Slightly sweet, a tad tangy, and extraordinarily flavorful, the tomato is a fruit disguised as a vegetable – with a color, shape and vitality that make it one of the most gorgeous fruits to look at.

But the tomato also happens to be extremely versatile and easy to cook with.

Whether sliced and tossed in a salad, tucked in a sandwich, or slowly simmered into a deep sauce, tomatoes are without a doubt just about everybody’s favorite “vegetable.”

In the May/June issue of Rockland Magazine, I feature three simple, classic recipes with heirloom tomatoes that you’ll want to make all season long:

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It’s always a delight to write a feature and create recipes for Rockland Magazine.

And this issue is all about one of my favorite foods: Salads!

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Are you planning a Hanukkah party this year?

Take a look at my feature for the 2010 holiday issue of Rockland Magazine. In it, I share my thinking on how to blend a little tradition with a lot of glamour and make this year’s Festival of Lights your brightest one yet.

My mission is always to apply a little creativity to local, seasonal ingredients. This being a Hanukkah party, potato latkes are certainly on the menu – but with a gourmet twist.

And, thinking seasonally of course, I created two other latkes as well: butternut squash-leek latkes with cumin for an exotic flair; and beet-scallion latkes with a cayenne-spiked crème fraîche.

No holiday party is complete without some bubbly – after all, what drink says celebration more than sparkling wine? For this party I’m serving two spectacular sparklers: The Blanc de Blancs from Lieb Family Cellars on the North Fork of Long Island; and the Brut Rosé from Graham Beck Winery in South Africa.

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I was thrilled to write this feature for the September issue of Vegetarian Times.

After all, for centuries, spices were the cornerstone of trade, culture and civilization. It only takes a whiff of fragrant cardamom or a taste of pungent cumin to understand why.

Spices are the most intensely flavorful foods on this Earth. Used properly and judiciously, they can turn any dish into a powerful taste sensation.

To read about how to roast and grind your own spices, to get the recipes, and for great tips on finding the right mortars and spice grinders, grab a copy of the September issue at newsstands or click on A Finer Grind: The five best spices to roast whole and crush to order.

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Do you get turned off when you see recipes calling for slicing, dicing and mincing? What about one that calls for a chiffonade?

If the answer is yes, then the feature “Chop, Chop”, which Vegetarian Times asked me to write for their April 2010 issue, will put your mind at ease, and offer some good practical tips to boot!

And if the answer is no, you might still want to take a peek, just to bone up on your knife skills…

The article features four essential cutting techniques, which every serious cook should master; four great recipes to go with them…; and, as if that weren’t enough, a video too.

Take a look at the full feature by getting your own copy of Vegetarian Times’ April 2010 issue (on newsstands now!), or click on Chop Chop! Learn how to slice, dice, mince, and chiffonade like a pro, to view the recipes.

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