Martha Rose Shulman: “The Simple Art of Vegetarian Cooking” | Food at Google

Martha Rose Shulman: “The Simple Art of Vegetarian Cooking” | Food at Google


[APPLAUSE] MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
Hi, everybody. I don’t know if you’re
familiar with my work. I write the “Recipes
for Health” column as well on newyorktimes.com. And I have been writing
vegetarian cookbooks for a long time. But I’ve always felt that
attention hasn’t really been paid enough to the
vegetarian main dish. And so, with this
book, I’ve created kind of a language for
the vegetarian main dish by breaking them
down into categories and creating templates for each
type, such as a frittata, which we’re going to do today,
or a big bowl, which I’m also going to
show you today. And I really try
to empower people to cook by making it easy
for them, but also delicious. And the way that you can
do this for yourselves is to just become
really fluent in making a number of foundation
vegetable dishes that then you can use in
different types of templates, like a frittata, a
big bowl, a risotto. So today– and I’m going
to be rushing through this, because we have, like,
50 minutes to do this– I’ve chosen two building
block dishes, as I call them. And that’s the first
chapter of the book. One is just a very
simple wilted greens that are then seasoned with
garlic, thyme, and rosemary. And I’m going to use
those in a frittata. And the other is
a mushroom ragout. It’s like a stew with
both regular fresh button mushrooms and wild
mushrooms, but you could do it all with just
creminis or white mushrooms if you couldn’t
find wild mushrooms. And that I’m going to use to
build a big bowl with grains and the mushrooms and
other ingredients, some greens that you
put on top of it. The big bowls are great,
because if you are vegan, you can make them
completely vegan. You can not add cheese. You can add tofu if you want
to add a protein, or not. Obviously, the
frittata is not vegan. So let me just start
with the basic building block of seasoned wilted greens. In the frittata, I’m
using Swiss chard. You would bring a pot
of water to a boil, or you could steam them. I find it’s faster and more
efficient to blanch them. And it’s such a
short cooking time you’re not going to lose that
much in the way of nutrients. So you would just strip
them from the stems. These stems actually are
really good in other dishes, so don’t throw them away. Yeah? AUDIENCE: Could you
pre-steam or wilt them for like fifteen seconds
in the microwave? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: I don’t
know the answer to that. I’m sure you could,
but I’ve never done it. But I wouldn’t see why you
couldn’t, in a little water, wilt them in the
microwave or steam them. You want to wash greens
really well twice. And I tell you how to
do that in the book. You could also use
mustard greens. These are mustard greens. We have already blanched them. And then, you would put them
in the salted boiling water, take them out as soon
as they’re wilted, cool them in cold
water, then drain them. And then, it’s really important
to squeeze out the water. So you just take up
handfuls of the green to squeeze out the water. Otherwise, when you
make your frittata, it it’s going to get
watery with the water left in the vegetables. And then, we want to
season those greens, just with a little
garlic and olive oil and thyme and rosemary. So garlic cooks really fast. Like I always say, when you
can smell it smelling good, that’s the time to add
your other ingredients. That’s like 30 seconds. Otherwise, it will burn,
which it actually just did. I’m just getting used to
this induction burner. But all you’re doing here
is infusing your greens with the olive oil
and the garlic. You want to season them. And then, you would
take it off the heat. And then you’ve
got a base recipe that you can use in a frittata,
in a quiche, in a risotto, in a big bowl, in a taco. There’s just so many ways
you can use those greens. When you get greens in the
market, when you get them home, go ahead and just
blanch them right away and put them in
the refrigerator, and then they’ll be ready. Because that’s the most
time-consuming part– cleaning your greens–
of many recipes. Now, I’m going to talk
to you about the big bowl and the mushroom ragout
before I actually demo it so that we can get
going serving you a little taste of everything. This is the mushroom ragout. Now, all of the ingredients
over there become this. And I’ve used this not
only to fill that frittata, but we’re also going
to do the big bowl. And I’m going to come
back to that in a minute. You can take this, but leave
me a little bit so that– what? MALE SPEAKER: I’ve got it. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: –you
know, so that I can do it. But I’m going to get going
with the frittata now. So my filling is ready. It’s the greens. I’m going to beat eight eggs. And in the frittata
chapter, you have a choice. If there are just two of
you, you can do a four-egg. Or you can do an eight-egg,
because they really transport well, and eat it all
week for lunch and whatnot. And to that, I’m
just going to add a couple of tablespoons of milk
and about a half a teaspoon of salt and some pepper. I’m going to turn
this up just a little. And then, I’ll just
fold in my greens. You want the pan to be hot
when you add the eggs to it. So I’ve got about a
tablespoon of olive oil here. And just drizzle in a little
bit of egg to make sure it’s going to start
