Good morning. Eric Kim wrote about salad for The Times this week, and delivered a terrific recipe with the essay, for green salad with dill vinaigrette (above). That could be part of your meal tonight, maybe alongside some roasted salmon.
As good as that recipe is, though, my main takeaway from Eric’s story came from one of the chefs he interviewed, Jim Burke, of Wm. Mulherin’s Sons in Philadelphia, who doesn’t ever use black pepper in his salad dressing. “Pepper is an extraordinarily assertive flavor,” Burke told Eric. “It doesn’t have a place in everything, especially with delicate leaves.”
I laughed at that. It reminded me of a brushback the chef Ned Baldwin threw at Jeff Glor, a correspondent for “CBS This Morning,” who interviewed Baldwin about his book “How to Dress an Egg” in 2020. Baldwin was preparing a black sea bass for the camera, dressing it with salt, lemon and herbs. “And pepper too,” Glor said. Baldwin cut him off. “No pepper,” he said. “Don’t believe in pepper.”
It’s a valuable lesson these chefs offer. Consider it in your cooking moving forward. I’ve been largely off pepper except as what they call a finishing spice for months now, and it’s been revelatory.
(On the other hand, these black pepper chicken thighs with mango, rum and cashews are bonkers delicious, as is this black pepper beef and cabbage stir-fry.)
What else to cook this week? I’m thinking sheet-pan paprika chicken with tomatoes and Parmesan; tomato rice with crispy Cheddar; millionaire’s shortbread; and Korean cod jeon, pan-fried cod sliders on Hawaiian rolls.
I’m also thinking a lot about Thanksgiving pies and desserts. Maybe a cranberry curd tart this year, or some pecan pie truffles? Maybe baked apple cider doughnuts, a simple bread pudding, a spiced pumpkin pie? Practice makes perfect!
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Women have been admitted to the formerly all-male cowboy institution Deep Springs College in rural California and, as Tessa Love reports for Outside, that doesn’t mean it’s changing.
Here’s a new poem by Tracy K. Smith in The New York Times Magazine, “We Feel Now a Largeness Coming On.”
Finally, I’ll leave you with a soundtrack for the week, from the infinite playlists of NTS Radio: “Island Time.” Easy skanking! Listen loud, cook a lot and I’ll be back on Wednesday.