Recipe: Heirloom Beet Salad with Blue Cheese, Cucumbers, and Cumin–Raisin Vinaigrette

Heirloom Beet Salad with Blue Cheese, Cucumbers, and Cumin-Raisin Vinaigrette Buttressed with a moderate hardiness that helps them thrive during a large chunk of the year, good old reliable beets can get lost amidst the bushels of showy summer veggies at market. But take one bite of this tangy and sweet beet salad from Larry LaValley and you’ll wonder why you ever forgot about them. The dish is a great side to eat right now, but its rich and nutty vinaigrette, made with sherry, raisins, and cumin, gives it staying power into fall and early winter. Get the recipe here.

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On the Wine Trails

On the Wine Trails

With summer in full swing and the harvest around the bend, it's a great time to plan a leisurely (and responsible) drive through wine country. We called up some of the 2011 JBF Award–nominated oenophiles to find out which wine destinations make for a great weekend escape.

“Among off-the-beaten-path wine trails, I like the Fauquier Wine Trail in northern Virginia. Boxwood Winery is a favorite of mine on that trail, particularly its Topiary Red, which I got to try last year after our chef visited.” —Wine director Andy Chabot, Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN (nominated for Outstanding Wine Service)

“The Long Island AVA includes the infamous Hamptons and successfully produces cool-climate reds and whites. We enjoy the crisp whites and Bordeaux-style

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Teach a Man To Fish: Group Presents Culinary Solution to Invasive Species Problem at Beard House Event

Invasive speciesKerry Heffernan in the James Beard House kitchen; the chef's Asian carp ceviche

Asian carp escabèche. Green crab bisque. Blue tilapia. Sounds like a simple seafood menu. Could it also be the answer to a looming environmental disaster? The Washington-based advocacy group Food & Water Watch brought chef Kerry Heffernan of South Gate to the Beard House to propose an unusual and delicious solution to the invasive species that are decimating America’s aquatic environments: eat them. As Heffernan demonstrated, in the hands of a talented chef, these invader fish can offer exciting new ingredients for the menu. Heffernan was impressed with the intense flavor of the green crabs, more intense than blue crabs, and the toothsome texture of blue tilapia, which he likened to monkfish, itself once an undesirable sea cre

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Recipe: Zucchini Blossoms with Burrata and Anchovies

Zucchini Blossoms with Burrata and Anchovies Even as vividly green batons of zucchini overtake the farmers’ market, we’re still fixating on ways to fry up their mustard–orange blossoms. For a Southern Italian take on these delicate fritters, Pippa Calland, who will soon open Villetta in Santa Monica, 
stuffs the flowers with white anchovies and burrata. Crispy, salty, and creamy, these bite-sized treats make an addictive party appetizer. Get the recipe here.

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Contest: Win a Lenox Salad Set!

Lenox Scoop Salad Set
Now that summer is officially upon us, we're weaning ourselves off of our local lunch spots and bringing in salads (lots and lots of salads) made from the abundance of greens in our CSA boxes. Got any fresh ideas? Tell us how you make your favorite summer salad in the comments section, Facebook, or Twitter (use hashtag #JBFsalad) by the end of the day on Tuesday, July 12. We'll pick a winner at random on Wednesday, July 13, and send the winner a three-piece Scoop Salad Set from JBF House Purveyor Lenox.*

*Official Rules: To enter, respond with your favorite summer salad ingredients in this blog's comments section, on Facebook, or on Twitter with the hashtag #JBFsalad by 11:59 P.M. on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. JBF staff will pick a winner

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The Bookshelf: How to Get a Good Tomato


Multiple JBF Award–winning writer Barry Estabrook recently won a 2011 JBF Journalism Award for his blog,, but it’s his new book, Tomatoland, about how industrial agriculture destroyed our most alluring fruit—and how it can be saved—that has been making headlines. Here, he tells us how to get the best tomatoes anytime of year.


Grow your own
Any spot that gets sunshine will do: balcony, patio, deck, or yard. Containers, potting mix, and seedlings are all you need to produce weeks of great-tasting tomatoes.


Buy Local
The closer a tomato is grown to your kitchen, the better it will be. The next best options can be found at your farmers’ market. Typically, a farmers’ market tomato has been picked fully ripe a day or two earlier. Supermarket tomatoes are frequently picked green, are gassed with ethylene to turn them red, and have a shelf life of m... Read more >

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On the Menu: July 12 through July 15

There's a lot to savor about next week's lineup of Beard House events. Tuesday, July 12, 6:30 P.M. East Village Social One of NYC’s most historic and colorful neighborhoods, the East Village has experienced a culinary renaissance over the past few years with groundbreaking new restaurants popping up amid the skate stores and head shops. Guests at this walk-around tasting and cocktail party will enjoy a tantalizing tour of the East Village’s best eats. Wednesday, July 13, 12:00 P.M. Beard on Books: Harvest to Heat by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer Harvest to Heat pays homage to the farmers and artisans who supply America's restaurants with top-n

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JBF Kitchen Cam