Mark Bittman is the food writer for the New York Times. His most recent book is Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes. He has written numerous cookbooks including How to Cook Everything.
Fennel and Celery Salad
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, some fronds reserved
3 celery ribs, trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, more to taste
Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.
Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discarding outer layer if it is exceedingly tough. Use a mandoline to slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin.
Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped fennel fronds if you like.
Easy Whole Grain Flatbread
1 cup whole wheat flour or cornmeal, or chickpea flour (also called besan; sold in Middle Eastern, Indian, and health food stores)
1 tsp salt
4 Tablespoons olive oil (see the headnote)
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (optional)
1. Put the flour into a bowl; add salt; then slowly add 1 1/2 cups water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Cover with a towel, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. The batter should be about the consistency of thin pancake batter.
2. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 450°F. Put the oil in a 12-inch rimmed pizza pan or skillet (along with the onion and rosemary if you’re using them) and put in the heated oven. Wait a couple of minutes for the oil to get hot, but not smoking; the oil is ready when you just start to smell it. Carefully remove the pan (give the onions a stir); then pour in the batter, and return the skillet to the oven. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the flatbread is well browned, firm, and crisp around the edges. (It will release easily from the pan when it’s done.) Let it rest for a couple minutes before cutting it into wedges or squares.