Classic Osso Buco


I’m not sure if the old adage about the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach is true for all but it’s always worked for me. By that I mean that the way to MY heart is definitely through MY stomach. To me there is nothing more attractive than someone who will cook me a delicious meal on a cold February night.


If you’re trying to win someone’s heart, I recommend this Osso Buco served the classic way with Risotto alla Milanese. The meat falls off the bone and the whole dish is filled with flavor. Most of it can be cooked ahead of time so there’s very little fussing in the kitchen.


My favorite part, which might seem over indulgent to many, is digging out all the marrow from the bone and eating it with the risotto.


Classic Osso Buco

Adapted from Marcella Hazan

Serves 2 people


1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
2 veal shanks (about 2” thick, tied around the middle with trussing string)
1/2 cup of flour
1/3 cup of dry white wine
1 cup of chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup of canned diced Italian tomatoes (including the juice)
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of parsley, plus additional for garnish



1. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a dutch oven and sauté the onion, carrot and celery until soft (approx. 8 mins) and remove from heat.
3. Heat the oil in a separate skillet.
4. When the oil is hot, dredge the veal in flour and immediately add to the skillet. Using tongs, turn after a few minutes to make sure all sides are well browned. Cook about 2 minutes per side.
5. When browned, place the shanks on top of the sautéed vegetables in the dutch oven.
6. Discard the fat left in the skillet and return to the heat.
7. Add the white wine and begin to boil briskly.
8. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any of the veal stuck to the pan.
9. Add the stock and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil.
10. Pour this sauce over the veal shanks. The liquid should reach the top of the veal. If it doesn’t, add some more stock.
11. Add the bay leaves, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. I like to be generous when seasoning.
12. Bring the contents of the dutch oven to a simmer.
13. Cover tightly and place in the oven for 2 hours.
14. Check every 30 minutes, basting the veal when necessary with its surrounding sauce.
15. If the sauce is too thin at the end, remove the veal and place on an oven safe platter. Return veal to the oven on low, covering with foil while you finish the sauce on the stovetop.
16. To thicken: bring the sauce to a rapid boil on top of the stove until it reduces. Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when tested.
17. To finish: remove trussing string and pour the sauce over the veal. Serve hot with Risotto alla Milanese. (You can also garnish with parsley as desired).



Tacolicious Tulum


Going on holiday with a best friend pretty much guarantees a good time. Ben and I have been going on holiday together now for 14 years and we both agree that this might be our best one yet. Tulum is my idea of the perfect beach holiday with not a high rise building in site. Our basic but charming room with a simple hammock on the balcony had unadulterated views of the Caribbean that we were photographing every few minutes as the light seemed to become ever more beautiful.



Tulum has also become quite a foodie destination mainly because of the much written about Hartwood Restaurant. The food is undeniably delicious and all cooked in a wood burning oven with a menu that changes daily. The rustic open air setting feels like a well styled movie set and the lines to get in feel more like New York than a Mexican beach town. The difference being that the hour and a half wait for The Hartwood was spent chatting to Matt, a clown doctor and his wife Stephanie, a dancer, over a pitcher of margaritas. 


Hartwood Restaurant

The bar at the Hartwood Restaurant (pictured above)


But the real discovery of the trip were the new chefs at our hotel; Mauro and Federico Cappi, twins born 5 minutes apart in Uruguay and taught to cook by their grandmother as children. Their food was both simple and delicious. We became slightly obsessed with their tacos; particularly their flank steak tacos for which they kindly shared their recipe. I alternated between their steak, shrimp and octopus tacos for almost every lunch. 



I’m afraid I’ve been sworn to secrecy by the friend who recommended the hotel so you’ll have to email me directly and I can give hints as to where we stayed. It was hard to leave paradise and return to the Polar Vortex but I’m excited to try these at home and share the recipe with you all. 

Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese


I first tried this dish in 2008. I was on a sales trip in Asia and escaped for a week to a hotel in Bali that I had been dreaming of for years. Since I was going alone, I thought I’d break the habit of a lifetime of rich food and cocktails and actually try one of the juicing cleanses they offered. It was less than a week so I figured it couldn’t kill me.


The hotel was everything I imagined: a room in the jungle with 3 walls of windows and an outdoor bath in total seclusion. A butler would find me at one of the various pools every few hours for my next juice. As the days went by I was pleasantly surprised by the juicing diet. I even naively marveled at how reasonable the pricing was – conveniently forgetting that I was only injesting a few fruits and vegetables so my overheads weren’t exactly high!


