Eat Smart kale salad kit recalled due to possible Listeria contamination

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This 340-gram Eat Smart brand Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Bag Kit, with a best before date of Feb. 16, has been recalled in N.L., N.B., and Ontario. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

A ready-to-eat salad kit has been recalled in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Ontario due to possible Listeria contamination.

On Feb. 17, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the recall for the 340-gram Eat Smart brand Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Bag Kit.

Codes on the products being recalled have UPC 7 09351 89145 8 and best-before dates of Feb. 16.

Anyone with the product at home should throw it in the garbage, the CFIA says on its website.

The CFIA website said the distribution may also be national, but the recall notice as of early Monday morning lists just the three provinces.

CFIA’s food safety investigation is ongoing, and may lead to other recalls, according to the website.

According to the website, there have been no reported illnesses connected with eating this product.

Symptoms of Listeria can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.

Food contaminated with Listeria may not look or smell spoiled, but can still make you sick.

Pregnant women infected with the bacteria may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, but the infection could lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or stillbirth, CFIA says on its website.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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Is It Ever Okay…To Eat the Food Off Your Date’s Plate?

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Welcome to “Is It Ever Okay,” Bon Appetit’s etiquette column. Have a question? Email staff.bonappetit@gmail.com.

How much PDA is too much PDA at a restaurant? —Touchy Trevor

Any. Footsie? Violent, should be illegal. Putting food in someone else’s mouth who isn’t in a high chair? Repulsive. Holding hands across a table. I HATE THAT. GET A ROOM.

Is it okay to eat off your date’s plate? (A hungry guy friend is asking.) —Audacious Adam

How dare you, sir. NO. Unless you’re in a loving, committed relationship and this clause is included IN YOUR WEDDING VOWS, thou shalt not fork a single radish off my plate unless you’ve been invited to. Especially French fries. There’s a three fry rule of fry theft (and only one if steak fries), and after that, you better order a side for yourself. The nerve! This question comes from a place of patriarchal entitlement mixed with some stereotypes about delicate ladies who can’t handle an entire quarter pounder. I’m huffing and puffing. I’ll blow this house of pancakes down! I’M HUNGRY TOO. And don’t you dare ever ask me, “gonna finish that?” I will m u r d e r.

The following date night restaurant scenarios are RED FLAG indicators that the relationship needs to end right here and now:

  • They’re rude to waiters
  • They’re bad tippers
  • They ask “gonna finish that?”
  • They tease you for not drinking
  • They call the bathroom “the little boy’s room”
  • They reveal they’re a starred Yelp reviewer

How do you get strong food tastes out of your mouth before making out on the sidewalk? (And without making it obvious that you anticipated the make out)? —Attagirl Annalee

Am I the only one who finds super minty kisses sort of jarring and dental? Halitosis is unfortunate and that’s a whole other ball game, but just like, food tastes? WHO CARES. I love food! We probably ate the same things and have the same flavored saliva! (Martini-French-fries-mayo if things went as planned.) My first kiss was at the movies and he was eating a huge, bulging, veiny… pickle. It was a pickle juice kiss! Delightful. Things didn’t work out.

SNACK BREAK!

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Alex Lau

Get it? Dates. This almond and date mix gets roasted in a cast iron skillet and it’s pure ROMANCE. The dates get gooey and caramelized, the almonds get toasted, there’s some citrus and herbs in there to keep things interesting, and you can eat it by the handful or smash it onto crusty bread.

What would you make for a Valentine’s Day meal …for one? —Lone Lina

Personally? Nachos. Double layer. Tostitos (REGULAR. NOT SCOOPS), refried beans, shredded cheddar. Jar of pickled jalapeños to apply to each individual chip. But that answer isn’t going to offer the opportunity to plug a Bon Appétit recipe or three. Soooo. In that case. I’d do this easy yet decadent skirt steak with pan sauce with a side of Trader Joe’s frozen hash browns. Drink the rest of the white wine you used in the sauce, on ice. In this scenario, however, you aren’t going to watch Netflix and get all cozy. You’re going to eat that steak and do some laundry, gather all the forms you need for your taxes, pay your credit card bill. Then you have my permission to pay for porn. The high quality stuff. It’s called financial health.

