Sheet-Pan Sausage Meatballs With Tomatoes and Broccoli

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 head broccoli florets or 2 bunches broccolini, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Kosher salt
3/4 pound bulk spicy or sweet Italian sausage (or fresh sausages removed from casing)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 loaf soft Italian bread, split lengthwise
3 to 5 small garlic cloves, grated or minced

Heat the oven to 400 degrees with one rack in the lower third and one in the upper. On one sheet pan, combine the tomatoes, broccoli and mushrooms with 1/4 cup oil. Season with 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes and salt to taste. Toss to combine, then arrange the tomatoes so they are cut-side up. Roll the sausage into 1-inch balls. (There should be about 30.) Distribute them around the vegetables. Sprinkle the entire sheet pan with 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the cut sides of the bread with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil. Spread the grated garlic on the bread, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and salt to taste. Cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces. Grease another sheet pan with olive oil, then place the bread on the pan, cut-side up.

After 15 minutes, gently shake the pan to flip the meatballs. Sprinkle the entire pan with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, concentrating your efforts on the tomatoes and the empty pan edges so that some Parmesan has room to crisp. Return the meatball sheet pan to the lowest rack and place the bread sheet pan on the higher rack. Roast until the bread is golden at the edges, the broccoli tips are crispy and the meatballs are cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. (If the broccoli and meatballs need a little more time, remove the bread from the oven, cover loosely with foil and continue to roast the other sheet pan for 5 more minutes.)

Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any cheese that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Serve everything with the garlic bread and more grated cheese.

Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

1 (4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeño
2 pounds ground chicken
1 large bunch cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped, a few whole leaves reserved for serving
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil, plus more as needed
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
5 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
Steamed white or brown rice, for serving

Using the small holes of a box grater, or a Microplane, grate the ginger, garlic and jalapeño (or finely chop them by hand). Transfer half to a large bowl and set the rest aside. To the large bowl, add the chicken, finely chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Use your hands or a fork to fully combine but do not overmix.

Use your hands or an ice cream scoop to form 2-inch meatballs (about 2 ounces each). In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs in a single layer and cook, flipping halfway through, until golden brown on two sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat, adding oil as needed.

Once all the meatballs are browned and out of the pot, if the oil is burned, wipe it out and add a bit more to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, add the reserved ginger mixture and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and any juices from the plate, and simmer until the flavors come together and the meatballs are cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the spinach and lime juice. Divide rice among bowls, then top with meatballs, broth and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Cheesy Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

3/4 cup crumbled firm tofu (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup ricotta (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium red bell peppers, cored and sliced lengthwise 1/2-inch-thick
3 cups marinara sauce (about 24 ounces)
6 ounces sliced provolone cheese,
Cooked egg noodles or other pasta, for serving
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine tofu, ricotta, Parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and mix until well combined. Add chicken and gently mix to incorporate. Lightly wet hands to prevent meatball mixture from sticking, then roll into 24 (1 1/2-inch) golf ball-size rounds.

In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium. Add bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add marinara sauce and meatballs, and stir gently to coat the meatballs in the sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven to bake until meatballs are cooked through, 20 minutes.

Top with provolone slices, slightly overlapping, and bake until cheese melts, about 3 minutes longer.

Serve meatballs, peppers and sauce over egg noodles. Garnish with parsley, if using.

Note: The unexpected secret to these tender meatballs is tofu, which keeps them juicy. Simply press pieces of tofu between your fingertips to create small crumbles that resemble ground meat. The addition of ricotta creates a creamy texture, as well as great flavor. The meatballs are simmered in marinara sauce with red bell peppers, which infuse the sauce with fresh flavor and natural sweetness. Sharp and tangy provolone completes the dish, although mozzarella could be used for milder flavor. Enjoy over buttered egg noodles, or with crusty bread to sop up the sauce.

Chicken Miso Meatballs and Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons sweet white miso
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup finely crushed Ritz crackers (12 crackers)
1 pound ground chicken

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, and use your hands to gently mix. The mixture will be very sticky. Lightly wet your hands to prevent sticking during mixing and shaping meatballs.

