The best way to learn about a new place is tasting its food: through the flavors we can know more about the traditions and history of the people who live in these places.
Experimenting with new ingredients makes life interesting and if the foods are especially nutrient-dense — even better. They are so high in vitamins, minerals, and other healing compounds that health experts call them superfoods. In their countries of origin, these berries, nuts, plants, and seeds have been used for thousands of years to holistically medicate the body or just add yumminess to everyday, wholesome meals.

Fish Stew with Ginger and Tomatoes

Fish Stew with Ginger and Tomatoes

One spring at friend’s house on Cape Cod, I found a lot of fresh ginger in the fridge. My friend’s husband had just stopped by the local fish market, so I combined the fish and ginger with a can of tomatoes to make a quick and easy spring stew. We absolutely loved the results.

The fresh ginger won’t knock you over the head with its intensity in this stew. It adds warmth and its distinctive gingery flavor to the pot, but it’s a fairly subtle flavor.

The fish is still the main star – which it should be, considering how expensive seafood is!

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Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

Dear chicken Florentine. I like you. I like your spinach and your cream sauce.

But honestly? I don’t love you. You’re missing a little pizzaz.

So, I would like to introduce you to my friend pesto pasta.

You kinda need that punch from the pesto’s garlic, basil, and Parmesan.

Now we have the makings of love. Go forth and multiply.

Recipe and photos updated, first published 2011

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Green Mojito Smoothie

Mojito Smoothie

There are two things I know for sure about my friend Tess Masters. One is that she knows smoothies. The other is that she has an extraordinary palate. Which means when she comes up with a smoothie idea, it’s going to be a winner!

The Green Mojito Smoothie from The Blender Girl Smoothies is a perfect example. Like the mojito flavors of lime and mint? Blend in some pineapple, coconut water, and kale, and you have not only the zesty refreshing taste of a mojito, but it’s good for you too.

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Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Whenever I have friends over for dinner, I love making a batch of Vietnamese-style spring rolls to serve as appetizer.

Unlike Chinese-style deep fried spring rolls, these Vietnamese spring rolls are very light and fresh. You wrap thinly sliced vegetables, cooked shrimp, and fresh herbs in a neat rice paper package. They’re the perfect pre-dinner snack!

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Sheet Pan Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes

Sheet Pan Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes

If you’re feeling grateful for spring and eager to put fresh spring vegetables on your table, pull out your favorite sheet pan and make this simple supper.

Start with new potatoes, super-sweet onions, sliced lemons, and aromatic sprigs of lemon thyme. Roast them all together on your sheet pan until they’re tender, then add the chicken pieces. Continue roasting, and wait until everything is close to done before scattering the asparagus all around the pan.

It’s a clever way of making an entire meal at once, and you don’t even need a sauce because you’ll have chicken juices in the pan to spoon over the meat. Your trusty sheet pan does it again!

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Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork

Do you know what a cook lives for? The look in friends’ eyes when they’ve bitten into something you’ve made, and they’re deliriously happy about what they’re eating. Their wide-eyed smiley faces would say, “OMG, WOW,” if they weren’t so busy eating, and wanting to be polite and not talk with their mouths full.

That’s the response I got from my friends when I served them tacos with this slow cooked pulled pork.

Of course how could you not love tacos filled with spicy shredded pork?

Best thing is that it’s crazy easy to make, especially in a slow cooker. You just rub a pork shoulder roast with a blend of ground chiles and spices, let the roast sit in that rub for a while, brown the roast and then slow cook it until it’s fall apart tender.

Use a couple forks to pull it apart into tasty shreds and use the meat as a filling for tacos, tamales, or burritos.

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Lemony Spaghetti with Peas and Ricotta

Lemony Spaghetti with Peas and Ricotta

When you’re bored of your standby quick-and-easy dinners and are looking for something new to shake up your pasta routine, try this lemony spaghetti dish.

