It takes a village to make a plate of collard greens. Well, it took my village to make this plate of collards. Stephen, a regular user of our Little Free Library, loves to cook and has a large garden in the Fenway near the Museum of Fine Arts. Recently he brought me a wonderful gift of a huge bag of collards fresh from the garden. Believe it or not, I've never cooked collards, because I've never really loved them (too slimy, and usually made with ham hocks, which I don't eat). So I asked for recipe advice, and Stephen suggested the typical long cook time of 2-3 hours, with smoked turkey in place of the ham, or maybe smoked paprika. I knew I wouldn't like... Read more →


When something is really, really good, it doesn't have to be fancy. These baked potato wedges are really, really good, as good as they were when I first published the recipe back in June 2006. Actually, maybe they're better now, because they're a very occasional treat. As comfort food goes, potatoes hardly ever fail to please. These potatoes require minimal preparation, and they come out of the oven crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, buttery and slightly salty. In short, these potato wedges are perfect, and they don't even need to be dipped in ketchup or fry sauce or anything. All I can tell you is that I'm glad my husband Ted was out of town when I made them to take new... Read more →


Sweet potatoes can be a tough sell in my house, as I'm the only one who really loves them. (I don't understand...who doesn't crave sweet potato fries with curry sauce, which was a specialty at a few restaurants near our log house in Rhode Island?) However, I don't give up easily, and when I came across a recipe for sweet potato curry, made in the slow cooker, I knew might be a hit with at least one of my resident sweet potato skeptics. I was right. The dish has just enough heat to balance out the sweet. It will keep for two days in the refrigerator, and any leftovers also can be turned into soup with a quick zap from an immersion blender (or potato... Read more →


I couldn't help myself: I found one teeny, pretty, ripe tomato at the market, and I had to have it. The tomato, beautiful and flavorful as it was, didn't quite fulfill my craving for tomato flavor in this salad, so I decided to bump up the vinaigrette dressing with rich sun-dried tomatoes and a bit of garlic. If I'd had any of my own slow-roasted tomatoes in the freezer (as I hope you do), I would have added those instead. At this time of year, my refrigerator always harbors a collection of dark leafy greens. There's nothing better than tossing a few together in a mixing bowl with a sturdy sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Add a few things for texture and crunch; I used cucumbers and... Read more →


When you set out to create a new recipe, where do you start? Seasonality of the ingredients? Color? Shape? Texture? Sweet versus tart? All of the above? In the case of this easy pan-made farro with butternut squash and pears and dried cranberries and feta, I began with pears so ripe and ready for action that they practically jumped into the frying pan. I diced and sautéed those pears along with a bit of leftover peeled butternut squash, added some of my new favorite ten-minute farro, and the dish began to come together. Tart feta cheese balanced the sweet fruit, and some acidity from the dressing brought everything together. Intended as a side dish, it became an irresistible main course, perfect for a meatless lunch.... Read more →


Many years ago, my husband Ted and I joined his sister and her friends for a Thanksgiving meal at a lakeside cottage in the Ontario (Canada) countryside. It was a bit of a potluck, and because we were from out of town, we were assigned celery and carrot sticks as our contribution. At first, I thought it wasn't much to ask of us, but when we arrived, we found that our little plate of celery sticks was the only green thing on the table. All brown --turkey, gravy, potatoes and more potatoes -- and orange (carrots and sweet potatoes), and a small bowl of red cranberry sauce. All the colors of the Fall foliage, replicated on the table top. There wasn't a salad or a... Read more →


You never know who's coming to Thanksgiving dinner, and what food allergies or aversions they might bring along. Vegans, gluten-free, dairy-free -- I've hosted them all, and often at the same meal. The holiday table can be a minefield for the cook! It's great to have a few please-all side dishes on the menu. This cabbage with warm dressing takes minutes to prepare (the cabbage can be shredded ahead of time), and it's free of gluten, dairy, meat, nuts -- free of everything except flavor. Cabbage is undervalued on the holiday table; it's economical, easy to prepare, and adapts well to sweet or savory seasonings. (I just used some cole slaw mix in a Chinese stir-fry last night.) This simple side dish can be prepped... Read more →