Shape the meat into 12 golf-ball-size rounds (about 2 inches in diameter), and arrange on a greased rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Tip
Leftover meatballs freeze well; simply reheat in the oven at 375 degrees until warmed through (about 20 minutes).

For a quick dipping sauce, combine 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part distilled white vinegar, and add sliced scallions, or red-pepper flakes, if you like heat.

North African Meatballs with Couscous and Tomato Sauce

FOR THE SAFFRON TOMATO SAUCE
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely diced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
Large pinch saffron, crumbled
Salt and pepper
3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

FOR THE MEATBALLS
1 1/2 cups cubed day-old firm white bread
1 cup milk
1 pound ground beef or lamb
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Olive oil or vegetable oil

FOR THE COUSCOUS (OPTIONAL)
1 cup giant couscous, m’hamsa, or medium couscous
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water to soften, then drained
Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make the sauce: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add onion and cook without browning until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon and saffron, and stir well to incorporate. Season generously with salt and pepper, and allow to sizzle for 1 minute more. Add broth and simmer gently for 5 minutes. May be made several hours in advance, up to a day.

Make the meatballs: Put bread cubes and milk in a small bowl. Leave bread to soak until softened, about 5 minutes, then squeeze dry.

In a mixing bowl, put squeezed-out bread, ground meat and egg. Add salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, cloves, coriander and cumin. Mix well with hands to distribute seasoning. Add 2 tablespoons each of parsley, cilantro and scallion, and knead for a minute. May be prepared several hours in advance, up to a day.

With hands, roll mixture into small round balls about the size of a quarter. Dust balls lightly with flour. Heat a few tablespoons of oil, or a quarter-inch depth, over medium-high heat and fry meatballs until barely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain and blot on paper towel. Simmer meatballs in saffron-tomato sauce, covered, over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, make the couscous, if desired: Cook according to package directions, fluff gently and stir in butter and raisins. Season with salt and cinnamon, and toss well.

Garnish meatballs with remaining parsley, cilantro and scallion. Serve with couscous and roasted tomatoes if desired.

Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, more for serving, if desired
1/2 cup panko or other plain dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup chopped chives or basil
2 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane or minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2-pounds ground turkey, very cold
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
3 cups marinara sauce, more to taste

In a large bowl, combine cheese, bread crumbs, onion, chives, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes, if using, and mix well. Add turkey and egg and blend with your hands until well mixed. If you’ve got time, cover mixture and chill for an hour or up to 24 hours. These are easiest to form into balls while very cold. Form into 28 meatballs, each about 1 1/4-inches in diameter.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan. When hot, add enough of the meatballs to fit in one layer without crowding, and brown on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate, add another tablespoon of oil to pan and brown another layer of meatballs, transferring them to the plate as they brown. Repeat until all meatballs are browned, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

When meatballs are all browned, add marinara sauce to pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Return meatballs and their juices to pan, shake pan to cover the meatballs with sauce, and lower heat. Partly cover pan and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve hot, drizzled with more olive oil and sprinkled with more cheese, if you like.

Note: Tender meatballs filled with onions and Parmesan, bathed in plenty of tomato sauce, are classics in every way except for one: They call for turkey instead of the usual beef (or beef-veal-pork combination). Serve them over spaghetti or polenta, or stuff them into a hero roll for a sandwich. Try to use ground dark meat turkey here if you can, it has a deeper, richer flavor than ground white meat.

Pork Meatballs With Ginger

2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic (from about 3 large cloves)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup finely crushed Ritz crackers (12 crackers)
1 pound ground pork

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and use your hands to gently mix.

Shape the meat into 12 golf-ball-size rounds (about 2 inches in diameter) and arrange on a greased rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Tip:
Leftover meatballs freeze well and can be reheated in the oven at 375 degrees until warmed through (about 20 minutes).

Korean Meatballs and Noodles

1 pound ground beef, preferably short rib and chuck
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/3 cup chopped peeled Bosc or Asian pear
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat
6 ounces udon noodles or linguine
2 tablespoons gochujang, or ketchup seasoned with 1 teaspoon hot sauce
3 scallions, trimmed and slant-cut

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place beef in a bowl.

