Chive Blossoms

Chive Blossom Vinegar taught me to love infusions beautifully dress salads. Get vinegar and salad recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
We recently had a friend over for dinner and somehow ended up talking about vinegar. Well, not just talking—I was soon pulling an array of vinegars from a shelf in my tiny kitchen and explaining why I have so many, how this is just the daily stash, where I store gallon jugs for pickling and canning, and how we had unexpectedly found a mother in one jug that I was using to start my own vinegar. I may have been a little excited.

You could say that the tang of vinegar is my jam. My pantry collection typically numbers 7 bottles, which I put into everything from drinks to mac and cheese to pie crust. But because I like to mix and match flavors and keep many herbs and spices on hand, I only saw the point of infusing vinegars after I discovered a chive blossom infusion in Harry Rosenblum’s Vinegar Revival. It’s so easy to make that my recipe varies little from his instructions, but my first attempt, and probably favorite flavor, used garlic chives. The resulting flavored vinegar beautifully dresses a salad featuring fresh spring herbs.
Learn to make Chive Blossom Vinegar and Herbed Bean Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

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Sourdough Naan

I bake sourdough because it’s delicious. But many people find its tangy flavor because they have problems digesting other breads. Get sourdough recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I bake sourdough because it’s delicious. But many people discover its tangy flavor because they have problems digesting other breads. Studies have found that sourdough—particularly homemade, long-ferment sourdough—is not only easier to digest but may have bonus health benefits. It makes sense if you think about it: You feed your sourdough starter flour. It eats it, turning it into more wild yeast and healthy bacteria. When you use it to make a bread, the longer the dough sits, the more it predigests the flour for you. As it does this, the sourdough bacteria release micronutrients, neutralize phytic acid, and stabilize blood sugar levels. And this all makes the bread twice as tasty.

The upshot is that if you have a gluten sensitivity but have not been diagnosed with full-blown celiac disease, you may be able to eat homemade sourdough breads. I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, so you should discuss this with yours, but there’s disagreement on whether gluten-free products, particularly commercially processed ones, are better than their homemade, wheat-based counterparts if you don’t have immune reactions to gluten.
Learn to make Low-Gluten Sourdough Naan and Spiced Red Lentil Dip

Pot Beans

Put the most flavor in your beans. Get Seasoned Pot Beans and Red Beans and Rice recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.I didn’t get hooked on dried legumes until I discovered pot beans. The preparation style evolved from frijoles de olla, traditionally cooked in earthenware pots in Mexico. Instead of cooking dried beans in 2 stages—once in pure water until soften and again with ingredients that give them flavor—everything is thrown into the pot with the soaked beans. As soon as they’re done, dinner is served.

Pot beans absorb broth and seasonings yet remain adaptable to almost any bean dish. Suddenly, cooking up a pound of dried beans seems worthwhile. Imagine: Before going to bed Sunday night, you spend 3 minutes setting the beans to soak. After work Monday, you give them a rinse and toss them back into the pot with some onion, carrot, garlic, herbs, and stock. About an hour later, you have your first meal: Seasoned Pot Beans. You also have the basis for many quick meals the rest of the week. Huevos rancheros. Beans on toast. Asian bean dip. Hummus. Quesadillas. Corn, Bean, and Pepper Salsa. Burritos. Myriad soups. Sourdough Empanadas. Louis Armstrong’s favorite Louisiana-style red beans, perfect for Fat Tuesday. The list goes on—and I’ll be adding to it all month.
Learn to make Seasoned Pot Beans and Red Beans and Rice

Digging into Dried Beans

People seem to have a love it or leave it relationship with beans. If you love them, you’ve probably had them cooked right. Read more about cooking beans.People seem to have a love it or leave it relationship with beans. If you love them, you likely have an underlying reason: they’re cheap yet filling, you’ve cut other proteins from your diet, or you grew up in a household, community, or culture that saw beans as a staple. Madhur Jaffrey starts her 750-page World Vegetarian cookbook with a section on dried beans. Louis Armstrong loved his beans so much he closed letters with “Red Beans & Ricely Yours.”

But the primary reason people love beans is that they’ve had them cooked right. Well-cooked legumes don’t just pack a nutritional punch; they have delicious flavors and textures and can be adapted to any meal, from breakfast to dessert. Unfortunately, people who rarely eat beans often only do so by cracking open a can and being immediately disappointed by the texture and taste—and the aftereffects. “The more legumes you eat the more you can eat them,” Jaffrey writes in her chapter on dried beans. And the more you know about how to cook beans, the more likely you are to eat them.
Read more about cooking beans