Articles / Food with Mark Bittman Is BACK!

Food with Mark Bittman Is BACK!

Published March 29, 2022

The marvelous Laura Linney is the season 3 inaugural guest

“I think reading a script is very much like reading a recipe. Because you know the ingredients involved, you know how things come together. If I start working on a script before I’ve finished reading it — if I can’t help myself, if connections are being made, if I’m seeing things like a chessboard, or like a blueprint, it just starts to sort of come off the page while I’m reading it — I know I have to pay attention to it.”

Welcome to the first episode of season 3 of Food with Mark Bittman. A very special welcome to those of you who are joining us for the first time — you might want to check out some of the earlier podcasts from late last year.

I’m excited about our relaunch. We’ve got a great lineup of guests and plans and hopes and dreams — and conversations about all aspects of food: your grandmother’s special way of dealing with rice or potatoes or tomato sauce, how to best win the fight to start growing food that will nourish our people without destroying our land, recipes, the places you’ve eaten recently, a policy issue we’re interested in.

We’re starting the season off with Laura Linney — a wonderful person and a great interview — and in the course of the next weeks, we’re going to have some impressive, fantastic people, including Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Samantha Irby and Lindy West, Al Roker, Asma Khan, and many more.

Today’s guest, Laura Linney, is obviously not known for food — but it was good fun to hear her talk about her frustrations with it, her memories of her mother’s cooking, her favorite restaurant, and so on. You probably know Linney from her extensive theater work and background — she’s the daughter of famed playwright Romulus Linney, she attended Juilliard, she’s been nominated for five Tonys. Or maybe you know her from her work on TV and movies — she’s perhaps best known for The Truman Show, You Can Count on Me, and Love Actually, and of course, her starring role in the giant Netflix hit, Ozarkthe final episodes drop April 29.

The recipe featured in the episode is below. Please listen, subscribe, and review! And we’d love to hear your food-related questions, as we’d like to start doing live Q&A soon: Email us at [email protected].

Thank you, as always. — Mark

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Grilled or Broiled Shrimp Salad with Thai Basil

Makes: 3 to 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes

A super versatile recipe. Think of steak salad—with a dressing that taps the flavors of Southeast Asia—only change it up for shrimp. It’s perfect for spring. Just be sure to look for sustainably farmed or wild-caught shrimp. You can also substitute boneless chicken breasts or tenders or thin slices of firm tofu. Use your favorite chile sauce and adjust the quantity to accommodate the level of heat as you like. And regular Italian-style basil, mint, or cilantro are all good herb choices.


  • 12 ounces peeled large shrimp

  • Salt

  • 3 tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of any Thai-style chile sauce (or more or less to taste; see the headnote)

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar

  • 4 cups torn Boston or romaine lettuce leaves, mesclun, or any salad greens mixture

  • 1 cup torn Thai basil

  • 1⁄4 cup chopped red onion

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded if you like, and chopped


1. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium direct cooking; or turn on the broiler and position the rack about 4 inches below the heat. Toss the shrimp in 1 tablespoon of the oil and a little bit of salt. If grilling thread the shrimp on skewers (or if you have a perforated grill pan, use that). If broiling, spread the shrimp out in a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Combine the lime juice with 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large bowl. Add the fish sauce, chile sauce, and sugar with 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl—the mixture will be a little thin. Add the lettuce, Thai basil, onion, cucumber and toss with the dressing to coat. Transfer the salad to a platter, reserving the remaining dressing in the bottom of the bowl.

3. Grill or broil the shrimp, turning the skewers once (or shaking the pan) until they’re pink, about 3 minutes. Scatter the shrimp over the salad, drizzle with the remaining dressing, and serve.

Recipe from How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition

Grilled Or Broiled Shrimp Salad With Thai Basil
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