I had this strange and bewitching little salad at Jaleo, a Spanish restaurant that’s part of Jose Andres's Washington D.C. empire. There are no earth-shattering techniques or unusual ingredients involved. Just some dried apricots plumped with sherry and Serrano ham cut into confetti-like cubes. After blanching the haricots verts you want to keep them warm, and toss them quickly with the ham and warm apricots. The heat of the beans should warm the fat in the ham so it helps flavor the salad. Simple dishes are all about this kind of detail.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.