Blog Posts by Mark Bittman

  • Mark Bittman: Raw Beet Salad


    Beets, like carrots, can be eaten raw. And they're delicious that way, crunchy and sweet. So sweet, in fact, that they need a strongly acidic dressing like this one for balance. From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

    Raw Beet Salad

    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: 20 minutes

    1 to 1 1/2 pounds beets, preferably small
    2 large shallots
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons sherry or other good strong vinegar
    1 sprig fresh tarragon, minced, if available
    1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

    1. Peel the beets and shallots. Combine them in a food processor and pulse carefully until the beets are shredded; do not purée. (Or grate the beets by hand and mince the shallots, then combine.) Scrape into a bowl.

    2. Toss with the salt, pepper, mustard, oil and vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Toss in the herbs and serve.

    Raw Beet Salad with Cabbage and Orange. Quite nice-looking:

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  • Mark Bittman: Muffins, Infinite Ways


    The only real difference between muffins and other quick breads is the pan you bake them in. But those little muffin cups allow for a lot more potential variation, depending on what you do at the last minute before baking.

    Anything goes when it comes to varying this master recipe. See the variations below for more ways to spike the recipe.

    From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)


    Muffins, Infinite Ways

    Makes: 12 medium or 8 large muffins
    Time: About 40 minutes

    3 tablespoons melted butter or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for the muffin tin
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1 egg
    1 cup milk, plus more if needed

    1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and line it with paper or foil muffin cups if you like.

    2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat together the egg, milk, and melted butter or oil in another bowl. Make

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  • Mark Bittman: Fruit Crisp


    Photograph by Kristin GladneyPhotograph by Kristin GladneyBy Meghan Gourley

    Anyone who has opted to make crisp instead of pie is aware of its virtues: no mixing and perfecting dough, latticing strips of it, or fumbling around with pie weights. Instead, a loose mixture of butter, brown sugar, oats and flour-clumps of it-becomes the stuff that turns ordinary apples into autumn on a plate. Any and all types of apples will do; I used Cortland and McIntosh picked in upstate New York. (Is there a better way to get rid of a mound of apples?)

    For added texture, leave the skin on about half the apples and cut them into same-size slices to avoid uneven cooking and burning. If using a tart variety (like McIntosh or Granny Smith) add an extra spoonful or two of brown sugar. Dust real vanilla beans or a pinch of cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg over the apples before adding the topping for rich flavor. The crumble is done when it begins to brown on top-and when the sweet smell becomes too much to resist. If you like, add a dollop of whipped cream or a

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  • Mark Bittman: Braised and Glazed Butternut Squash


    This is your go-to recipe for everyday winter squash; it will work with any variety, but I usually turn to butternut because it's so much easier to deal with than all the others. Once you peel and cut the squash, you braise it in a small amount of liquid, then boil off the remaining moisture to glaze it. Other vegetables you can use: any winter squash (except spaghetti), though they will all be more difficult to cut and peel than butternut. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)

    Braised and Glazed Butternut Squash

    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: 30 minutes

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    11/2 pounds butternut or other winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes
    1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Chopped parsley leaves for garnish

    1. Put the oil and garlic in a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. When the garlic begins to

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  • Mark Bittman: Cornbread

    CornbreadCorn bread is indispensable, especially to a vegetarian diet, where its full flavor and slightly crunchy texture are welcome at any meal. And few dishes deliver so much for so little work From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

    Corn Bread

    Makes: About 6 servings
    Time: About 45 minutes

    11/4 cups buttermilk, milk, or yogurt (or 11/4 cups milk plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar; see Step 2), plus more as needed
    2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
    11/2 cups medium-grind cornmeal
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    11/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon sugar, plus more if you like sweet corn bread
    1 egg

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

    2. If you're using buttermilk, milk, or yogurt, ignore this step. If not, make the soured milk: Warm the milk gently-1 minute in the microwave is sufficient, just enough to take the chill off-and add the vinegar. Let it rest while you prepare the other ingredients.

