18 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes to Help Get Dinner on the Table

18 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes to Help Get Dinner on the Table

Being gluten-free, dairy-free, or both shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a delicious and comforting meal. While intolerances to those ingredients may leave you thinking there aren’t many recipes designed for you—or at least not many that are thoughtfully composed and tested—we have plenty of options to help you get dinner on the table. From curries and stews to rice dishes and even gluten-free pasta, these recipes aim to please, no matter your preferences or restrictions.

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Dirty Martini Dressing, a Table-Styling Showdown & the Great Dryer Ball Mystery of 2023

Dirty Martini Dressing, a Table-Styling Showdown & the Great Dryer Ball Mystery of 2023

It’s March in New York City, which means we dream of asparagus and t-shirt weather—as we’re getting lashed with cold, windy rains. But it’s the greatest city in the world, folks. Yep, yep it is.

I’m heading out soon for spring break with my family (skiing and college tours!) so let me get to the point, aka hit my deadline real quick:

Wondering what to make this weekend?

My co-founder Merrill and I always wanted to do a book called Veg & Dessert. In that spirit, here’s my weekend menu:

Fellow beer drinkers, a source you should know about:

TapRM: They offer an ever-changing selection of craft beers, often from some of the breweries I love most, like Grimm, Talea, and Singlecut Beersmiths. All you IPA-heads out there will relish the breadth of their hoppy options.

A table-styling throwdown, Food52-style:

Kayla, one of our Shop buyers, and Dominique from team social went head to head to create stylish spring table settings in just 30 seconds. Find out if you’re Team Blush or Team Green.

A new feature on our Shop pages:

You can upload photos of your Food52 products and show us how they live in your home. We’ve wanted this feature for, oh, five years. It’s finally here!

What I recently ordered from our Shop:

  • Dryer Balls: I’ve had this set for years but somehow only two dryer balls remain. Unlike a sock, which lies flat and can easily be lost, I would like to know how four grapefruit-sized wool balls have evaded our searches. #thegreatdryerballmystery
  • Margrethe Nested Tower Mini Prep Bowls: This is my second set. I broke one, which wasn’t easy to do, but if you’re clumsy enough, it happens. And I don’t like having incomplete sets, so now I have a LOT of prep bowls.
  • Peanut Butter Variety Pack: Sent to a friend’s daughter at college, because great peanut butter on crackers is an essential part of the academic diet.
  • HA KO Paper Incense & Dish: I told you I was into incense!

A good read, a good recipe:

Butter Week is past (sigh), but this unusual-facts-about-butter story lives on! And so does this Salted Butter Brioche from Erin McDowell.

Two questions for you:

  1. How are you entertaining friends and family these days? Big groups? Small? Are you planning ahead or winging it? How casual? How styled?
  2. For our Absolute Best Test column, Ella Quittner tests out a slew of techniques for making a recipe—what foods would you like her to test?

Email me your answers at [email protected], and if you have topics you’d like to hear more about from me, drop me a line!

Yours in slope shredding,

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I’ve written several books, including “Cooking for Mr. Latte” and “The Essential New York Times Cookbook.” I played myself in “Julie & Julia” — hope you didn’t blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

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How to Make French Press Coffee, According to Baristas

How to Make French Press Coffee, According to Baristas

The way you make your coffee is a highly personal choice. Some people swear by their Chemex pour-overs, while others rarely stray from their at-home espresso machines. Many favor a classic drip, and when the weather gets hot, you can’t go wrong with a batch of cold brew. One of the most beloved of these methods is, of course, the French press.

The first iterations of the French press—sans seal—were invented in 1852, but a version similar to the one we use today was patented in the United States in 1929 by Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta. In the near-century since, it’s become one of the most consistent and reliable methods for brewing coffee at home.

However, for someone who hasn’t used a French press before, these little contraptions can appear confusing. Where does the coffee go? How long should it steep before pressing? Does it matter what kind of coffee beans are used, or how finely they’re ground?

Whether you’re new to this style of coffee or just in need of a quick refresh, we’ve put together this guide to making the most delicious coffee with your French press. Read on for our best tips and tricks.

Why use a French press?

