Recipes from legendary food writer Mark Bittman's new cookbook

Legendary food writer Mark Bittman

Born in New York, he worked a variety of jobs after college, including teacher, cab driver and community organizer. Eventually, he combined dual interests in food and writing to become a restaurant reviewer and that was just the start of an incredible media career. He became a widely read columnist for the New York Times and transformed the paper's food section into a cultural force. 

 He's authored almost 30 books including the classic "How To Cook Everything," which has sold more than two million copies. Now he's published " Dinner for Everyone: 100 Iconic Dishes Made 3 Ways-Easy, Vegan, Or Perfect for Company." 

Here are some of Bittman's signature recipes: 

Warm chickpea salad with arugula

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked or drained canned chickpeas
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cups arugula leaves
4 hard-boiled eggs (page 791), quartered (optional)

Directions

  • Put the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic, ginger, and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the ginger and garlic are soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the chickpeas and stir until hot and coated in the oil and seasonings, about 3 minutes more.
  • Remove from the heat and, with a fork, stir in the vinegar, honey, and 1 tablespoon water. Mash a few of the chickpeas as you stir to add texture to the dressing. Put the arugula and red onion in a large bowl and toss with the warm chickpea dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately, garnished with hard-cooked eggs if you like.
  • WHITE BEAN SALAD WITH TUNA VARIATION: Use cannellini beans instead of the chickpeas. Substitute grated lemon zest for the ginger, mustard seeds for the cumin, and lemon juice for the vinegar; omit the honey. Add one 7-ounce can of tuna, preferably packed in olive oil, drained, to the bowl along with the arugula (with or without the eggs).

Fava bean and mint salad with pecorino

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 pounds fresh fava beans, shucked, blanched, and shelled (see page 426), about 3 cups cleaned, or frozen edamame, peas, or lima beans
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled or shaved pecorino or Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest for garnish (optional) 

Directions

  • Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the fava beans and mint and toss to coat. Taste and add more salt if needed. 

Grill fries 

Ingredients

2 pounds starchy potatoes, peels on and scrubbed well
About 2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
Salt
Pepper (optional)

Directions

  • Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.
  • Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into sticks ¼ to ½ inch thick, ½ inch wide, and 3 inches long. (Or for steak fries, go to 1 inch wide.) As you cut the potatoes, put them in the water to keep them from discoloring; if
    they're not entirely covered by water, add more as needed. (You can do this several hours ahead; leave the potatoes in the water at room temperature.)
  • When you're ready to grill, drain the potatoes and pat them thoroughly dry with paper towels. Rinse and dry the bowl, then use it to toss the potatoes gently with the oil; add more oil if necessary to make the fries shiny. Sprinkle generously with salt and toss again.
  • Put the fries on the grill in a single layer directly over the fire, perpendicular to the grates. Close the grill and cook, turning as needed, until they develop grill marks and a knife inserted in the center of a fry goes through without resistance, 8 to 10 minutes total. Stay by the grill while these are cooking; you'll need to move and rotate them to cook evenly. Transfer to a dish or platter,
    sprinkle with more salt and some pepper if you like, and serve hot.
  • VARIATIONS: Cottage fries: Cut the potatoes across into rounds instead of lengthwise into fries; if you've got a mandoline with a wafe-cut blade or an adjustable slicing blade on a food processor, use it, but set it no thinner than ¼ inch. Smoky grill fries: When they're just about ready, sprinkle the fries evenly with 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (pimentón). Sweet potato fries with garlic and cumin: Use sweet potatoes, and peel them before cutting. Check on them early and often; sweet potatoes cook faster than regular potatoes. When they're just about ready, sprinkle them evenly with a mixture of 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and garlic powder.

Scampi 

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil, or more as needed
4 garlic cloves, sliced
½ teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
Salt and pepper
1½ pounds peeled shrimp, any size, rinsed
and drained
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 lemon, halved
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions

  • Put the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. When it's hot, add the garlic and red chile flakes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until the garlic turns golden, a minute or 2. 
  • Raise the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp and olives, and sprinkle with pepper. Stir to combine and cook, shaking the pan once or twice and turning the shrimp with tongs as necessary, until they are pink all over and the mixture is
    sizzling, 5 to 10 minutes. 
  • Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon, taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning, adding the rest of the lemon if you like; then garnish with the parsley and serve hot or at room temperature. 

Jalapeño poppers with smoked gouda 

Ingredients

12 large jalapeño chiles
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup finely shredded smoked Gouda
(to smoke your own, see page 45)
Salt
Chopped fresh cilantro for serving

Directions

  • Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.
  • Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise but leave the halves connected at the stem. With your finger or a pointed spoon (like a grapefruit spoon), remove the seeds and white ribs from the halves. (Wear rubber gloves, or be careful not to touch your skin after handling the chiles.)
  • Put the cream cheese and Gouda in a medium bowl with a little salt; mash until combined. Fill the jalapeño halves evenly with a small spoon and press the halves back together to close. (You can fill and refrigerate the jalapeños up to a day ahead.)
  • Put the jalapeños on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, carefully turning once, until the peppers have softened and browned (it's okay if they char in spots) and the cheese has melted, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with
    cilantro, and serve.
  • VARIATIONS: Honey-orange jalapeno poppers:  Tangy with a hint of sweet: In Step 3, fill the jalapeños with a mixture of 1½ cups crumbled fresh goat cheese (6 ounces), 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, and salt to taste. Jalapeño poppers with pimento cheese and pepper jelly: South by Southwest: In Step 3, fill the jalapeños with with a mixture
    of 1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces), ¼ cup. Pesto Jalapeño Poppers with Mozzarella: In Step 3, fill the jalapeños with a mixture of 1½ cups shredded mozzarella (6 ounces) and ¼ cup Basil Pesto (page 475). Serve the
    poppers topped with fresh basil leaves if you like.