Combine honey, black pepper, sesame oil, vinegar, pear, onion, ginger, soy sauce and half the garlic in a food processor or blender and whirl until well blended. Mix with beef. Add egg and bread crumbs and mix again. Form into 1 1/2-inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet with a bit of space between them. Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes.

While meatballs bake, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and boil 5 minutes for udon, about 8 minutes for linguine. Reserve 2/3 cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta.
When meatballs are done, transfer them to a bowl and scrape pan juices into a sauté pan. Heat on medium, add remaining garlic and cook briefly until it starts to color. Whisk in gochujang, then pasta water. Simmer about 3 minutes, until sauce reduces and starts to thicken. Reduce heat to low, add noodles and toss in sauce. Add meatballs and mix gently. Transfer to a warm serving dish or individual bowls, scatter with scallions and serve.

Goulash

2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 pound beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the paprika and caraway seeds and cook 1 minute more. In a bowl, toss the beef with the flour to coat well. Add the beef to the onion mixture. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of the broth, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot. Gradually stir in the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve over wide egg noodles.

Pork and Ricotta Meatballs (and a Meatball Ratio)

INGREDIENTS
½ cup/4 ounces whole-milk ricotta
½ cup/2 ounces grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
½ cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 pound ground pork

PREPARATION
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and use your hands to gently mix.
Shape the meat into 12 equally sized balls (about 2 1/4 inches in diameter). Arrange on a greased rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Tip
Leftover meatballs freeze well; simply reheat in the oven at 375 degrees until warmed through (about 20 minutes).

Notes:

Serve these plain, with a marinara sauce for dipping, or simmer the meatballs in tomato sauce for serving over spaghetti.

Ground chicken or turkey is a great alternative and will yield cheesier tasting meatballs.

Reader comments:

The ratio here is 10 parts mince to 2 parts ricotta and 1 part parmesan, plus one egg and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (fresh) per 500g (about one pound) of mixture.

Some people found these a little salty and cut the salt in half.

Added garlic, basil, oregano, majorum to give a bit more flavor.

Added grated garlic and grated onion. After forming into balls, I refrigerated for 45 minutes, baked 20 minutes at 400 degrees then simmered gently in sauce 10 minutes. Served over faro, great tender and light meatballs,

Cook meatballs on a rack over foil.

Pesce all’Acqua Pazza

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Pinch of red-pepper flakes, plus more as needed
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled if desired, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
4 (6-ounce) fillets firm or medium-firm white fish, such as sea bass or sea bream (skin on or off)
Grilled or crusty bread, for serving

In a large skillet with high sides, combine the olive oil, garlic, fennel seeds and red-pepper flakes. Set over medium-low and cook, swirling occasionally, until sizzling and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 cups water, the tomatoes and 2 teaspoons salt to the skillet. Bring to a boil over high, then cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the tomatoes are softened and the water is bright red and tastes like tomato, 15 to 20 minutes.

Pat the fish dry and season with salt. Lay the fish into the tomato water, cover and cook until the fish is opaque and flakes easily, 4 to 8 minutes.

Taste the water and adjust seasonings with salt and red-pepper flakes. If the liquid has reduced so much that it resembles sauce, add a little water until it looks like tomatoes suspended in red-tinted water. Serve the fish and tomato water in shallow bowls, with a drizzle of olive oil and bread for dunking.

Braised Fresh Black-Eyed Peas With Baby Turnips

1 bunch baby white turnips with greens, such as Hokkaido (8 ounces)
4 tablespoons French-style unsalted butter
2 small red onions, diced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh black-eyed peas in pods, shelled
Fresh mint leaves

Remove the green tops from the turnips, and cut the turnips into quarters or sixths depending on size. Separate leaves from stems and discard stems; wash leaves.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 3- to 4-quart shallow stovetop braiser over medium heat. Sweat onion in butter for 1 minute, until translucent. Add turnips and sweat 2 minutes, until glossy and starting to “shine.”

Run a knife through the leaves once, maybe twice, and add to the pot. Season with a healthy pinch of salt and stir until leaves are also starting to sweat and wilt.

