• Molasses Oatmeal Bread
    Breads,  Vegetarian

    Kathleen’s Oatmeal Molasses Bread, AKA Maritime Oatmeal Bread

    This high-rising oatmeal bread features a smack of molasses for a deep color and bright flavor. Who’d guess that a multi-grain loaf could be this fluffy and taste so luscious? It dresses up a sandwich, makes gorgeous toast, and feels like an indulgence when spread with butter.  We snapped up the recipe from our friend Julie’s mom, Kathleen, when we visited her decades ago in the historic seaside town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. We always figured this bread was just another of Kathleen’s many specialties. Now we learn it’s a traditional bread from Canada’s Maritime region, often called Maritime Oatmeal Bread or Oatmeal Brown Bread. Rich in molasses and often eaten at Saturday…

  • Apple Chutney
    Indian,  Jams and Condiments,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Apple-Raisin Chutney

    We love that sweet and sour zip that a good mango chutney brings to curry. But with the high cost of a small jar, wouldn’t a homemade alternative make sense? When Adam Jaffe (of Double Chocolate Sorbet fame) served a lively apple chutney, we realized our orchard-picked Cortlands, simmered with pantry and fridge basics, could do the job. Wouldn’t you know that Adam, an economist, would offer this thrifty solution? We don’t feel so bad forsaking mango chutney, anyway, since we no longer can find our favorite brand. The original Major Grey’s Chutney, invented by Merwanjee Poonjiajee & Sons Pvt. Ltd. and sold under the “Sun Brand” label, has disappeared from the shelves. As…

  • Tante Marie's Sorrel Soup
    Soups,  Vegetable,  Vegetarian

    Tante Marie’s French Sorrel Soup from Charlotte Turgeon

    If you could cross baby spinach with lemon, you’d get something like sorrel. It brightens salads, sauces and omelets, but best of all makes a marvel of a soup. And nothing captures the flavor and simple pleasures of the French countryside like this dish: French Sorrel Soup. Remarkably fast and easy to make, this elegant, tangy soup goes from zero to the table in less than 15 minutes. No potatoes, no aromatics, no cream. An egg yolk swirled in at the end adds a bit of richness, and some toasted bread served in the bowl gives it depth. The hardest part might be finding the main ingredient. Popular throughout Europe, sorrel is rarely seen…

  • Susan's Biscuits
    Biscuits,  Breads,  Snacks,  Vegetarian

    Emily Adair’s Best Biscuits from Sue Aldrich

    For as long as we’ve known Sue Aldrich—from way back in the Dark Ages—we’ve loved her light, flaky biscuits. They’re simply the best. She credits Emily Adair, her great-grandmother and namesake—middle name—for this classic recipe. As Sue tells it, “My paternal grandmother, Ora McKim, was a teenager in Michigan when her father came home with a new wife—Emily—after a brief trip to the city. The ‘city’ was probably Cass City, Michigan, population around 1,200 in 1915.” Emily raised Ora and her sister Cecil, who were barely younger than their new mother. “I’m sure everyone loved Emily—except of course Ora, who saw her as competition,” says Sue. She adds that Ora turned into a bit…

  • Basic Yeasted Flatbread
    Appetizers,  Breads,  Indian,  Middle Eastern,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Basic Yeasted Flatbread

    Is it Indian? Israeli? Italian? All of the above. With a dough this universal, Basic Yeasted Flatbread passes for all sorts of nationalities. It scoops up curry just like naan, dips into hummus like pita, and doubles as perfect pizza dough. Soft, chewy and heavenly when served warm from the griddle, it reminds us why we love our daily bread. This recipephany came from Mollie Katzen, a hero ever since her 1977 Moosewood Cookbook. In Sunlight Cafe: Breakfast Served All Day, she confessed her special relationship with this flatbread. She always had dough in the fridge, and made flatbreads all hours of the day. And we can see why—it has proved itself a loyal friend…

  • Gluten-free, Vegan Hermits
    Cookies,  Desserts,  Gluten-free,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Gluten-Free, Vegan Hermits

