This recipe for Polenta Steaks with Asparagus Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes, and Burrata incorporates a few high-end ingredients (burrata, asparagus, and pine nuts) into an otherwise budget-friendly meal, making for plates that look much spendier than they actually are.
'Phoebe Lapine' on Serious Eats
Think of it as a spanakopita minus the fussy phyllo, with all of those great eggy, cheesy Greek flavors crisped in a flour tortilla. Even if the ingredients list looks a little long for a quesadilla, the prep time is just a few minutes, simply a matter of softening garlic, onions, and scallions, wilting spinach, and mixing in an egg white, feta, and yogurt.
Mastering the art of the perfect pie crusts is the sort of skill that comes with time, practice, and many homely, "homemade"-looking pies. It's the sort of undertaking that sends many novice bakers running from the oven and results in many batches of dough being sadly slid into the trash. Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine, authors of In the Small Kitchen have created this Blueberry Crisp Tart with those young bakers in mind.
This Sweet Pea Crostini is a low-stress, simple dish. Simply sautéed sweet peas (fresh if you can find them, but frozen works too) and diced onion are simmered with white wine, seasoned with a bit of spicy red chili flakes, then buzzed in the blender. It's a fresh, springy spread that you can dollop atop oven-crisped rounds of baguette with shaved Parmesan and mint or basil leaves.
Serving these Barbecued Lentils at a recent dinner brought back memories of college vegetarian days when both cooking skills and bank accounts were limited to say the least. After a few spoonfuls of these remarkably flavorful and really meaty lentils, I wished I had this recipe back then. By mixing French lentils with what are essentially barbecue sauce ingredients, these lentils are transformed into something hearty and super satisfying.
This gooey, cheesy crowdpleaser comes together in barely any time. It's a super simple blend of frozen spinach, mayo, sour cream, and cream cheese with a little bit of garlic and chili flakes to give it a kick. Topped with crunchy panko and Parmesan and baked until bubbling, it's the sort of dip that could easily spoil more than a few appetites.
Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine grew up together, and a lot of the growing up happened in the kitchen. Baking cookies in middle school lead to post-college dinners hosted in their tiny New York apartments, which evolved into Big Girls Small Kitchen, the duo's blog about coming into their own through cooking. You'll probably also recognize their names from the Eat for Eight Bucks column here on SE. In the Small Kitchen tells the story of how they transitioned from college dorm eating into real world cooking. Enter to win a copy here!