the tomatoes had their moment in front of the camera. But once the participants stopped clicking, we grabbed them and put them where they rightfully belong: In the kitchen.

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On Growing the Beautiful, Flavorful Curry Leaf Plant

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty.

It was an especially co…

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty.


It was an especially cold and sunless April in Chicago this year when Margaret Pak brought home her young curry leaf plant, so she decided to take it into the bathroom a few times when she showered to mimic the tropical air it’s used to (in India and Southern Asia), based on a tip from a local nursery.

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Basil Vinaigrette

My sauce for the summer is Basil Vinaigrette. Don’t get me wrong, I love pesto. But this basil-forward sauce has the punchy flavor of fresh herbs and takes less than a minute to blend together. And unlike its thicker cousin, this vinaigrette can be drizzled over everything, from fresh tomatoes and shelling beans, to risotto or roasted potatoes, and even fresh cheese, like mozzarella or…

My sauce for the summer is Basil Vinaigrette. Don’t get me wrong, I love pesto. But this basil-forward sauce has the punchy flavor of fresh herbs and takes less than a minute to blend together. And unlike its thicker cousin, this vinaigrette can be drizzled over everything, from fresh tomatoes and shelling beans, to risotto or roasted potatoes, and even fresh cheese, like mozzarella or creamy burrata.

Tomato salad with basil vinaigrette

As soon as I see them, I start hoarding bunches of basil and fresh tomatoes at the market, never letting my supply run low. And keeping a container of this vinaigrette on hand means I can have lunch or dinner on the table quickly. But it also is a great sauce to bring along on a picnic, which we did the other night, enjoying the tranquility of Paris while most of the city clears out until the end of summer. (Although the next-door neighbors, who had a wild party that lasted until 4:30am, didn’t get the memo that they were supposed to leave. Romain reminded them the next morning…in no uncertain terms.)

Tomato salad with basil vinaigrette

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How to Store Basil & Stop It From Wilting Immediately

It may be the herb that turns thick slices of mozzarella cheese and tomato into a Caprese salad, or what perks up marinara sauce, lemon cocktails, and grilled corn. Unfortunately, basil is also a ticking time bomb: The very second I buy it from the mar…

It may be the herb that turns thick slices of mozzarella cheese and tomato into a Caprese salad, or what perks up marinara sauce, lemon cocktails, and grilled corn. Unfortunately, basil is also a ticking time bomb: The very second I buy it from the market, it slouches and slumps. Its arms are touching its toes before I even get it into my kitchen, and over the course of the week (if that long!), I inevitably watch the once-perky bunch lose the will to live. It pains me, the defeatist feeling that there’s nothing I can do to keep my basil alive. In the blink of an eye, a bunch of basil leaves will lose their vibrant green color and turn brown (or worse)

There are lots of tips for the best way to store fresh basil leaves—and I’ve tried most of them, with little repeated or sustained success. So it’s time to approach the issue more strategically, testing the methods side by side in order to determine which one will be the true lifeline.

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Marjoram Is the Most Underrated Herb, Period

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.
Today: We’ve been stocking up on fresh herbs to get our spring fix. Next up, marjoram. Read More >>

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.

Today: We've been stocking up on fresh herbs to get our spring fix. Next up, marjoram.

Read More >>

The Best Salt Substitutes, According to a Food Scientist

If you’re looking for a salt substitute, it’s most likely because a doctor or nutritionist has advised you to cut back on your sodium intake. In other cases, it might just be because you ran out of salt, but that’s certainly a less likely scenario. Eit…

If you’re looking for a salt substitute, it’s most likely because a doctor or nutritionist has advised you to cut back on your sodium intake. In other cases, it might just be because you ran out of salt, but that’s certainly a less likely scenario. Either way, there are plenty of ways to substitute salt without sacrificing flavor. "Just like sugar, we can increase our sensitivity to salt by decreasing the amount we consume over time,” says food scientist and blogger Nik Sharma.

Consider the Sodium In Your Diet

According to the American Heart Association, most adults should have no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day and, ideally, move toward a limit of no more than 1,500 milligrams per day. However, this recommendation is still 1,000 milligrams less than what most Americans actually consume. The AHA estimates that the typical American adult eats more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, which could lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.