What date number is a burp okay? —Belching Brittany

One if the date’s at a brewery and you do that thing where you cover your mouth and burp under your breath, which I find impossibly sexy, alluring, and mysterious. What are you doing under there? Burping? Oh you sly devil! Get into my bed!

molten caramel cake 2

Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Pearl Jones

What’s a good Valentine’s Day cake or dessert? —Jovial Justin

These molten caramel cakes, hands down.

What is your strategy to make sure Valentine’s Day dinner feels rich and indulgent, but not so heavy as to put the damper on any other evening activities? —Caring Ceili

I’m pretty sure you’re asking what dinner will still make you want to have sex afterward. Too heavy a meal, and you’ll just want to lay on your left side and yell at the kids on MasterChef Junior. Too light and you’re what, on a diet now? Here’s the thing. Just make a rich and indulgent meal. I’d like these lamb meatballs, please, with a crispy fennel salad. The problem with feeling gross and bloated is that our portion sizes are too big. Serve dinner on a smaller plate, make a salad, and then here’s my pro move: go for a walk after dinner. It’ll feel all romantic and stuff but it’ll help you digest and you can crop dust the neighbor’s begonias. A few hours later, after you’ve cuddled under the blankets and finished the day’s crossword puzzle, you’ll realize morning sex is better anyway.

That’s all for now, but if you have any etiquette questions on the theme of TRAVELING (or anything else, honestly) or recipe requests, email staff.bonappetit@gmail.com and be too specific. I want the juicy details!

Love, Alex

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Eat Your Way Around Europe

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During every excursion, guests are immersed in local ingredients and cooking styles. Bon Appétit‘s Executive Chef Mary Nolan just had to experience it for herself. She set sail to Rome, Dublin, and Corfu, to taste, smell, sip, and savor her way through some of the exclusive culinary tours offered on Princess Cruises.

Here’s a taste of her trip.

In Corfu, Greece, Chef Nolan experienced the Greek Classics in Corfu Tour. It began with a drive through the meandering countryside of Corfu island, passing lush mountain ranges and crystal-clear waters along the way. “There were gorgeous, breathtaking views everywhere you looked,” Mary noted. Once she arrived at a local Greek restaurant, Chef Nolan learned, just as guests do, the ins and outs of preparing a classic menu including tzatziki, taramosalata, Greek salad, and moussaka, a decadent dish made from layers of minced beef with vegetables and white bechamel sauce.

Chef Nolan’s next adventure took her just south of Dublin, Ireland, where she traced the steps of the Bon Appétit-exclusive tour, Baking at Ballyknocken. “The cooking school is so quaint, set in a converted barn,” Mary explains. In the sprawling green countryside of County Wicklow, she joined TV chef and food writer, Catherine Fulvio, at Ballyknocken House and Restaurant, a 4-star bed and breakfast. There the two chefs perfected the art of the scone, and then savored their pastry over a cup of tea among the lush garden scenery–exactly the way Princess guests get to enjoy the experience first-hand with this unique excursion. “I love that this excursion takes guests out of Dublin into the countryside,” adds Mary. “You really get to explore Ireland.”

Finally, Chef Nolan headed to Rome to experience the Eating Italy Foodie Walking Tour, where she set out in the area of Prati to try one of Rome’s most coveted cuisines: Supplì, the famous Roman fried rice ball and Rome’s first street food, at Franchi Delicatessen. But first, breakfast at the legendary Il Sorpasso. “The city can feel overwhelming with so much to offer,” Mary said, “but our guide knew the city like the back of her hand.”

Along her tour she sampled local wine, flavorful Italian olive oil, cured meats and cheeses, and, of course, sipped freshly roasted Italian espresso perfectly paired with a fluffy pastry. If that weren’t enough to conjure every foodie’s dream, she finished it all off with homemade, artisan gelato. “I learned a lot about how to spot a good gelato place,” she said. “And like the locals, we got a dollop of unsweetened whip cream on top.”

