Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed cabbage 16

I won’t sugar-coat this: Stuffed cabbage is just about the unsexiest thing in the history of unsexy things. It’s not colorful. It’s not texturally interesting. And it’s made of cabbage (duh), a vegetable whose very name connotes drab listlessness and smelly farts. (I’m not going to say that the word itself always makes me think of Austin Powers… but I’m also not not going to say that.)

But if you think about it, you might just realize that stuffed cabbage has all the makings of a trendy farm-to-table mainstay. It’s a classic comfort food; it’s appealingly old-school and fairly labor-intensive; it features a cruciferous vegetable, albeit one much less fashionable than brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, or the almighty kale.

Also, I think it might technically be Paleo — although I refuse to confirm that by actually looking up what things count as Paleo. Continue reading

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Norwegian Salad

Norwegian 15

This salad is almost certainly not Norwegian. And frankly, it’s barely a salad.

Well, maybe I’m being too harsh. “Salad” is a term so broad that it’s basically lost all meaning; this, this, this and this all technically qualify, even though they’ve got nothing in common beyond the fact that a) they don’t require a knife to eat, b) they’re served cold or at room temperature, and c) they’ve all got some kind of dressing. Continue reading

Nut Sticks (a.k.a. Mandel Bread) (a.k.a. Mandelbrot)

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I’m an Ashkenazi Jew. My fiancé is Italian-American. Our ancestral food cultures — meat-and-potatoes kosher vs. Mediterranean Traif City — have just about nothing in common beyond, like, the fact that both of our people eat bread and drink wine. (His people’s is better.)

But there is one dish that turns the circles of our respective backgrounds into a Venn diagram — a dry, almond-speckled cookie that old ladies of both the Catholic and the Jewish persuasion have been pushing on reluctant kids for billions of years (rough estimation). Continue reading