Dirt Candy A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant by Amanda Cohen, EPUB, 0307952177

July 18, 2017

Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant by Amanda Cohen

  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter
  • Publication Date: August 21, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008TSC3WS
  • ISBN-10: 0307952177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307952172
  • File Format: EPUB

 

”Preview”

Copyright © 2012 by Amanda Cohen

Artwork copyright © 2012 by Ryan Dunlavey

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

www.crownpublishing.com

www.clarksonpotter.com

CLARKSON POTTER is a trademark and POTTER with colophon is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Cohen, Amanda.

Dirt Candy: a cookbook/Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey with Grady Hendrix.

p. cm.

Includes index.

1. Vegetarian cooking. 2. Vegan cooking. 3. Dirt Candy (Restaurant) I. Dunlavey, Ryan. II. Hendrix, Grady. III. Title.

TX837.C543 2012

641.5636—dc23 2011047331

eISBN: 978-0-307-95218-9

Cover design by Ashley Tucker

Book and cover illustrations by Ryan Dunlavey

v3.1

Introduction

Pickles

Pickled Red Onion

Pickled Shiitakes

Pickled Squash Blossoms

Pickled Potatoes

Pickled Baby Eggplant

Cucumber Pickles

Pickled Cauliflower

Sour Red Cabbage

Preserved Zucchini

Kimchi

Preserved Lemons

Pear and Fennel Compote

Eggplant Jam

Red Pepper Jam

Lemon Confit

Kumquat–Pink Peppercorn Marmalade

Soups

Basic Stock

Carrot Stock

Roasted Potato Soup with Crispy Vinegar Potatoes and Tomato Pearls

Spinach Soup with Smoked Corn Dumplings and Lemon Confit

Onion Soup with Kumquat–Pink Peppercorn Marmalade and Grilled Cheese Croutons

Butternut Squash Soup with Butternut Squash Dumplings

Pea Soup with Spring Pea Flan and Pickled Potatoes

Salads

Fennel Salad with Candied Grapefruit Pops and Grilled Cheese Croutons

Celery Salad with Grilled King Oyster Mushrooms and Celery Pesto

Roasted Squash Salad with Pepita Clusters and Blue Cheese Croutons

Greek Salad with King Oyster Mushroom Rings

Smoked Sweet Potato Nicoise Salad with Fried Olives and Chickpea Dressing

Wild Arugula Salad with Kimchi Dressing

Maple Arugula Salad

Radish Salad

Jicama Slaw

Carrot and Cucumber Salad

Appetizers

Basic Batter with Panko

Crispy Vinegar Potatoes

King Oyster Mushroom Rings

Spring Pea Flan

Fried Olives

Wasabi Pea Leaves

Pepita Clusters

Fried Cheese Curds

Pear and Beet Leather

Hush Puppies with Maple Butter

Kimchi Doughnuts with Wild Arugula Salad and Cilantro Sauce

Broccoli Carpaccio with Broccoli Stalk Salad

Roasted Carrot Buns with Carrot and Cucumber Ginger Salad

Falafel Balls

Portobello Mousse with Pear and Fennel Compote

Sauces

Basil Broth

Yellow Tomato Saffron Broth

Yellow Tomato Coconut Curry Sauce

Corn Cream

Yogurt Saffron Sauce

Lemon Corn Sauce

Preserved Lemon Mayonnaise

Yogurt Cumin Sauce

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Horseradish Cream Sauce

Entrées

Carrot Risotto with Carrot Dumplings and Carrot Ribbons

Crispy Tofu with Green Ragout and Beurre Blanc Sauce

Coconut-Poached Tofu with Cucumber Three Ways

Asparagus Paella with Grilled Vegetables and Yellow Tomato Saffron Broth

Stone-Ground Grits with Pickled Shiitakes and Tempura Poached Egg

Radish Ravioli with Radish Salad and Lemon Corn Sauce

Smoked Cauliflower and Waffles with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Pasta

Broccolini Fettuccine with Porcini Mushrooms and Tempura Poached Egg

Olive Fettuccine with Pickled Eggplant and Eggplant Jam

Mint and Tarragon Fettuccine with Yogurt Saffron Sauce and Zucchini Relish

Beet Pappardelle with Yogurt Cumin Sauce and Roasted Beets

Parsnip Gnocchi with Sour Red Cabbage and Carrot Crumbs

Tomato Spaetzle with Coconut Curry Sauce and Fried Green Tomatoes

Desserts

Candied Grapefruit Pops

Popcorn Pudding with Caramel Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn

Peanut Brittle

Beet Caramel

Cinnamon Caramel

Zucchini Ginger Cake with Zucchini Cream and Zucchini Candy

Red Pepper Velvet Cake with Peanut Brittle and Peanut Ice Cream

Molten Beet Cake with Roasted Pear Sorbet and Pear and Beet Leather

Fennel Funnel Cakes with Mango Fennel and Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

Mango-Fennel Sorbet

Broccoli Ice Cream

Roasted Pear Sorbet

Peanut Ice Cream

Sweet Pea and Mint Ice Cream

Sweet Pea and Mint Nanaimo Bar

Acknowledgments

Index

Media Library

Navigating this ebook:

Beneath each comic you’ll find a link to an enlarged image of each panel in that comic. A library of these enlarged images is located at the end of the book, after the index.

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MAKES ½ CUP

1 red onion, very thinly sliced

5 tablespoons salt, plus more as needed

1 cup fresh lime juice, or as needed

This is the simplest pickle of all. Onion is rubbed with salt to draw out the moisture, then the lime juice “cooks” it. Use in Greek Salad and Mint and Tarragon Fettuccine.

