The Ingredients

It's About Food

David Schiller

David Schiller
January 14
Author of upcoming book The Ingredients, founder Sharing the Table food charity, cook, food-lover, Zen enthusiast and author of The Little Zen Companion.


Yes, the local strawberries are in!

Like the very first peas or raspberries you picked yourself, you don’t want to mess with them much. Just give a quick rinse and eat right out of the container. Then once you’re happily reacquainted with the flavor of berries that didn’t ar… Read full post »

MAY 25, 2012 8:40AM

Burying the Lede

We hosted our twelfth Sharing the Table in the middle of May. It was a vegetarian meal—for twelve, in a nice bit of symmetry. These dinners, especially the vegetarian ones, always test our skills as menu planners. It’s so much easier to construct a meal around a piece of meat or… Read full post »

APRIL 30, 2012 7:08AM

Sharing the Table XI

Sharing the Table XIIn the midst of a demanding stretch at work, when it was impossible to think about anything Ingredients, we hosted our latest Sharing the Table. It was good to get back into thinking about food as something other than what’s easy and quick for dinner tonight.

The whole world changed sinc… Read full post »

MARCH 19, 2012 11:30AM



MARCH 11, 2012 10:40AM

Scrape. Scrub. Rinse. Repeat.

Recently we were visiting friends, a family of four, and Paula, the mom, cooked a delicious dinner of falling-off-the-bone ribs, a French potato salad she was trying for the first time, even a key lime pie. We’d been out sightseeing all day and ate like trenchermen, and afterward everyone… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 13, 2012 10:08PM

Sharing the Table IX


So, we went around the calendar. We hosted our first Sharing the Table last March, and this past Saturday, our ninth. That’s twelve months, with no dinners over the typically busy summer.

What did we learn? People really like a dinner party! Guests enter awkwardly, and leave best… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 8, 2012 10:08PM


My father was an onion eater. Raw onions on sandwiches, on hamburgers, on salads. Diced and piled on the side with a plate of franks and beans. On dark bread, with chicken livers. Folded into a peculiar lunch dish he made for himself, sour cream and vegetables, which was what… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 29, 2012 10:28AM

Second Chance Greens

The other night I took my oldest son to Momofuku. He’d been to Momofuku Ssam before, but not the original noodle bar. I couldn’t wait for him to try the ramen. See, I said, watching with a particular kind of pleasure as he tasted the food, as the look on… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 11, 2012 7:09AM

Radicchios Are Red

RadicchioO beautiful, radicchio…To the tune of “America, the Beautiful.†Literally, singing the praises. There’s also an Italian verse, a little paean—19th century marketing jingle?— quoted and translated by Waverly Root:

If you keep it, that is nice;

Eat it, and it’s Paradise:

The ra

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 18, 2011 7:30PM

The Lovely Bones


We had Thanksgiving this year with friends, a lovely shared meal, and as we were packing up to leave I asked our host if he had any plans for the turkey carcass. It was a big one, originally an eighteen-pounder, most of the meat already carved off, and I had… Read full post »

DECEMBER 13, 2011 11:34PM

Sharing the Table

Sharing the Table VII

We started Sharing the Table—dinner parties for charity—at the end of last winter as a way to explore ingredients, cook for old and new friends, and do it all for a good cause: everyone who comes makes a donation to a food charity. This past weekend saw the seventh and… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 20, 2011 9:29PM

The First Thanksgiving

Author and mother in a photo booth, in the mid 1950s.

