As we sit down to eat, he takes a bite of each dish and then points at the salad. "This is the best thing on the table," he says. "People tend to put arugula in lettuce mixes, but it's really spectacular by itself. I could eat arugula all day long."
All day, sure, but what about all night? After he gives a talk, Bittman is hitting Fiola for dinner. I'm sure he wouldn't refuse a nice arugula salad as part of the spread, but he also might like a veal chop. It will be after 6, so he has no plans for restraint.
Spicy carrot and asparagus stir-fry
The surprise in this spur-of-the-moment stir-fry is the combination of back-of-the-palate heat from the crushed red pepper flakes and the cooling tingle of a generous amount of mint.
- 1 pound asparagus (woody ends trimmed off)
- 12 ounces carrots, scrubbed well
- 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- Cut the top 2 inches from the asparagus spears and reserve; cut the rest of the spear crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Cut the carrots crosswise into 1/2-inch coins.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the carrots, garlic and onion; stir-fry until the carrots start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the asparagus pieces, the crushed red pepper flakes (to taste) and a splash of water; stir fry until the asparagus is barely tender, 2 minutes. Add the reserved asparagus tips and a splash of water; stir-fry for a minute or two, until the tips are barely tender.
- Season with salt to taste, then remove from the heat and stir in the mint.
- Serve hot.
NUTRITION Per serving (based on 4): 130 calories, 4 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 130 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar
3 to 4 servings. Serve with brown rice. From cookbook author Mark Bittman.
Turnip and bok choy mash
Consider this a twist on an Irish colcannon: Turnips replace the potatoes; bok choy and turnip greens stand in for the cabbage or kale. Olive oil keeps the whole thing vegan. Adapted from an off-the-cuff recipe by Mark Bittman, author of "VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . For Good," (Clarkson Potter, 2013).
- 2 bunches small turnips with greens (about 2 pounds total)
- 2 bunches baby bok choy (about 12 ounces total)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Scrub the turnips and separate them from their greens, then chop the greens.
- Combine the turnips, greens and bok choy in a medium saucepan and add enough water to come up the sides by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the water is bubbling, but not vigorously. Cover and cook until the turnips are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
- Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and pour in the oil; cook until the water has mostly evaporated but the mixture is still very moist. Season with salt to taste.
- Remove from the heat and mash roughly with the back of a wooden spoon, then stir in the parsley.
- Serve hot.
NUTRITION Per serving (based on 6): 130 calories, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar
4 to 6 side-dish servings. From cookbook author Mark Bittman.
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