Sweet Potato Pancakes with Apple Compote

I can picture it now: the bright yellow box of pancake mix, the tall, translucent pitcher filled with lumpy batter, the squeezable plastic bottle of something vaguely resembling maple syrup (already sticky with congealed sugar). These were the ingredients of a special treat. Pancakes for dinner! This meal was so surprising. “Wait… pancakes for WHAT?! For…

KITCHEN COPY:SWISS CHARD

Has it ever happened to you that two things enter your life at the same time, and forever after it’s nearly impossible to think of one without also thinking of the other? It happened to me about twelve years ago. It happened to me with Swiss chard, and my wife. I can’t cook Swiss chard without also…

KITCHEN COPY: HEAVENLY HEIRLOOMS

Some heirloom tomato varieties hardly resemble tomatoes at all. That’s what one might think, anyway. The truth is that only in the last hundred years did tomatoes become so uniformly round, and red, and (Let’s admit it!) often flavorless. That’s all changed, of course. Americans have rediscovered (thanks to hard-working small farmers) how to embrace seasonality, and a desire to experience the…

KITCHEN COPY: SCANDALOUS STRING BEANS

Whether whores first invented puttanesca is no concern of mine. The sauce is bright, flavorful, pungent, and goes with just about anything you can scrounge together. Including the ubiquitous green bean. Literally translated, alla puttanesca means “in the style of a prostitute.” It is a culinary legend whose origins (like so many inventions) are clouded with speculation. There are various…

KITCHEN COPY: A RHUBARB TO REMEMBER

The poisonous leaves of the rhubarb plant can cause a variety of symptoms including stomach pain, nausea, and breathing difficulty. The bright red stalk of the rhubarb plant, on the other hand, is totally edible and can cause delight, a sense of wellness, and sometimes (in extreme cases) euphoria. When I was about seven years old, my…

Set the Table for Spring with Cucumber Dill Salad & Black Bean Wraps

Whenever I have a chance to teach English courses, I like to talk about cliches.  “What are some of your favorite cliches?” I ask.  “Or some of the most bewildering?”  We write them down.  “Now, how can we freshen them up?  Make them more unexpected?” Cliches got their start because someone came up with a…

Frittata Time

I first discovered frittatas a few years ago when I needed to use up some fresh sage.  Sage, with its leaves like Lamb’s-Ear, seemed fancy enough for Martha Stewart, so I turned to Martha Stewart’s Healthy Quick Cook, a treasure my  aunt had given me for Christmas years earlier, and discovered a lovely sage-mushroom frittata. …