Mark Bittman’s Most Loved Recipes from The New York Times: Learn to Cook Healthy, Earth-Friendly Meals

Food writer and healthy eat­ing advo­cate Mark Bittman has “no patience” for those who say, “I’d love to cook but I have a lousy kitchen,” but that does­n’t make him a hec­tor­ing meanie in the Top Chef pan­elist mold:

To me the ques­tion was not, “Would I cook this as a native would?” but rather, “How would a native cook this if he had my ingre­di­ents, my kitchen, my back­ground?” It’s obvi­ous­ly a dif­fer­ent dish. But as Jacques Pépin once said to me, you nev­er cook a recipe the same way twice, even if you try. I nev­er main­tained that my way of cook­ing was the “best” way to cook, only that it’s a prac­ti­cal way to cook. (I’m lazy, I’m rushed, and I’m not all that skill­ful, and many peo­ple share those qual­i­ties.)

If you’ve made it to adult­hood with­out learn­ing how to cook, or for that mat­ter, how to eat for the good of your body and the plan­et, Bittman is your man.

With the excep­tion of his baroque, James Beard-inspired scram­bled eggs, his recipes are swift and sim­ple, and his well doc­u­ment­ed flex­i­bil­i­ty makes him a good fit for any num­ber of palates and dietary restric­tions.

Hav­ing intro­duced the world to the idea of eat­ing “veg­an before six,” he ditched his cushy New York Times colum­nist gig to start a plant-based meal kit ser­vice in San Fran­cis­co. The Pur­ple Car­rot’s stat­ed goal is not to get peo­ple to give up meat, but rather to up their intake of home cooked dish­es that are good for their health as well as the envi­ron­ment.

Ergo, he’s like­ly not too cha­grinned that this col­lec­tion of Bittman’s “most-loved recipes,” in a career span­ning more than 1500 bylines at the New York Times, includes such ingre­di­ents as chori­zo, may­on­naise, chick­en, and eggs.

Below you can find a selec­tion (a bak­er’s dozen) of favorite Bittman recipes for chefs at all lev­els, includ­ing absolute begin­ners, to try. (The com­plete list is here.) Their ingre­di­ents are fair­ly straight­for­ward, though Hol­ly Golight­ly types who store books in the oven, may have to upgrade the kitchen with some ramekins and a pas­try cut­ter.

  • Veg­etable Soup: This one pre­sumes a microwave. You can do it the old fash­ioned way by adding some water or boxed veg­etable stock to a stove­top pot. See? Cook­ing is easy!

Find all of Bittman’s New York Times recipes here. And even more on his web­site.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Michael Pol­lan Explains How Cook­ing Can Change Your Life; Rec­om­mends Cook­ing Books, Videos & Recipes

53 New York Times Videos Teach Essen­tial Cook­ing Tech­niques: From Poach­ing Eggs to Shuck­ing Oys­ters

MIT Teach­es You How to Speak Ital­ian & Cook Ital­ian Food All at Once (Free Online Course)

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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