Add peas and 1 cup of water. Season with two large pinches of salt (restaurant-chef pinches, not home-cook pinches). Cover. Reduce heat. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Stir. Add 1 cup water. Add pinch salt. Re-cover. Simmer for 10 more minutes.

Stir. Simmer for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until beans are cooked and soft and starchy inside, turnips are cooked and water has turned grayish purple. Taste for salt and season. Let cool completely on stovetop with heat off.

Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow everything to meld and settle. Serve the next day, reheated over low until tepid, stirring in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to melt gently into the broth. Finish with a shower of fresh mint and ground black pepper.

Cucumber-Tomato Salad with Seared Halloumi

FOR THE CROUTONS:
1 pound slightly stale sourdough or country bread, thickly sliced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

FOR THE SALAD:
4 to 5 cups cucumber chunks, preferably thin-skinned, such as Kirby or Persian
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved, or ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
8 to 12 ounces halloumi or bread cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion or scallions, plus more to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint or basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed

Make the croutons: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each slice of bread into 1-inch-wide strips. Tear each strip into 1-inch pieces, removing the crust as you go if it is very thick. Transfer to a large baking sheet (or use 2 sheets, if necessary to prevent crowding). Drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated.

Bake until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet and turning the croutons halfway through so they brown evenly, and checking them every few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a light sprinkling of salt, if needed. Let cool on the baking sheet.

Make the salad: In a colander in the sink, toss the cucumbers with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place a bag of ice cubes or an ice pack on top to chill and firm the cucumbers. Let drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Slice the halloumi about 1/4-inch thick, then cut into bite-size strips. Smash and peel the garlic cloves and combine with 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl to steep.

Pour off excess liquid from the bowl holding the tomatoes. Add drained cucumbers, red onion or scallions, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons vinegar to tomatoes and toss well. Remove and discard the garlic cloves from the extra-virgin olive oil, add the oil to tomatoes and mix well. (If desired, the salad can be made up until this point and refrigerated for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain off excess liquid in the bottom of the bowl before proceeding.)

When ready to serve, add about half the croutons to the salad and toss so they can absorb the liquid. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar.
Cook the halloumi: Line a plate with paper towels and lightly coat a nonstick skillet with extra-virgin olive oil. Heat oil over medium-high until rippling. Working in batches, cook the halloumi strips on both sides until golden-brown and crusty, about 1 minute per side. Remove to the plate to drain.

Taste and add more croutons to salad as desired. (If there are too many, the salad will be starchy; too few, and it will be wet.) At the last minute, toss in the halloumi, add another good glug of extra-virgin olive oil, mix gently and serve immediately. (If desired, transfer to a clean bowl or platter for serving.)

Spicy Peanut Stew With Ginger and Tomato

1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 to 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 small (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably roasted
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 cup natural unsweetened peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 medium-size zucchini, 6 to 8 ounces, cut in quarters lengthwise, then sliced 1/2 -inch thick
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving
Chopped roasted salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

In a colander, toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt; set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain well and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne; set aside.

In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and fry, stirring often, until soft, crisp and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a large bowl, leaving oil in pot.

Raise heat to high and add eggplant. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with shallots.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and chilies and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.

Add spices and cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add onion and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add diced tomatoes, stock or water, eggplant, shallots and a sprinkling of salt. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Place peanut butter in a medium bowl, add one or two ladlefuls of hot soup, and stir until emulsified, then pour mixture back into soup.

Reduce heat to a simmer, add zucchini, cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Let cool slightly and taste; add salt if necessary. Serve in bowls with rice, garnished with cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts, if desired.

Eggplant Ravaiya

1 cup roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), or cane or turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chile powder or 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced Serrano chile (if you like less heat, you can remove the seeds and pith)
Pinch asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon chickpea flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 baby eggplants (see note)

Put all ingredients except for the olive oil and eggplants in a food processor, and pulse until the peanuts are ground. Add oil and pulse to combine; the mixture will resemble damp sand. Set aside.