1. Put the onion in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon salt. Massage the salt into the onion until the onion weeps. Squeeze to remove any excess liquid and rinse.

2. Repeat step 1.

3. Put the onion in a bowl with 1 tablespoon salt and ¼ cup lime juice. Let sit for 20 minutes. Squeeze the excess liquid from the onion. Rinse and drain and return to the bowl.

4. Repeat step 3 until the onion turns bright pink (probably 2 more times).

5. Pour over any remaining lime juice and sprinkle lightly with salt. Use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

MAKES 1 CUP

5 cups fresh shiitakes, stemmed and sliced

2 teaspoons pickling spice

⅔ cup red wine vinegar

⅔ cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

8 garlic cloves, sliced

½ cup sliced yellow onion

2 tablespoons thinly sliced jalapeños

Shiitake mushrooms have a high water content, so sweat them before submerging them in the vinegar solution. Pair them with grits or add them to any vegetable soup.

1. In a dry pan over low heat, sweat the shiitakes until all their liquid has cooked off, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2. Wrap the pickling spice in a cheesecloth and tie it closed. In a pot, bring the vinegar to a boil over high heat, and then add the sugar, salt, and pickling spice pouch. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the sugar and salt dissolve, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

3. Put the shiitakes, garlic, onion, and jalapeño in a container. Pour in the pickling liquid, cover with a lid, and shake to mix the ingredients. Store in the fridge overnight before using, or for up to 4 weeks.

MAKES 6 PICKLED SQUASH BLOSSOMS

¾ cup rice vinegar

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

6 large squash blossoms (about ½ pound)

There’s a really short season for squash blossoms, so this is a way to make them last longer. This recipe plays a key part in Mint and Tarragon Fettuccine, and once diced, adds a summery bite to any pasta.

1. Heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over high heat until the mixture reaches a low boil and the sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

2. Place the squash blossoms in a lidded container. Pour the vinegar over the blossoms, and let sit at room temperature until the blossoms soften, about 30 minutes.

3. Cover and refrigerate overnight before using, or for up to 3 weeks.

MAKES 4 CUPS

½ pound whole baby potatoes

½ cup cilantro sprigs

2 tablespoons sliced peeled fresh ginger

2 tablespoons sliced garlic

4 strips of lime peel, removed with a peeler

1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced

1½ cups rice wine vinegar

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup salt

These add savory intensity to an omelet, or you can use them in Pea Soup or throw a handful in potato salad to give it some pep.

1. Drop the potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until potatoes are barely fork-tender. Drain. Let cool, then refrigerate until cold; this makes them easier to slice.

2. Peel the potatoes and slice them into ⅛-inch-thick rounds. Put them in a container with the cilantro, ginger, garlic, lime peel, and jalapeño.

3. Warm the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a pot over high heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool until lukewarm.

4. Pour the vinegar over the potatoes. Cover and refrigerate overnight before using, or for up to about 3 weeks.

MAKES 2 CUPS

½ pound baby Italian eggplant

¼ cup salt

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

½ tablespoon reduced balsamic vinegar or plain balsamic vinegar

3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed

1. Cut the eggplant into ½-inch-thick slices. Toss with the salt and let sit until soft, about 35 minutes. Rinse off the salt and drain.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the eggplant, and simmer the slices until pliable, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix the white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and thyme. Add the eggplant slices and toss.

4. Pack the eggplant slices into a lidded container and add enough olive oil to cover them. Cover and refrigerate overnight before using, or for up to 2 weeks.

MAKES 2 CUPS

2 cups white vinegar

8 garlic cloves, smashed

¼ cup chopped peeled fresh ginger

4 bird’s-eye chiles, chopped

2 tablespoons salt

2 cups julienned hothouse cucumbers (use a mandolin)

A quick pickle, good for sandwiches; fried, they can be used with Coconut-Poached Tofu.

1. Bring all ingredients except the cucumbers to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat and let cool until lukewarm.

2. Carefully put the cucumbers in containers. They’re very delicate, so try not to break them. Pour the warm liquid over the cucumbers, cover, and refrigerate overnight before using, or for up to a week.

VARIATION

FRIED PICKLES

To make fried pickles (frickles!), make your cucumber pickles above, drain, and blot them dry. Toss the cucumbers in ½ cup cornstarch, or as much as you need to completely coat them, and deep-fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until they hold their shape.

MAKES 4 CUPS

4 cups cauliflower florets

¾ cup white vinegar

6 tablespoons white wine vinegar

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon sugar

1½ tablespoons salt

As the X-Men movies taught us, mutants are hated and feared by society. But mutants (like cauliflower, a big knob of mutated floral stem cells) are also delicious when pickled and served with beer.

1. Steam the cauliflower until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes, let cool to room temperature, then put it in a lidded container.

2. In a pot, bring all ingredients except the cauliflower to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm.

3. Pour the contents of the pot over the cauliflower, then cover, and refrigerate overnight before using, or for up to 3 weeks.

MAKES 1½ CUPS

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage

2 tablespoons salt

½ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup sugar

This is actually a quick version of sauerkraut. Quick pickling is a cheat: by pouring hot vinegar over the vegetable you get all the flavor without the fermentation.

1. In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the caraway seeds until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Put the cabbage and salt in a medium bowl. Massage the salt into the cabbage until it weeps. Rinse the cabbage under running water and drain. Shake the excess water off the cabbage and put it in a lidded container. Add the caraway seeds.

3. In a small pot over high heat, simmer the vinegar and sugar until the sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then pour over the cabbage. Cover and refrigerate overnight before using, or for up to 4 weeks.