On her epicurean tour of Europe, Chef Nolan was given access to a world of authentic cuisine, which is what every Bon Appétit-Exclusive and Bon Appétit-Recommended excursion is specially designed to do: marry adventure, intimacy, and authenticity, while offering guests a taste of local cuisine in Princess destinations around the world.

You can find Corfu and Rome on the Mediterranean and Aegean cruises and Dublin on the British Isles cruises on princess.com. Wherever you want to go, there’s a culinary adventure waiting for you on Princess.

Get In Touch With Princess: Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

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A Blistered Green Bean Recipe That Everyone In the Family Will Eat

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Once I got an email from a Bon Appétit reader who said her husband is a picky eater, and listed all of his likes and dislikes. He likes vegetables, in small amounts, but NO GREEN BEANS. Of all things. Green beans! I’m going to venture he was traumatized by canned ones microwaved with margarine and iodized salt like the ones I grew up with. Or frozen ones, steamed to flavorless mush, also probably in the microwave. Green beans have had some rough times in the efficiency era. So I sent the reader some green-bean-less recipes, and hoped for the best. But we really needed Chris Morocco to help us rebrand* weeknight green beans. Help us, Chris!

And he did, because Chris Morocco is a professional. Maybe you’ve had Gan Bian Si Ji Dou before, or can recognize those wrinkly-wonderful green beans by sight from across a crowded dining room. That Sichuan dish of dry-fried string beans, Sichuan peppercorns, chiles, ginger, garlic, and maybe some pickles (among other variations), inspired Chris’s recipe, which replicates that texture, with otherwise pared-down ingredients. The goal was to fry beans that end up concentrated with flavor and this blistered, almost crunchy texture that is, to your brain, potato chips. YUM.

Let’s make them together, through words.

Heat oil in a cast iron pan until it’s shimmering, then add a ton of green beans that you’ve hopefully dried completely, otherwise you’re in for SplatterTime. Let them brown, almost like you’re making ground meat, for around three minutes, no touching. Turn them with tongs to brown the other side, then the other side, and then the other side…well you get what I mean. They’re round, do your best. Get them wrinkly and blistered to near-burnt. Flavor arrives in the final minute.

The final minute!!!

This is when you add six sliced garlic cloves, a handful of capers, salt, and red pepper flakes. That simple combo will bring you a slap of flavor. Yeah, it slaps. The garlic will brown quickly, like a minute, and—hurry!—transfer everything to a bowl before it burns. Once you’re eating them all, with your fingers, you’ll realize that you can follow this recipe with any otherwise traumatically blah weeknight green you’ve been avoiding. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, all of those vegetables called out in cartoons when kids won’t finish their plates. Give ‘em another go!

Get the recipe:

crispy-fried-green-beans.jpg

*Let us help YOU rebrand a vegetable for a quarter of the price of any advertising firm. Email staff.bonappetit@gmail.com with your sad vegetable inquiry!

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DeVonn Francis Is Changing the Way We Go Out to Eat | Healthyish

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This story is part of the Healthyish 22, the people changing the way we think about wellness. Meet them all here.

I’ve met a Parisian jumpsuit designer, a performance poet, and a writer who hosts a sex and culture podcast on queer brown identity (called Food 4 Thot), and I’ve only been at DeVonn Francis’s pop-up for 30 minutes.

Francis, our cohost for the night, is standing at a marble kitchen counter garnishing a plate of charred okra strips and magenta pickled carrots. The tight curls of his dyed blond hair are piled high atop his head, adding another four inches to his six-foot-two frame. (Did I mention he’s basically a supermodel?) His voice is soft and gentle as he stops to chat with friends, and he’s way more zen than anyone cooking a meal for 50 should be.

There’s a long table set for dinner. Well, kind of. It looks more like an art installation, with platters of smoked tamarind chicken wings and fragrant turmeric rice nestled among miscellaneous objects I may or may not be supposed to eat. Among them: knobby whole yucca and cassava roots stuck with blades of dried grasses and mounds of what I thought was pink sand but later find out is kosher salt dyed with hibiscus powder.

yardy charred okra salad

Yardy’s charred okra salad with pickled red onions, pickled carrots, and lime zest.

