I always laugh when I hear people raving about tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches: Of course they love it…it’s just pizza deconstructed! My favorite way of making this soup is to head to the farmer’s market and gather all the bruised heirlooms I can find (you can get a lot for pennies on the dollar, and you don’t need pristine tomatoes for this recipe). I roast the tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, salt and just a hint of dark amber maple syrup to balance out the tomatoes’ natural acidity. Heirloom tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an incredibly powerful anti-oxidant that is released as part of the cooking process.
If you’re wondering how I ever came up with the idea to put pesto on potatoes, it’s like those old ads for you-know-what, where a guy walking the street eating a chocolate bar bumps into a girl with an open jar of peanut butter: a complete accident, but what an outcome! I was staring into the refrigerator as fingerling potatoes were coming out of the oven, and what should my eyes chance upon but a container of the pesto. Normally I’d use the pesto with pasta, but as I discovered that night, it’s also wonderful with potatoes.
Bread croutons are so yesterday. This recipe is incredibly easy to make; just some torn up kale coated with olive oil and salt that gets popped into the oven. The alchemy of the cooking takes away the kale’s bitterness, leaving you with an irresistible garnish on top of a bowl of soup.
This simple preparation is Japanese comfort food, good for everything from a cold to fatigue to an overworked digestive system. Miso is a traditional fermented food, made for centuries in Japan, with myriad health benefits. To avoid damaging the beneficial microorganisms it contains, never cook it. Shiro (white) miso is made from salted barley, rice, and soybeans inoculated with a fungus (Aspergillus oryzae) cultivated on rice and also used to make saké and soy sauce. The flavor of shiro miso is milder and sweeter than darker types made with more soybeans. All miso is salty and needs to be diluted with water or other ingredients until the salt level is right for you. This quick and easy preparation is one of my favorite soups.
Fresh salmon fillets are baked gently and smothered with a flavorful preparation of shiitake mushrooms. Quick and simple but also elegant, this is a main course for any occasion. The salmon must not be dry; be careful not to overcook it.