I Have a Crush on Mark Bittman.

July 2, 2008

There. I said it. He may not be the sexiest guy around, but he sure got me all hot and bothered today. Do you know who he is? He's a New York Times food writer and cookbook author -- "The Minimalist." And he has this knack for making very, very simple food (usually less than five ingredients and just a few minutes of work) elegant and sophisticated. Like NOT Rachael Ray (sorry, R.R., you are a technician, M.B. is an artist). Yet, he is still a guy's guy. B, who is not a big cook and definitely not a cookbook reader, really likes Bittman too.

Why this post today? Well, I always look forward to his column on Wednesdays in the NYT, but today he had his most brilliant piece yet (that I've read, anyway). Get this (all you non-cooks are like, yawn, or else we already lost you at the Tzatziki post): "101 20-Minute Dishes For Inspired Picnics." I love a picnic almost as much as (OK, more) than I love Mark Bittman. And he has given us 101 really, really good ideas for picnic dishes (have I mentioned I read a lot of recipes around here?). Now, notice I did not call these recipes, because they really are just ideas with basic guidelines....no measurements or precise instructions. And I just love his sarcastic tone:
"54. Make a cheese ball: Mash together equal parts good grated Cheddar, crumbled blue and cream cheese, maybe thinned with a little sour cream. Shape into a ball and roll in fresh chopped herbs and/or hazelnuts. Take Triscuits. You think people won’t eat this?", and
"91. Cook fusilli or other cut pasta; rinse in cool water, but don’t bother to chill. Combine with chopped seeded tomatoes, cubed fresh mozzarella, chopped basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. (Good with olives, too.) Do not call this pasta salad, because pasta salad is no good, and this is."
I am so excited to plan some picnics this summer. Beginning with one in our yard. Tomorrow. More on that later.


  1. I am not familiar with him but he sounds really amazing. I've been meaning to subscribe to the NYT for awhile now... either way I will seek out this list. Thanks for the introduction!

  2. Me again. I just read through his suggestions. I love that he doesn't give exact measurements. It is right up my alley to just figure it out for myself. Really, really cool.

  3. I don't know about his Wednesday pieces but I will look for them now. I need to get my hands onthat list. I like him already! Thanks for sharing your crush!

    I have an artist crush too. You know who...

  4. Bittman's How To Cook Everything is our bible!


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