There aren’t enough serving utensils—and actually, there aren’t even tables to sit at—but no one seems to mind using their hands to dig into the spread. And the meal is only the beginning. As the night goes on, new friends pass rum cocktails and thick slices of coconut cake while we listen to a panel led by Francis on the erasure of black lesbians from the AIDS movement. We go back for seconds of rice and wings before a spontaneous dance party strikes up, the room a blur of sequins and glitter and neon.

Francis throws pop-up dinners like these through his food and events company, Yardy, and he attracts a steady (and steadily growing) crowd of NYC creative types. The son of immigrants, Francis adopted the name Yardy from the patois word yaadie, a colloquial term of endearment that Jamaicans and Jamaican-born Americans call one another to acknowledge that they come from the same place. And although Yardy parties are a way for Francis, 26, to explore his own relationship to his Caribbean heritage through food, he also sees them as a platform to promote and support queer and migrant culture. “I think of Yardy as this house for people who are trying to find their way back home, figure out who they are, and learn about where they come from,” he says.

BA020119yardy02

Photo by Emma Fishman

The night’s attendees included Lalito executive chef Kia Damon.

Francis has quickly become a prominent face of a new generation of chefs who are reshaping what it means to eat out right now. Pop-up dinners like Yardy, Savage Taste in L.A., and Babetown in New York are as much about creating welcoming community spaces as they are about the wildly creative food on your plate. Many of these events are run by people like Francis, who didn’t go to culinary school or spend years working the line in restaurant kitchens. They’re not obsessed with best-of lists or critics’ reviews. They’re cooking food that’s driven by a desire to honor their personal experiences.

Francis frequently collaborates with other chefs, makers, artists, and small-business owners who are committed to increasing queer visibility through food. Past Yardy affairs have included a dinner with Andre Springer, whose drag alter ego Shaquanda Coco Mulatta is the face of his Barbadian hot sauce brand, Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce, and a dance party with Papi Juice, a Brooklyn-based DJ collective that throws events for queer and trans people of color.

Even with dozens of dinners under his belt, Francis is still reluctant to call himself a chef. He likes to cook, sure, but he also likes to write, give talks, and make art. He’d much rather spend his free time making custom placemats printed with articles about Jamaican politics than learning about the differences between velouté and béchamel. Food will always be the lens of his work, but he doesn’t feel the need to be defined by his cooking.

“I don’t want to serve food that makes you feel like you have to focus so much on the actual food,” he says. “Forcing people to use their hands, walk around, pick up things—that’s what makes a dinner interesting.”

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Yardy creative director Jae Joseph.

Photo by Emma Fishman

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Peppa shrimp with coconut and lime.

Photo by Emma Fishman

yardy 1

Yardy co-chef Charlie Anderle.

Photo by Emma Fishman

yardy 4

Artist and writer Sable Elyse Smith.

Photo by Emma Fishman

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How to Eat More Vegetables? Tear Up Some Greens | Healthyish

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When I’m at my most organized, I meal plan. When I’m not, I tear greens. If I have a bag of washed, torn, ready-to-eat greens in my fridge, I can probably cobble together dinner even when I haven’t planned it in advance or bought much in the way of groceries. Unwashed, untorn greens sit in my crisper as though they require a password that I’ve long forgotten to access them. But I dole out washed, torn greens like Oprah gives out cars.

I can have fried eggs with greens sautéed in chili flakes. I can have pasta with so many greens it feels virtuous. I can make a simple salad alongside a can of good tuna. A simple salad with dumplings from the freezer. A simple salad with the piece of fish I bought in a five-minute market trip on the way home from work. I couldn’t do any of that on the fly without torn greens.

