After spending the better part of two years drafting and testing recipes for the Burma Superstar cookbook, I still have a pantry filled with turmeric, paprika, cumin, mustard seeds, and several other spices. It's fair to say that they have earned a spot among the permanent inventory. Having these spices and some lentils on hand also makes this recipe the ultimate I-need-to-make-something-but-nothing-is-in-the-fridge dish.
The hardest part about acquiring tahini paste isn’t finding it—I nabbed a tin at the produce market around the corner from my apartment—but rather stirring its oil back into the thick sesame paste. I ended up dumping it all in the Kitchen Aid and mixing it thoroughly with the paddle attachment. The next time I need to buy tahini, though, I'm going to seek out the one made by Soom Foods, which apparently tastes amazing and doesn't separate.
The recipe is from Diana Henry's cookbook A Change of Appetite, an appropriate name for the way I want to eat after the holidays: heavy on vegetables, with recipes that span the globe from Norway to Burma and everywhere in between. The star is grilled radicchio, which I've always loved. In her recipe, Henry serves it on beans doused in olive oil, which is one of my favorite ways to eat beans. Together, you get the savory, smoky quality of grilled radicchio with enough richness from the beans to make the dish feel like a complete meal
Noodles and pasta
Japanese culinary expert Elizabeth Andoh provides two methods to make her miso-marinated broiled fish: "traditional" and "impatient." One requires more marinating time. Both involve wrapping the fish in cloth, which I suppose makes it easier to remove excess marinade before broiling the fish. I went rogue with my own "even more impatient" method.