First off, it’s important to understand the specific benefits a French press offers. “French press is a very easy minimal effort method to brewing at home,” says Food52 contributor César Pérez, who has over 15 years of experience in the coffee industry at places like Blue Bottle and Stumptown.

“I think the main benefits are the amount of coffee you can make at once and how easy it is to do,” echoed barista Cody Westbrook, a former barista at La Colombe and Devoción. “Most methods take a bit more setup and management while only making either a single cup of good coffee or an ever bigger pot of okay coffee. [The] French press is a good middle ground.”

For Tallulah Schwartz, a former barista based in New York, the best part of using a French press is its reliability, which allows her to experiment with coffees of different origins and roasting styles. “I find that I get to exercise a lot of control over flavor and intensity, and [I] can also more acutely taste the distinct qualities of the coffee I’m drinking,” she says.

How the French Press Works

In order to make a perfect cup of coffee in a French press, it’s important to understand how the method works. A cylindrical pot which features a plunger and filter, the French press, at its most basic, works by steeping coffee grinds in hot water. When it’s done, the plunger/filter is used to press the grinds to the bottom of the pot, leaving your freshly brewed coffee above it.

“French press is what’s referred to as a full submersion method, meaning all of the coffee grounds are covered in hot water at once and left to brew versus pour-over methods like a Chemex or a V60 which require a bit more finesse,” César says. “Since there are no paper filters involved, French press brews a cup which retains all of the coffee’s natural oils, resulting in a very full bodied and rich cup.” Because it’s so full-bodied, coffee made in a French press is particularly well suited for additions like milk and cream, he added.

How to Make French Press Coffee

According to Cody, the most important factor to consider when using a French press is the grind size of your beans. “For a French press, you want the coffee very [coarse] because the longer it soaks in water, the more it’ll be extracted,” he says. A coarse grind will ensure that the coffee doesn’t become overextracted, which can lead to an unpleasant, bitter brew. “Overextraction is generally where people think the coffee is bad and has bitter flavors,” Cody says.

To ensure your coffee is ground just right, you have two options: Either invest in a grinder—Tallulah recommends a burr grinder for a more consistent, even result—or get your whole beans from a local shop (they’ll usually grind the beans for you, and take into account to the method you’ll be using to make your coffee). In terms of which coffee to use, the French press is versatile enough to use with most beans and roasting styles. César, however, recommends beans from Latin America, because “the chocolate and nut notes really have a chance to stand out.”

Once your beans are ground, it’s time to brew some coffee. César swears by the ratios and instructions from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which he keeps written on his fridge in dry-erase marker for easy reference. The recipe calls for an 8 cup French press, 56 grams (or about 8 tablespoons) of fresh coffee, along with water that’s just under boiling (at about 205° Fahrenheit). Their process is fairly simple:

  1. Start by swirling a small amount of hot water in your French press to warm it up. Discard the water.
  2. Put your coarsely ground coffee into the empty French press. Add hot water (starting a timer the moment you do) until you’ve filled up the press halfway.
  3. At the one-minute mark on your timer, give the grounds a good stir, ideally with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  4. Fill to top with hot water and put the lid on the French press, but don’t press it yet.
  5. Let sit until you hit the 4-minute mark. Then, press your coffee.

If you’re not serving the coffee immediately, César adds, it should be decanted from the French press and put in another vessel. If left in the press, “the coffee [will] continue to brew and result in overextraction.”

Once you have the mechanics down, feel free to experiment with different variables—like the type of coffee you’re using and brew time—to get your cup just right. “If it tastes watery, steep it longer,” Cody says. “If it tastes bitter, steep it [less] next time.”

Lastly, don’t forget to clean your French press (a step many overlook, according to César). “The plunger needs to be unscrewed and disassembled to get all the oils and coffee grounds out,” he says.

Tell us about how you make coffee in the comments below!

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The Genius Olive Oil Cake That's Never Let Me Down

The Genius Olive Oil Cake That's Never Let Me Down

I’ll be the first to admit that I do not enjoy baking. My short attention span can’t handle the precision it so often demands, plus I find all-purpose flour (and the ease with which it coats every surface in my kitchen) endlessly annoying. For that reason, you’ll rarely find me pulling out my mixing bowl set from the back of the cupboard to whip up a batch of cupcakes or cookies, or (shudder) something more complicated like croissants or macarons—I’ll leave that to the professionals.