cooking right away. And as you can see, it does. And then, just
pour in your eggs. And then, for the first
couple of minutes of cooking, you’re just going to lift
the edges of the frittata so that the egg
can go underneath. Because what you’re
doing is you’re forming several layers of
cooked egg right at the outset. And then, once that is done–
and shake it a little bit just to get a nice
kind of fluffy, get a little air
into it– once you’ve got those layers
established there, then I’m going to
cover it, and I’m going to turn it way,
way down, if I can. Whoops. Let’s see. We’re hoping this is going low. And on a home stove, you’d
put it on your lowest heat. I’m not sure how low
I can get it here. Here we go. And let that go for,
like, 10 minutes. I always set my
timer for 10 minutes. And I just kind of every
few minutes have a look and maybe lift it up,
pour some of that under. And then, meanwhile,
if I had a stove here, I would light my broiler. Because at the end, you’re still
going to have a puddle of egg on the top. And then you want to finish
it under the broiler. We’re going to do it with
a torch, hopefully, today. So let me have some greens,
and I’ll do a big bowl. We’re kind of
working in reverse. I’m going to show you how to
start this mushroom ragout. But meanwhile, I just want to
talk to you about big bowls. Here, why don’t I just
take this from you now? So big bowls are really fun,
because you can mix and match grains. You can mix and match toppings. I’ve actually got a whole
series of big bowls coming up on Craftsy– I don’t know if
you’re aware of that site– and that’s coming up in June. This one, we have a choice
of either quinoa or farro, which are wheat berries. And we’re going to top
it with the mushroom ragout and some greens. Whoops, I gotta grab those. Do you have any more
of those cooked greens? No. I forgot to keep some apart. Well, we’re going to
pretend we have greens. And this is the
kind of thing where you can have some cooked
dishes made at the weekend. You can be a weekend cook and
then come home every week. Grains will keep for three or
four days in the refrigerator. They freeze really
well, as well. So you can compose these
things pretty quickly if you’ve got stuff on hand. So we’re going to
start with quinoa. And then we will top it with
this really delicious mushroom ragout. And I put– in the
recipe, you also would put some greens around. You really want it for
the color, as well. It’s really pretty. We’ll just put extra
parsley, I think, and then a little cheese. If you didn’t want
the dairy, you could do some seasoned tofu. If you do eat animal
products, a poached egg is really nice on this, as well. But there are just lots of
ways to go with the big bowl. And they’re very
good for families, because people can put the
things they like on them or not. And if you really want
meat, you can always put some shredded
chicken on the top, too. It doesn’t have
to be vegetarian. I’m all for
accommodating people. So we’ve got some blanched
mustard greens here, too. So I’m going to go
back to my frittata and see how that’s doing. As you can see, it’s
setting up nicely. Some of the other
foundation recipes that you can use
in different dishes are– I have a pepper
ragout in the first chapter. And I teach you
how to poach eggs. Then there’s a whole
chapter of bean recipes, and they can be
mixed and matched and used in big bowls and tacos. I’ve kind of broken
down the vocabulary. You know, if you eat meat,
and you say what’s for dinner, you can say, chicken,
and that’s enough. Nobody kind of
cares beyond that. But I always felt that there
weren’t enough one-word answers for what’s for dinner
if you’re a vegetarian. So with this book,
each chapter is a one-word answer to
what’s for dinner, or two– big bowls, that’s two–
but risotto, frittata, tacos, stir-fry, couscous–
what else do I have in there– savory pies. There’s 12. But anyway, you’ll see. So I’m hoping that with
this, there will now be a language for the
vegetarian main dish. I think I’m going to move this
and start on the– Actually, you could probably
finish this over here. So with the mushroom
ragout, the first thing that you do– and this is
what’s going to give you a really wonderful
broth– is you’re going to soak dried porcinis
or other dried mushrooms– I like porcinis the
best, because they have so much flavor– in
boiling water to cover. And let them soak
for about 30 minutes. And when they’re done, you have
this really nice porcini broth, which is also a great soup base. But that’s what’s
going to provide the liquid for this
really delicious ragout. And then we’ve got
regular mushrooms. And we’ve got a mixture
of, I think, maitakes. And what are these mushrooms? MALE SPEAKER: I
think brown Alba. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Brown Alba. So whatever you can find,
whatever is available. Just a couple of tablespoons
of olive oil will be plenty. Oh, let’s do the shallots first. And again, what I’m doing
today is very Mediterranean. So the seasonings I’m using
are thyme and rosemary. And just soften those shallots. And always do your onions
before you add your garlic, because garlic cooks
really, really fast. And burnt garlic is not tasty. And if you find that your
onion is browning too fast, and you don’t want it to,
just add a little salt, and that’ll bring out
the liquid in the onion, and it’ll stew rather than burn. So once your onions
are soft, you’re going to add your garlic. And again, you just
