Food Matters

Yesterday, Nicole posted about three great benefits taking place this weekend. Not to be outdone (yes, she’s the do-gooder of the group!), I wanted to make you aware of an awesome fundraiser for the Rhode Island Food Bank that’s coming up on May 5th (I’m the procrastinator of the group, and I know this will sell out). The benefit, called “Food Matters,” features Mark Bittman, award-winning food writer (Cook’s, The New York Times), cookbook author (How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian) and food advocate — his latest book, Food Matters, tackles the connection between eating too much meat, obesity and global warming. Bittman’s talk will touch on these important issues.

The event will take place at the Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Museum and kicks off with a patron reception at 5:30. There will be a book signing and food — some of Bittman’s greatest hits — prepared by Pinelli’s Café at Night. Click here to purchase tix.

Speaking of food, here’s one of Mark Bittman’s favorite recipes. I chose the fennel and celery salad because I’ve seen enough recipes for Irish soda bread and corned beef in the past week to last a leprechaun’s lifetime. It’s trademark Bittman: straightforward and delicious. And, for those St. Paddy’s Day diehards out there, it’s green.

Fennel and Celery Salad

2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, some fronds reserved
3 celery ribs, trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discarding outer layer if it is exceedingly tough. Use a mandoline to slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin.

Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped fennel fronds if you like. Serves 4 to 6.