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10 Things We Love in December
Three sets of recipes for members
Welcome to “10 Things We Love,” a roundup that includes a preview of our favorite stuff on the podcast and The Bittman Project, as well as posts you have loved (or may have missed) that are especially relevant right now. We’ve organized it as a fun, food-related things-to-do collection.
1. Join the discussions.
For members, on December 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. EST, we’ve got Mark and Kerri talking all things Bittman Bread. Then on December 17, share with us your favorite dishes for the December holidays.
Not a member? Please join us.
2. Get into root veggies.
Sure, we’re going to miss summer — and summer vegetables. Yet, as Mark points out, “Root vegetables actually have many advantages over summer vegetables, or at least that they’re not inferior. Consider: they last for months, not days; they are dense and filling; they are sweet and delicious; they are quite varied. It’s time to stop thinking of them as stopgaps but as delicious seasonal wonders.”
From the archive, we’ve got roasted beet gnudi, braised and glazed radishes, stir-fried sweet potatoes, carrot-coconut soup, roasted veggies with a suya spice relish, barley risotto with beets and greens, and pasta with winter squash and tomatoes.
3. Give a gift subscription.
More info at the jump. Thank you so much for being a part of this community and for your support.
4. Check out the gift guide.
Starting with The Best Handmade Salad Bowl: We swear. Sawdust Studio & Turnery was started by Suzanne Lenzer — a Bittman Team alum! — and her husband, Ken Rath (look how cute they are!). All of their work is turned or shaped from green logs found in and around their home in Connecticut, and all of it is gorgeous, but I especially love their salad bowls, like this one and this one.
5. ‘Tis the season for snacking.
Consider this onion dip that Kate says “conjures the spirit.” But be advised: You won’t be able to stop eating it.
Caramelized Onion Dip with Frizzled Leeks
Time: 2 hours
Makes: 8 servings
2 pounds onions (6 to 8 medium), chopped (5 to 6 cups)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
11/2 cups whole-milk yogurt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
2 leeks, trimmed, cleaned, and julienned or thinly sliced
Crudités or crackers for serving.
1. Put the onions in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring infrequently, until the onions are dry and almost sticking to the pan, about 20 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil and a large pinch of salt and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, and adding just enough additional oil to keep them from sticking without getting greasy. The onions are ready when they’re dark, sweet, and jammy, 40 minutes to 1 hour later.
2. Sprinkle with black pepper, stir in the thyme and remove the onions from the heat. When they’re cool, fold them into the yogurt and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. (At this point, you can cover the dip with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
3. Wipe or wash out the skillet and put it over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil. A few seconds later, add half the leeks, turn the heat up to high and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to turn the leeks over as they cook. Be careful: they will go from not-browned to burnt pretty quickly, and you want to catch them in between those stages, when they’re browned and crisp. Transfer the leeks to paper towels to drain and repeat with the remaining leeks, adding more oil to the pan if necessary to keep them from sticking.
4. Garnish the onion dip with the crisp leeks and serve immediately with crudités or crackers.
— Recipe from The New York Times
6. Catch up on our podcast.
We have a pile of excellent podcasts from season 2, including the astounding interview with historian and professor at Georgetown, Marcia Chatelain, author of Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America. The Pulitzer-winning book has just been published in paperback with a brilliant new preface: It’s worth reading the book a second time for the preface alone.
Next up? Yotam Ottolenghi and Mayukh Sen, writer of Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America.
7. Consider these December party recipes.
8. Start planning your New Year’s Eve menu.
What to cook if you're feeling fancy, lazy, or anticipate you’ll be sick of meat.
9. Check out Mark’s most recent Ted Talk.
Food: We don’t take it seriously enough — and Mark makes the argument as to why we should. As we look forward to an uncertain future, nothing is more important than food. Here’s why.
10. It’s the season for giving.
Mark suggests a donation to Heal Food Alliance, “HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) is a national, multi-sector, multi-racial coalition of 55 organizations who represent over 2 million rural and urban farmers, ranchers, fishers, farms, and food chain workers, Indigenous groups, scientists, public health advocates, policy experts, community organizers, and activists. Together, these groups are building a movement to transform our food and farm systems from the current extractive economic model towards community control, care for the land, meaningful labor, and healthful communities nationwide, while supporting the sovereignty of all living beings.”