MAKES 2 CUPS

2 pounds zucchini, thickly sliced

¼ cup salt

10 garlic cloves

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup lightly packed tarragon sprigs

1 cup lightly packed mint sprigs

I serve these with Mint and Tarragon Fettuccine but use them to add kick to any Middle Eastern dish, such as falafel or hummus, or grilled and chopped in salads.

1. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini with the salt. Let it sit for one hour, and then rinse and drain.

2. Meanwhile, blend the garlic and olive oil in a blender then pour into a saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil over low heat.

3. Add the vinegar and sugar and slowly return to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

4. Pack the zucchini, tarragon, and mint into a container and pour in the oil mixture until they’re covered. Cover and refrigerate overnight before using, or for up to 2 weeks.

MAKES 6 CUPS

½ cup kosher salt

1¼ pounds watermelon radish, julienned

¼ pound carrots, julienned

¼ pound Jerusalem artichokes, julienned

¼ pound kohlrabi, julienned

¾ pound daikon radish, julienned

¾ pound red radish, julienned

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish

2 tablespoons minced bird’s-eye chiles

Besides Preserved Lemons, this is the only other fermented pickle in this book. I use it in Kimchi Doughnuts, but it tastes good on pretty much anything you can fit in your mouth.

1. In a large container, mix the salt with 2 cups water.

2. Add the watermelon radish, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, kohlrabi, daikon radish, and red radish to the salt water. Weigh them down to completely submerge the vegetables.

HOW TO PRESS KIMCHI

3. Let stand, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours to soften the vegetables so they are better able to absorb the aromatics.

4. Drain the vegetables, but reserve the soaking brine. Taste a vegetable; it should be just on the verge of “too salty.” If it tastes inedibly salty, rinse the vegetables. If it is not salty at all, massage a tablespoon of salt into the vegetables.

5. In a food processor, pulse the aromatics—garlic, ginger, horseradish, and chiles—into a rough paste.

6. In a large bowl, mix the veggies with the paste. Pack them into as small a container as possible. Add the reserved brine to cover the vegetables, then weigh them down again and cover with plastic wrap.

7. Let them sit in a cool, dark place for at least 1 week and up to 3 weeks. The longer they ferment, the better they become. After the first 48 hours, check to ensure tiny bubbles are forming. This is proof of fermentation. Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

MAKES 5½ CUPS

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

10 lemons

Kosher salt, as needed

2 teaspoons saffron

¾ cup fresh lemon juice, or as needed

This classic Moroccan pickle is one of only two recipes in this book that actually needs to ferment, so use a glass jar instead of plastic because it reacts less with food over the long haul. Dice it fine and add it to sautéed vegetables, or use it in Jicama Slaw and Preserved Lemon Mayonnaise.

1. In a dry pan on medium heat, toast the coriander seeds until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Rinse the lemons, and then cut a deep X in one end of each lemon.

3. Pack the X with as much salt as possible, about 2 tablespoons per lemon.

4. Stuff the lemons in a glass jar and add the coriander seeds, saffron, and ¼ cup salt. Pack tightly and press down so the lemons release their juice. Add enough lemon juice to cover.

5. Let sit in a cool place for at least 2 weeks before using, turning over the jar every 3 days.

MAKES 1¾ CUPS

¼ cup dried sour cherries

2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

½ cup diced fennel

2 cups diced peeled pears

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ tablespoon ground fennel seeds

½ tablespoon ground ginger

Pinch of salt

Make sure the fennel and pears are diced the same size and substitute peach for pear when in season.

1. Soak the cherries and crystallized ginger in 1 cup hot water until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain and finely chop.

2. In a dry saucepan over very low heat, sweat the fennel until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the pears and cook until partially soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for at least 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until everything is soft and well mixed. Let cool and serve.

MAKES 2 CUPS

1¼ pounds Japanese eggplant

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Salt

Designed for Olive Fettuccine, this tastes like a sweeter version of baba ganoush and goes well with all kinds of pasta, and even works as a dip.

1. Trim and peel the eggplants. Cut them in half lengthwise and coat them with 2½ tablespoons of the olive oil. Save the peels if you are making Eggplant Ribbons.

2. Grill the eggplant halves until they’re charred on all sides. Alternatively, roast over an open flame on the stove for a few minutes to char.

3. Put the eggplant in a food processor and process for up to 1 minute to make a chunky paste.

4. Start a pan with the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil and the garlic. Add the eggplant paste and cook on low heat until there’s no liquid left, about 15 minutes.

5. Add the sugar, parsley, and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until the excess liquid has cooked away, about 3 minutes. Salt to taste and remove from the heat. Let cool. Store covered in the fridge for up to 1 week.

MAKES 1 CUP

1 pound red bell peppers

½ cup sugar

I use this in my Red Pepper Velvet Cake, and it also makes a killer cream-cheese-and–Red Pepper Jam sandwich. You’ll need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

1. Seed and dice ½ pound of the peppers and put them in a medium pot.

2. Use a juicer to juice the remaining ½ pound peppers and add the juice to the pot.

3. Add the sugar to the pot and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture reaches 220°F. Pour into a bowl and let cool.

4. Blend the mixture in a blender until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, for up to 1 month.

MAKES ¼ CUP

2 lemons

3 tablespoons sugar

This adds sweet-and-sour notes to any soup, and is especially good with Spinach Soup. Any citrus fruit can be made into a confit with this recipe.

1. Use a zester to remove the zest from the lemons. Squeeze the lemons to get 3 tablespoons juice and set aside.

2. In a pot over high heat, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the lemon zest and return the water to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Drain the zest. Repeat twice more, using fresh water each time (this makes the zest less bitter).

