Dana Slatkin

Asparagus Fritters with Cucumber-Feta Dipping Sauce

Asparagus Fritters

In the weeks before Memorial Day, my oven will get less and less play, eventually taking a long summer vacation. But my stovetop will be cranking year ’round. It is still my favorite way to sweet-talk the subtle flavors from spring vegetables. How to showcase the bounties that beckon from farmers market stands, while tempting the skeptic eaters in your house? Consider the fritter. Just about any vegetable lends itself to this simple shallow or deep-fried morsel, which includes eggs and often some type of flour or breading to bind the batter. I had already mastered crispy orbs of potato, zucchini, corn and cauliflower. But I was in the mood for asparagus. Fashioning the verdant stalks into fritters presented a few hurdles. … [Read more...]

Chickpea Fritters with Yogurt Tahini Dipping Sauce

Chickpea Fritters with Yogurt Tahini Dipping Sauce

You might have noticed the recipes here are heavily concentrated in the vegetal and sweets categories. That’s because they come to me naturally. Vegetables and desserts are what I have always loved to cook and eat, and I can think of hundreds of ways to prepare them. But coming up with a tasty, lean, crowd-pleasing protein to serve the family for dinner is often a puzzle. Chicken can get monotonous, too much fish can be toxic, and meat is just, well, not going to happen. In fact, every year at the beginning of spring, I get a persistent case of flesh-fatigue. Enter this rescuer of a recipe. Made from ingredients you probably have on hand already, these crisp and flavorful croquettes (a lighter version of falafel) provide complete meatless … [Read more...]

Roman Artichokes with Lemon-Caper Dipping Sauce

Roman Artichokes with Lemon-Caper Dipping Sauce

One of my favorite ways to enjoy artichokes is to dip and slurp them simultaneously. This recipe was inspired by a summer visit to one of Aspen’s great outdoor restaurants, D19, which sadly will be reincarnated as another restaurant in the fall. Braising an artichoke combines sautéing and poaching in an aromatic broth, drawing out its subtle flavors while keeping it moist. Succulent and savory, the leaves practically melt in your mouth, especially when dipped into this lemony sauce. Though many chefs will pare the artichokes down to their cores, I hate to waste all those delicious leaves and lose an opportunity to eat with my hands. The thing that usually dissuades cooks from coming near an artichoke is all the trimming required. … [Read more...]