SEATTLE — Chris Kimball of Boston's Milk Street is arguably like Yoda for home cooks. Milk Street, which is home to a cooking school, a bi-monthly magazine, public television show and podcast just released their third book. Milk Street: The New Rules introduces us to 75 new rules of cooking that will help simplify your time in the kitchen - with fantastic results for your stomach!

Recipe: Milk Street's Pasta with Pistachios, Tomatoes and Mint

From the book, Milk Street: The New Rules

Start to finish: 20 minutes.  Servings: 4

  • 12 ounces pasta (see note)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup shelled roasted pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
  • Grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese, to serve

Sicily is known for its pistachios, so it’s no surprise that the colorful, subtly sweet nuts feature heavily in the region’s cuisine. This recipe is our take on a pistachio- and tomato-dressed pasta we tasted in Siracusa. With lemon zest and mint as accent ingredients, the flavors are fresh and bright. Just about any variety of pasta worked well, but we particularly liked long strands, such as linguine and spaghetti.

Don’t use raw pistachios; opt for roasted, as they don’t require toasting before chopping. Either salted or unsalted worked well.

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add the pasta and 2 tablespoons salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve about 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium, combine the oil and tomatoes. Cook, stirring only once or twice, until the tomatoes have softened and the oil has taken on a reddish hue, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in half the pistachios, 1½ cups of the reserved cooking water, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly reduced and the tomatoes are completely softened, about 2 minutes.

Add the pasta and lemon zest, then cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente and has absorbed most of the liquid but is still quite saucy, 2 to 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in the mint, then taste and season with salt and pepper. If the pasta is dry, add more cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer to a serving bowl, then sprinkle with the remaining pistachios and drizzle with additional oil. Serve with cheese.

Recipe: Milk Street's Spiced Stir-Fried Asparagus with Coconut 

From the book, Milk Street: The New Rules

Start to finish: 15 minutes. Servings: 4

In the southern Indian state of Kerala, vegetables often are stir-fried with spices and coconut. These dishes, known as thoran, generally have just enough liquid to help the vegetables cook, but not so much as to create

a sauce. Hence, they are called dry curries. For our version, we stir-fry asparagus, not a typical vegetable on the Indian table, but its sweet, grassy flavor pairs well with the spices and coconut. For less chili heat, seed the jalapeño before slicing.

Don’t use pencil-thin asparagus; it will quickly overcook and turn soft and soggy. Opt for thicker stalks.

What you'll need:

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably unrefined), divided
  • 1½ pounds thick asparagus (see note), trimmed and cut ½ inch thick on the diagonal
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and sliced into thin half rings
  • 1 teaspoon yellow or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric Kosher salt

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the asparagus in an even layer and cook without stirring until deeply browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

Return the skillet to medium and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Stir in the coconut, shallot, jalapeño, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot is softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

Return the asparagus to the pan, increase to medium-high and stir in 1. tablespoon water. Cook, stirring often, until the asparagus is just tender, 1 to 2. minutes. Taste and season with salt.

Bitter Greens and Orange Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

From the book, Milk Street: The New Rules

Start to finish: 15 minutes. Servings: 4

This salad is full of bold flavors, a mixture of bitter, sweet, briny and creamy. Meanwhile, crunchy walnuts and creamy goat cheese add layers of texture. Navel oranges do well, but colorful Cara Cara or blood oranges are great if they are in season. As for greens, use a combination of sturdy varieties so the leaves can stand up to the other ingredients. Our favorite was a mixture of endive, radicchio and frisée; you’ll need one head of each to get 12 cups.

Don’t leave the walnuts and olives in large pieces. Make sure to chop finely enough so that they mix into the dressing.

What you'll need:

  • 3 medium oranges (see note)
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper 1 medium shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre), crumbled
  • 12 cups lightly packed mixed bitter greens (see note), in bite-size pieces

Cut ½ inch off the top and bottom of each orange. One at a time, stand each on a cut end and, slicing from top to bottom, cut away the peel and pith following the contour of the fruit. Cut the oranges vertically into quarters, then trim away the seedy core from each. Cut each quarter crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices.

In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, oregano, ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the shallot and oranges, along with their juice, and toss. Let stand for 10 minutes.

To the oranges, add the olives, walnuts, oil and all but 3 tablespoons of the goat cheese, then stir gently until combined and the cheese begins to break down and become creamy. Add the greens and toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the remaining goat cheese.

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