Stew as the Wife of the Cordoban Farmer Would Make It

This delicious winter stew from Córdoba in Andalusia is called olla cortijera de Córdoba in Spanish and is long simmered cabbage and chickpea stew. Andalusians are quite fond of cumin as a spice. The plant was brought to Spain from North Africa and entered the cuisine. The famous Spanish Arab agronomist Ibn al-‘Awwam, who flourished […]

Rib-sticking Whole Wheat Pasta for Winter

Winters were much colder when I lived in New England and rib-sticking meals like this pasta dish were meals often made. In southern California it never really gets cold enough to want something rib-sticking, but I love this preparation anyway even for nostalgia’s sake. This preparation was originally inspired by the rib-sticking cooking of the […]

Puntarella Chicory Arrives!

Chicory is an herbaceous wild biennial or perennial found all over the Mediterranean. The leaves of chicory have a basal rosette of runcinate leaves, that is, with lobes are deeply incised and recurved at the tip. The heads are large with loose, dark green leaves that taste bitter. The flowering stalk emerges out of this […]

Andalusia’s Dried Bean Soup for A Winter Weekend

A winter weekend soup that can more or less be an entire meal is a dried bean soup from Andalusia. Dried beans are popular everywhere in the Mediterranean.  They also have a flavor a tad different than the fresh bean, which means they are ideal in earthy and deeply flavorful soups such as this one […]

Cold Weather January Soup Is A Lentil Bulgur Soup from Turkey

Winter is a time for soups. This soup is one I came across during a particularly cold April in Turkey. In Turkey, soups are favorite preparations during the winter.  One forgets how cold it gets in the Mediterranean and these soul-satisfying soups are quite perfect for warming up and feeling good about exorcising that piercing […]

Spinach is the Queen of Vegetables, Captain of Leafy Greens

Spinach is an annual plant with dark green leaves that enjoys cool weather.  There are two kinds of spinach, prickly-seeded and round-seeded.  Most spinach on the market is derived from the round-seeded kind.  Spinach is also classified by the shape of its leaves.  Again, there are two major types, smooth-leafed or crinkly-leafed.  Spinach produces dioecious […]

Yorkshire Pudding for Christmas

It’s not clear how Yorkshire pudding got its name, but the idea of cooking batter in fat drippings is, after all, what a pancake is all about, and Yorkshire pudding is nothing but a risen pancake. Traditionally, the English serve it with a standing rib roast for Christmas dinner and our family adopted the tradition […]

A Fondue Party, Done Properly, In The Swiss Way

For years many foodies (even before there were “foodies”) thought of fondue, that classic dish of melted cheese for dipping, as gastronomically corny. This was especially so between 1975 and 1995, when fondue was so dated that the only fondue set most people had was the one in the attic leftover from their parents’ 1950s […]

Lasagna for the Financiers?

Lasagne alla Finanziera–Lasagna in the Financier’s Style–is a particular preparation in the Piedmont region of Italy. This preparation—and any with the name finanziera—is a nineteenth-century or perhaps eighteenth-century invention.  One finds this kind of preparation in the province of Turin, but also in Lombardy and Liguria as well in French cuisine.  So-named dishes are probably […]

Duck, Sausage, and Chestnut Stew from the North of Italy

This duck, sausage, and chestnut stew from the province of Verona, also called ragù d’anitra, is often made with goose and is made too in Brianza in Lombardy and around Lake Garda. Preparing this dish is a more or less all-day affair.  Don’t let that put you off.  Gather around the hearth and keep the […]

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