Mark Bittman: Granola

The basic technique for making granola is always the same; it’s what you put in it that makes it special. Think of this recipe as a guideline for a basic granola and then customize it in any way you like; there are lots of ideas in these pages.

Rolled oats are the most common grain, but you can use lots of other rolled and flaked grains, like wheat, rye, quinoa, millet, kamut, or brown rice flakes. Increase or decrease the other ingredients as you like and toss in other ingredients like nut butters, vanilla, or citrus zest. See the variations for some ideas. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)


Makes: About 8 cups
Time: 30 minutes

6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: a combination of sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, etc.
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
Dash salt
1 /2 to 1 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste
1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, the coconut if you’re using it, cinnamon, salt, and sweetener. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. The mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.

2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the raisins. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until the granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.

Peanut Butter Granola. Any nut butter or tahini will work nicely here; toss in some chocolate chips if you like very sweet granola: Add 1/2cup peanut butter and mix with the 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup until blended. Proceed with the recipe; stir the granola every few minutes while it’s baking to prevent the peanut butter from burning.

Spiced Granola. Add another teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon each ground anise and cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon each freshly grated nutmeg and ground cloves, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Ginger-Molasses Granola. Crumbled gingersnaps are a great addition to this: Substitute molasses for half of the sweetener and add a 1- to 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated into the sweetener. Add 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger along with the raisins.

Mark Bittman’s award-winning How to Cook Everything has helped countless home cooks discover the rewards of simple cooking. Now the ultimate cookbook has been revised and expanded (almost half the material is new), making it absolutely indispensable for anyone who cooks-or wants to. With Bittman’s straightforward instructions and advice, you’ll make crowd-pleasing food using fresh, natural ingredients; simple techniques; and basic equipment. Even better, you’ll discover how to relax and enjoy yourself in the kitchen as you prepare delicious meals for every occasion.

Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream


This recipe is based on one in Bruce Weinstein’s The Ice Cream Book (William Morrow and Company, 1999).

1 cup milk
3⁄4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup salted, roasted, shelled peanuts, chopped

1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just hot. Meanwhile, beat sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and pale yellow.

2. Gradually whisk hot milk into egg mixture in bowl, then pour milk–egg mixture into saucepan. Return saucepan to medium-low heat and cook custard, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 1⁄2 cup of the peanut butter. Strain custard into a large bowl, let cool briefly, stirring often, then stir in cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold, 6–8 hours.

3. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, adding 1⁄2 cup of the chopped nuts to the ice cream 30 seconds before it has finished churning. Transfer to a bowl, quickly swirl in remaining 1⁄2 cup peanut butter, cover, and freeze until hard. Serve ice cream sprinkled with the remaining 1⁄2 cup nuts.


A Sunday Supper for the Whole Family

Gather your loved ones and escape from the busy chaos of the back-to-school season with this simple, kid-friendly Sunday supper. Classic meatballs are braised with tomatoes and served over pasta with fresh baguette to soak up the savory sauce, while vibrant peas, tossed with lettuce and green garlic, look gorgeous alongside a hearty bowl of honey-glazed carrots. Finish off the meal with a festive homemade sundae of silky peanut butter swirl ice cream smothered in an array of homemade toppings.


  1.  Plot out your prep time to make things easier come meal time: themeatballs need to chill for 1 hour before cooking, then you can start the carrots 15 minutes after the meatballs go into the oven to have them finish simultaneously.
  2.  You’ll need to give the baguette time to rise three times (about 3 hours) before baking. The bread can be finished several hours before dinner, then reheated just before serving. For a perfectly textured homemade baguette, the secret is in the kneading-learn the best way to knead bread dough in our video »
  3.  Consider starting the peanut butter ice cream a day ahead, since the custard needs to chill for 6-8 hours before going into the ice cream maker. Turn dessert into a full-blown sundae party with these delicious homemade toppings »
    1. For more family-friendly pasta recipes, see our gallery of recipes »


    RECIPE: Braised Meatballs
    The key to making these meatballs is to brown them first in a skillet and then braise them in a sauce of red wine and tomatoes. Serve them with crusty bread or spaghetti to sop up the sauce.

    SERVES 4 to 6

    10 oz. ground beef chuck or veal
    10 oz. ground pork shoulder
    2 oz. minced pork fat or unsmoked bacon
    2 oz. prosciutto, minced
    1 ¼ cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced, plus more for garnish
    2 tsp. dried oregano
    1 ½ tsp. fennel seeds
    1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
    ½ tsp. ground cumin
    ¼ tsp. ground allspice
    7 slices white bread, finely ground in a food processor
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    ⅔ cup ricotta, drained in a strainer for 2 hours
    2 tbsp. milk
    3 eggs, lightly beaten
    6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
    ¼ cup dry red wine
    4 cups canned tomato purée
    1 cup beef or veal stock or water
    Grated parmesan, for garnish

    1. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, pork fat, prosciutto, parsley, oregano, fennel seeds, chile flakes, cumin, allspice, and bread crumbs and season generously with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, mix ingredients until combined; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta, milk, and eggs; add to meat mixture and gently mix until incorporated. Chill for 1 hour.

