Firstly, thank you to everyone for their warm messages and overwhelming enthusiasm regarding my new book news in my last newsletter. Thank you to everyone in Australia who has pre-ordered TENDERHEART; for those who would like to pre-order, you can still do so at ANY retailer (local bookstores included or here are some links) and then fill out your details here. You will receive two BONUS chapters - corn and green beans - plus 6 months membership to CHOY LOVE CLUB which is a paid newsletter which I’ll be sharing in 2023.
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USA TENDERHEART PRE-ORDERS: I'm eagerly awaiting news about when pre-orders will be available. More very soon. Thank you for your patience!
NEW RECIPES THIS MONTH
Tomato and basil is a classic flavour pairing and here it steps up to give us a tangy, fruity fried rice. It’s aromatic and delicious and if it’s summer where you are, it’s a great way to use up excess tomatoes.
Love miso eggplant? Why not try miso glazed zucchini.
Steamed eggplant is mind-blowing. So is this recipe for liang ban qie zi (steamed eggplant with garlic, ginger and scallions). The eggplant is meant to be eaten cold but can also be enjoyed warm. It’s a good one to convert eggplant sceptics.
Eggplant lovers should also try this vegan eggplant dan dan noodles.
I highly recommend this potato gratin with miso cashew cream. It’s a different type of potato bake, lighter, fresher, with a natural sweetness from the cashews. It’s also vegan.
This is not a recipe but you might enjoy this Eater piece about the rise of Asian vegetarian/vegan cookbooks.
THIS MONTH’S NEW RECIPE
Sweetcorn potato mac salad
Everything that I know about the culturally diverse cuisine of Hawaii is from Alana Kysar’s unforgettable book Aloha Kitchen. I frequently recommend this book to my friends, as it beautifully weaves personal narrative and historical context within the recipes.
This recipe is based upon Alana’s potato mac salad which is my favourite dish in the book. It is indulgently simple, rich from the mayonnaise and eggs, with funky twists from the gherkins or pickles (Alana actually uses sweet pickle relish). My version includes sunny bursts of sweetcorn, which add a textural twist and natural sweetness. The grated onion is essential – I use the largest holes on a box grater which almost liquefies the onions. The other essential is a good quality mayonnaise – in Australia, choose a whole-egg mayo like S&W brand, while in US, Alana recommends Best Foods or Hellman’s brands (my fave). If you’re vegan, use a vegan mayonnaise and omit the eggs.
This recipe makes a generous portion – scale down for fewer guests, or up for a gathering. The salad can be made ahead and kept in the fridge until you are ready to eat. Traditional Hawaiian mac salad is eaten cold but I often eat it at room temperature.
4 large eggs
2 starchy potatoes such as russets
225g (8 ounce) elbow pasta (or other small shape)
3 ears of corn, husk and silk removed, kernels removed (about 2 heaped cups)
1/4 (about 50g) small onion, grated
1 carrot, washed and coarsely grated
2 tablespoons gherkin or pickle juice
2 gherkins or pickles, roughly chopped
400g (2 cup) good quality mayonnaise
2 scallions, finely sliced
Bring a large pot of water to the boil – you will use this to cook the eggs, potatoes, pasta and corn.
When the water is boiling, add the eggs and cook for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider ladle, remove the eggs and immediately plunge them in an ice bath or run under cold water until completely cold. Remove the shell and coarsely chop.
Bring the same pot of water back to the boil, and add 2-3 big pinches of salt. Add the potato and cook for 10-12 minutes, until fork tender. Remove with slotted spoon or spider ladle and leave them in a colander to drain.
Top up the water if you need to, and bring it back to the boil. If needed, add more salt. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions, until the pasta is soft (slightly softer than al dente). When the pasta is just about ready, throw the corn in with the pasta and cook for just 20-30 seconds – this quick dunking brings out extra sweetness in the corn. Drain the pasta and corn, running under cold water to remove any starchiness, and allow to drain again.
To a large bowl, add the potato, eggs, pasta and corn, along with the onion, carrot, gherkin or pickle juice, gherkin or pickle, mayonnaise, scallions and a few turns of black pepper. Stir and toss to combine. Taste - it shouldn’t need any salt, but if you do, season with sea salt and more black pepper if you like.
You can chill for 1 hour before eating or eat at room temperature.
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Everything in here & links is so, so appreciated - catching up!! I particularly dig the Eater article on the veg cookbooks - so rad.