Which is why every time I grocery shop, I buy a bunch of sturdy greens—kale and collards are particularly long-lasting. I sit down on the couch when I get home, turn on an episode of Veep (I know I’m many years late on this), and tear them up. I wash them in a salad spinner, let them air dry (since I can never get them dry dry in the spinner), then stick them in a ziptop bag in the fridge. They’re available whenever I need them, so I’m almost always part way to dinner.

This also means I eat approximately 90 percent more greens. I’ll fold them into a larb or throw them into a frittata that might otherwise lack veg while yelling “You get some greens!” in my best Oprah voice as I go.

Wrap those greens around some spicy curried tofu:

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Store-bought curry pastes come in varying degrees of spiciness, even if their labels all say the same thing. If the cooked tofu isn’t as hot as you’d hoped, amp it up by tucking a slice or two of Fresno chile into your wrap.

SEE RECIPE

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Egg Recipes for Dinner: A Scramble We Want to Eat Every Night | Healthyish

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When Chris Morocco presented these soy-ginger eggs over rice at our first tasting, I was confused. It looked like scrambled eggs on top of rice. Delicious, yes. A recipe? I wasn’t sure. Then I took a bite. The flavor was so surprising, so not like scrambled eggs, that my brain could not compute. They tasted rich and salted and just slightly sweet, and I kept eating more and more, trying to wrap my head around why they were so good. Even editorial assistant Aliza Abarbanel, avowed hater of eggs in all forms, took a second bite and said, « Wow, I almost…like them! » What was going on with these eggs?!

A couple things are going on with these eggs, namely mirin, ginger, and soy sauce, which get stirred into the eggs before they cook. Also ghee, which Morocco uses in the pan. He scrambles the eggs gently over low heat so they turned out silky smooth, then serves them over steamed rice with quick-pickled cucumbers on the side. A sprinkle of scallions and sesame seeds, and it’s almost too simple to be a recipe. The mirin lends a little sweet acidity, the soy gives an umami backbone, and the spicy ginger reminds you that this is proper dinner food. The ghee that the eggs are cooked in (you could also use butter) adds just enough luxury for a weeknight meal.

As soon as I tried these eggs, I craved them all the time. The next night, I texted Morocco for the proportions of mirin, ginger, and soy sauce so I could make them at home. I make this recipe at least once a week now, usually on nights when I’m eating alone—it’s just that kind of recipe (though I kinda love the idea of a scrambled egg dinner party). I admit that I’ve turned down plans with actual people I like with these eggs in mind. I appreciate the crunch and ~ health ~ of the quick pickles, but TBH I don’t always get around to them. I could see cooking some torn greens in the ghee before adding the eggs or making a brothier, congee-like rice and eating the eggs on top of that. And despite what I said about dinner food, this recipe would make for a great weekend breakfast or work-from-home lunch. You’ll swear you’ve been making eggs like this forever…and then you will.

Stay in and scramble:

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Scrambled eggs don’t have to be served plain with all the fun happening elsewhere. Ginger and soy sauce transform their basic reputation and make scrambled eggs for dinner feel like more than a cop-out.

SEE RECIPE

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Vitamin D Foods Will Help Your Body This Winter. Here’s What to Eat to Get It. | Healthyish

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As a nutritionist, I’ve doled out the advice that a supplement can sometimes be a good health insurance policy. But, when it comes to vitamin D, I’m not in the “practice what you preach” camp, though, believe me, I’ve tried (I couldn’t even choke down a prenatal vitamin when I was pregnant, though I could manage a kids’ chewable Flintstone).

So you can imagine that I breathed a small sigh of relief when the recent study on vitamin D supplements hit. The review study (in this particular case, a review and meta-analysis of previous studies) looked at vitamin-D-supplement-taking habits in adults and how that impacted bone fractures, falls, and natural, age-related bone loss. (Remember, that combo of vitamin D and calcium is what’s supposed to keep your bones strong.) And the study findings were a bit unexpected: Adults who take vitamin D supplements don’t have fewer bone fractures or falls or better bone-mineral density. The researchers also looked at supplement doses and, turns out, how much vitamin D those adults took was irrelevant—their bones weren’t any stronger.