want it to smell good. And then you’re going to
add your fresh mushrooms. And even though it looks
like how can I ever fit all of these mushrooms in the
pan, they really cook down, so they’ll start to sweat
and cook down pretty quickly. But you don’t want to salt
the mushrooms until they sear a little bit and start to
exude their own liquid. They have so much water in them. It’ll be too watery. Ask me questions while
these are cooking. AUDIENCE: And since the
frittata started so hot, did you put in the
oven for a while? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
Well, just to get the top. In the book, I’ve got a
whole bunch of baked frittata recipes, as well. But you can do them either way. It’s just that you
need to run them under the broiler
for a multi-egg one. If it’s just for two people,
you can just do it all on top. But usually, there’s
still a puddle of egg that you’ll want
to cook on the top. When I do baked
frittatas, I usually mix the eggs with a little
bit of yogurt or ricotta. And I get this really nice,
fluffy baked frittata. And in the book, there is
also two-egg omelets, as well, which are so quick to cook. Everybody says, oh, vegetarian
cooking takes so much time. But an omelet takes
about a minute. So it’s all a question of having
something to put in it on hand. And that could
just be fresh herbs if you’ve got nothing else. Herbs are vegetables. You see how this is already
losing a lot of volume. Eventually, we’re going
to add some wine to this, and it’ll deglaze all this nice
stuff on the bottom of the pan. So at this point,
once the mushrooms have begun to sweat a little
bit, you can add some salt, and then they’ll
start to really sweat. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: No. If you don’t eat
onions, leave them out. It’ll still be really
good, because mushrooms have so much flavor. AUDIENCE: All right. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
Everything is adaptable. Now, normally, these
would be ready, and I’d have squeezed them dry. And it’s really very important
that you line your strainer with cheesecloth,
because sometimes they have sand in them. And then you rinse
them and chop them, and they would go into this. But in the interest of time– And the other thing is, if you
want the gravy to be really thick, you can add
a little flour, but it’s not
absolutely necessary. If you’re gluten-free,
you don’t have to. But that will thicken
the gravy as it cooks. AUDIENCE: If you’re looking
to make it dairy-free instead of adding milk in
any of the recipes, do you recommend soy
milk or almond milk? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
Well, for the frittata, there’s so little
milk, you don’t really have to add it at all. So wine and mushrooms
love each other. They’re just great. And I forgot to add the
thyme and the rosemary, which I should have
added with the mushrooms, but it doesn’t matter. AUDIENCE: Do you have a way of
judging if all the alcohol has evaporated [INAUDIBLE]? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: If you
see no liquid, then it has. With wine, you’re
going to cook it all off before
you add the stuff. It’s really very simple. You know, all of
these are ingredients you can find in the supermarket. I mean, I would prefer
to get my greens always in the farmer’s market, because
they’re just so lush and fresh, and I think the
prices are better. A lot of people say it’s
more expensive to shop in the farmer’s market,
but I find actually that’s not so much the case. So what you’re
waiting for here is for the wine and the
juice from the mushrooms to cook down and really
glaze the mushrooms. AUDIENCE: Do you usually use
cooking wine or sparkling wine? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
No, I would use regular. Don’t use your most
expensive bottle. And with this dish,
like this ragout, I used– what did I use– I
think I used rose– a dry rose. You can use white, red, or rose. Any of them work and are
friendly with mushrooms. And so at this point,
just add to your broth and just let that cook down. And it’ll take about
10 minutes, maybe 15, if you’re doing a double
batch, a little longer. But I think I did this. My column is five recipes
every week and always a theme. And one week, I just made
the ragout as one thing and just did four other recipes. Because I put it in a tart. I think I made a taco,
probably a frittata, and maybe a risotto. If you were making a
risotto, at this point you could start adding
the rice and just cook the rice with
the ragout and it would be absolutely delicious. So at this point, if you
can, turn the heat down. Well, let’s see if I can. And let that just simmer slowly. So how is our frittata? MALE SPEAKER: It’s ready
for the blowtorch test. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Oh, great. So do we have something to– OK. Why don’t you do it, chef? MALE SPEAKER: There’s no way. I’ll burn the place down. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
So I’m just going to pretend this is a creme
brulee and cook the top. Because it’s just a
little layer of egg that you’re trying to cook. And in the broiler, as these
did, it will brown and puff, and then it will
kind of go back down. See how that egg is. It’s working. AUDIENCE: Why do you blowtorch
it and not just flip it? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Because
I find it really hard to flip a great big
omelet like this. But, you know, if you can. And then, let it cool for
