What to Cook Right Now

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Good morning. I hope you’re well in this odd, exciting, joyful, unsettling, hopeful-nervous moment in the arc of the pandemic. Look at all that green in the parks, the fields, the forests, the world! Spring is here, and with it a lot of young alliums to cook.

“Allium” is the Latin word for garlic and the genus of hundreds of flowering plant species, including onions, chives, leeks, ramps, scallions and shallots. You know them by the sulfurous scent they give off, by their bite when you eat them raw and by their sweet warmth after you cook them.

For The Times this week, Melissa Clark put together a really smart guide to the identification and use of a whole lot of alliums, with excellent ideas for how to prepare them in your daily cooking. From her, I took the idea of thinly slicing the dark green parts of a leek and sautéing them into softness. Their deep mineral herbaceousness turned out to be an excellent accompaniment to these flattened roast chicken thighs.

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Also in the newspaper we printed on Tuesday night and sent out for home delivery this morning: Yotam Ottolenghi’s incredible soba noodles with ginger broth and crunchy ginger (above), and an excellent report from Korsha Wilson about fungi, a staple dish of the Virgin Islands that’s made with cornmeal, okra and butter. (It’s pronounced “foon-GEE.”) The recipe for fungi is a treat, and it pairs beautifully with the recipe for fried snapper with Creole sauce that Korsha picked up from Michael Anthony Watson and Judy Watson, the owners of Petite Pump Room in St. Thomas.

In other recipe news, will you try Ali Slagle’s new recipe for a salad pizza with white beans, arugula and pickled peppers, inspired by a California Pizza Kitchen classic? (It’s not our only homage to the chain. A few years ago, Tejal Rao brought us a recipe for their barbecue chicken pizza.) Or maybe Lidey Heuck’s smoky-spicy roasted salmon?

For myself, I like the idea of Sarah Copeland’s recipe for spaghetti with burrata and garlic-chile oil this week, as well as Alexa Weibel’s modern take on macaroni salad, enlivened by lemon and herbs. (It pairs really nicely with oven-fried chicken.) I could absolutely see my way to making Nik Sharma’s ground lamb pulao soon. And Alison Roman’s sheet-pan trout with garlicky broccolini for sure.

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There are thousands and thousands more recipes waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. Please browse the site and see what sparks joy. (Recipes to celebrate strawberry season!) You can save the recipes you like. (You can do that even if for some reason the recipe doesn’t come from New York Times Cooking but from one of our competitors. Here’s how.) Please rate the ones you’ve made. And leave notes on the recipes, if you’d like, either to remind yourself of a hack or substitution or to share your findings with fellow subscribers.

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(You can always write to me directly: [email protected] I read every letter sent.)

Now, it’s some distance from Dutch ovens and soft tofu, but you should read William Finnegan in The New Yorker, on the question of whether the ancient sport of horse racing can survive the modern moment.

In The Times, here’s Ian Austen’s lovely obituary for Katherine Barber, the founding editor of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Until she was hired in 1991, there had been no research-based attempt to bring order to Canada’s use of the English language. She was 61.

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New music: Shannon Lay, “Rare to Wake.”

Finally, a novel to tide you over for at least a week: Maggie Shipstead’s soaring “Great Circle.” Get started on that and I’ll be back on Friday.

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