Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Andrew Zimmern’s spaghetti with classic meat sauce

A steaming bowl of al dente spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce, fresh basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. To round it all out, serve with crusty bread (or breadsticks) and a big salad. — Andrew Zimmern

Photo by Madeleine Hill

Ingredient List

  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 48 ounces tomatoes, chopped, in their juices. Canned is acceptable.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12 large basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Several pinches chile flake
  • 4 tablespoons sliced garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced anchovies
  • 4 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup of the best olive oil you can get your hands on
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Servings: 6 to 8 (makes enough sauce for 1 pound of dry pasta)

Make the Sauce

Place the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.

Add all of the ingredients except the tomato products, salt and pepper. Saute until shallots are glassy, do not let the garlic burn.

Add the tomato products and stir to incorporate. Simmer until the sauce is no longer watery, 45 to 60 minutes.

Cook the Pasta

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large volume of rapidly boiling salty water to al dente, typically about 8 to 10 minutes (be sure to check manufacturer’s instructions).

Drain pasta quickly and if you need to hold it, cool under cold running water and drain well, tossing with olive oil and storing for a few hours at room temperature in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap.

To Serve

Transfer the cooked spaghetti to a large bowl. Add the sauce, and toss to fully coat the pasta. Serve family style, garnishing with fresh torn basil leaves and grated parmesan.

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Recipe: GiGi’s chopped salad with green goddess dressing

This is my interpretation of a salad I grew up eating in New York City, a staple at our old-school neighborhood steak house. The veggie-heavy dish gets plenty of protein from the shrimp and hard-boiled eggs, vitamin C and fiber from the fresh green beans and peas, while celery packs in a ton of Vitamin A and potassium, and tomatoes add powerful antioxidants. Topped off with a creamy, herb-filled dressing and you have one of my favorite salads. — Andrew Zimmern

By Madeleine Hill

Ingredient list

  • 1 pound 16-20 count ocean-caught shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 Belgian endive
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 3/4 pound haricot vert or green beans
  • 1 small to medium head romaine lettuce
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley

Green goddess dressing

  • 1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and chopped
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed tarragon leaves
  • 5 large basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Servings: 4 to 6 as an entrée salad

Make the green goddess dressing

In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the mayonnaise, salt and pepper; pulse until very finely chopped. Add the mayonnaise and puree until nearly smooth and pale green. Scrape the dressing into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until the flavors meld and the dressing is well chilled, at least 1 hour.

Prepare the salad

First, blanch the green beans. Fill a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Add green beans or haricot verts, cooking for about 5 minutes. Drain, rinsing green beans with ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Reserve to the fridge to keep cool.

In a smaller sauce pan, add the peas and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes. Strain and reserve to the refrigerator to cool.

Next, cook the shrimp. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes. Allow to cool. Slice lengthwise and reserve in the fridge until ready to serve the salad.

Dice the pepper, celery, onion and endive. Reserve.

Cut the beans into 1-inch lengths. Slice the eggs. Halve the tomatoes.

Mince the herbs for garnish.

To serve

For a nice presentation, place chopped lettuce and endive on a large platter. Add one ingredient at a time, making bold stripes of color and texture with each topping. Drizzle some dressing on top, passing the rest at the table. For easier serving, place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and ground black pepper, toss with dressing to coat, and serve immediately.

Recipe: Andrew Zimmern’s tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is chock full of fresh, in-season summer ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers and fragrant herbs. It’s not only healthy and packed with that bright citrusy flavor you crave this time of year, tabbouleh is a cinch to make. Be sure to let the composed salad rest for a couple hours before serving, allowing all of the flavors to meld together. Serve on its own, with grilled chicken and veggies, or try stuffing it in a pita with hummus and feta. — Andrew Zimmern

Photo by Madeleine Hill

Ingredient List

  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1  1/2 cups minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced mint
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 2/3 cup peeled, seeded and finely diced cucumber
  • 4 medium roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • Pepper


Serves: 4 to 6

Wash bulgur wheat in several changes of cold water, until water runs clear. Drain well.

Soak the bulgur wheat for one hour in cold water to cover.

After an hour, drain the wheat in a fine sieve and place in a large stainless steel bowl.

Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl, tossing well. Season with the salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Remove from fridge one hour before serving, and adjust seasonings as needed.

Recipe: Andrew Zimmern’s Halibut Aji Yaki

Halibut is a nutrient-rich firm white fish that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B and magnesium. The lean protein has a delicate sweet flavor that lends itself to a variety of pairings that kids will love. This sweet-and-salty Japanese-style sauce is one of my favorite preparations, and makes for a quick weeknight meal. Skip a starchy side and serve it with veggies, such as sautéed spinach or broccoli. — Andrew Zimmern

Photo by Madeleine Hill

Ingredient List

  • Four 6-ounce pieces of halibut
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 pinch red chili flakes
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons dashi powder (see note)
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 3 tablespoons naturally fermented soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


Servings: 4
Total Time:  30 min

Season the fish with the peanut oil and sesame seeds.