Cervantes famously said: “Hunger is the best sauce.†So often what we bring to a meal, emotionally, physically, how we respond to the surroundings, is more important than what’s on the plate, as anyone who’s ever… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 16, 2011 7:43AM


It’s such a treat to find fruit growing in the wild. Blueberries on the banks of a pond in the Berkshires. Raspberries and blackberries, glowing like jewels in the bramble. And grapes, especially grapes, with their dangling clusters of purple and green-gold fruit. It’s a primal pleasure, the frui… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 6, 2011 11:13PM

Zen Egg

Frederick Franck was a Dutch artist and author who wrote dozens of books about drawing, seeing, Zen, all subjects that interest me. He was also a dental surgeon who worked for a time with Albert Schweitzer in Africa; he was ever guided, like Schweitzer, by a deep reverence for life.… Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2011 9:13PM

Love’s Apple Lost


Not every food we eat gets “improved.†The quince, available in the market for a few brief weeks in October, draws a line directly back to the moment Paris offered the golden apple of the Hesperides to Aphrodite, sealing Troy’s fate; this golden apple was, in all likelihood, a quince.… Read full post »

OCTOBER 4, 2011 10:14PM

Friday Night Cockles

Cockles —the makings of dinner.I still remember a mystifying conversation with a friend, a boy maybe eight or nine and one of the middle children of a large Catholic family, about his not being allowed to eat a hot dog on a Friday, and what would happen to him if he did. And remember equally… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 2:45PM

Lima Being

Take a good look:

Lima Bean

Not too scary, right? Kind of cute even. And packed with molybdenum! Who knew?

Or maybe you still secretly believe that lima beans are a crime against childhood, and reflexively want to brush them off your plate into the waiting napkin on your lap. If so, there’s… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 10:53PM

A Tomato It’s Not


Despite its nickname, Mexican green tomato or Mexican husk tomato, and—squint—vague physical resemblance, once shorn of it paper covering, the tomatillo is not really a tomato, nor the Spanglish name for one. It is a distant relative, a member of the large nightshade family, but its first… Read full post »

AUGUST 22, 2011 10:31PM

Eat Fresh, Eat Local


It felt like a tipping point of local food in Truro this summer. The Outer Cape fish and shellfish have always been outstanding—the striped bass, Wellfleet oysters, steamers and blues. But this year it seemed that everyone with a spare patch and the energy to work it decided to grow… Read full post »

JULY 26, 2011 8:27PM

A Pair of Pigweeds


Pigweed. A nickname for lots of common plants. And a pejorative, for potherbs fit only for pigs. You know, not for proper humans, unless you’re that poor.

Lamb's Quarters

But that’s so old school. Championed by Euell Gibbons, Wildman Steve Brill, and other foragers, some pigweeds have com… Read full post »

JULY 16, 2011 2:07PM

Lemony Sorrel


This ancient Eurasian relative of buckwheat and rhubarb grows up looking like spinach—with green arrow-shaped leaves and juicy stems—but is used primarily as a flavoring; though not, in this country, a very popular one. When fresh and tender, sorrel is deliciously sour, packing a green, l… Read full post »

JULY 6, 2011 8:00AM



Maybe you’ve seen it at the market. Or in the bins in the produce section, if you go to well-stocked supermarkets. Or definitely in the CSA share, if you belong. And chances are you’ve thought: What the hell is that? Trimmed of its leaves, kohlrabi looks like Sputnik or some… Read full post »

JUNE 20, 2011 7:52AM

10 Things to Know About Avocados

Hass Avocado

1. The name comes from the Nuahatl word ahuacatl, which means “testicle,” for how the fruit, which usually grows in pairs, hangs from the tree

2. George Washington is the first English-speaker to make note of the “agovago pairs,” during a trip to Barbados

3. Crafty CalRead full post »

JUNE 20, 2011 7:48AM

Easiest Tastiest Guacamole


Perfect Guac

This makes about 2 cups and really features the avocado flavor: Take 4 ripe avocados, cut in half lengthwise, remove pit with knife, then, using a spoon, scrape out flesh into a bowl. Mash to desired consistency with back of the spoon, fork, or pestle, and season with… Read full post »

JUNE 7, 2011 6:05PM

Wile E. Chayote


When our oldest was two, discovering a new life in Brooklyn with a new babysitter, and using the bizarre and sadly all-but-forgotten expressions unique to every toddler in the first great bloom of language, he spoke of a new favorite food: christophene. Or christophine. Or something like itâ… Read full post »