a little bit in the pan, and it’ll just slide out. These are great at
room temperature. You can serve them hot. I would let it sit for a few
minutes before cutting it, because it will cut
a little more neatly. But there you go. So shall we serve up
some of this food? MALE SPEAKER: We should. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: I’m
going to put a little bit more of this in here. MALE SPEAKER:
Actually, if you guys want to come help yourself. We’ve got samples of the big
bowl with the grains around it, the quiche on the end,
and some [INAUDIBLE]. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
And I’m just going to keep
talking while you– MALE SPEAKER:
[? Yeah, it smells good. ?] MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Yeah. Well, I’m going to
keep talking about just the idea of cooking
regularly and eating well, which I’m trying to make it
easier for you all to do. Just with the idea of
building blocks and templates, I think you can decide
on the things you like. AUDIENCE: Can you talk a
little about proteins you used? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Yeah, OK. So that one is a fairly
low-protein dish. But the grains are
fairly high in protein. I do think that we
get a lot of protein through the day with the
different things that we eat. And I’m not a person
who feels like you have to have a big hunk of
protein in each meal for it to be a meal, as long as there’s
satisfying and filling food. So in this case, the
higher-protein grain would be the
quinoa, because that is a very high-protein grain. And then, you’re complementing
it with a little bit of cheese. The frittatas are
really high in protein, because egg is like
a perfect protein. I think of eggs as a
really perfect food. It’s nice. AUDIENCE: I don’t disagree. But eggs have cholesterol. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Well,
actually dietary cholesterol is not what makes you
have high cholesterol. So the whole egg thing has
been pretty well disproved by nutritional science. So that’s a really nice thing. That’s a nice thing,
because eggs are great. And whole-egg omelets
are so much better than egg-white omelets. Yeah, serum
cholesterol apparently doesn’t come from
dietary cholesterol. Do you all cook? Who cooks? Yeah? Good. A little bit? Well, I always
say, you only have to have a few things you
like to cook to eat well and to cook for yourselves
and your family and whatnot. AUDIENCE: Can I ask a
somewhat unrelated question? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Pardon me? AUDIENCE: Can I ask a
somewhat unrelated question? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Sure. AUDIENCE: What is your favorite
method for cooking beets? Do you [INAUDIBLE]? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Beets? In fact, they’re one of
the foundation building block recipes in the book. I roast them. And the way I do that
is I scrub the beet. I don’t peel it. I cut off the greens. Always get your beets
with the greens attached, because that’s like a two-for. You have the greens to use in
something like the frittata. And then, I cut the greens
off, leaving about a quarter inch of stem, just so the
beets don’t bleed that much. And then, I put them in a
baking dish with about a quarter to a half inch of
water in the dish. And that way, they kind of steam
a little bit while they roast. And then cover the dish tightly. I roast them at 425. And depending on the
size, the small beets take about a half hour,
medium 40, 45 minutes, and large 50 to 60. And then, ideally, I would
take them out of the oven and just let them sit with the
lid still on the baking dish. And then I keep them,
and I don’t peel them. And I find they keep
better if I don’t peel them until I’m ready to use them. Or if I do, I’ll toss them
with a little vinaigrette and just have them
in the fridge. But that’s just a great
thing to have on hand. And people who think
they don’t like beets, when they’ve had them
roasted, changed their minds. And if you like spicy,
you can always add chiles. This base ragout, sometimes I’ll
add some chipotle chiles to it and use it for tacos or
enchiladas, Mexican food, or even as a side dish. They really lend
themselves to that. Questions, more questions? How are we for time? We’re good. 10 more minutes. And as far as different
greens to use, chard, and– I guess
we had mustard greens, did you say– mustard
greens are good, kale. Spinach is good, but
it really cooks down. So you get a lot more
bang for your buck if you use something like chard. You know, it’s very convenient
to use the bagged spinach. But a lot of that is like
these stringy little stems, so I really prefer to find
bunched spinach in the market. And in the big bowl that has
these mushrooms in the book, I think it calls for spinach. But chard will also
work, any green really. And the other important thing
about cooking, and especially cooking vegetarian food,
is to taste your food and to season it. I am somebody who thinks salt is
really important, and I use it. I mean, I use other
seasonings, too, but I think it brings
everything into balance. So don’t be afraid of salt,
unless your doctor tells you you can’t have it. I think I got enough here. MALE SPEAKER: [? Ah, salt. ?] MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
So this is good to go. If I want the liquid
thicker, I would have just used a little
more flour in there. Or you can just reduce it. You can just cook it down more. AUDIENCE: What is [? the ?]