There is, however, one very notable exception to my bad baking attitude: Maialino’s Olive Oil Cake.

Members of the Food52 community are probably well acquainted with this cake. With approximately 568 reviews and countless five-star ratings, it quickly became a favorite after it was first featured in Kristen Miglore’s Genius recipe column in 2014. (For those who hadn’t yet come across an olive cake back then, she had to guarantee that the cake in no way resembled salad dressing; these days, no such assurances are needed.)

My most recent olive oil cake, served alongside fresh tulips to trick me into thinking spring is indeed here.

“Finding what turned out to be the most beloved Genius dessert of all time was a happy fluke,” Kristen told me recently. “Unlike most other Genius Recipes, it hadn’t been published in a cookbook or anywhere else. Our editorial team just loved the olive oil cake at Maialino in New York City, not far from our office, and we asked then-pastry chef Rachel Binder if she’d share the recipe. When she did, it was perfectly sized for a home kitchen and couldn’t have been simpler to bake.” She added that this rarely happens (lucky us!).

The cake’s effort-to-reward ratio has a lot to do with why it’s pretty much the only thing I’ll ever bake. Requiring just two bowls, it is virtually impossible to screw up. All you have to do is stir the wet ingredients, stir the dry ingredients, then combine ‘em and—voila—your cake batter is ready to go in the oven.

Since it is, well, an olive oil cake, the type of olive oil definitely makes an impact (Kristen recommends something floral to complement the citrus). Fresh orange juice and zest are key; I typically use navel oranges, but blood oranges also work nicely, and Meyer lemons could be fun. I’ve swapped in triple sec many times in a pinch, but Grand Marnier gives you the most depth of flavor. The actual baking part is equally foolproof: All you have to do is keep an eye on it around the hour mark, and you’ll know it’s ready once a tester knife or toothpick comes out clean. In my oven, the cake takes about an hour and 20 minutes to cook through.

The resulting cake is simply perfect.

The crust is a deep-deep golden brown and very crackly (it makes a wonderful sound when you slice through it). The crumb is ultra tender and rich, thanks to the oil—though “oily” is never a word I’ve heard used to describe this cake. And the taste? Fragrant with citrus and just the right amount sweet, it’s the ideal base for topping with anything from whipped cream to fruit compote.

I have made this cake dozens of times since discovering the recipe a few years ago—for birthdays, dinner parties, and for no reason at all. One summer, I made it three times in the span of two weeks. My boyfriend, who requests it often, calls it “a cake for all occasions” and one that “actually tastes better the day after you bake it.” One reviewer wrote, “Threw this together last minute for the holidays and was a hit, night after night, even three days later,” so I think he’s on to something. It should be noted that we don’t even bother ordering olive oil cake when we go out to eat anymore, since “they’ll only disappoint in comparison,” he says.

All to say, this is the one cake I can count on—and there’s nothing sweeter than that.

Does this recipe hold a special place in your kitchen? Let us know in the comments!

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How to Pick the Perfect Cabinet Hardware for Your Space

How to Pick the Perfect Cabinet Hardware for Your Space

This article originally appeared on Schoolhouse, a Portland-based company in the Food52 family of brands.

From selecting lighting to picking paint, there are many major decisions involved in the process of making a house a home. With all these moving parts, it can be hard to remember that design is in the details, too. And hardware is a detail that can easily become an afterthought. But the right knob or pull can make a serious visual impact, elevating the room in a way that is easy and effortless-looking. And when you think about the countless times that cabinet hardware is used throughout everyday undertakings, it becomes clear that the value and joy that a well-made piece of hardware brings is well worth the investment.

So, whether you’re building a brand new kitchen, working on a bathroom remodel, or simply want to swap out some existing hardware on a thrifted furniture find, we’ve put together a simple and straightforward guide to help you choose the perfect cabinet hardware for your space.

