Recipe: Lardo and Walnut Pesto Crostini

Recipe for lardo and walnut pesto crostini, adapted by the James Beard Foundation

 

Unlike those sweaters gifted from your sartorially-challenged aunt, new crostini recipes are always welcome during the holidays. We love them because they're at once stylish and unfussy: just slice, toast, slather, and serve.

 

In the coming weeks, we'll be plying our party guests with these addictive crostini from Philip Rubino, who runs Moderno and other eateries just beyond Chicago's northern limits. Rubino tops toasted baguette slices with ribbons of lard, then broils the crostini until the fat just begins to dissolve. Before serving, he swipes each one with a pesto of sage and black walnuts, which are more robust in flavor than the English walnuts that line supermarket aisles.

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Recipe: Mâche Salad with Pork Belly Lardons, Crispy Capers, Pine Nuts, and Plum Agrodolce Dressing

Mâche Salad

 

In the American salad bowl, mâche, known also as lamb's lettuce, is often left out of the mix. A variety of longstanding popularity in France, it has a tender, velvety texture and sweet, nutty flavor. Mâche lends itself easily to the autumn salad, without coercing or massaging. Why have we skipped over this green gem?

 

To give these sweet greens their due, we’ve added chef Rosalia Barron’s mâche salad to our fall repertoire. Barron tosses the starter, which also features crispy pork belly, in a wine-infused agrodolce dressing, a traditional... Read more >

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Soup's On

French Onion and Mushroom Soup with Bourbon and Swiss Cheese

 

Nothing brightens a cold November day like a big pot of soup bubbling away on the stove. Here are some of the recipes we return to every winter:

 

White Bean and Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil

Luxuriously creamy and oh-so-simple, this aromatic soup is perfect for winter.

 

Spicy Tomato and Chipotle Soup with Calamari and Chorizo Sausage

This deeply flavored soup comes together in less than half an hour. Be careful not to overcook the calamari so it stays tender.

 

Lentil Soup with Chard and Lemon

A tart, Syrian-inspired version of lentil soup that's delicious served with crusty bread.... Read more >

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Recipe: Candied Walnut–Apple Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Recipe for candied walnut–apple salad with lemon vinaigrette, adapetd by the James Beard Foundation

 

We love Thanksgiving just as much as anyone. But with the holiday comes the specter of refrigerators bulging with persistent, heavy leftovers. It's enough to make us preemptively scramble for lighter fare.

 

This simple but flavorful salad comes from some folks who know a thing or two about the perils of gluttony: the team from Jack Stack, a family of barbecue restaurants in the Kansas City area. It's a classic mix of arugula, puckery Granny Smith apples, raw red onions, and blue cheese—and a welcome bit of relief from those towering platters of succulent, hickory-smoked 'cue and burnt ends.

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Pear Perfection

Brown Butter-Polenta Cake with Wine-Poached Pears

 

Enjoy a simple, seasonal meal inspired by one of our favorite fall fruits.


Maple Pears and Prosciutto

This easy-to-make appetizer plays sweet icewine and maple off of salty prosciutto.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with Curried Pears and Toasted Pecans

A topping of spiced, sautéed pears and crunchy pecans add depth and texture to this gorgeous squash soup.

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10 Ways to Cook Kale Without Making Kale Salad

kale soup

 

Though it's hard to remember, there was a time when few of us had heard of kale salad. Back in those gastronomically prehistoric days, kale was, in fact, occasionally consumed in cooked form. And it was still delicious. If you've maxed out on raw greens, here are some alternative ways to prepare this celebrated superfood:

 

1. Serve it Greek-style: blanched, squeezed, chopped, and doused with olive oil and lemon juice. Top with a handful of crumbled feta: you won't regret it.

 

2. Throw it into a tangy, garlicky pasta sauce.

 

3. Add kale and other greens to a hearty, phenomenal, bean purée–thickened minestrone soup.

 

4. Blend it into a ... Read more >

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A Cozy Fall Supper

Roasted Baby Root Vegetables with Grilled Bread, Fall Greens, and Bagna Cauda Dressing

 

Now that it's finally cool enough to turn on the oven, we can't wait to get back in the kitchen. Celebrate autumn with a hearty meal inspired by the season's best offerings.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seed Mousse
No ordinary squash soup, this luxurious version is enriched with crème fraîche and truffle honey and topped with a dollop of pumpkin seed-flecked whipped cream.

 

Roasted Baby Root Vegetables with Grilled Bread, Fall Greens, and Bagna Cauda Dressing
Drizzle a garlicky dressing over autumnal greens and sweet, caramelized root vegetables for a hearty side dish.

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Chicken: It's What's For Dinner

 

Meals take flight with these easy but elegant chicken entrées.

 

Lemon Chicken

For this crowd-pleasing dish, JBF Award winner Michel Richard flavors chicken with roasted lemon pulp and a drizzle of honey and Tabasco.

 

Chicken and Bacon Hash

Who says hash has to be eaten in the morning? Top this spicy, bacon-flecked version from JBF Award winner Donald Link with a fried egg and serve it for supper.

 

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers

Soak chicken tenders in buttermilk and hot sauce before frying for a crisp, addictive dish that's definitely not just for the kids' menu.

 

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Culinary Challenge: Bok Choy

bok choy

 

For many people, it's green peppers. For others, it might be the endless bags of spring lettuce or winter's never-ending supply of rutabaga. For us, it's bok choy.

 

If you belong to a CSA, you know what we're getting at. Even if you're a kitchen whiz, that weekly box is sure to contain at least one vegetable that'll prove to be your culinary Achilles' heel. When bok choy is in ours, we're stumped.

 

What's wrong with bok choy? Nothing really: it's green, it's crisp when not overcooked, it's not difficult to wash. But for some reason we're just never inspired by it. There are only so many times we can sauté those stalky leaves with garlic and ginger and drizzle them with sesame oil before getting bored—and we tend to get a whole lot of bok choy in our CSA boxes here on the East Coast.

 

So this week we decided to think outside the stir-fry and find an arsenal of... Read more >

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Recipe: Bay Scallop Ceviche with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds and Asian Pear

Recipe for scallop ceviche with pumpkin seeds and Asian pear, adapted by the James Beard Foundation

 

Though scorching summer days have mercifully relented for the year, that doesn't mean you can't keep enjoying ceviche: the makes-itself convenience of this Latin American dish will serve you well any time.

 

Lately we've been digging this thoroughly Asian-focused ceviche from Jeremy Ford and Dean James Max of Fort Lauderdale's 3030 Ocean. They let bay scallops wallow in a bath of citron vinegar and lime and yuzu juices, then toss the "cooked" seafood with a complex confetti of diced Asian pears, toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cilantro, and togarashi, a Japanese seven-spice blend.

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