Jun 102014
Love Me Tender: The Italian Way with Green Beans

Besides home-grown tomatoes, green beans from my garden are the vegetable I most look forward to in summer. Right after my beans seeds went into the ground and my thoughts turned to eating them, it occurred to me to write Love Me Tender, a story for Zester Daily, about how I like them best. You may want to know my favorite way to cook them if you love them as much as I do, and if you don’t, you might change your mind after you read  here.  

Oct 072013
How to Cook Rapini

Some time back, I wrote a post, “When Bitter is Sweet,” about broccoli rapini, the Italian greens that have taken this country by storm since Balducci’s, the legendary Greenwich Village Italian grocery, imported them here in 1973. Because so many readers said they were relieved to finally learn how to cook them properly to soften their bitter edge, I decided to find out how and why the delicious Brassica, about which there is still such a mystique, was transplanted from the heel of the Italian boot to the farmlands of California. Here’s the update, complete with Andy and Nina Balducci’s […more…]

Mar 212013
Hey Mark! Whoa Mario! About Those Potato Gnocchi...

If you had a look at Mark Bittman’s recent New York Times column about potato gnocchi, this post is for you. Mark and I are old friends from his Cook’s magazine days when we worked on some stories together. Since then, you and I have seen him on a dazzling journey in the world of food. He’s no slouch when it comes to cooking Italian. But about gnocchi specifically, and his recent article with Mario Batali… some input and insights—I’ve been on my own journey with the little dumpling. Continue reading and you’ll find how my own potato gnocchi (gnocchi di […more…]