Coconut-Carrot-Ginger Risotto with Carrot-top Pesto

Coconut-Carrot-Ginger Risotto with Carrot-top Pesto

I went to the market earlier and picked up a gorgeous bunch of fresh carrots with an excess of feathery green tops as well as a can of coconut milk for no good reason except that it was on sale. When I got home, I came across the lone ghost pepper I'd bought last week. While cooking dinner for the boys, Inoodled on the carrots and coconut milk and it being Monday which I like to try and make meatless. 

Risotto!

I washed and spun the carrot tops as well as the greens from a bunch of radishes I'd bought for Oliver.

Pesto!

And then it all coalesced into a coconut-carrot-ginger risotto with a bit of heat from the ghost pepper and a cool, colorful bit of zip from a fresh carrot top pesto. 

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Roasted Delicata with Bacon-Shallots, Pomegranate, and Yogurt Sauce

Roasted Delicata with Bacon-Shallots, Pomegranate, and Yogurt Sauce

Each time we go to our favorite Lebanese restaurant, my husband orders the fatteh blameh or seriously considers doing so. He loves the yogurt sauce that's spread over the stew as well as the pluck that sprinkled-on pomegranate arils provides...

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Lightly Fried Pattypan Squash with Brown Butter Corn and Cotija

Lightly Fried Pattypan Squash with Brown Butter Corn and Cotija

During my childhood (in southwest Louisiana), my mom and grandmother cooked a lot of squash. Squash casserole, boiled squash, stuffed squash, lightly fried squash....White-skinned scalloped squash were prevalent in the summers, and Nanny and Mom sliced them into rounds, dipped them in an egg-milk mixture before dredging them in generously salted and peppered flour, and then frying them quickly in hot canola oil. The batter was so light, barely clinging to the delicate squash. Parmesan grated over the top was the finishing touch,

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One-Pot Brown Butter Chicken and Rice

One-Pot Brown Butter Chicken and Rice

It's been cold and rainy here lately, and all I wanted today was hearty comfort food. Chicken and rice always fits that bill, especially when slicked with a hearty bit of brown butter. I brightened the whole thing with lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice but otherwise, it's just the chicken, rice and brown butter shining away. I'm full, comforted and totally satisfied.

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Apple, Bacon, Caramelized Red Onion Sandwiches with Arugula-Thyme Spread

Apple, Bacon, Caramelized Red Onion Sandwiches with Arugula-Thyme Spread

Y'all, sometimes I just want a really, really good sandwich, one that rises above the standard turkey or tuna. I want every element to be flavorful and well-considered, and I definitely want the sum to be more than the parts. If juices run down my hands and arms, that's great. If I use three napkins before finishing the sandwich, that's great too. 

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Tomato and White Bean Soup

Tomato and White Bean Soup

Tomato soup is the ultimate in comfort. Much of the time, I prefer it to chicken noodle soup because of the thick, hearty factor and because I am a mad tomato lover. Plus, you can't dunk a grilled cheese in chicken soup, but life is better when you do so with tomato.
I love the subtle notes of hot pepper, lemon and saffron in my recipe, and after once adding white beans to get my sons to eat more soup, I decided I really loved their inclusion too.

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Chicken Noodle Soup, Best

Chicken Noodle Soup, Best

A few summers ago, I had pneumonia. It was pretty awful, but I rediscovered a love for both thousand-piece puzzles and homemade chicken noodle soup. Since then, I've been perfecting my recipe, and without further ado, here it is. 
Don't skimp on ingredient quality if you can help it. Nothing called for is overly fancy. I find it so lovely that basic things can coalesce into a magical elixir.

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Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Growing up, apple pie did not excite me, and at our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, I always chose blackberry and pumpkin pies instead. As I've grown, I've come to appreciate, even love, apple (and pecan) pie, and often find myself craving one when the first hint of fall creeps into the air. Here is my favorite recipe. It's appley, not too sweet, is delicious warm or cold, and makes a great next-day breakfast.

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Tomato, Peach, Chevre and Herb Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

Tomato, Peach, Chevre and Herb Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

This glorious salad is summer on a plate. The tomatoes and peaches pair beautifully and are elevated by the herbs, shallots, cheese and vinaigrette.
Use the best tomatoes you can find, and do not refrigerate them before using. Please- you will kill all their flavor and mar their texture. Use a young chèvre if you can, or really, any good goat cheese will do. If you're growing herbs in your garden, use those. They will taste more delicious than anything you buy. And use a ripe peach but  not one that is remotely mushy.

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Papaya and Cantaloupe with Lime Vinaigrette

Papaya and Cantaloupe with Lime Vinaigrette

Summertime is a season during which even the most ardent fruit lovers may feel overwhelmed. Peaches, plums, berries, melons... Everything is so delicious but it can be difficult to keep up, and at the end of the day, standard fruit salads may start to lose their luster.
This one pairs two underutilized melons with a zippy lime vinaigrette and fresh mint. It's healthy, beautiful and full of flavor!

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Community Questions: Can I make Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in advance?

Community Questions: Can I make Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in advance?

Question/tip from Minal: I am looking at your delicious chocolate chip banana bread recipe. Is the batter something I can make in advance and then bake shortly before serving so the house smells delicious? Or does the loaf have to be baked right after you make the batter because of the baking soda / rising, etc?

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Community Questions: Planning menus in advance

Community Questions: Planning menus in advance

I love to have people over but am daunted in trying to find a menu with great tasting food that I can make ahead at a reasonable pace. Managing young kids and doing too much at one time is unrealistic! How do I find recipes that I can make ahead? Ina Garten came out with a cookbook "Make It Ahead" but I've heard the recipes don't sound too appealing. Any guidance?

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Sauteed Greens with Sumac

Sauteed Greens with Sumac

A dish of mine, Chicken with Caramelized Sumac Onions, Preserved Lemon and Pearled Couscous, was featured on Food52 as a superb one-pot meal. Afterwards, a friend of mine told me how much she, too, loves sumac, and asked if I'd ever tried it atop sauteed spinach. I'd not but was immediately intrigued and that evening made this (with chard). For lunch the next day I made this again (using kale and arugula). I ate every bite both times.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Good banana bread is really something special. But too often, it's dry, too sweet, not banana'y or a bad combination of those. This recipe, adapted from Elise Bauer's Banana Bread recipe, is the perfect blend of slightly sweet, overtly banana'y, wonderfully chocolaty and slightly whole grain.

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Herby Tomato Tart

Herby Tomato Tart

As summer hits its stride, and gloriously fresh produce becomes a luxurious stalwart of everyday noshing, I eat as many tomatoes as I possibly can. But sometimes, it's fun to diversify as well as let tomatoes play a supporting role rather than star. This tart seems to defy gravity and is wonderful warm, at room temp, and even cold. It's the best sort of simple- to make and in flavor- and takes full advantage of and highlights what's in season now! 

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