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Tofu Banh Mi

Tofu Banh Mi

I love a good banh mi sandwich. And there are plenty of places to get one in Philadelphia. Each, I enjoy for different reasons, and each I’ve taken away elements for designing my own.

Tofu Banh Mi

The key to a memorable vegetarian version isn’t complicated. You need flavorful tofu — i.e., a marinade before it hits the pan. A sauce or spread to lather the bun. And quality, crusty bread. Pickled veggies are an essential, too, but that can go pretty much unsaid.

Tofu Banh Mi

I’ve given my best attempt to take all of this and wrap it into my own tofu banh mi recipe. It’s fun and incredibly easy to make your own picked daikon, and I’d recommend giving it a try. Feel free to throw some other veggies into the brine, too, like jalapeños or carrots. Also, be generous with the curry mayo spread on your bread. It’ll add that hint of creaminess that goes so well with the fresh veg.

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Pickled Radishes


My coworkers think I’m turning into a radish.

I slice them daily. Put them on everything. And am now photographing them as if they were a bouquet.

Radishes > peonies, wouldn’t you agree?

Pickled Radishes

Anyway, thanks to a garden plot full of them, I currently have what feels like an endless supply of radishes. And after this recipe, I finally have a more-than-exciting way to enjoy them.

These pickles are awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome.


I could eat these by the fork. Crisp, slightly tangy, and with a hint of spice, this is one flavorful and addicting pickle, worthy of being served all on its own. Although, add it to a cheese plate, or atop a fresh salad, and I would never argue against that. I could also easily see these chopped up and tossed into a spring egg or potato salad. Or on top a slightly fancier version of Avocado Radish Toast. Yum.

Pickled Radishes

Easy-to-make, this is a quick, non-canning version of pickles that comes together within just a handful of minutes. Feel free to play around with the spices, and let me know how you end up using these!

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Pickled Spiced Beets

Pickled Beets

Beets and I have a love-hate relationship.

Love when they add a hint of sweetness to my bitter arugula and goat cheese. Hate when they turn my t-shirt from pretty-in-white to pajama-only appropriate.

Love when they transform my tabbouleh into a beautiful party in pink. Hate when they permanently make my cutting boards appear as though I have a serious wine addiction.

Love when roasted. Hate when boiled.

Love when pickled. Hate when that pickling includes hard-boiled eggs.

Pickled Beets

I could go on, but I’ll save you and get straight to the point. One more love profession first though, which is for this pickled beet recipe. I assure you it’s worth every bit of stain and messiness inevitably involved in its preparation. The recipe comes from Saving the Seasons, a book given to me by my farm family when I started mentioning a desire to start canning. I must’ve been dreaming big because not one tomato, peach or beet for that matter ever made it to the canner. I actually somehow did manage to get a canner to my house this summer. It sits untouched on my living room floor…

Pickled Beets

I didn’t let the mason jars that came with it go to waste though. A few of them got filled up with these beets, a refrigerator staple you can munch on for a couple weeks after preparing — canned or not. These make for a great salad topper of all kinds. From lettuce to grains, they’re simply born for salads.

Pickled Beets

If you do decide to finish out the recipe and actually put the beets through the boiling process, they’ll last much longer. It’s one of those dream big ideas I still plan on carrying out before my beet supply runs short. We’ll see. That part of the recipe’s up to you.

P.S. I’ll be in Vermont for the next week! Expect a possible delay in blogging while I eat nothing but maple syrup for a few.

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Pickled Carrots and Ginger

Pickled Carrots

Whenever I go over to my friend Katie’s house, she’s always cooking up something interesting. A few weeks ago, it was fried pickles with a spicy aioli sauce. Last week, I was sampling fresh pickled carrots she popped out from the fridge and jarred pickled green tomatoes from last fall’s crop. Both briny occasions were delish in distinctly different ways.

Like myself, Katie grew up with two foodie parents, so naturally we get along quite well. She is the one to convince me why fiddlehead ferns will be an essential crop of our small, urban garden. And why the banning of raw milk is downright silly.

Katie lives, with ten others, in an old, colossal Philly row-home.  Equipped with more bedrooms than I can count, and a Butler’s staircase leading to the kitchen, they’ve fittingly deemed it “The Mansion”. If I could handle that style of living, you know I’d be there living and cooking with Katie. Dawn to beyond midnight, someone’s always stewing something on the stove of The Mansion. I could definitely get into that.

Anyway, as I’ve said, there’s been a lot of pickling going down after Katie got her boyfriend a whole book on the subject. His latest project: homemade sauerkraut. They introduced me to the fact that fresh pickles (aka, the kind that don’t involve any canning), are actually incredibly simple to make. Naturally, it didn’t take long till I was at home making my own.

After sifting through the internet, most recipes I found stuck strictly with dill. However, for me it was the cumin in Katie’s carrots that made them stand out, which is how this recipe was born. I ended up combining the two flavors, and then added some ginger to create one heck of a winter-themed pickle. If you can handle the heat — which does get dulled by the pickling process — the ginger slices make a great after-dinner, digestive-aiding treat.

For more on the subject, check out Katie and Greg’s post on DIY pickling!

Click here for recipe…