    3. Put the butter in a medium ovenproof

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  • Mark Bittman: Roasted Carrots with Cumin


    Sweet and totally delicious, with many wonderful variations possible. Other vegetables you can use: parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, or winter squash. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)

    Roasted Carrots with Cumin

    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: 35 minutes

    1 to 1 1/2 pounds baby carrots, green tops trimmed, or full-sized carrots, cut into sticks
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Put the carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil; sprinkle with the cumin and salt and pepper. Roast until the carrots are tender and browning, about 25 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

    Roasted Carrots with Fennel Seeds. Substitute fennel for the cumin.

    Roasted Carrots with Pine Nuts. Omit the cumin. Add 1/4cup pine nuts in the last 3 or 4 minutes of roasting.

    Roasted Carrots with Sesame. Substitute 2 tablespoons peanut or

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  • Mark Bittman: Granola


    The basic technique for making granola is always the same; it's what you put in it that makes it special. Think of this recipe as a guideline for a basic granola and then customize it in any way you like; there are lots of ideas in these pages.

    Rolled oats are the most common grain, but you can use lots of other rolled and flaked grains, like wheat, rye, quinoa, millet, kamut, or brown rice flakes. Increase or decrease the other ingredients as you like and toss in other ingredients like nut butters, vanilla, or citrus zest. See the variations for some ideas. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)

    Granola

    Makes: About 8 cups
    Time: 30 minutes

    6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
    2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: a combination of sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, etc.
    1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
    Dash salt
    1 /2 to 1 cup honey or

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  • Mark Bittman: Barley Salad


    Cool, crunchy, and chewy, this is a perfect summer salad, and quickly made with pearled barley, which cooks relatively fast. Other grains you can use: brown rice, wheat berries, cracked wheat, pearl couscous, or wild rice. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)

    Barley Salad with Cucumber and Yogurt-Dill Dressing

    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: 40 minutes

    1 cup pearled barley
    Salt
    1 English (long) cucumber, 6 Kirby (pickling) cucumbers, or 2 or 3 medium cucumbers
    3 or 4 scallions, chopped
    Freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup yogurt
    1/2 cup fresh dill, mint, or parsley leaves or a combination

    1. Rinse the barley and put it in a saucepan with water to cover by at least 2 inches. Add a large pinch of salt and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about 20 minutes from the time the water

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  • Mark Bittman: Everyday Pancakes


    It's amazing how quickly you can whip up this batter. Store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Adjust the consistency of the batter with either more milk or more flour as you like. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)

    Everyday Pancakes

    Makes: 4 to 6 servings
    Time: 20 minutes

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
    2 eggs
    11/2 to 2 cups milk
    2 optional tablespoons melted and cooled butter, plus
    unmelted butter for cooking, or use a neutral oil like grapeseed or corn

    1. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat while you make the batter.

    2. Mix together the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs into 11/2 cups of the milk, then stir in the 2 tablespoons cooled melted butter if you're using it. Gently stir this mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten the flour; don't worry about a few lumps. If the batter seems

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  • Mark Bittman: Roasted Sweet Potato Salad


    Here is another potato-vinaigrette combo: The red pepper dressing is tart, sweet, and spicy, with a touch of cumin. This is best served warm or at room temperature, though of course you can refrigerate and serve it up to a day later, as long as you take it out of the refrigerator beforehand to take the chill off. From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian


    Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Red Pepper Vinaigrette
    Makes: 4 servings

    Time: About 45 minutes

    4 large sweet potatoes
    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
    1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and ¬ quartered
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 tablespoon grated orange zest (optional)
    1/2 cup sliced scallion
    1/2 cup minced fresh mint or parsley leaves
    1 or 2 fresh minced chiles (jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habanero), or to taste
    1/4 cup raisins (optional)

    1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into

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