    To get a really great gluten-free vegan cookie, start with a really great cookie. One that plays well with gluten-free flour and won’t miss the eggs. In this case, it’s Dick’s Hermits. Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, these classic New England molasses-spice cookies make the mouth tingle with delight. My mother-in-law Dorothy, nicknamed “Dick,” (see Dick’s Coffee Cake for that story) spoiled her kids with these cookies. With a little culinary sleight of hand, we now can spoil just about everybody. It doesn’t take much—just gluten-free “1-1” flour (from Trader Joe’s or King Arthur Baking Company, for example) and a little ground flaxseed. The flour swaps cup-for-cup for all-purpose…

  • Chickpea Vegetable Tagine
    Beans,  Gluten-free,  Indian,  Middle Eastern,  Moroccan,  Side Dishes,  Vegan,  Vegetables,  Vegetarian

    Chickpea and Vegetable Tagine

    Like “casserole,” “tagine” refers to both a type of cookware and the meal you make in it. Tagine gets its name from a Moroccan pot that looks like an oversized piece from the Sorry! game. But you don’t need an authentic tagine to make this warmly spiced chickpea and vegetable stew. A dutch oven or large frying pan will do the trick. We call it a tagine, but with all the Indian spices it tastes like a curry. In fact, we suggest optional curry powder for an extra blast of flavor and heat. Let’s just say that this falls into the “dishes without borders” category. So you can serve it with couscous, basmati rice,…

  • Quesabeanas
    Appetizers,  Beans,  Cheese dishes,  Main Dish,  Mexican,  Side Dishes,  Vegetable,  Vegetables,  Vegetarian

    Raegan’s “Quesabeanas,” Refried-Bean Quesadillas

    Recipephany Test Kitchen’s Chief Taster, Dan, likes to call these “Yummy Chongas” or “Tacodilla Grandes.” But their developer, Raegan Sales (also known for the best No-Knead Focaccia), calls them “Quesabeanas,” and that sums them up pretty well. Refried beans sweetened with caramelized aromatics and spiked with hot sauce bulk up the humble quesadilla. A soft bean filling fuses with melted cheese so when you bite into the toasty flour tortilla, you taste nothing but delicious squishiness inside. And while it masquerades as fun food, the Quesabeana—especially with lots of toppings—includes all manner of healthy food groups. While Raegan came up with the Quesabeana, her husband, our son Andrew, inspired the crispy cheese crust. “He…

  • Appetizers,  Breakfast,  Cheese dishes,  Egg dishes,  Main Dish,  Side Dishes,  Snacks,  Vegetable,  Vegetables,  Vegetarian

    Spinach Squares

    We could say that good old-fashioned Spinach Squares are staging a comeback, but they never actually went away. Also called “spinach brownies,”—no, there’s no chocolate—these squares bring to the savory portion of a meal what fudgy brownies bring to dessert. Cheesy-rich and luscious, they invite you to have just one—and then one more. Stir these up in minutes as an easy alternative to Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie). An appetizer, snack, side dish or even main attraction, Spinach Squares freeze and reheat well. The recipe makes a big batch, so you can serve some and still have enough for another occasion. And they make great finger food, even sneaked cold from the fridge. Surprisingly, Spinach…

  • Tomato with Sage Pasta Sauce
    Ingredient,  Italian,  Pasta,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Pasta with Fresh Tomato and Sage Sauce

    Our new favorite pasta sauce has all the earmarks of a Neopolitan classic. Quick and simple, it exemplifies the short-order-cooking style typical of great Italian food. It simmers just long enough to get saucy and tangy, then clings lovingly to the pasta of your choice, careful to let the creamy flavor of the wheat shine through. It includes the usual suspects: chunked-up tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, sage…. Sage? What’s with the sage? We know how Italians season tomatoes with basil and oregano, and occasionally with rosemary and thyme. Sage goes into saltimbocca and brown butter sauce, but not red sauces. But why not? Sage belongs to the mint family, along with all those…

  • Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage in the Pressure Cooker
    Appetizers,  Gluten-free,  Italian,  Main Dish,  Rice,  Vegetables,  Vegetarian

    Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage in the Pressure Cooker

    As the days get shorter, keep the sun in your life with gleaming risotto lit with golden butternut squash. Plump little Arborio rice grains turn creamy yet keep a nice al dente chew. Swirled with sweet winter squash, it’s a comfort food to rival mac and cheese. The pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) cooks it up perfetto in just about 5 minutes, without any of the watching, stirring and all-around fussing that scare cooks away from risotto. Fresh sage plays the hero here, propelling the savory flavors into the stratosphere. Dried sage can work, too, but fresh velvety leaves add the brightness of garden greens. If you don’t have a pressure cooker or its…

  • Main Dish,  Other,  Pasta,  Vegetarian

    “Grandma Mac” Creamy Mac ‘n Cheese

    As cozy as a welcome hug, mac ‘n cheese defines comfort food. This creamy version brings comfort to both the eaters and the cooks. And you can make it in a snap with just a couple of ingredients. Forget measuring spoons or cups—the only unit is the “dollop.” And get this: you tell doneness not by time, color or temperature, but by the way it sounds. This recipephany comes courtesy of our sister-in-law Sheila, whose mother Ruth knew how to please her grandkids. Sheila’s children, Ariel and Eli (now with kids of their own), named it Grandma Mac to distinguish a unique dish that, as Eli puts it, offers “zero challenge to the palate…

  • Greek,  Potatoes,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Patates Elinora (Greek-Style Potatoes)

    You’re low on flour, rice is scarce, and your pasta stash is down to one lonely box of elbows. Thank Heaven for potatoes. Especially when it’s easy to dress them up Greek-style—bright, pungent and with an aroma so intoxicating it could serve as stress-relief therapy. “Greek-style” is simply shorthand for “lemon, oregano and olive oil” (the way “Florentine” means spinach). But this is not your standard dish of crispy potato wedges done up Greek-style. Here, layers of thinly sliced potatoes roast and steam, soaking up caramelized lemon sauce and blissing out on oregano. Cut into the casserole and you’ll find strata of textures and flavors, from soft and creamy on the bottom to crispy…

  • Recipephany ingredient,  Soups,  Vegan,  Vegetables,  Vegetarian

    Haymarket Asparagus Soup

    It’s hard to cook asparagus to its elegant best. If you leave spears in too long, they go from vibrant and crisp to drab and droopy. Take them out too soon, and you’ll get a raw crunch instead of a tender, tasty bite. But it’s easy to cook asparagus perfectly in this soup. There’s no peeling or fussy prep. No matter how long the asparagus simmers, it doesn’t lose its sweet, earthy flavor. A touch of thyme and savory add garden brightness, and golden potatoes make it creamy. Crispy, salty prosciutto bits on top give contrasting crunch and color to the green smoothness. Best of all, you don’t need pristine spears if you’re just…

  • Greek,  Middle Eastern,  Vegetable,  Vegetables,  Vegetarian

    Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

    At the risk of sounding like a midnight infomercial, here is the best spanakopita you’ll ever eat. It’s oniony-sweet, cheesy, and the herbs melt into the spinach to deepen the flavor. I have yet to find a restaurant version that can beat this. We usually see spanakopita as either an appetizer or a main dish. But with today’s “mezze mania,” you can bake up a batch, freeze it, then reheat a few triangles to go along with hummus, a few diamonds of kibbee, or whatnot to turn a meal into a party. I like to bake from scratch, but draw the line at filo. Other than my friend Wendy, who once made it as…

  • Breakfast,  Egg dishes,  Pies,  Snacks,  Vegetables,  Vegetarian

    Zucchini Quiche

    Zucchini is to quiche as eggplant is to parmigiana. There is no higher calling for this elongated green summer squash than to be sautéed with onions, splashed with wine, tossed with herbs, then married with cheese and eggs into this savory pie. Not really a quiche, this recipephany has more of an Italian than French accent. A layer of toasted breadcrumbs replaces the pastry crust. Herbs you’d shake into a red sauce awaken the sweetness in the zucchini. And a secret ingredient—ginger—blends in so mysteriously that I dare you to pick it out of the crowd. I’d forgotten where this recipe came from until Elinor Lipman (best-selling novelist and source of Cinnamon Tea Cake…