The juices were practically meals unto themselves but I had been passing these incredible restaurants that I was dying to try so I eagerly awaited day 5 when I would be back on solid foods. Since I needed to ease my way back, I decided to start with this salad. It was so delicious that I immediately asked them for the recipe. I now make it every year in January to remember that healthy, wonderful week in Bali. I may not be juicing but it is still a salad- despite my friend’s incredulous comments when I tell them what I’m making for lunch. I actually had to email a picture to my friend who refused to believe me.



Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese

Serves 2


2 medium red beets, roasted and sliced (see below – you can also expedite by buying pre-cooked beets)

Olive oil

1 cup of lentils (I like Puy lentils but any small ones will work)

1 red onion, finely diced

8 oz vegetable stock

4 tablespoons of good quality goat cheese

A small handful of green beans, remove stems, halve and then boiled for 4 minutes

1/2 cup baby arugula greens (I prefer frisee but the store was out of stock)

1 pear, peeled and cored



2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons walnut oil

1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

Salt and pepper to taste



Roasted beets

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Drizzle the beets with a little olive oil, sprinkle some salt and wrap tightly in foil.

3. Roast the beets anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes depending on size. They’re ready when you can easily pierce with a knife.

4. When cool enough to handle, slice off the ends and peel the skin off with a paper towel.

5. Cut into 1/4 inch slices.



1. In a medium sized saucepan, sweat the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft (about 8 minutes on low).

2. Add the lentils, the stock and a good pinch of salt.

3. Bring to a simmer and cover for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

4. Season as desired with salt and pepper.


Assembling the salad

1. In a small bowl, whisk together salad dressing ingredients and season to taste.

2. Mix half of the lentils gently in a little of the dressing and spoon onto each plate (save the remaining lentils for another meal – they are wonderful eaten alone).

3. Divide the goat cheese between the two plates and place on top of the lentils.

4. In a medium bowl, dress the arugula and green beans with dressing as desired.

5. Arrange the arugula and green beans on top of the goat cheese and lentils. (this is a beautiful stacked salad when finished)

6. Add some paper thin slices of pear on top of the salad. I use a pairing knife and shave thin slices but you could also use a potato peeler as well.

7. Finish by dividing the beets between the two salads.

8. Serve while the beets and lentils are still warm, allowing the goat cheese to melt slightly and all the flavors to combine.

Thai Coconut, Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup


I spent Christmas at home in London this year and like most people, definitely overindulged! My mother’s inability to eat much at the moment in no way impeded her ability to feed me. There was goose, foie gras, smoked salmon with blinis, pasta, pasta, more pasta and the traditional cotecchino with lentils on New Year’s Day.  The lentils are supposed to represent gold coins. Their abundance and the richness of the cotecchino signify a year of wealth ahead. Here’s hoping!


My father, who miraculously survived a fall down a flight of stairs on Christmas Eve was also intent on sending me back to New York well fed. There was a decadent and delicious old school French dinner complete with escargots, lamb and Tarte Tatin, a wildly over ordered Chinese meal and a nostalgic chicken paprikash that we cooked together (recipe to follow).


All this to say, that when I finally returned to New York after a (not so fun) 37 hour journey home thanks to winter storm Hercules, I was ready to cut back a bit. This is a soup that my father used to make for me years ago and I crave every winter. It is incredibly tasty, easy to make, filling and about as healthy as I’m ever prepared to get. It’s also perfect when you’re hiding from an Arctic vortex. 


I have a week to get beach ready before I leave for my annual holiday with Ben in the sun. I plan to eat this soup for as many meals as possible before Mexico! Once I get there, I’ll be on a diet of guacamole and margaritas. And people say I don’t eat enough greens! 


Thai Coconut, Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 4



2 tablespoons butter

1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 

1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste

1 pint vegetable stock

7 fl oz coconut milk

Juice of 1 lime

6 oz fresh baby spinach

Salt and black pepper



1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the potatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and curry paste for about 5 minutes until lightly browned.

2. Add the stock, coconut milk and lime juice.

3. Bring everything to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender (approx. 15 minutes).

4. At this point, I turn off the heat and use an immersion blender (blend as smooth as you would like- I like mine about halfway blended so that I can spoon up some potato cubes with each bite).

5. Add the spinach and return to heat, covered for a few minutes.

6. Once the leaves are wilted and the soup is heated through, season to taste and serve warm.