Rhubarb Torte with Ginger and Orange

Rhubarb Torte with Ginger and Orange

To continue the theme of classic recipes and family favorites from last week, this torte is none other than a seasonal spin on Marian Burros’s Plum Torte. I grew up knowing it as my mom’s plum cake. She never included the cinnamon or lemon in the topping. She usually made a few at a time and kept them stashed in the freezer. I had no idea it was so widely celebrated or that it held the impressive distinction of being one of the New York Times’ most popular (and most frequently published) recipes.

Rhubarb Torte with Ginger and Orange Rhubarb Torte with Ginger and Orange Rhubarb Torte with Ginger and Orange

In addition to using rhubarb in place of plums, I’ve added some candied ginger and orange zest to the batter. I made a version with rhubarb and ginger that was also good, but I think the orange really brings the two together. This cake takes no time at all to throw together, but almost an hour to bake. I highly suggest you double the recipe and keep one in the freezer. I can personally attest to having eaten the original version, both fresh and defrosted, countless times and have never been able to tell the difference.

Rhubarb Torte with Ginger and Orange … 

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Antipasto Pasta Salad

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Sorry about the tongue twister of a recipe title today. You can call it orzo salad to make things easier. That’s what my mom calls the original version, though I now see that it was officially called Orzo and Artichoke Salad. She scanned the yellowed magazine clipping for me a few years ago when I asked for a few of her classic recipes. I think I wanted this one in anticipation of a trip to the beach. It’s great for a picnic because it gets better as it sits and the flavors blend together. I’m sure she would like me to tell you that leaving it in the fridge overnight is best.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

This salad is one of the foods so firmly etched in my memory that I can practically taste it, which makes sense since I now see that it was published almost five years before I was born. It’s from the June 1984 issue of Gourmet. When I decided to write about it I didn’t realize that it was celebrating its 30th birthday this month. Talk about a classic.

Antipasto Pasta Salad Antipasto Pasta Salad

This recipe reflects the slight changes I’ve made over its comparatively short life in my repertoire. There’s about half the oil and more Dijon. I skipped the egg yolk because I think the dressing tastes brighter when it’s closer to vinegrette than aioli. I also used Genoa salami instead of prosciutto, but it’s excellent with either. There’s a few other things, but I promise it’s still very much the classic I know and love.

Antipasto Pasta Salad… 

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Almond Raspberry Breakfast Twist Bread

Almond Raspberry Breakfast Twist Bread

A few weeks ago, I did something that I’d been thinking about doing for a while. I emailed my favorite restaurant in D.C. and asked if I could work in their kitchen. Well, “work” in the sense that I would do whatever they asked me to do, not in the sense of getting paid. For the… 

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Italian Ricotta Cupcakes with Whipped Mascarpone Frosting

Italian Ricotta Cupcakes with Whipped Mascarpone Frosting

Don’t be fooled by the vanilla — so to speak — appearance of these cupcakes. Your first hint that something else is going on is right there in the title. Ricotta cupcakes and mascarpone frosting. What could be bad about cheese on cheese in cupcake form? Ricotta and olive oil make the cake rich but… 

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Parmesan Biscotti with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Parmesan Biscotti with Pine Nuts and Raisins

I think I could eat cheese and crackers for dinner every night of the week. Throw in a little fruit or jam and it’s pretty much a balanced meal, right? These savory biscotti are everything I love about a good cheese plate in one package. Real, imported Parmigiano-Reggiano is the only way to go here. It’s… 

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Pea, Prosciutto, and Brown Rice Gratin

Pea, Prosciutto, and Brown Rice Gratin

I didn’t want to call this a gratin, because to me that signals that it’s loaded with cream and cheese and butter. I don’t want to mislead those who are looking for something decadent with a French accent or scare off those for whom this would make an ideal light lunch. The lid of melted,… 

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Morrocan-Style Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Apricot Sauce

Morrocan-Style Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Apricot Sauce

On Easter, I cooked leg of lamb for the first time ever. I don’t cook a lot of big hunks of meat for practical reasons, but I was more than game when one arrived on my doorstep after an overnight trip on ice from California. Since the lamb came deboned, stuffing it seemed like the best… 

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