Good morning. It’s a new week filled with new recipes and the joy of discovering older ones, and if I generally meet Mondays with a kind of empty sorrow — the weekend gone and still no newsroom into which to travel, another day at home at the same desk in the same empty room — this day, I’m elated. There are fresh new fruits and vegetables in the shops, and my colleagues have delivered fresh new ideas for what to do with them!
Melissa Clark greets the season this week with her recipe for rhubarb cobbler (above). It doesn’t require a thickener. Instead, she roasts sugared rhubarb until the juices transform into a tangy syrup that melds beautifully with the cobbler’s buttery biscuit topping. That’s a phenomenal trick that removes the dampening cloudiness that cornstarch can impart to a cobbler or a pie.
Speaking of tricks, Rachel Wharton wrote a fascinating article this week, about the magical properties of hot water in the creation of doughs and pastries. Three recipes come with it: for a samosa pie; for handvo, a savory vegetable semolina bread from the Indian state of Gujarat; and for the Chinese scallion pancakes known as chung yul bang.
And Yotam Ottolenghi addresses the leek, one of the biggest stars of the allium family, with a delightful recipe for a leek and lentil stew that you’ll maybe want to make once a week for a time.
But hey, I delight in our past triumphs as well: this amazing soy-steamed fish with scallions and pistachios from David Tanis, for instance (it’s really good with peanuts, if you don’t have pistachios on hand); and this awesome grilled taleggio sandwich with apricots and capers that Jennifer Steinhauer picked up at the Foundry on Melrose, in Los Angeles.
I’d like to make mushrooms on toast for lunch this week, and overnight oats for my breakfast. And for dinner one night, how about this salad that Mark Iacono sometimes makes at Lucali in Brooklyn, which is really improved if you make some pork and ricotta meatballs to serve on top. Or you could make a cherry tomato Caesar salad, to accompany a cast-iron steak?
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Now, it’s a far cry from coddled eggs and grilled pork chops, but I do think you’ll enjoy Ben Goldfarb’s article in Hakai, about the growing sport of microfishing, which is either a celebration of biodiversity or a sign of the collapse of the larger sportfishing biomass. Maybe it’s both.
Here’s De La Soul having a good time with Common and Mos Def, “The Bizness,” live at Tramps in New York City, 1996.
Today is generally Pulitzer Day for journalists, writers and musicians around the nation. The announcement of the prizes for excellence has been postponed until June because of the pandemic, but I’m using the occasion to hop in the wayback machine to recommend to you the novel that won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction 10 years ago today: Jennifer Egan’s terrific “A Visit From the Goon Squad.”
Finally, a key Instagram follow: @depthsofwikipedia, devoted to the notion that Wikipedia is weird. Enjoy that and I’ll be back on Wednesday.