Julia Turshen’s Newest Cookbook Will Help You Love Leftovers
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Seasoned cookbook author Julia Turshen’s newest release, Now & Again ($35), answers the age-old question: What the heck are you supposed to do with your leftovers? Already listed as a #1 bestseller on Amazon’s holiday cooking section, the book includes 20 menus for dinner plus fresh ideas for repackaging the leftovers (instead of just reheating them). We took the book for a spin, making two recipes that put us in a fall frame of mind faster than a PSL.
Connection is at the heart of what makes this book tick, and Turshen acknowledges that’s why she created menus rather than stand-alone recipes. Having written Feed the Resistance: Recipes + Ideas for Getting Involved and founding Equity at the Table, a database of diverse food professionals, she encourages her readers to get outside of their comfort zones through food. In the book, she asks, “When was the last time you had more than one person around your dining table who didn’t look like you?” Then suggests, “Invite someone new over. Connection and change happen at the table, and you’re all welcome at mine.”
This book is all about making sure tomorrow’s meal is just as satisfying and interesting as its original incarnation. Some serious magic happens in the leftovers portion of the book called “It’s Me Again.” For instance, penne ai funghi’s the next-day result of a Steak House Dinner for Vegetarians dinner starring stuffed mushrooms with walnuts, garlic, and parsley. As we’re nearing the holidays, we’re eyeing the No Stress Thanksgiving menu, which includes a genius sheet pan stuffing recipe (that makes a killer breakfast topped with fried eggs).
Of all the recipes, the cookbook cover really stopped us in our tracks. The radicchio and roasted squash salad transforms into a grilled cheese the next day. But how did it taste? The sweetness of the squash pops against bitter radicchio dressed in a simple mustard maple vinaigrette. And the grilled cheese? Turshen coats both sides of the bread with mayonnaise so it gets extra crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on serving it with mustard and dill pickles as she advises.
Radicchio + Roasted Squash Salad
(Makes 12 servings)
This salad is especially great for the holiday not only for its wonderful fall flavors but also because it’s hearty and can sit on a buffet table for hours without losing any integrity or flavor. In fact, you can mix the whole thing up to a day before, refrigerate it, and then bring it to room temperature before serving. If you can find delicata squash, try it (just seed it; no need to peel it). Note that if you can’t find squash (or if you dislike it), sweet potatoes make an excellent substitute.
1. Position one rack in the center of your oven and a second rack in the top third and preheat to 400°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Divide the squash evenly between the prepared pans, then drizzle each pan with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands to toss everything.
3. Roast the squash, stirring once or twice along the way and switching the pans between the racks and rotating them back to front halfway through the roasting, until softened and browned, about 30 minutes. Set the squash aside to cool down a bit.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, vinegar, and garlic. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil to make a dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the reserved squash and the radicchio to the bowl and use your hands to combine everything gently (messy, but fun).
5. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and serve immediately (or within a few hours; it holds well at room temperature).
It’s Me Again: Squash Grilled Cheese: Make delicious vegetarian sandwiches by spreading mayonnaise on both sides of two slices of bread, top with your favorite melting cheese (such as cheddar or Muenster), and add a large handful of leftover radicchio and squash salad. Close the sandwich and cook in a skillet until browned on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 1 1/2 minutes per side (the mayonnaise will help the exterior brown). Serve with mustard and pickles. See the cover of the book if you need any convincing!
For more ideas to reinvent leftovers, check out Brit + Co on Pinterest!
(Photos via Annelies Zijderveld / Brit + Co; Cookbook and feast photos and recipes via Now & Again by Julia Turshen with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018)