3. In a very small pot, bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil over low heat and cook until the sugar is totally dissolved.

4. Add the zest to the lemon juice. If the zest is not covered by the juice, add water until covered. Turn the heat to low and cook until the zest is almost translucent and the lemon juice is thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Cool before serving. Store covered in the fridge for up to 1 month.

HOW TO PREPARE FRUIT RIND FOR COOKING

MAKES 2 CUPS

2 cups sliced and seeded kumquats

1 cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons whole pink peppercorns, cracked

1 tablespoon ginger juice (squeezed from 3 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger)

Jam, like the ones that have come before, includes pieces of fruit, but no skin or rind. Marmalade, on the other hand, is fruit cooked with its rind in sugar. This marmalade, made with kumquats, is used in Onion Soup. The two that follow are prepared the same way but produce very different results.

1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil and blanch the kumquat in the water for about 2 minutes; this will remove some of the bitterness from the peel. Drain and let dry.

2. In a pan over low heat, simmer the orange juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the kumquats, peppercorns, and ginger juice. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes a thick, syrupy paste, 30 to 40 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and let cool. Store covered in the fridge for up to 1 month.

VARIATION

LEMON–BLACK PEPPER MARMALADE

Blanch 2 cups diced and seeded lemon (with peel) as in step 1 of Kumquat–Pink Peppercorn Marmalade. In a pan over low heat, simmer ¼ cup fresh lemon juice and ¼ cup sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest and 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns and proceed as in step 2 of Kumquat–Pink Peppercorn Marmalade.

GRAPEFRUIT-CORIANDER MARMALADE

In a dry pan on medium heat, toast 2 tablespoons coriander seeds until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Blanch 2 cups diced and seeded grapefruit, with peels, as in step 1 of Kumquat–Pink Peppercorn Marmalade. In a pan over low heat, simmer 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice and ¼ cup sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add 2 tablespoons grated grapefruit zest and proceed as in step 2 of Kumquat–Pink Peppercorn Marmalade.

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MAKES 6 CUPS

1 cup chopped yellow onion

½ cup chopped carrot

½ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped fresh shiitakes

3-inch piece of lemongrass, bruised and sliced

4 garlic cloves, smashed

8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

Dirt Candy’s basic stock is the basis for most of the dishes in this cookbook. All the ingredients should be chopped the same size and shape, as much as is possible, so they cook at the same speed.

1. Put all of the ingredients in a large pot with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.

2. Strain and let cool. Freeze for up to 3 months, or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

VARIATION

CORN STOCK

To make a corn stock, include 4 corncobs (with or without kernels) when making the Basic Stock recipe. I use this in grits.

ASPARAGUS STOCK

Add 2 cups diced asparagus stems and peelings to the Basic Stock recipe. This stock is used to make Asparagus Paella.

RADISH STOCK

Add 2 cups chopped radishes to the Basic Stock recipe, and use only 2 garlic cloves instead of 4. I use this in Lemon Corn Sauce.

MAKES 6 CUPS

4 cups sliced carrots

1 cup roughly chopped yellow onion

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup sliced celery

1. Put all of the ingredients in a large pot with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Strain and let cool. Freeze for up to 3 months, or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Roasted Potato Soup + Tomato Pearls (optional) + Vinegar Potatoes (optional)

SERVES 4 TO 6

⅓ cup plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped white onion

10 garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

6 to 8 cups Basic Stock

6 russet (Idaho) potatoes

Salt

⅓ cup crème fraîche (optional)

The trouble with potato soup: how to keep it from getting gluey. I do this by roasting the potatoes first, to break down their starches, then using a food mill instead of a blender, which keeps them from becoming overprocessed and gummy.

1. Start a pot over medium heat with ⅓ cup of the olive oil, the onion, and the garlic.

2. Add the lemon zest, then pour in 6 cups of the stock. Bring to a boil, and let boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Puree in a blender until silky.

3. Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature (150° to 200°F). Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork and wrap them in foil.

4. Roast the potatoes for 3 hours, until tender. Unwrap the potatoes and peel them. The skins should slide right off. Smash them onto a baking sheet in a layer about ½ inch thick, completely breaking them apart in the process. Pour the remaining ¼ cup oil over the potatoes and sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon salt.

5. Return the potatoes to the oven. Roast until they’re golden brown and have a crunchy crust, about 30 minutes.

6. Remove the potatoes from the oven, put them in a pot, and pour in 6 cups of the soup base. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

7. Puree the potatoes in a food mill (not a food processor or blender) and push through a chinois to remove lumps. Put the pureed potatoes in a pot.

8. Add additional soup base or Basic Stock (up to 2 cups) to thin the soup until it has a thick and creamy texture, if needed. Every potato is different—some are bigger, some are starchier, some are just plain weird—so adjust accordingly. Salt to taste.

9. To serve:

MAKES ½ CUP

2.5 grams sodium alginate

50 milliliters ketchup

2.5 grams calcium gluconate

Molecular cooking is hard, but there’s a mad-scientist rush when you pull off this recipe. Think of it as ketchup caviar, because what goes better with potatoes than ketchup? All ingredient measurements are given in metric for super-science accuracy, and one of the best online sources for molecular gear is Le Sanctuaire.