Photo by Schoolhouse

First, decide if you’d like to use all knobs, all pulls, or a combo of both. While there are no hard-and-fast rules, it’s generally a lot easier to open a cabinet with a knob and a drawer with a pull. With that said, there are plenty of exceptions. For instance, installing drawer pulls vertically may work best for bathroom baseboard cabinets. If you want to upgrade existing furniture (such as a side table or media console), you may decide that small knobs add the perfect amount of visual impact over a longer pull. When thinking about hardware type, try to envision what will feel the most functional for your lifestyle.

Knobs have smaller profiles than handles, are generally less expensive, and can be used for both drawers and cabinets. They are slightly easier to install than pulls since you only need one screw to secure the knob to the surface.

Pulls are larger than knobs, make more of a statement, and tend to be easier to grip. They’re usually more expensive than pulls, but come in many different sizes. They complement drawers or larger cabinets with their linear shape nicely.

Once you’ve decided on hardware type, you’ll want to think about what style suits your space best. Hardware with ridges, curved silhouettes, and textured detailing typically work well with traditional or heritage-inspired designs. Modern cabinetry typically have clean lines and edges with a sleek, minimal profile that is smooth to the touch.

Photo by Schoolhouse

Next, you’ll want to consider the finish. Cabinet hardware works best when the finish adds contrast to the room. What color are your cabinets? What about your appliances, faucet, and lighting? In general, warmer-toned spaces with brass cabinetry have a vintage feel to them, while cooler tones with darker cabinet hardware lean more contemporary.

Photo by Schoolhouse

With that said, your space should be a reflection of your personal design choices, so don’t be afraid to break the rules or mix metals. We’ve seen plenty of kitchens with brass lighting and black hardware or vice versa. If you typically want everything to match but have stainless-steel appliances, try selecting black cabinet hardware. Not only does it mesh well with all finishes, but it also keeps your space feeling clean and well-coordinated.

Photo by Schoolhouse

Drawers and cabinets range in size, so it can be difficult to determine what size you need. While there is no set rule, we generally recommend that the pull length is approximately one-third of the cabinet or drawer width.

Photo by Schoolhouse

Hopefully, this simple how-to serves as a helpful starting point when shopping for cabinet hardware. In the end, experimentation is the best way to dial in your personal preference, because every room has its own unique set of requirements. If you find yourself unsure of what you’d like, we recommend you place a smaller order of hardware. Take some time to try different styles, sizes, and finishes to see how the swap impacts your space.

Have you upgraded your cabinet hardware recently? Tell us in the comments!

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How I Modernize My Passover Table (Without Betraying My Bubbie)

How I Modernize My Passover Table (Without Betraying My Bubbie)

Passover is a Jewish holiday that’s been celebrated for thousands of years. Needless to say, the traditions we observe for it are… also old. To celebrate, Jewish families like mine have a big feast called a Seder on the first two nights of the 8-day holiday. It’s a ceremony that has carefully prescribed rituals, including several special dishes and foods that need to be placed on the table in order to properly perform the Passover Seder. The most important is the Seder plate, which is the ceremonial centerpiece that contains six symbolic ingredients (more on those later). A festive kosher-for-Passover meal follows the ceremony, and although you can really serve anything that’s kosher-for-Passover (or free of chametz—this typically includes leavened foods, but can also include corn, rice, peanuts, lentils, and more, depending on who you ask), there are a few traditional recipes you can expect to see. In my family, the same dishes are served the very same way year after year—gefilte fish that sits on a single leaf of curly lettuce garnished with a boiled carrot coin, matzo balls swimming in golden chicken soup, potato kugel, boiled eggs, carrot tzimmes, and brisket. Everything is relatively beige, but delicious nonetheless.

When I was a kid, my mother held my siblings and I hostage for three days before we hosted the Passover seder. We’d have to polish the silverware, press the linens, set the table, help prep vegetables, and lay out our clothes. My mother’s stress was palpable and for good reason: We’d usually have at least 20 people over for dinner, and she wanted everything to be perfect.

Without abandoning the sentimental traditions everyone loves about Passover, myself included, I’m here to give some tips and tricks on how to modernize the event. Despite the Seder being a formal holiday, modern hosting can look a bit different. Gone are the days of sterile entertaining where the goal is Emily Post’s idea of perfection—instead, we welcome a more casual approach to hosting that puts emphasis on spending intimate time with family over being isolated in the kitchen. Fear not! This does not mean abandoning the traditions we have built our nostalgia around as I’m certainly not in the business of upsetting anyone, especially my bubbie, who looks forward to a quenelle of gefilte fish and a big fluffy matzo ball every year. To me, modernizing means being more efficient, more inclusive, adding more color, spending more time with family all whilst respecting the Passover traditions.