Dissolve the dashi powder in 1/2 cup warm water. In a mixing bowl, combine the mirin, soy sauce, dashi mixture, red chili flakes and sugar.

Preheat a non-stick sauté pan over high heat. Brown the fish, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Once the fish is browned, reserve to a plate.

Place the liquid mixture in a 3 or 4-quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add fish back to the pan.

Place a small lid on top of the fish pieces and cook for 4 minutes at a simmer. Flip the halibut and cook for 4 minutes more.

Remove the halibut, and reserve to a plate. Continue to reduce the sauce at a simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until thick and glazy.

Serve the halibut, pouring the glaze over the top, with sautéed veggies.

NOTE: Dashi powder is available at many health food stores and at Asian markets.




Recipe: Andrew Zimmern’s grilled beef salad

This is my version of a Thai-style grilled beef salad, a staple on most Thai restaurant menus in this country. With a ton of fragrant herbs, lime juice, lemongrass and chiles, the grilled beef doesn’t overwhelm the fresh ingredients, making it a perfect salad for the summer. It’s an easy, flavorful and healthy weeknight meal that the whole family will love. — Andrew Zimmern

Photo by Madeleine Hill


  • One 1 1/2-pound sirloin steak
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, tender inner bulb only, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced seeded and skinned
  • 1 julienned tomato, seeded and trimmed
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • 10 basil leaves, sliced in thin ribbons
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves


Total Time: 45 min

Servings: 4

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side. Let rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the fish sauce with the lime juice, sugar, lemongrass, chile, garlic and white pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the tomato with the shallot, cucumber, mint, cilantro, basil and roasted rice powder.

Slice the steak against the grain, about ¼-inch thick. Add the steak to the vegetables and herbs along with the dressing and toss. Spoon the salad into the lettuce leaves and serve.

NOTES:Roasted rice powder, known as khao kua pon in Thailand, is available at Asian markets, but you can also make it at home. In a skillet, toast raw white sticky (glutinous) rice over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a mortar or spice grinder and let cool completely, then grind the rice to a powder. The rice powder can be stored in an airtight container for up to three months.


Recipe: Andrew Zimmern’s mixed berry cobbler

For this cobbler, I pair fresh summer berries and tart rhubarb with a buttery, cookie-like topping that the whole family will love. The cobbler is easy to throw together for a weeknight treat, plus it’s a perfect no-fuss dessert for feeding crowds. — Andrew Zimmern

Photo by Madeleine Hill


Fruit Filling

  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 cups rhubarb, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1  large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cobbler Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1  large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Servings: 6 to 8 portions
Total Time: 1 hr 40 min

Make the filling

In a large bowl, toss the strawberries, blackberries and rhubarb with the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and salt. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

For the cobbler topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla.

Combine baking soda, salt and flour in a separate mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the batter, and mix with a spatula.

Place the fruit filling into a 9-inch round baking dish. Evenly distribute tablespoon-sized clumps of cobbler topping across the fruit.

Bake until the topping is deeply browned and the juices bubbling up around it appear thickened, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Let cool for a bit, but serve warm.


Perfect party summer app

These delicious curry-spiced grilled chicken skewers pair well with a sweet-and-tangy peanut sauce. Marinating the chicken strips overnight really imparts a ton of great flavor, and makes for easy, day-of preparation. For a fun presentation, serve skewers mounted onto a pineapple cut in half, stabilized on a platter.  — Andrew Zimmern

Photo by Madeleine Hill


Chicken Satay & Marinade

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • About two dozen wooden skewers
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander seed
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

Peanut Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons ground sesame paste
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup high quality all natural soy sauce or shoyu, I prefer the Japanese brand Yamasa.
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin
  • 2 tablespoons water


Total Time: 45 min, plus overnight marinating
Servings: Makes about 24 skewers

Chicken Satays

Cut the chicken thighs lengthwise into even strips, about an inch wide. Whisk together all marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag with the marinade, and refrigerate overnight (do not marinate for more than 24 hours).

Soak about two dozen wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes, to prevent the skewers from burning on the grill.

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Thread the chicken onto the wooden skewers.

Grill the chicken skewers over high heat (you can also use a stove-top grill pan) until lightly charred and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve with the peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender, pulsing for just a few seconds to combine. Adjust seasoning using more sugar if you care for it sweeter, or a little more vinegar if you care to cut the unctuous quality of the dressing. Do not use salt, the soy takes care of that for you.


Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

This bright, citrusy salsa is made with fresh tomatillos rather than tomatoes to give it a tangy, piquant flavor profile often found in Yucatan cuisine. This salsa makes a great (and healthy!) dip all on its own, served with tortilla chips and fresh veggies such as red pepper slices, jicama and radishes. It’s also a nice addition to any grilled or roasted meat, poultry or seafood. — Andrew Zimmern

Photo by Madeleine Hill


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced very fine
  • 2 serrano chiles, deseeded, minced very fine
  • 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Tortilla chips, jicama, red pepper and radish, to serve


Servings: Makes about 2 cups
Total Time: 20 min

Remove the husk from the tomatillos and rinse. Cut into quarters.

Combine the chiles, onion, salt, garlic, tomatillos and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse to combine (do not over puree). Reserve.

Halve the avocado, remove and discard pit and scoop out the flesh, discard skin. Using a fork, mash the avocado into the sauce with the lime juice.




Shish kebabs and pilaf

Now that the unofficial start of summer has come and gone, it’s time to drag out the charcoal and light up the grill. Shish kebabs are one of my favorite things to grill, they’re easy to prepare and are perfect for feeding crowds. The key to flavorful, juicy morsels of meat is in the marinating, the longer the better. I love to serve these kebabs with a Chermoula pilaf, which has a flavor profile often seen in Moroccan or Tunisian cuisine, with cinnamon, crushed red pepper, raisins, almonds and tomatoes. — Andrew Zimmern

Shish kebabs are a fun way to get your family to try new veggies! Have your children participate by either helping kebab (if old enough) or by helping pick out which meat/veggie to put on the skewer next. Experimenting with herbs and spices is a also a great way to add flavor to your foods while at the same time reducing or eliminating added salt. Did you know? Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans and are the key ingredient in hummus. They are great source of protein and fiber! — The clinical dietitian team at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Photo by Madeleine Hill


Serves 6 to 8

Total Time: 1 hr 15 min, plus overnight marinating

Shish kebabs

1 pound cubed top sirloin, 1-inch cubes

1 pound cubed pork loin, ¾ inch cubes

1 red bell pepper

1 green pepper

1 large red onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 fresh bay leaves

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

8 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons minced parsley

Lightly toast the garlic, herbs and spices in a small pan over medium heat. When aromatic, pull from heat and grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Take spice paste and combine with the oil and lemon juice.

Divide the marinade into two Ziploc bags. Place the pork cubes into one, the beef in another and toss meats well. Squeeze air out of the bags, seal and marinate overnight.

Cut the peppers and onions into small cubes (about one-inch squares).

Skewer the meat, alternating between the beef and pork cubes, the onions and peppers.

When finished skewering, season with salt and pepper and grill over high direct heat for a total of about 10 minutes, or roughly 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Your goal is to have the beef be medium rare and the pork medium (the difference in cube size helps this process).

Serve with a yogurt sauce, seasoned with mint, lime, garlic and cumin, and rice pilaf.

Yogurt sauce

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon cumin

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Chermoula pilaf

1 teaspoon saffron threads revived in 3 tablespoons warm water

2 cups basmati rice

½ cup minced parsley

½ cup raisins

½ cup toasted almond slices

One 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

12 ounces canned chickpeas, drained

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup olive oil

1 minced onion

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

3 cups chicken stock

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Place the oil in a 2-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. When oil is aromatic, add the rice, raisins, almonds, red pepper, chickpeas, cinnamon and onion. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes, saffron in water, parsley and lemon zest. Stir. Add the stock, bring to simmer. Cover and lower heat to lowest setting and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice rest covered. Stir, season and serve.


Penne with asparagus-pistachio pesto

This pasta dish with asparagus-pistachio pesto is from my days as a chef at Café Un Deux Trois in the ’90s. I’ve made this recipe for hungry crowds ever since with amazing results. The smoky bacon and rich, salty pistachios are perfectly balanced by the fresh veggies and fragrant herbs. This ‘sauce’ can be used with any type of noodle, but I recommend penne, macaroni or rigatoni. — Andrew Zimmern

Photo by Madeleine Hill


1/4 cup pine nuts

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths

3 medium carrots, chopped

1 medium shallot, chopped

1/2 cup packed basil leaves

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 pound penne

1/4 pound sliced bacon

1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup unsalted roasted pistachios, very finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped parsley

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving


Active: 45 min
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
Servings: 6 to 8

Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and toast for about 3 minutes, until golden brown.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the asparagus with the carrots and shallot and process until finely chopped. Scrape the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Stir in the basil, garlic, honey, thyme, lemon zest, cumin and the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once, until the vegetables are soft and just starting to brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels and finely chop it.

In a very large skillet, combine the cooked vegetables with the chicken stock and butter and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 4 minutes. Add the pasta, pine nuts, pistachios and the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta water and cook, tossing, until the sauce is thick and the pasta is coated. Stir in the parsley and chopped bacon and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve, passing the grated cheese at the table.