1. Blend 500 milliliters water with the sodium alginate in a blender. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

2. Thoroughly rinse the blender. This is very important: alginate cannot even touch the gluconate. Blend the ketchup and 50 milliliters water with the calcium gluconate in the blender. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

3. Keeping the mixtures separate, let them settle overnight in the fridge.

5. Rinse the tomato balls gently under running water and then throw out any broken ones. Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Spinach Soup + Smoked Corn Dumplings (optional) + Lemon Confit (optional)

SERVES 4 TO 6

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup diced yellow onion

1½ tablespoons minced garlic

1½ tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

½ tablespoon grated lime zest

½ tablespoon diced seeded jalapeño

¼ cup diced peeled potato

3 cups Basic Stock

4 cups tightly packed spinach leaves

1½ cups roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Salt

This is my simplest soup; it’s just an easy puree. Heat makes vegetables bright, but you only get one chance to bring out the color of a green vegetable. That’s why I don’t cook the spinach until the very last minute.

1. Start a pot over medium heat with the olive oil and the onion, then add the garlic, ginger, lime zest, and jalapeño and cook until very soft, about 6 minutes.

2. Add the potato and stir once or twice. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes in an ice bath.

5. Heat the soup over medium heat. This is when it should turn bright green. Add salt to taste and serve immediately, topping each portion with Smoked Corn Dumplings and Lemon Confit, if you like.

MAKES 32 DUMPLINGS

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

3 tablespoons finely diced peeled jicama

1½ teaspoons finely chopped scallion

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons potato starch

¾ teaspoon rice wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon sesame oil

1 (14-ounce) package of store-bought eggless wonton wrappers

Wonton wrappers are your secret weapon. You can always use them as an easy wrapper for any dumpling.

1. Smoke the corn kernels until they’re light caramel colored, about 2 cycles in the smoker.

2. In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients except the wonton wrappers. This is the filling.

3. Cut, fill, and form the dumplings (see below).

4. Bring a deep pot of water to a boil. Drop the dumplings into the pot in batches and let them boil for 2 to 3 minutes. The dumplings will float to the surface when they’re done, but there are a million reasons why they might not, so let them boil for at least 2 minutes before scooping them out with a slotted spoon.

HOW TO MAKE DUMPLINGS

Onion Soup + Grilled Cheese Croutons (optional) + Kumquat–pink Peppercorn Marmalade (optional) + Pearl Onion Flowers (optional)

SERVES 4

12 cups thinly sliced white onions

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups Basic Stock

Salt

This is where flavors start getting layered and soup starts getting complicated. It’ll take you two days to make this soup, but it can be frozen for future generations to enjoy once you’re done.

1. In a pan over low heat, caramelize the onions in the olive oil, stirring continuously until they turn very dark and sweet, about 1 hour. Lay the onions on paper towels and blot them to absorb all the oil; the onions must be completely dry.

2. Spread the onions across a baking sheet. Turn the oven to dehydrating temperature and dehydrate the onions for about 10 hours, until they are dry, like hard onion candy; once they darken, peek in every 30 minutes or so to make sure they’re not burning. Remove and let cool.

3. Pulse the onions in a blender until they form a powder. Add the stock and blend for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth. Push through a chinois to remove all the onion pieces. The final result should be a broth that’s the color of weak coffee, with a super-strong onion taste.

4. To serve:

MAKES 8 ONION FLOWERS

8 pearl onions (not pickled cocktail onions)

Oil for deep-frying

¼ cup cornstarch

2 cups Beer Batter

There’s no such thing as having too many onions in onion soup. The garnish should always reinforce the main vegetable, just altering its texture or taste.

1. Peel the onions and cut off the top third. On the flat side of the onion, cut an X that goes about halfway through. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and soak the onions for 30 minutes.

2. Drain the onions. Shake off the excess water and blot with paper towels until the onions are completely dry.

3. Prepare a large pot of oil for deep-frying.

4. Roll the onions in cornstarch, and then dip in batter and immediately lower them into the hot oil. Use a slotted spoon to lift them from the oil the second they turn golden; you don’t want them to get brown. Serve warm.

Butternut Squash Soup + Butternut Squash Dumplings + Coconut Cream (optional)

SERVES 4

1½ teaspoons coriander seeds

½ cup pumpkin seeds

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups chopped yellow onions

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

3 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger

2 teaspoons ground sambar or curry powder

½ jalapeño, seeded and chopped

1 stalk lemongrass, chopped

1 lemon, peel only, removed with a peeler

1 tablespoon salt

4 cups diced peeled butternut squash, with seeds

2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

At the restaurant, I roast spaghetti squash and add a little pile of it to the bottom of each bowl. I also make the soup creamier by adding a dollop of coconut cream on top.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds until fragrant, 5 minutes. Set aside.

3. Toast the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet in the oven until they turn golden brown and you hear them pop, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then grind them into a powder.

4. Start a pot over medium heat with the olive oil, onions, and garlic. Add 8 cups water and all of the remaining ingredients except for the butternut squash, sugar, and coconut cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Add the squash and cook until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Taste, and if it’s slightly bitter, add the sugar a teaspoon at a time (up to 2 table- spoons). How much you need to add depends on the sugar content of the squash.

6. Pour the contents of the pot into a baking dish and roast in the oven until it reduces and a crust starts to form, about 1 hour.

7. Remove from the oven and strain, then push through a chinois. Let cool to room temperature. Skim the oil off the top. Line a chinois with cheesecloth and push through again to make sure all the chunks are removed.

8. To serve:

MAKES 20 DUMPLINGS

1 butternut squash, halved, seeds removed

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger

1 cup diced sunchokes

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons Urfa biber pepper flakes

1 cup pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Salt

Urfa biber is a dried Turkish pepper available at Middle Eastern grocery stores. If you can’t find it, substitute your favorite chile powder.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Put the butternut squash flat side down on a baking sheet and bake until fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool, then scoop out the flesh, reserve 1 cup for the filling, and puree the rest in a blender until smooth.

