Every Wednesday, Bon Appétit food editor at large Carla Lalli Music takes over our newsletter with a sleeper-hit recipe from the Test Kitchen vault, a cooking technique she’s really into, or an ingredient she can’t stop thinking about. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.
while staying at home
I have learned two important life lessons while staying at home these past several weeks. One is that sometimes it snows in May and you’re not allowed to complain about it. The other is that the only recipes I’m making are ones that are still good, even if I have to change half the ingredients based on availability. These two learnings may seem totally unrelated, but trust me—they’re not. So for those still-chilly spring nights when you can’t always get exactly what you want, make soup, but make it green.
minestrone is like any other:
The process for making this springtime minestrone is like any other: You start with a soffritto (a mixture of leeks, celery, and onions) that gets the flavor party going. This is the first opportunity to find substitutes. No leeks? Use more onion, or add scallions. No celery? Do you have fennel? Cilantro or Swiss chard stems? Sure—not the same, but not worth scrapping your plans on their account either. Then you add a mix of pantry things and fresh things: pre-made stock and canned beans, along with leafy greens and fresh peas. No stock? Use water or a bouillon cube. No beans? Use rice (and a couple extra cups of water to compensate). If you don’t have kale, use spinach, Escarole,
Swiss chard (again
(If you don’t have cabbage, you are not experiencing quaranti
ne to the fullest. I would be nothing and nowhere without cabbage.) The recipe, blindly optimistic, calls for fresh peas, of which there are none to be had in this house. Frozen though, that’s the ticket! Last week I had green beans, and those could work. I have seen some snow peas around town. And if that fails, any quick-cooking vegetable can join for a dip, even if that’s some chopped-up broccoli florets.