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Other Writings and Recipes

Candy in Quinoa: Seeing Like a Cook

Vidhi Dattani


Much of my teaching and writing illustrates specific techniques for cutting food prep and production time, and that makes sense–it usually isn’t possible to carve out more time within your busy schedule to cook at home.  So I help you find space for cooking more efficiently, within the preparation of each meal: washing not just whatever lettuce you need for a salad, but the whole head; cutting onions not just for one meal, but for several.  But this efficiency, though helpful, isn’t actually what makes you a better, more nimble cook. For that, you need a new point of view.

Call this perspective what you like, but it boils down to recognizing expansive possibilities in our ingredients. Look there, at the strata hiding in your leftover bread, at tomorrow’s broth in the juices at the bottom of you roasting pan.  Eye the savory crepes or the crunchy candy – perfect for Passover – in tonight’s leftover quinoa. More than just piecing together bits of time, see more in the time (and ingredients) you have.

Get the Recipe: Crunchy Quinoa and Sesame Candy.