3. Reduce the oven temperature to dehydrate. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpat liners.

4. Spread the puree very thinly on the Silpats. Dehydrate the puree in the oven until the sheets are the texture of a fruit roll-up, about 4 hours; rotate the baking sheets every hour to ensure even dehydrating. Remove from the oven and let the wrappers cool. The wrappers can be stored for up to 1 week wrapped in plastic in a cool, dry place.

5. While the wrappers are cooling, prepare the filling. Start a pan over medium heat with the oil, garlic, and ginger. Add the sunchokes and cook until they are almost translucent and smell very nutty, 3 minutes.

6. Stir the lemon juice and sugar into the pan and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the Urfa biber and reserved 1 cup butternut squash and cook for 5 minutes.

7. Stir in the pumpkin seeds, cilantro, and salt and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Filling can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Pea Soup + Spring Pea Flan + Pickled Potatoes (optional) + Wasabi Pea Leaves (optional)

SERVES 4

½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup diced yellow onion

½ tablespoon chopped garlic

½ tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 lemongrass stalk, chopped

1 kaffir lime leaf

4 cups fresh or frozen peas

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Salt

¼ cup fresh peas, blanched and shocked

Normally, pea soup is a thick glop full of ham that makes you want to hibernate. I created a pea soup that wakes you and gets you out of your winter cave. Vinegary Pickled Potatoes give it extra pop and Wasabi Pea Leaves add heat.

TO MAKE IT VEGAN

Use Vegan Spring Pea Flan.

1. In a large pot over low heat, add the oil and sweat the onions, garlic, and ginger. Add the celery, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaf and cook, stirring, until the celery softens. Add about 4½ cups water, turn up the heat to bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

2. Add the peas, mint, parsley, and cilantro. As soon as the peas turn bright green, 3 to 5 minutes, immediately remove the pot from the heat. Use a slotted spoon or a ricer to mash the peas so that they release their bright green, cooked liquid.

3. Pour through a strainer to remove large pieces, and then push through a chinois to remove any remaining pieces. Let cool, then skim the oil off the surface.

4. Line a chinois with cheesecloth and push through again to remove all chunks. Return to the saucepan and simmer over medium heat before serving. Salt to taste.

5. To serve:

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Fennel Salad + ¼ Cup Fennel Seed Dressing + 8 Candied Grapefruit Pops (optional) + 8 Grilled Cheese Croutons (optional)

SERVES 4

3 tablespoons sliced almonds

4 cups mixed greens

1 cup sliced fennel

Salt

¼ cup diced ripe avocado

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet until golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once. Let cool.

3. In a large bowl, mix the greens and fennel with the salad dressing. Salt to taste, and divide among 4 plates.

4. To serve:

Celery Salad + Celery Pesto (optional) + 4 Tablespoons Celery Seed Dressing + Fried Cheese Curds (optional)

SERVES 4

6 large King Oyster mushrooms

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

2 cups seedless grapes (red or green)

4 cups mixed greens

1½ cups very thinly sliced celery

2 tablespoons very thinly sliced Chinese celery

1. Peel and slice the mushroom stems. Gently toss them with ¼ cup olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss the grapes with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

2. Grill the mushrooms until they have grill lines, turning once. Put them in a large bowl.

3. Grill the grapes until their skins start to pucker and acquire char marks. The grapes will collapse after cooking. Don’t panic; it’s natural. Cut them in half and add them to the bowl with the mushrooms.

HOW TO SLICE CELERY

5. To serve:

Use a ring mold to make plating easier.

MAKES ½ CUP

½ cup sliced almonds

1 garlic clove, minced

1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups Chinese celery leaves, blanched and shocked

Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet until golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once. Let cool.

3. Put the almonds and garlic in a food processor and pulse until all the almonds are broken. Add the olive oil and pulse once more.

4. Chop the blanched celery leaves and add them to the food processor. Process until the mixture forms a chunky paste. Salt to taste. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a week.

Roasted Squash Salad + 4 Tablespoons Maple Balsamic Dressing + 10 Slices Smoked Maple Butternut Squash, Crumbled (optional) + 8 Blue Cheese Croutons (optional) + 1 Cup Pepita Clusters (optional)

SERVES 4

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup lightly packed fresh sage leaves

1 cup medium dice of peeled and seeded delicata squash

1 cup medium dice of peeled and seeded acorn squash

1 cup medium dice of peeled and seeded butternut squash

1 cup medium dice of peeled and seeded Kabocha Squash

Salt

4 cups mesclun mix

½ cup diced Asian pear

This is a winter salad that incorporates the best version of vegetarian bacon I’ve ever come across. You can simplify it by making it a mono-squash (or bi-squash) salad rather than using four different varieties of squash like I do (insanely) at Dirt Candy.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Put the olive oil and sage in a blender and blend until fully incorporated.

3. Put the squashes in a large roasting pan and toss with the oil mixture and 1 teaspoon salt. Roast until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

4. In a bowl, mix the lettuce and 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Salt to taste and divide among 4 plates.

5. In the same bowl, gently mix the roasted squash, smoked squash, and Asian pear with the remaining 2 tablespoons dressing. Salt to taste and divide among the 4 plates.

6. To serve:

MAKES APPROXIMATELY ¾ CUP

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup chopped peeled fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon diced shallot

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt

1. Start a pan on medium heat with the olive oil, ginger, and garlic. Remove from the heat and strain. Set aside the oil.

2. Put the ginger and garlic in a blender with all the remaining ingredients except the oil. Blend until smooth, and then slowly stream in the reserved oil. Store covered in fridge for up to 1 week.