  • Ingredient,  Technique,  Vegan,  Vegetables,  Vegetarian

    Butternut Squash Roasted Whole: The best one-ingredient dish ever

    This is more than a recipephany; it’s a revelation. It comes from Raegan Sales, the Veggie Whisperer. To capture the deep flavor of butternut squash, roast it whole at 400 degrees for about an hour until it yields when you stab it with a fork. Cool a little, then cut it in half, remove the seeds and peel off the paper-thin skin (unless you are like me and consume that, too). The juice is like maple syrup, so save it to spoon over or mash into the squash. Eat as is or use in other dishes. The squash is so sweet and velvety it tastes like it has been injected with butter and caramelized…

  • Appetizers,  Asian,  Breakfast,  Chinese,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Caramelized Tofu Triangles: Simple Make-Ahead Appetizer

    Caramel-lacquered tofu triangles hit all the sweet, savory and salty notes that put guests in a good mood. The dark, shiny syrup sinks into the chewy triangles, so you can eat them with your fingers if you like. Since they keep well in the fridge, you can make them way ahead and bring them out any time, as you would a wedge of brie. They travel well, too. Carry them to a holiday party in a Ziploc bag and free yourself from having to retrieve your plate (or help with the clean-up) when it’s time for goodbyes. My daughter-in-law Raegan has made these for brunch, proving that they are as versatile as an eggy…

  • Indian,  Vegan,  Vegetables,  Vegetarian

    Spinach Cooked with Onions (Mughlai Saag) from the ‘Godmother of Indian Cooking’

    As we approach the Oscars, I propose a new category of Lifetime Achievement Award: “Best Actor & Cookbook Author.” The recipient would be an award-winning star of motion pictures as well as a best-selling cookbook author with James Beard honors. And, naturally, she or he would be a host of popular cooking shows. And the winner is: Madhur Jaffrey. I had no inkling of Jaffrey’s double life when my friend Wendy gave me her authoritative Indian Cooking cookbook 30 years ago. I had never even heard of her. But Wendy was a fan. She had just come back from living in Amsterdam, where she had watched Jaffrey’s BBC cooking show, and had picked up…

  • Potato Leek Soup
    Recipes,  Soups,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Sunny With a Chance of Leeks (for Potato Leek Soup)

    Leeks remind me of that squintingly-bright Sunday morning we spent on the paradise of Coronado Island, San Diego, four years ago. My daughter led us on a run past the regal Hotel Del Coronado (where Marilyn Monroe sizzled in “Some Like it Hot”), past magnificent Mission-style clay-roofed homes, and along pristine, underused sidewalks. About half way around the loop, my daughter spied a bundle of plump, fresh, organic leeks demurely lying on a strip of grass beside the sidewalk. Had there been a gentle leek sunshower? My daughter picked them up. Upon closer examination, we surmised that they had more likely arrived by limo. These were the Gisele Bündchen of leeks, long and alluring,…

  • Appetizers,  Middle Eastern,  Recipes,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Grandma Annie’s Romanian Eggplant Dip

    Ever since my mother served up eggplant as “French fries” slathered in ketchup, I’ve been a sucker for its tasty squishiness. I’ve enjoyed it in Italian, French, Indian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Asian and African dishes. But Romanian? I never knew Romania has its own traditional eggplant dip (called salată de vinete or vinetta), which I learned about from Julie Schecter and her sister Laurie, two people whose values and lifestyles I most admire. Julie has generously shared their heirloom recipephany, which has few ingredients yet a strict method that caramelizes the pulp and concentrates its delicate taste. How it got here Grandma Annie emigrated in the early 1900s from Iasy, Romania. Still a teenager,…