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Avocado, Grapefruit, Mango, Yuzu, Cilantro

Apparently these are among my favorite ingredients for late-night culinary experiments, probably because there is so much that can be done with them raw. By playing with different cuts, you can achieve suprising and pleasing textures. The flavors are so automatically compatible, it is hard to do anything wrong.

This would work great as an appetizer …

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Risotto Cake with Crispy Ramps – Recipe

Ramps are one of the classic spring foods, along with asparagus, morels, fiddlehead ferns and eggs. If you haven't had ramps, they look a lot like scallions that grew are a big green leaf on top, and indeed they are in the allium family. They have an intense garlicky aroma and flavor that inspires …

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Grilled Tofu and Pepper Vegetarian Tacos – Recipe

The secret to delicious Mexican vegetarian food (or vegan, for that matter) is to amp up the flavors and use lots of contrasting textures. These vegetarian tacos have that serious street food flavor, filled with grilled tofu and sauteed peppers, all basted with tangy achiote. They are meant to be just two or three bites. …

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Grilled Pineapple Salsa – Recipe

I like this salsa for its bright flavors and simplicity – just a few ingredients, and you can throw it together in a few minutes of active time. I served it with tacos that I'll cover it my next post, but it could work well in a Southeast Asian context too, especially if you …

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Halvah at Mahane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem, Israel

Continuuing on with our previous theme of the amazing goods at Mahaneh Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, here are a couple more pictures that capture the flavor. The first (above) is of dozens of varieties of ultra-fresh halvah, sesame candy flavored mostly with various nuts, chocolate, and sometimes lemon or rose water.

The shouks (the Hebrew word) …

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Asparagus With Nori Butter – Recipe

I’m in the middle of a two-week stage at Canlis, a terrific fine-dining restaurant in Seattle. [The stage is over now, and I’ve written a little about what I learned.] One of the many delicious items on Chef Franey’s menu is an asparagus with sauce gribiche. At Canlis we use much more classical French technique …

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Spanish Lentils and Mushrooms – Recipe

Have you ever noticed how mushrooms cut thickly and browned are a completely different experience to eat than when sliced thin and sauteed as normal? Instead of cooking all of the water out of them, the surface simply gets seared and the interior retains a chewy texture. Delicious.

For today's dish, I paired those mushrooms …

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