Mark Bittman


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The Balsamic Cocktail

The Balsamic Cocktail

Our friends at Gustiamo call this “The Modena Sunset.” It’s essentially a balsamic spritz, and it’s wonderfully light and fresh, delicious with or without alcohol. (I tried it without, since I was experimenting during a workday; and now I’m very much looking forward to tasting it with the sparkling wine addition!)

Oven-”Fried” Fish Fillets

Baked Tofu

Baking tofu gives it a firm, crisp crust, while its interior turns custardy, almost egglike….

Ma Po Tofu

Green Papaya Salad

Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream

Turn to cashew cream when you want to add smooth richness to a dish but no dairy as a savory alternative to fresh cow and goat cheeses and spreads. Cashews are a great alternative to coconuts because of their more neutral flavor. By adjusting the amount of water you add, you can make cashew cream as thin or thick as you prefer. This can be doubled, tripled, or more, and will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Nut or Seed Milk

Chicken and Lentils

Chicken and Lentils

A spicy, North African-style dish that comes together in one pot.

Hoppin’ John with Smoked Tofu

Smoked tofu has a slightly dense, chewy texture and strong smoky flavor that makes an excellent substitute for the smoked ham hock traditional to hoppin’ John; cooking the tofu whole with the beans, then cutting it up, keeps it moist. This does require some prep (unless you make the peas ahead of time), but since many of us are home right now, it can easily go into the weeknight meal category.

Thai Style Cabbage

Broccoli Tofu Scramble

Cheese Souffle

Cheese Soufflé

The word soufflé has the same root as the French word for breath; this is all about air. The only difficult thing is the timing: You have to eat this as soon as it’s out of the oven. As long as you beat the egg whites correctly and fully but gently incorporate them into the base, everything will be fine.

Rice with Cabbage, Scrambled Eggs and Scallions

Skillet Cannelloni

Skillet Cannelloni

Skillet Cannelloni

With one little shortcut — packaged egg roll wrappers — you can have homemade marinara and ricotta-filled cannelloni in a half an hour. There are even enough gaps in the action to pull together steamed vegetables to eat on the side. I downsized the recipe to two servings but it’s easy to double it and make it a family supper.

Cheese Frittata

Jook (Congee, or Rice Porridge)