On the Menu: August 15 through August 21

Guests enjoy dinner in the Beard House dining room. Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Monday, August 16, 7:00 P.M. American Artisan Dinner At their beloved cheese shop and bistro in Providence, Matt and Kate Jennings serve diligently sourced, honest, handmade food inspired by the seasons and their New England setting. The talented chefs conceived this exquisite dinner as an ode to American artisanal dairy products, which will be featured in each course. Tuesday, August 17, 7:00 P.M. Italian Gem Though some New Yorkers have a policy against eating anywhere north of 23rd Street, the Upper East Side’s Spigolo, which received two stars from Times critic Frank Bruni, has convinced many a

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Eat this Word: Purslane

PurslaneWHAT? In the weeds. The Forme of Cury, the earliest known English cookbook (published around 1390 by Richard II's cooks), asks for "purslarye" in a salad recipe; colonists brought the plant to America, where they used it as an herb and pickled it for a condiment; and a few sources say it was Ghandi's favorite vegetable. It's a main ingredient in fattoush, a Middle-Eastern bread salad, and Arabs once believed that if sprinkled around the bed, the small, oval-shaped leaves could chase away erotic dreams. (Why they'd want to, we don't know.) At some point in this country, purslane fell into disfavor. Waverly Root quotes a certain William Cobett on purslane in 1819: "a mischievous weed that Frenchmen and pigs eat when they can get nothing else." Happily, American chefs are rediscovering the herb's subtly tart pleasures. WHERE? Tom Crenshaw's Beard House Dinner

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