Creamy ricotta, lemon zest, toasted breadcrumbs and fresh peas will raise the bar on dinner!

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Shaved Asparagus and Potato Pizza

Shaved Asparagus and Potato Pizza

This time of year, asparagus begs to be used in all sorts of ways. Shaving the spears with a vegetable peeler produces a lovely green tangle that I like to put on top of a pizza.

Add some roasted potato slices and gouda cheese, and you have a winning combination and a winning start to spring.

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Easy No-Knead Pizza Dough

No-Knead Pizza Dough

It seems that every time I decide to make pizza at home (usually on a Friday night) my well-laid plans are disrupted by a last-minute impulse to go to the movies or to meet with friends.

That’s why I love this dough recipe.

You can make it and let it rise, then use it — or change your mind and leave it in the fridge for the next day. Or even the day after that. Or even freeze it for a few weeks. It’s a very forgiving dough!

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Turkey Meatball Soup with Spinach and Orzo

Turkey Meatball Soup

These baby meatballs are so cute you’ll fall hard for them. Use your hands to mix them in a bowl with a little Parmesan and some parsley – you’ll feel like an Italian nonna!

Once shaped, the meatballs go into a soup with orzo and lots of baby spinach. It’s an easy, hearty meal that everyone will love.

Turkey Meatball SoupMeatballs were traditionally made with scraps of meat, often pork or beef, and stale bread. They were a make-do meal for people who had little.

Today, most of us just buy ground meat at the store whenever a craving strikes. But meatballs are still an economical meal, especially when mixed with whatever sandwich bread or leftover dinner rolls need using up.

Turkey Meatball SoupI like to quickly sauté the meatballs to brown their outsides, but you can skip this step if you’re in a hurry. Then, just cook them in chicken broth along with the orzo and spinach. A dusting of grated Parmesan added at the end brings out the flavor of the cheese in the meatballs and adds to the scrumptious tastes in your bowl.

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Cheesy Bruschetta Chicken Cutlets

Cheesy Bruschetta Chicken Cutlets

This is a fast-as-it-gets weeknight dinner, perfect for those midweek nights when you’re ready to cave and order a pizza instead of cooking.

Put the phone down, open the pantry, and you’ll have these cheesy bruschetta-topped chicken cutlets ready in about fifteen minutes!

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Salmon Avocado Poke Bowl

Salmon Avocado Poke Bowl

The first time I ever ate raw fish was when I was about ten or eleven years old. I was at a Japanese buffet, and my mother told me to eat only the expensive foods so we would get our money’s worth, which meant seafood and sashimi. Of course, I didn’t particularly enjoy raw fish, but being the dutiful daughter, I heeded her advice.

It wasn’t until I started eating poke bowls a few years ago that I warmed up to the idea of dishes with raw fish!

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Ham and Egg Bakes

Baked Eggs and Ham

Drop an egg into a skillet with butter and you get, well, a fried egg. But slip that same egg into a buttered ramekin and let it cook gently in the oven, and you get something entirely different: a soft, spoonable custard that’s so much fun to eat.

Add some ham, a spoonful of tomatoes, and a side of toast, and this makes a perfect breakfast!

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Rhubarb Fool

Easy Rhubarb Fool

There’s no fool like a rhubarb fool, and now is the time for it. The arrival of rhubarb in the market always cheers me. Spring is here!

This British dessert goes way back — we’re talking about a few hundred years — and it was originally made with custard and pureed fruits, most notably gooseberries.

I’ve lightened it up with whipped cream instead of the custard and swapped the gooseberries for seasonal rhubarb. It’s an easy-peasy dessert for a weeknight dinner or a spring party!

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Creamy Asparagus Soup

Creamy Asparagus Soup

When spring arrives and asparagus are in season, they are hard to resist, right? Those green soldiers salute us as we enter the produce section of the market, challenging us to make good use of them while we can!