MAKES 48 SLICES

2 cups thinly sliced peeled butternut squash

½ cup sugar

Most vegetarian bacon is nice and salty, but full of chemicals. Here’s a vegetarian bacon with just two ingredients: butternut squash and sugar. The flavor is all in the preparation.

1. Smoke the butternut squash at least twice. Between each smoke/rest cycle, release steam out of the lid of the smoker. Releasing the steam keeps the squash from getting soft.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpat liners.

3. In a blender, pulse the sugar for 2 minutes. This breaks the crystals so the sugar will melt quickly. Pat the butternut squash dry, and then toss it in the sugar until it’s coated.

4. Arrange the squash in a single layer on the lined baking sheets. Bake for 4 minutes, and then flip the slices over and bake until crispy and light orange-brown, about 4 more minutes.

5. The smoked squash can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a week.

MAKES 8 CROUTONS

Grilled Cheese Croutons are superior to regular croutons in every way. Use regular cheese for the croutons in the Fennel Salad and blue cheese for the Roasted Squash Salad. You’re making one grilled cheese sandwich any way you like—white bread, Velveeta, soy cheese, go wild!

1. Hearty, rustic breads work best. Brush both sides of a slice of bread with olive oil (or melted butter). Put cheese in the middle.

2. Grill it on a grill, in a pan, or in a panini press.

3. When it’s done, cut off the crusts, cut it into quarters, then slice each quarter diagonally to make 8 little triangles total.

Greek Salad + ¼ Cup Lemon Oregano Dressing + 16 King Oyster Mushroom Rings + ¼ Cup Preserved Lemon Mayo (optional) + Pickled Red Onions (optional)

SERVES 4

1½ cups diced plum tomatoes

1½ cups diced hothouse cucumbers

¾ cup very thinly sliced fennel

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

1½ tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

16 pitted kalamata olives

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

Salt

1 teaspoon ground sumac

1 teaspoon za’atar

The world owes Greece an apology for the crimes it has committed against Greek salad: oily, soggy monstrosities full of canned black olives and rubbery feta. A Greek salad should be bright, loud, and vibrant, like a shouting match inside your mouth. This recipe gets its zip from sumac (a dried berry with a bright, citrus flavor) and za’atar (a vibrant, intensely herbal seasoning), which you can find at pretty much any Middle Eastern or Indian grocery store.

1. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumbers, fennel, fresh herbs, and olives. Toss gently with the dressing and add the feta. Salt to taste and divide among 4 plates.

2. To serve:

Nicoise Salad + 12 Slices Smoked Sweet Potatoes + ½ Cup Chickpea Dressing + 16 Fried Olives (optional)

SERVES 4

½ pound haricots verts

4 cups mesclun mix

Salt

2 quartered plum tomatoes

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 hothouse cucumber (optional)

4 hardboiled eggs (optional), quartered

1 tablespoon capers

1. Blanch and shock the haricots verts.

2. In a bowl, toss the mesclun with ¼ cup of the dressing. Salt to taste, then divide among 4 bowls.

3. To serve:

SERVES 4

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

Note: you’ll need 1 quart of maple chips, for smoking.

1. Slice the sweet potatoes into ½-inch-thick rounds. You’ll want at least 12 slices for the Nicoise salad.

2. Smoke twice, lifting the lid between smokings to let out the moisture.

3. Prepare a high-heat grill or preheat the oven to 425°F.

4. Coat the potato slices with the oil and sprinkle with salt.

5. Grill the potatoes until they are cooked through and have strong grill marks, about 5 minutes on each side.

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

1 cup cooked chickpeas or rinsed and drained canned chickpeas

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ sheet nori (seaweed)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Salt

In a blender, mix everything except for the rosemary and salt until very smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to help keep the mixture moving. Add the rosemary, salt to taste, and pulse no more than twice. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

SERVES 4

KIMCHI DRESSING

2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger

Grated zest from 1 lime

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons kimchi juice (the liquid the kimchi ferments in)

½ teaspoon minced garlic

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

SALAD

½ cup thinly sliced peeled watermelon radish

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

4 cups wild arugula

½ cup julienned peeled daikon

¼ cup diced avocado

¼ cup diced Asian pear

This goes with Kimchi Doughnuts. It layers grilled radishes with soft avocado and crunchy daikon while the dressing adds spice.

1. To make the dressing: Put the ginger, lime zest and juice, kimchi juice, and garlic in a blender; pulse until the mixture becomes a chunky paste. With the blender running on low speed, slowly stream in the oil and blend until incorporated. Salt to taste. The dressing will make about ¾ cup; cover and store the remaining dressing in the fridge for up to 1 week.

2. To make the salad: In a small bowl, toss the watermelon radishes with the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Grill them until they turn an intense pink, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the arugula, daikon radish, avocado, and Asian pear. Toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons dressing.

4. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Lay the grilled watermelon radishes on top of the salad and serve.

SERVES 4

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

4 cups wild arugula

½ cup julienned green apple

I created this salad to accompany Smoked Cauliflower and Waffles but it’s a good example of how to jazz up a salad with a sweet, rather than a tart, dressing.

1. Put the maple syrup, lemon juice, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a jar or plastic container and cover tightly. Shake the dressing until well mixed.

2. Put the arugula and apple in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Salt to taste. Serve.

SERVES 4

1 cup julienned purple radish

1 cup radish sprouts or alfalfa sprouts

¼ cup toasted pistachios, chopped

2 tablespoons pistachio oil or extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt

This goes best with Radish Ravioli but it’s another great, crunchy, all-texture summer salad.

In a large bowl, gently toss together all of the ingredients, and salt to taste. Serve.