Cut a crosshatch in the bottom of the eggplant about three-quarters of the way up the fruit, leaving the stem intact. (In other words, you’re making a deep plus-sign shape in the bulbous part of the fruit, so you can stuff it with the peanut filling.) Repeat with the remaining eggplants.

Stuff each eggplant with a little of the peanut mixture, just enough to fill the hole. You should have some peanut mixture left over.

Place the stuffed eggplants on their sides in a single layer on the bottom of a large pot or saucepan with a lid. The eggplants can overlap a little, but ideally they will all fit on the bottom of the pot. Dollop the leftover peanut mixture on top of and around the eggplants, and add 1 cup of water. Turn heat to medium and cover the pot. Let the eggplant cook at a simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary, for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the eggplants are just tender when you poke them at the stem end with the tip of a knife.

Taste the sauce for salt, and serve hot with basmati rice or Indian flatbreads.

Tip
It’s best to use baby eggplants (about 4 inches long) shaped like teardrops. The chef Niven Patel uses an Indian variety, but this shape is also grown in Italy and elsewhere, so you can find it at farmers’ markets and some supermarkets too. Or use long skinny Japanese eggplants, and cut them into about 4-inch pieces, then make two slits in each piece as you would for a whole teardrop eggplant. They will break down a bit more but will still taste good.

Sabudana Khichdi

1 cup medium tapioca pearls (look for sabudana at an Indian grocer)
3 or 4 small-medium yellow potatoes (about 8 ounces), such as Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn
Fine sea salt
1/2 cup raw peanuts
4 to 5 Thai chiles, stems removed, roughly chopped
1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch coins
3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 to 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Place tapioca in a large bowl and cover with water. Swirl to release starch, then drain. Repeat a few times until water runs mostly clear, then drain well. Return tapioca to bowl, along with 3/4 cup water. Soak for 4 to 5 hours, or until water is mostly absorbed and tapioca pearls are easily squashed when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Drain well, and place into a large microwave-safe bowl.

Place whole potatoes in a small pot and cover with water. Season generously with salt and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until completely tender, about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on size. Remove potatoes from water, allow to cool, then peel, and dice into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to tapioca.

Set a frying pan over medium heat and add peanuts. Swirling constantly, toast them until shiny, aromatic and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour immediately onto a plate to prevent overcooking. Wipe pan, and return to stove.

In a food processor, pulse chiles and ginger together until finely minced, stopping to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula once or twice. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this step by hand.) Remove 1 tablespoon chile-ginger mixture, and set aside. Add cooled peanuts to food processor, and continue to pulse just long enough to roughly chop nuts. Scrape peanut-chile mixture into tapioca-potato mixture.

Heat frying pan over a medium flame and add oil. When oil shimmers, add cumin. When cumin begins to sizzle, stir in reserved chile-ginger mixture, and allow to sizzle but not brown, then immediately pour into tapioca mixture. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, toss and season with salt to taste.

Microwave tapioca mixture on high for 2 minutes, then stir. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes, then stir again. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes in 15-second increments, until tapioca is translucent and chewy, but not quite transparent and clumpy.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, sugar and lemon juice.
Garnish with cilantro, and serve hot.

Creamy Pan-Roasted Scallops With Fresh Tomatoes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots or red onion
Pinch of celery seeds
Salt and black pepper
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2/3 cup dry white vermouth, dry white wine or clam juice
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup heavy cream
2 pounds sea scallops, patted dry
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves or parsley leaves, or a combination

Heat a large skillet over medium-high and add the butter, letting it melt. Add shallots, celery seeds and a pinch each salt and pepper, and cook until the shallots are tender and opaque, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until jammy, 9 to 13 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high and stir in vermouth. Cook until about a third of the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add Worcestershire and cream, and simmer, reducing heat if needed and stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.

Season scallops with salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Cook, uncovered, until scallops are just cooked through and opaque, 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops. Stir in chives and celery leaves. Serve immediately, garnished with more chives and celery leaves.

