All in Gluten-Free

Slow Cooked Beans

I've tried recipes from the food sections of many newspapers over the years, and sadly I've been disappointed more often than not.  But the New York Times is a newspaper that rarely disappoints.  Their recipes are interesting, creative, and most importantly, delicious.  Last August, I read a NYT article by Samin Nosrat, who first learned about the process of slow cooking vegetables while working as an apprentice at a restaurant outside of Florence.  I was intrigued by her slow cooked beans recipe for a number of reasons.  First because I tend to just barely cook through my vegetables, so the idea of cooking a pot of vegetables for hours was entirely new to me. And second because the only green beans I ever ate as a child came from the frozen food section, which may explain why I don't serve them for dinner very often.  Read more.

Tomato Sauce

I am very passionate about my tomato sauce.  It plays a starring role in my two favorite meals: pizza, and spaghetti with meatballs.  It also plays a starring role in my childhood memories.  Although my mom wasn't Italian, sauce was one of the first things my Italian grandmother (I love this picture of my grandparent's wedding day) taught her new daughter-in-law how to make.  I have very clear memories of the orange colored enamel pot of sauce simmering on the stove for hours.  My mom simmered the sauce with a beef braciole (Neopolitan style because my family is from outside of Naples), as well as my childhood favorite pigskin braciole (coodica).  The pigskin gave the sauce an amazing flavor and velvety texture.  As there were no other sauces I could compare it to (we never ate out or went to anybody's house for dinner), it wasn't until I was an adult that I could appreciate the excellence of my grandmother's sauce.  All these years later, I've mostly remained faithful to my grandmother's sauce-making method.  The only exception is that I substitute other umami flavor boosters in place of the bracioles... not only do those meats take a long time to simmer, but pigskin is very difficult to find.  Read more.


I was never a big fan of mayonnaise.  That is, until I started making my own.  Compared to the leading brands, mine is creamier and lighter (thanks to the egg whites), more flavorful (thanks to the dijon mustard, lemon juice, and wine vinegar) and better for you. 

Traditionally, mayonnaise is notoriously difficult to make because the raw egg yolks constantly cause it to break (never attempt the traditional version on a rainy day—the humidity is the culprit).  But my mayonnaise—which uses poached eggs instead of raw eggs—is much more forgiving.  I love it on pretty much any sandwich... a BLT, a turkey sandwich, a veggie sandwich, etc.   Read more.

Zesty Dressing

Salad dressing is not among the most visually remarkable condiments, so here's a picture I recently took of wild turkeys in our backyard.  I always know it's November when the turkeys arrive.  Last week's flock consisted of 11 females and 1 tom (who seemed to be entirely preoccupied with impressing the ladies with his fan).  They're a bit noisy, but their clumsiness is a joy to watch.  Whenever I shoo them away from our grass seed, they fly up into the branches of nearby trees with what appears to be great effort.  The whole maneuver is awkward yet beautiful, like Foghorn Leghorn if he were to take flight in those old Looney Tunes cartoons.

Anyways... this salad dressing packs a real punch.  I always keep a jar in the refrigerator.  It works best on hearty greens (i.e. kale or romaine), or in a cucumber and tomato salad, or even on tabbouleh and other grain salads.  I've found that it overwhelms more delicate greens (i.e. arugula, mâche, red leaf, and bib), which become soggy.  Read more.