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Our Five-Star Kale Salad to Zhuzh Up However You Please

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Good morning. I took a few days off and went down to Florida to visit family. We ate like royals. There was bo ssam for Christmas Eve and ham for dinner the next day. One night led to barbecue shrimp straight from the boat, another to grouper fish tacos from a similar vessel.

There was lunchtime banh mi from the new Pho 80 in Naples, then exceptional doubles from Dru’s West-Indian Roti Shop in Fort Myers. Also a couple of subs from Publix (pretty good) and plenty of ice cream from Royal Scoop (even better). And more ham — that ham’ll be going for a month, I bet — and a pile of leftover bo ssam shredded into quesadillas before the airport and home.

Time for salad! There’s none better than Julia Moskin’s snappy lemon-garlic kale salad (above). It’s simple as kindergarten math: The greens are dressed in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt, then tossed with sliced almonds and a shower of Parmesan. I tend to gild the lily, of course, adding dried cranberries and plump raisins, butter-toasted croutons, and some cubes of Port Salut cheese. Make it your own, and make it this weekend.


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I’ll follow it up with more cooking on Saturday. I like the idea of Genevieve Ko’s new recipe for energy bars, dense with nuts and dried fruit and just a bit of batter to hold everything together. That could be lunch.

And I love the idea of Connie Chung’s recipe for ginger-scallion steamed fish for dinner. Chung uses salmon, but if there’s tautog at the market I’m going to use that instead. You can follow her lead, or use any firm-fleshed fish that appeals.

Overnight oats for breakfast on Sunday? Yes, please. Followed by a pepperoncini tuna salad sandwich for lunch and what Tamar Adler calls health soup for dinner, with rice noodles stirred into the broth at the end. (The recipe yields a lot of soup. It freezes excellently, though, which will pay dividends at some point this winter.)

Thousands and thousands more recipes are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking, including this excellent one from Samantha Seneviratne for banana pancakes. You do, yes, need a subscription to read them. Subscriptions make this whole endeavor possible. So, please, if you haven’t done so already, I hope that you will consider subscribing today. Thanks.

If you find yourself in a standoff with our technology, please reach out for help. We’re standing by at [email protected]. Someone will get back to you. Or if you’d like to complain, say hello or offer the team a compliment, you can write to me: [email protected]. I cannot respond to every letter. But I read every one I get.

Now, it’s nothing to do with recipes or eating, but I was down a rabbit hole and came across an amazing essay about Lenny Bruce, written by Albert Goldman for The New York Times in 1971. Read that.

Also: Lisa Miller in New York Magazine, on the heartbreaking life and death of Jordan Neely.

One more: my colleague Alexis Soloski’s bracing new novel, “Here in the Dark,” about a young theater critic (who is nothing like Alexis!) caught up in a dangerous psychological game.

Finally, there was skiing on the television the other day, a triple-digit channel playing a repeat of Mikaela Shiffrin dominating a slalom race in Killington, Vt., back in November. A reaction shot panned over the mountainside crowd and focused on a sign held up by one of the fans. It was Shiffrin’s mantra, handed down by her father, Jeff, who died in 2020. “Be nice,” the sign read. “Think first. Have fun.”

I don’t generally fool with resolutions, but I like the idea of that one. Won’t you give it a try? And I’ll see you on Sunday.

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