SERVES 4

1 cup diced peeled jicama

½ cup thinly sliced Brussels sprouts

½ cup thinly sliced haricots verts

¼ cup thinly sliced Thai basil

2 tablespoons minced Preserved Lemons

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

Another good summer salad, this pairs with Tomato Spaetzle.

In a large bowl, gently toss together all of the ingredients, salting to taste. Serve.

SERVES 4

2 cups julienned white carrots

2 cups julienned seeded hothouse cucumbers

¼ cup thinly sliced scallion

2 teaspoons finely julienned peeled fresh ginger

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Salt

This cooling summer salad is all texture and it goes best with the Roasted Carrot Buns or any other dish with rich flavors that need a clean, crisp taste to balance them.

In a large bowl, gently toss together all of the ingredients, salting to taste. Serve.

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons grated grapefruit zest

¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely minced shallot

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds until fragrant, 5 minutes. Let cool.

2. Blend all of the ingredients except the oil, salt, and pepper in a blender on high until smooth. Turn the blender to low and slowly stream in the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

MAKES ¾ CUP

½ teaspoon minced garlic

¾ tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup fresh oregano

1. Put the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a blender. Mix on high speed until smooth. Turn the blender to low and slowly stream in the oil.

2. Still on low, add the oregano and blend until it is broken into small pieces. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

MAKES APPROXIMATELY 1 CUP

1 teaspoon celery seeds

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2½ tablespoons white wine vinegar

½ garlic clove, minced

⅛ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ cup plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup toasted almond oil

Salt

1. In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the celery seeds until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2. Blend all of the ingredients except the oils and salt in a blender on high until smooth. Turn the blender to low and slowly stream in the oils until fully incorporated. Do this slowly so that the dressing emulsifies; if the oil is dumped in at once, the dressing will break. Salt to taste. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

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MAKES 2 CUPS

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup seltzer water or beer

2 cups panko

2 teaspoons salt (or other seasonings as indicated)

This is my go-to deep-frying batter. I use it often in this book, sometimes adjusting the seasonings or quantities depending on what and how much is being fried. To make it a beer batter, just replace the seltzer with delicious beer.

1. In a bowl, mix together the flour and seltzer to form a smooth batter.

2. Pulse the panko a few times in a food processor. Add the salt and pulse once or twice to combine. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Dip the ingredient in the batter and then roll in the panko crumbs. Fry as directed in the recipe.

SERVES 4 TO 6

1 Russet or Idaho potato, peeled

2 cups white vinegar

Canola oil for deep-frying

Salt

I make these for Roasted Potato Soup, but Danielle always had to make double because I couldn’t stop people from eating them all day long.

1. Using a mandolin, shred the potato into long, thin julienned strips. Soak the strips in the vinegar for 24 hours.

2. In a large pot, heat the oil to 350°F.

3. Dry the potatoes as much as possible. Working in batches, deep-fry them until golden brown, about 45 seconds. Remove from the oil and salt to taste.

SERVES 4

4 large King Oyster mushrooms

Canola oil for deep-frying

Basic Batter with Panko

1 tablespoon ground sumac

1 tablespoon za’atar

2 teaspoons salt

Deep-fried mushrooms are superior in every way to onion rings, which are greasy and fall apart when you bite into them. Serve these on top of Greek Salad like a vegetable version of calamari, or dip them in Preserved Lemon Mayonnaise or hot sauce.

1. In a large pot, heat the oil to 350°F.

4. While the oil heats, prepare the batter and pulse the panko crumbs, then add the sumac, za’atar, and salt to the panko and pulse once or twice to combine. Transfer to a bowl.

5. Dip the mushroom rings in batter and then roll them in the panko crumbs. Working in batches, deep-fry until they turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

SERVES 8 TO 10

Nonstick spray for ramekins

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

½ cup fresh mint leaves

2¼ cups fresh or frozen peas

3 extra-large eggs

¾ cup heavy cream

Salt

Serve with Pea Soup or on their own with a salad of pea-shoot leaves.

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly coat eight to ten 2-ounce (or slightly larger) ramekins with nonstick spray.

2. Blanch and shock the cilantro, mint, and peas separately, then roughly chop the cilantro and mint.

3. Put the blanched peas and herbs in a blender. Blend until smooth (don’t overprocess, or the color of the peas turns dull). If the mixture is lumpy, push through a chinois.

4. In a bowl, mix the eggs and cream until well combined, and then gently mix in the pea puree and salt to taste.

5. Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins in a hot-water bath then place the bath in the oven and bake for 8 minutes, rotate, and bake for 8 minutes more. Keep rotating and cooking until fully set, about 20 to 30 minutes. Larger ramekins will take a little longer.

6. Remove the hot-water bath from the oven. Important: do not remove the ramekins from the hot-water bath. Let stand until the water reaches room temperature, and then remove the ramekins.

7. To unmold, turn each ramekin over onto a small plate and gently ease out the flan. If necessary, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge. Serve, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

 

 

Amanda Cohen does not play by the rules. Her vegetable recipes are sophisticated and daring, beloved by omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan diners alike. Dirt Candy: A Cookbook shares the secrets to making her flavorful dishes—from indulgent Stone-Ground Grits with Pickled Shiitakes and Tempura Poached Egg, to hearty Smoked Cauliflower and Waffles with Horseradish Cream Sauce, to playfully addictive Popcorn Pudding with Caramel Popcorn. It also details Amanda’s crazy story of building a restaurant from the ground up to its currently being one of the hardest-to-get reservations in New York City—all illustrated as a brilliant graphic novel. Both a great read and a source of kitchen inspiration,Dirt Candy: A Cookbook is a must-have for any home cook looking to push the boundaries of vegetable cooking.

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