Food columnist returns to Vail Saturday
“Everything but the turkey.” That’s what Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times food columnist and author of “The Very Best Recipes for Health,” will be whipping up at Terra Bistro in Vail on Saturday. Shulman is back in town for Vail Restaurant Month. “The class is on healthy side dishes for Thanksgiving,” she said. “There’s starters, side dishes and a dessert. I’m doing a sweet potato apple puree; a very light mushroom soup that’s a clear soup; a kale and mashed potatoes dish and a whole grain salad.”Pears, gently poached in Beaujolais, will serve as dessert, instead of the usual calorie-laden pumpkin and pecan pies.It’s no coincidence that Shulman’s event is taking place at Terra Bistro. The two are a fitting match, according to Ilene Rapkin, who co-founded and co-produced Vail Restaurant Month with Greg Hittelman.”Martha’s cooking demo last year was so successful that we wanted even more engagement for our attendees this year,” said Rapkin, a former associate publisher of Food & Wine and Bon Apptit. “If you’re interested in gourmet nutritious fine dining, you cannot miss Martha’s cooking class at Terra Bistro this Saturday night.” Terra Bistro’s head chef Kevin Nelson is known for his healthy approach to gourmet food, something Shulman strives for herself. “His food complements the sort of cooking I do. It’s a perfect match up,” Shulman said.
Shulman has been writing the Recipes for Health column for the New York Times health section since 2008 and has written many books.”The editor called me out of the blue and said he wanted to start a recipe data base on the health page,” she remembered. “I jumped at the chance to create something with a real voice.”My whole attitude is let’s make it fun and easy, no preaching, just give my readers something they can actually work with,” she continued.Shulman works two weeks ahead and the day of this interview, she was working on a column that’s timely considering most kids are back in school. “I’m working on some hearty lunchbox snacks for growing boys who won’t eat the sandwiches but will eat the sweets,” she said. “I want to do a few scones and I’m working on some granola bar type things.”
During the early part of her weeks, Shulman is in the kitchen “testing recipes like crazy.” She bounces back and forth between her stove and her computer, she said. “I do a lot of research for each column. Yesterday I was researching recipes, writing them and starting to test.”While the column isn’t strictly vegetarian, many of the recipes are sans meat. “Since it’s so produce driven, (the recipes) tend to be vegetarian,” she said. “I think that’s what people want when they go to that page. Every once in awhile I’ll do something with chicken, and I work with fish.”With four decades of cooking under her belt, Shulman is still learning. Recently she wrote a column about okra, her first time tackling the Southern staple.”For four years I’d been avoiding this ingredient, but so many people get it in their CSA box. So I did research and found it’s a popular ingredient in North Africa, India and Greece.”Shulman did what some people consider impossible.”I came up with great recipes that aren’t slimy,” she said. In Greece and North Africa, before people cook with the vegetable, they salt it and toss it with vinegar, she said. “It brings out lots of slime and they rinse it,” Shulman said. “And they don’t cut into it -just cut off the ends. It wasn’t slimy, it was great. I can definitely say that is part of my repertoire now, and it wasn’t until just a few weeks ago.”High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or email@example.com.