Acclaimed Chef David Tanis On The Simplicity Of 'Market Cooking'

Monday, October 30, 2017
By Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh
Credit: Alice Gao, Courtesy of Kinfolk
Above: Chef David Tanis at his home in an undated photo.

With all the farmers markets around San Diego, we've come closer than ever before to the French concept of au marché: buying the freshest ingredients possible for everyday meals.

But if you've ever wound up throwing out some of that fresh produce after you realized you didn't know what to do with it, there's a new cookbook made just for you.

Chef David Tanis, former head chef of the famed Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley and writer of the New York Times "City Kitchen" column, has a new cookbook called "Market Cooking" that includes more than 200 recipes based on the freshest, most flavorful ingredients.

Tanis will be in San Diego for two events this week. He joins Midday Edition Monday to discuss how home cooks can make meals out of the simplest ingredients.

Recipe: Seared Cauliflower with Anchovy, Lemon, and Capers

It seemed for a while that every fine-dining restaurant in New York City was offering a thick “cauliflower steak” as a playful, rather high-priced vegetarian main course. Crisp, caramelized, and juicy, it is awfully good. But it’s more practical for a home cook to achieve the same delightful effect with smaller slices.

To make the sauce, heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a small saucepan. Add 3 or 4 chopped anchovy fillets and cook slowly over medium heat until the anchovies have dissolved. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper and 2 or more minced garlic cloves.

Turn off the heat and stir in some grated lemon zest and chopped capers. Set aside. (The sauce is also good with boiled or steamed cauliflower florets.)

Halve and core a cauliflower and cut into small 1/2-inch thick slices. (Save the little crumbly bits for another time.) Put two large cast-iron skillets over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil per pan. Slip the slices carefully in the pans in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and let them brown on the first side, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn them over and cook for about 2 minutes more, until tender but still firm. Don’t crowd the slices or they won’t crisp well. Transfer to a platter, spoon the anchovy sauce over the cauliflower, and sprinkle with roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley. Serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Excerpted from David Tanis Market Cooking by David Tanis (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017.

When: Sunday 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Where: Chino Farm

Free and open to the public

When: November 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center

Tickets: $15-$20