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Each time I’m certain that winter has finally packed up its bags and left, it comes back into the room with a snappy remark that leaves us all humbled. I am waiting patiently for salad weather, and apparently will be waiting a few more weeks. Nothing soothes winter blues like a good potato though, so in the meantime, here is a hearty starchy recipe. I haven’t got pictures for you this week, so you will have to imagine juicy mushrooms and strips of bright green kale huddled around golden-brown spiced potatoes. The crunch and tartness of the sesame cabbage slaw recipe below makes for a wonderful complement to the dense, earthy nature of everyone’s favourite “vegetable”.
I grew up in an Italian family. In my Nonna’s household, a large bowl of fresh, crispy lettuce was served after every lunch and often after dinner, too. The lettuce would always be dressed the same way – with olive oil and salt, and a little red wine vinegar and fine black pepper. Sometimes we would be served dressed cucumber and tomato too, but these were always in their own bowl. Dressed lettuce was a salad. It stood on its own. It didn’t need company.
People who are into peanut butter feel very strongly about it. When thinking about cooking with peanut butter, you might be immediately put off. There’s good reason for this, I think. It can become so overbearing that you taste nothing else in the dish. When it’s bad, it’s bad.
But when it’s good, it is really good. Peanuts are used in many different types of cuisine, including Thai and West African dishes. When used thoughtfully, peanut butter adds a terrific creaminess and wonderful mouth-feel to a dish because it is so full of protein and healthy fats.