Spiced Eggplant and Tomatoes With Runny Eggs

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 pounds Italian eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more as needed
1 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
1 1/4 teaspoons baharat blend (or use another spice blend, such as garam masala)
Freshly ground black pepper
5 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 fat garlic cloves, finely grated, pressed or minced
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (about 1 pound)
3/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, dill or any combination, plus more for garnish
4 to 6 large eggs
Lemon wedges, for serving
Plain whole-milk yogurt, for serving
Hot sauce (such as Tabasco), for serving

Put eggplant in a colander in the sink and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let drain while preparing the nuts.

In a small bowl, combine nuts, 1/4 teaspoon baharat and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nut mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and toasted, 2 minutes. Pour nuts back into the small bowl and stir in lemon zest. Set aside for serving.

Add 3 tablespoons oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high until oil thins out, about 20 seconds. Add enough of the eggplant to fit in one layer without overlapping. Cook eggplant until browned, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggplant to a plate. Repeat with more oil and eggplant, taking care not to crowd the pan.

When all the eggplant is browned, push the last batch still in the pan to one side. Drizzle the empty part of the pan with a tiny bit of oil and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return the rest of the browned eggplant back to the pan and stir well to incorporate garlic.

Add tomatoes and remaining baharat, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a big pinch of pepper. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes and eggplant become stewy, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in herbs. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
Make small hollows into the stewed eggplant with the back of a spoon. Gently crack an egg into each hollow. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid or piece of foil and cook on medium-low until the eggs are just set, but still soft, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove the lid, and garnish with the spiced nuts, more herbs and a squeeze of lemon. Serve with yogurt, hot sauce and more lemon wedges on the side.

Turmeric Fried Eggs With Tamarind and Pickled Shallots

FOR THE PICKLED SHALLOTS:
1 shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt

FOR THE TAMARIND DRESSING:
1 1/2 tablespoons/30 grams tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)

FOR THE SPINACH AND EGGS:
1/4 cup/60 milliliters olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 packed cups/200 grams baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 large eggs
1 fresh green chile (such as a serrano or small jalapeño), thinly sliced into rounds, seeds and all

Prepare the pickled shallots: Add the shallot, lime juice and a pinch of salt to a small bowl; use your fingers to gently massage everything together. Set aside to pickle lightly.

Make the tamarind dressing: Add all the ingredients to a bowl, along with 1 1/2 tablespoons water. Whisk to combine and dissolve the sugar. Set aside.

Prepare the spinach: Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Once hot, add the garlic and cook for 90 seconds, stirring, until fragrant and lightly golden, then stir in the spinach (in batches, by the handful) and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and wipe out the pan.

Prepare the eggs: Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and the turmeric to the same pan; stir to combine and heat over medium-high. Once hot but not smoking, crack in the eggs and quickly sprinkle the whites with the sliced chile.

Season the eggs all over with a good pinch of salt and use spatula to separate the whites so that the eggs are not joined together. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, spooning some of the oil over the whites. You want the whites to be crispy at the edges and the yolk to be runny. (You can cook it for longer, if you like your eggs more cooked.)

When eggs are cooked to taste, use a spatula to transfer them to the plate with the spinach, drizzling with any extra turmeric oil left in the pan. Top with the pickled shallots and a spoonful of the tamarind dressing, serving any remaining alongside.

Skillet Greens With Runny Eggs, Peas and Pancetta

2 ounces pancetta or 2 thick-cut slices bacon, diced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch ramps or scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
2 bunches red, rainbow or Swiss chard, stems thinly sliced and leaves coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth, or water
2/3 cup fresh or frozen peas (you don’t have to thaw them if frozen)
6 large eggs
Toasted country bread or baguette, for serving (optional)

Add pancetta and 1 tablespoon oil to a 10-inch skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered and the pancetta is golden brown and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.

To the same skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoon oil, ramp or scallion whites, and chard stems, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, salt and red pepper and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.

Add the chard leaves, ramp or scallion greens, and broth, set the heat to medium-low, and cook partly covered, until very soft and silky, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. If using fresh peas, add them during the last 5 minutes of cooking; if using frozen peas, stir them in when the greens are cooked.

Crack eggs into the greens. Season eggs with salt and pepper, then cover pan completely and cook until eggs are cooked to taste, 5 minutes for very runny, 7 minutes for jammy. Sprinkle with pancetta and serve with toast if you like.