But with two degrees in nutrition under my belt, I know that D’s importance goes beyond bone health. We want to keep our vitamin D levels up because it can lower our risk for autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, IBD, and Crohn’s. There’s other research that shows that being low in vitamin D raises your risk for high blood pressure and heart attack and is associated with higher rates of depression, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s. And one of the most interesting findings I recently stumbled upon is that women who are vitamin D deficient up their risk of having to have a C-section by 400 percent!

So if you’re skeptical of supplements (or just bad at remembering to take them), how else can you up your vitamin D intake?

First of all, the amount of vitamin D we need is the source of some debate, but most experts agree on one thing: We’re not getting enough. So instead of splitting hairs on quantity, you should focus on quality. Always, getting vitamin D from the sun is the gold standard. Studies have found that the D you get from the sun lasts longer in your system than the D you get from food or supplements—plus your body can use 100 percent of it, whereas 40 percent of what you ingest is basically ferried right through your body. But that’s not always possible, especially in winter when the days are shorter and we’re getting less sun.

So my advice (and this I always practice!) is to eat your vitamin D. The best vitamin D food sources are oily fish and cod liver oil (a win-win because they’re also great sources of brain- and heart-healthy omega-3s). A tablespoon of cod liver oil delivers 1,360 IUs. A 3-ounce, fist-sized portion of swordfish or salmon will get you about 500 IUs. Another natural source of D is eggs: a large one has 41 IUs. And then there are mushrooms, which naturally contain vitamin D (maitakes are the richest with 943 IU in about a cup), and, if they’re exposed to UV light, make even more vitamin D. For example, expose creminis to sunlight or a sunlamp, and a cup of them delivers over 1000 IUs!

So-called fortified foods are how most of us probably get dietary D. A cup of milk or yogurt fortified with vitamin D adds 100 IUs, more or less. For foods like orange juice, cereal, soy and other plant-based milks, the amounts vary product to product so you’ll want to check the nutrition label.

So if you can’t book that warm weather getaway (hey, doc, can I get a Rx for that?), swing by the grocery store and stock up on vitamin D-rich foods. You’re basically giving your body a beach vacation without leaving the house.

Up your vitamin D:

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Stirring a raw egg yolk into each bowl at the end adds silkiness, heft, and protein. But this dish is satisfying without it, too. The secret to delicious-tasting beans is infusing the cooking liquid with aromatics like onions and garlic, then seasoning it liberally at the end until it’s just shy of salty.

SEE RECIPE

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Is Sprouted Garlic Safe to Eat?

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You’re minding your own business, trying to chop a bunch of garlic for a big pot of Italian wedding soup, when you spot it: sprouted garlic. There are green shoots peeking out of the cloves on your cutting board, like little aliens hiding in their middles. Should you throw the cloves away? The whole bulb? Don’t worry—it’s not menacing or dangerous. It’s just the garlic sprouting more garlic out of itself, like Deadpool regenerating every time he loses a limb. But, you know, less gruesome. And slower. (And also…edible.)

Slow-Roasted Onion and Garlic Dip

You’ll usually catch garlic before those long, skinny green stalks emerge from the top of each clove; a lot of times you won’t even notice that it has sprouted until you cut into it. And even though those sprouts resemble chives, they doesn’t have the herb’s mild flavor—the sprout itself is actually quite bitter. It’s sharp in flavor, without any of the natural sweetness that garlic should have. But even though the flavor is a little less than ideal, sprouted garlic is fine to eat. TBH, if you’re just incorporating one or two cooked cloves into a larger dish, you probably won’t notice a difference at all. We wouldn’t recommend using sprouted garlic in a dish where garlic is the star of the show—think garlic bread, chicken braised with whole heads of the stuff, or garlic fried rice—but otherwise you’re probably fine. If you’re really concerned, you can slice the offending cloves in half lengthwise and simply pull the green sprout out, but honestly we don’t bother unless we’re using the sprouted cloves raw, like in a salad dressing, which is where you’re most likely to taste the difference.

basically caesar salad

Photo by Heidi’s Bridge

You want only the best garlic when using it raw, so remove the sprout if you’re grating for Caesar dressing.