broth that you’re using? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
OK, so the broth is the– I soak the
dried mushrooms. And it’s an infusion. It’s really a porcini broth. You can smell how
aromatic it is. And that makes a really great
vegetarian soup base generally. I mean, if a recipe
calls for beef broth, and you want to use
something that isn’t meat, I would suggest a
mushroom broth always. AUDIENCE: How long do
you typically [INAUDIBLE] with that? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: 30 minutes. Even 20, you get the broth. And I find the most aromatic
is when you use porcinis. You can get these big
containers at Surfas. And for a recipe
like this– I mean, for this particular recipe–
I used about an ounce, which is about a cup of
dried mushrooms. AUDIENCE: I think that
you said this already, but the way to
avoid [INAUDIBLE]? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
OK, so first of all, have the heat really high when
you add them so they sear, because then they’ll get a
lot of flavor right away. And then, let them sweat
before you add salt. Like I did a double batch
of this the other day, and there was a lot of liquid. So then, just cook it longer. Turn up the heat, cook
it down, because it’s hard to overcook the mushrooms. But sear it first, and add the
salt after some of the water’s already come out
of the mushrooms. And then, always, if you want
to add a little flour to it, too, that’ll thicken it. AUDIENCE: You had mentioned
the blanching the veggies right when you buy them. Can you go over that again? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Yes, OK. So you get home from the market. You’ve got your
bunch of chard, which is going to wilt like this. Take it off the stems. Wash it. Bring a pot of water to a boil. You can also steam it. And then, salt the water. Dunk it in the water
until the leaves are soft. Take it out. And then squeeze
out all the water, and just put it in
the refrigerator. And I find that if
you put it in a bowl and cover the bowl with a
plate, rather than put it in a plastic bag, it keeps
better in the fridge. It will give it more time. You can also freeze it. And then, you would
want to really wrap it airtight in
plastic– double-wrap it– and then put
it in a freezer bag. But this is just a great way
to save time during the week. Because if your greens
are already ready, you could just do
so much with them, even less complicated
than these. I was working really hard
a couple of weeks ago, and I had been cooking
all day for a demo. I got home. I was hungry. I had some greens in the fridge. I took two pieces of bread
and made a really great toasted cheese sandwich
in the toaster oven, with greens and Gruyere cheese. It was really good. So I always recommend
having things prepped ahead if you can. Is that my get off the stage? Yeah? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]? MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
Yeah, there is. And it’s really a
delicious thing. If you really love
white rice, have that. But then, cook up some quinoa. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]
the quinoa. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN: Yeah, sure. That one doesn’t have the
actual dried mushrooms in it like this one does. AUDIENCE: It smells really good. MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN:
Yeah, it smells good. Then, cook up some
whole grains that may have a little more going
for them nutritionally. And then, mix the two. And then, you know, you kind
of get a really nice variation in textures. One of the things
I’ve got in the book is in the risotto chapter. You can’t really make
an actual risotto that’s creamy with anything
other than arborio rice, because the other grains
don’t have the starch that gets into the liquid that gives
the texture that you want. So I’ll use, like, 2/3
of a cup of arborio rice and make a risotto
that’s really creamy. But then, I’ll stir in cooked
quinoa or another really hardy grain into that. So then you’ve got a lot of
texture and nutrients going. So that’s one way. Then grains that are rice-like? Hm, maybe barley is. But nothing’s quite like that. And there’s nothing
wrong with that. But if you want to introduce
more of the nutritious grains, then I would just
mix some together. And it’s pretty, and it really
is appetizing to do that. And one thing you can do is you
could– Let’s say you cooked up this much quinoa, and you wanted
to just have some of it some of the time. So what I do is I put it
in a freezer bag flat. And then, when I want some,
I just break off a corner, thaw it the microwave,
throw it into a salad. Grains are really
great in salads. So there’s all kinds
of ways to incorporate this kind of eating
into your life without feeling like you
have to relearn everything, just by cooking some of
this food and keeping it and adding it to things. So thank you for coming. I am here to sign books,
as well, if you’d like. [APPLAUSE]