Peak Avocado – The New York Times

Peak Avocado – The New York Times

Good morning. There is some very good reading in our Food section today, starting with Ben Ratliff’s deep-tracks critical rumination on the state of the restaurant playlist. It’s built around a conversation with Ryuichi Sakamoto, the renowned musician and composer, who so loathed the music at his favorite restaurant in Manhattan that he asked the owner if he could choose some himself. The owner agreed. (Here’s the playlist.)

I love, as well, Julia Moskin’s look at the rise of the Australian breakfast cafe in New York, which comes with a delicious new recipe for a breakfast salad (above) from the Brooklyn restaurant Carthage Must Be Destroyed.

You really shouldn’t miss Alison Roman’s column and new recipe for crisp skillet chicken with white beans and caramelized lemons. You should read, too, Eric Asimov’s examination of how Louis Roederer Champagne, despite climate change, has positioned itself to keep Cristal going strong. (“Cristal forever,” Biggie Smalls rapped, “Play the crib when it’s mink weather.”)

And should you want to go out to dinner, even if just in your imagination, take a look at Pete Wells on Ko Bar, the chef David Chang’s addition to Momofuku Ko in New York, and Ligaya Mishan on Little House Café, out in Elmhurst, Queens.

I like the idea of cooking tonight, though. But because it’s a Wednesday, the day of the week that we try to devote to cooking off the cuff and not from a recipe, I won’t give you a proper card of instruction so much as a simple prompt: salad with green beans and tomatoes, over mozzarella in a basil-flecked dressing.

That’s simple to make. Take a pint of cherry tomatoes and slice them in half. Take a handful of basil leaves and chop them up fine. Combine the basil in a bowl with a big spray of kosher salt, a healthy pour of your favorite vinegar and a few glugs of olive oil. Whisk that all together, then add the tomatoes and set them aside to marinate while you top and tail some skinny little green beans. Cook those in boiling water for 30 seconds or so, then dump them into a bowl filled with ice water. Cut the best mozzarella you can find into slices, and arrange on a plate. Drain the green beans and scatter them over the cheese, then top the whole megillah with the dressed cherry tomatoes. Serve with ciabatta, please!

Or, if that’s too vague for you, get exact and make this recipe I picked up from the British cook Anna Jones, for a warm kale, coconut and tomato salad. So, so good.

Many thousands more recipes to cook tonight and in coming days are on NYT Cooking. (Why, here is one for halibut Niçoise!) You will need a subscription to get to them. I think that’s fair, but you can quarrel with me at if you must. Need help with a recipe or the technology? I’m your worst bet. Try the good people at instead. They’re aces on both fronts, and very nice to boot.

Now, it has nothing to do with masgouf or smoked salmon, but Tish Durkin’s essay in the Columbia Journalism Review about leaving the profession is moving, difficult and worth pondering hard.

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