Here is a fresh and easy asparagus soup that makes delicious use of our seasonal asparagus. The base is just onions, a little garlic, lots of chopped asparagus, broth (either chicken or veg), and chopped fresh parsley.

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Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Have you ever made hot cross buns?

They’re an Easter tradition, a soft, slightly sweet, spiced yeast roll speckled with currants and often candied citron.

They’re marked with a cross on top (hence the name), signifying a crucifix, and are typically served on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday.

Hot cross buns are a rather old English tradition, dating back to the Saxons who marked buns with a cross in honor of the goddess Eostre, the goddess of light, whose day of celebration eventually became Easter.

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Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Whenever I’m in the mood to give oven-roasted asparagus a little pizzazz – for Easter brunch or Mother’s Day, for instance — I wrap thin slices of prosciutto around the asparagus spears. This is such an easy way to make the roasted asparagus look fancy!

I also love how the salty flavors of the prosciutto complement the subtly sweet flavor of roasted asparagus.

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Easy-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs in the Pressure Cooker

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs in the Pressure Cooker

Like many of you, I abandoned the dream of finding one surefire method for making consistently perfect hard boiled eggs some time ago. After trying a few too many “foolproof” tricks with spotty results, I relegated easy-peel eggs to the same category as unicorns and cheap airfare: nice to fantasize about, but if they were truly real, you’d think we’d have heard about it by now.

But that’s the thing about myths — just when you’ve thrown your hands in the air and walked away, something new comes along to rekindle your hope. Like Fox Mulder, we want to believe.

For me, that something new was my pressure cooker and a friend’s improbable suggestion that I try using it to make a batch of eggs. Just like that, the dream was alive again.

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How To Make French Crêpes

How To make Crepes

For a dish that seems so fancy, crepes are surprisingly easy to make at home. After all, they are just thin pancakes – but oh, what pancakes!

The ancient origins of crepes are found in Brittany on the coast of France, where their popularity spread to make them one of today’s most beloved national dishes. Crepes can veer sweet or savory with plenty of filling options for either.

Forget about intimidating chef skills or fancy equipment. Crepes require only patience. Once you get the hang of making them, there is no stopping you.

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Asparagus Quiche with Fontina Cheese

Asparagus Quiche

There’s a bakery near my house in Boston that makes a quiche with the most wonderful smooth and creamy filling. Every time I ask the owner for her recipe, she shrugs and says something about having made it this way forever. She has no intention of telling me more.

But I figured it out! If you want an exceptionally creamy filling in quiche, use all heavy cream.

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Spring Minestrone Soup

Spring Minestrone

Welcome spring with this savory soup from Hank. ~Elise

Minestrone is one of my favorite soups, and it is infinitely malleable with the seasons. This version celebrates springtime, when fresh, new vegetables begin to show up at the market.

I know to make this soup whenever I can get asparagus, artichokes and peas all at the same time. These vegetables form the backbone to the soup.

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Flank Steak Stir Fry with Asparagus and Red Pepper

Flank Steak Stir Fry with Asparagus and Red Bell Pepper

This Flank Steak Stir Fry is perfect for a midweek meal when asparagus are in season. It’s easy enough to make and everyone raves about it!

When it comes to stir-fry, it’s all about the prep. The dish itself cooks up so quickly that you need everything prepped and ready to go before you start adding the elements to the hot pan.

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Easy Lemon Pudding

Easy Lemon Pudding

This lemon pudding couldn’t be easier. It’s made with just four ingredients: whipping cream, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

All you do is warm everything up, then let the pudding set. It’s like magic.

Elegant, simple, and with a velvety texture that is positively dreamy, this lemon pudding is perfect for Easter dinner, Mother’s Day brunch, and everything in between.

No one needs to know it only took you 15 minutes to make.

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SUSHI DAILY

Happily Handmade Sushi

David Lebovitz

Paris based chef baking and writing cookbooks

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