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The Best Way to Store Cilantro to Prevent Sad, Slimy Leaves

Cilantro, parsley, basil, and other leafy herbs can spoil quickly if they’re not stored properly. Brown, wilted, and sometimes even watery leaves are a cook’s worst nightmare (you know, alongside cuts and burns, kitchen fires, and burning the holiday r…

Cilantro, parsley, basil, and other leafy herbs can spoil quickly if they’re not stored properly. Brown, wilted, and sometimes even watery leaves are a cook’s worst nightmare (you know, alongside cuts and burns, kitchen fires, and burning the holiday roast). Cilantro is an essential herb in so many dishes such as Báhn mì, and especially in Mexican cuisine, too. So what is the best way to store herbs like cilantro to keep the leafy herbs fresh for weeks? Ahead, find four of our team’s tried-and-true tricks for storing cilantro to ensure that the leaves and stems stay fresh.


How to Store Cilantro

Salad Spinner

Everyone’s favorite wedding registry item isn’t just for rinsing greens before making homemade Caesar salad or a colorful WFH lunch. “I recently cleaned a lot of cilantro and stored it in a salad spinner with a bit of water at the bottom and that worked well,” said Food52 food editor Emma Laperruque. Try this method out using our favorite spinner from the Food52shop!

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Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Kebabs

During the hot summer months, we love dining al fresco. Eating outside is so fun, especially when entertaining. We love using our grill to make dinner because we don’t have heat up the house and we get to spend more time outside. The boys can run…

During the hot summer months, we love dining al fresco. Eating outside is so fun, especially when entertaining. We love using our grill to make dinner because we don’t have heat up the house and we get to spend more time outside. The boys can run around and play while we cook dinner. These Grilled…

The post Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Kebabs appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

3 Ways to Use Extra Greens In Fresh Pasta

If you, like me, did some spring produce impulse-buying and now find yourself wondering what to do with your haul (or even just the wilting herbs in your crisper), then it might be time to make fresh pasta. Using herbs, greens, and other wild plants is…

If you, like me, did some spring produce impulse-buying and now find yourself wondering what to do with your haul (or even just the wilting herbs in your crisper), then it might be time to make fresh pasta. Using herbs, greens, and other wild plants is one of the simplest ways to impart color and flavor into pasta dough. In Liguria, at the first sign of spring, you’ll find dishes laden with borage (borragine in Italian), a mild herb that tastes faintly of cucumber. In Emilia-Romagna, ortica, or stinging nettle, is a warm-weather staple, used often in ravioli fillings and to make a tagliatelle-like pasta called strettine.

Even if you haven’t tried your hand at fresh pasta, or you’re in the early stages of your pasta-making journey, here’s the great news: Pasta dough is a simple combination of flour and liquid. And the method for making it—by hand, in a stand mixer, or in a food processor—is the same, no matter the type of pasta you’re making. Which means that once you have some basic measurements and a technique—like my master pasta dough recipe—the color and flavor “pasta-bilities” (I had to!) are endless.

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8 Things to Know Before Growing Your Own Herbs

There are few things more satisfying than picking food that you grew yourself. But nurturing fruits and vegetables can be a tricky business. It takes trial and error (no matter how much you read on the subject), and requires time, energy, and some amou…

There are few things more satisfying than picking food that you grew yourself. But nurturing fruits and vegetables can be a tricky business. It takes trial and error (no matter how much you read on the subject), and requires time, energy, and some amount of space to get a worthwhile harvest. Herbs, comparatively, are quite simple to bring up. No one knows this better than Mark Diacono, who put it most succinctly when he said, “The leaves are the prize and the plant’s job is to grow them to survive.”

Herb: A Cook’s Companion. Photo by Amazon

That sentence comes from the food writer’s new book, Herb: A Cook’s Companion, a glorious encyclopedia of information on how to grow—and then subsequently cook with and preserve—more types of herbs than you have probably ever heard of before. There is a whole section dedicated to the nitty-gritty particulars of each (the varieties of fennel, the ideal conditions for lovage once winter comes, how to space marjoram seeds). But throughout, there are tips that apply more broadly to the vast majority of herbs, because it is Diacono’s belief that they are powerhouses of the garden and kitchen, requiring little work and little space for maximum reward.

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