1. Update the Seder Plate

The Seder ceremony revolves around the Seder plate, displaying the foods that are symbolic to the Passover story. There are six traditional ingredients—beitzah (a hard-boiled egg), maror (horseradish), charoset (a sweet dish typically made with apple, nuts, and red wine), karpas (usually parsley), chazeret (often romaine lettuce), and zeroah (roasted shank bone)—but many families have begun including other items to represent modern social justice issues. An orange, for example, is a symbol for inclusivity of the LGBTQ+ community. Similarly, an olive has been added to many Seder plates to symbolize peace. In this case, modernizing means reinterpreting and making space for new traditions without canceling the old ones.

2. Switch Up Your Serving Strategy

When it comes to reimagining food traditions, sometimes it’s less about what you serve and more about how you serve it. Gefilte fish, as polarizing as it is, has a place on the Passover table. Traditionally, it’s served as a plated second course (after soup and before the mains), so to modernize the dish, I like to serve it on a large platter or board. Slice the gefilte fish and serve alongside a bowl of horseradish, pickled red onions, fresh dill, and broken up matzo (not unlike the concept of a Passover grazing board). The same principle can be applied to the classic hard boiled eggs. Instead of serving in a bowl, you can opt for a platter similar to the gefilte fish, where halved eggs are garnished with flakey salt, a dollop of mayonnaise, and freshly cut chives. Or, up the ante and make a batch of beautifully dressed, delightfully pink devilled eggs like Grant Melton’s Pickled Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon.

And of course, you should consider your serveware. Matching sets of white porcelain platters are outdated—instead, try pairing your bubbie’s vintage floral platter with dishware in various colors, shapes, and textures. Think: ceramic plates, glass platters, wooden salad bowls, and the like. Whether you’re going for bright colors or muted tones, mismatching will help make the table sing. Thrift shops are great places to find unique pieces to mix up your table without breaking the bank, or you could splurge on a new family heirloom in the form of something like Susan Alexandra’s Swirly Seder Plate.

3. Add Plenty of Color

Let’s face it, Jewish food can be pretty beige. Instead of looking for new recipes, think about what you can add to your existing repertoire to give it life and color. Use colorful vegetables in your salad, like vibrant radishes, heirloom carrots, and purple kale. Lean into colorful, textured garnishes like chopped nuts, seeds, pickles, and even pomegranate. Throw a big handful of fresh herbs on top of dishes (savory and sweet!) to make them come alive both visually and in terms of flavor.

For example, take the classic glazed vegetable dish that is carrot tzimmes. I serve mine with a mountain of thinly sliced green onion and finely chopped pistachios on top. Then, I place big wedges of lemon and orange alongside the platter so my guests can add their own squeeze of fresh citrus. These additions of color, texture, and a hit of acid really transform this dish. In her book Salad Freak, Jess Damuck reimagines charoset using natural wine (it’s traditionally made with Manischewitz) and big chunks of toasted walnuts to create more texture and a modern flavor twist.

4. Embrace Room-Temperature Dishes

This might seem like a strange tip, but relieving yourself of the stress of getting everything to the table piping hot will allow you more time to be present with your guests. Modern hosting means enjoying more time with friends and family instead of stressfully fitting multiple dishes in your oven like a game of Tetris. You’d be surprised how great roasted vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and green beans taste at room temperature. Plus, room temperature dishes also offer more opportunities for plating before guests arrive and then adding garnishes like fresh herbs right before they hit the table.

5. Introduce a New Tradition

Once you’ve appeased your crowd’s appetite for nostalgia by keeping some of the classics, make your mark on future generations by introducing them to something new, like an unexpected dish. (This is, of course, how we came to love the beige and brown foods of our ancestors.) I made a flourless chocolate cake a few years ago and now Passover wouldn’t be the same without it.

What are your favorite Passover traditions, new and old? Tell us in the comments below!

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