    2. Heat oven to 300°. Grease 2 rimmed baking sheets with oil and set aside. Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop, portion mixture, roll into meatballs with your hands, and transfer to greased baking sheets. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 3-qt. high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a plate; wipe out skillet. Repeat with remaining oil and meatballs. Return reserved meatballs to skillet along with any juices from the plate. Add wine; increase heat to high and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and beef stock, bring to a boil, and tightly cover skillet. Transfer to oven; bake until meatballs are tender and have absorbed some of the sauce, about 1 ½ hours. To serve, transfer meatballs to a platter; spoon over sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Serve with bread or spaghetti, if you like.

    RECIPE: Peas with Lettuce and Green Garlic
    This dish is very simple: emerald green vegetables cooked together briefly, until their flavors just meld.

    SERVES 4

    4 tbsp. unsalted butter
    5 small stalks green garlic, thinly sliced, or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    Kosher salt, to taste
    1½ cups fresh or frozen green peas
    2 small heads butter lettuce (about 6 oz.), washed, cored, and torn into large pieces
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 12″ skillet over medium heat; add garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add peas and cook until bright green and tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in remaining butter, along with lettuce and 1 tbsp. water, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Stir until lettuce is just wilted, about 1 minute.

Chipotle Popcorn Chicken Recipe

By Marc Murphy

We thought we’d kick off tailgating season with the least intimidating and most user-friendly food, easy to make in massive batches: popcorn chicken. This recipe hails from Marc Murphy’s Upper West Side restaurant Ditch Plains, where there’s always a surfing video playlist going full-force.

Marinating the chicken in buttermilk overnight ensures juicy, flavorful meat under the crunchy, tangy-spicy interior. Adding chopped cilantro makes it look even less like you microwaved frozen popcorn chicken, as does serving the bites with any of our homemade dipping sauces. MVP: this guy.


Making popcorn chicken is almost as easy as yelling at the TV from the couch. You can do that, right?


2 chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canned chipotles in adobo sauce, pureed
2 cups flour
salt and pepper
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1. Cut chicken breasts into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place in mixing bowl and cover with buttermilk and pureed chipotle chilies.
2. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Once the chicken has had time to sit in buttermilk, dredge the chicken in seasoned flour and fry in a 350 degree fryer.
3. Once out of the fryer, season with salt, pepper and chopped cilantro.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus marinating
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Thrifty Dinner Tonight: Roast Cod & Beet Greens

In amanda‘s description of the inspiration behind her recipe for beet greens, she mentions that she was raised with the mantra “thrifty in the kitchen, generous at the table”. This meal embodies that ideal just about perfectly. Cod is usually inexpensive, and makes for a nice blank slate for flavorful accents like kalamata olives and tangy capers, while the leafy greens are made just a little bit extra delectable with a lightly creamy dressing. Healthy and comforting, this meal is everything a weeknight supper should be.

The Menu

Cod Mare Chiaro by Giulia Melucci

This recipe serves 2

4 medium red potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound cod
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
6 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon oregano, fresh or dried
4 basil leaves, torn
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1. Cut potatoes into quarters. Toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 tsp. oregano, salt and pepper. Place in a small roasting pan and roast for twenty minutes.

2. While potatoes are cooking warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add the chopped garlic, saute until garlic is golden (2-3 minutes).

3. Add the chopped tomatoes to the garlic and oil. Allow the tomatoes to come to a simmer then add the sliced olives and capers, the rest of the oregano, salt, pepper, and two of the torn basil leaves; cook for 2 more minutes.

4. When the potatoes have roasted for 20 minutes clear a space in the center of the pan, add the cod, cover with tomato sauce and roast with the potatoes for 20 more minutes.

5. Remove from oven, divide between two plates, garnish with the remaining fresh basil leaves and serve.

Save, print, and ask a question about this recipe on FOOD52.

Warm Beet Greens with Sour Cream Dressing by amanda

Get the recipe.


The Grocery List (for 2)

4 medium red potatoes
1 pound cod
6 kalamata olives
fresh basil
beet greens (from 2 bunches beets)
1/2 cup sour cream

We assume you already have garlic, olive oil, dried oregano, canned (or fresh!) tomatoes, capers, salt, pepper, cider vinegar, and sugar. If not, you’ll need those too!

The Plan

1. The beet greens need just a simple saute, so you’ll want to tackle the fish first — begin by roasting the potatoes.

2. While they roast, prep the remaining elements of the dish (tomatoes, etc.) as the recipe directs.

3. After the potatoes have been in the oven for 20 minutes, you’ll make a spot in the pan for the fish, and let it all finish roasting together.

4. Beet green time! Saute them while the fish finishes up, and you should have a lovely hot meal in no time at all!

5. Sit down, relax and eat up. Generosity at the table, indeed!

20-Minute Recipe: Turkey, Apple, and Swiss Melt

Turkey, Apple, and Swiss Melt

Vary the fruit to suit your kids’ preferences-use red- or green-skinned apples or pears.


1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
8 (1-ounce) slices whole-wheat bread
4 (1-ounce) slices Swiss cheese
5 ounces thinly sliced Granny Smith apple (about 1 small)
8 ounces thinly sliced lower-sodium deli turkey breast
Cooking spray


1. Combine mustard and honey in a small bowl. Spread one side of each of 4 bread slices with 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard mixture. Place one cheese slice on dressed side of bread slices; top each with 5 apple slices and 2 ounces turkey. Top sandwiches with remaining 4 bread slices. Coat both sides of sandwiches with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sandwiches to pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until bread is browned and cheese melts.