The sprouts are a sign that garlic is starting to go off, mostly because it is getting older, or because it has been exposed to too much heat, light, or moisture—garlic wants to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place for maximum longevity. A lot of times, you have no way of knowing how long garlic has been sitting in the bin at the grocery store, so it may have already started sprouting before you even got home. Stored properly, garlic can last up to six months as a whole bulb, and around three weeks as unpeeled cloves if stored in a cool, dark place. So make sure to keep garlic in your pantry, and if you end up with some inevitably-sprouted cloves, only bother cutting out those green bits if you’re planning on using them raw (like for Caesar salad dressing). Otherwise, everything is going to be juuuuuuust fine.

Now, how about a nice, garlicky roast chicken?

no-fail-roast-chicken-with-lemon-and-garlic.jpg

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How to Make a Thanksgiving Salad That Everyone Will Actually Eat

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What if we told you that this year, the salad’s going to be the talk of the Thanksgiving table? That guests are going to ask you what’s in that dressing rather than what’s in the dry rub? That your relatives will strategically position themselves for proximity to the salad bowl rather than the carving board?

It’s a hard sell, salad on Thanksgiving. What, with mashed potatoes and roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes (and then there’s turkey and, hopefully, a spread of desserts), it can be hard to justify making room for raw fiber. And the very sensible arguments that might convince you to eat salad on any other day—it balances your plate; it slows down your eating (lots of crunching and munching) so that you can pace yourself; it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals, yadda yadda—don’t hold much weight on the Year’s Biggest Eating Holiday. You can eat salad tomorrow!

But before you write salad off for yet another starchy side, ask yourself: Wouldn’t you welcome a break from the monotony of rich, creamy, meaty food if it came in the form of delicious salad that felt just as festive, special, and—hate to use this word but…—indulgent as the rest of the menu? (And, don’t you think there’s some truth to the notion that eating salad now actually opens up more room for sweets later?)

broccoli caesar

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

Senior food editor Chris Morocco dreamt up three new Thanksgiving salad recipes that don’t feel like ho-hum vegetable placeholders. “Putting coleslaw on the table would fulfill the mission of a raw vegetable side, but not in a way that’s in keeping with Thanksgiving.” So he set out to do what any vegetable-loving recipe developer would: Create salads as beautiful as they are desirable. Here’s how can you do the same.

  • Seek knockout ingredients: Now’s the time to drag yourself to the farmers market or the speciality food store and seek out the colorful, unusually shaped ingredients that don’t make it on the table on any old day. Produce like purple carrots, pink-speckled Castelfranco radicchio (the darling bitter green of some of the country’s coolest restaurants), and wispy Napa cabbage are stunning all by themselves (read: they won’t require much compensating). “When you change the players, says Chris, “you change the game.”

  • Take what’s usually cooked, and serve it raw: Think about a vegetable you’re used to seeing cooked to death (broccoli, carrots, beets) and present it raw for an addition to the table that’s surprising—and not to mention pleasantly crisp and refreshing in comparison to the velvety softness elsewhere. Chris lets the carrot coins and broccoli pieces sit in the dressing to ease up, so you won’t feel like a bunny rabbit when the time comes to eat.

  • You don’t have to stick with leafy greens. When you swap out the massaged kale or baby spinach for something less voluminous, like thinly sliced carrots or cabbage, you’ll be able to feed more people without having to devote your entire fridge to bags of lettuce (since you’ve got a turkey dry-brining in there, don’t you?).

  • Aim for a complete set of flavors in every dish: When you make a salad with salty and acidic components plus a touch of sweetness (like the charred, jammy dates in the carrot salad), heat (from crushed red pepper flakes or pickled chiles), and fragrant herbs, there’s no need to make more than one.

  • And don’t forget lots of citrus. Whether it’s lemon, lime, grapefruit, or blood orange, that acid will cut through the richness of the rest of the table.

Thanksgiving salad’s sounding real good right about now, isn’t it?

Get the recipes:

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