Friday, October 16, 2009

Farewell to Gourmet Magazine

Wednesday's Boston Globe included an article on Conde Nast's plans to pull the plug on Gourmet Magazine. In it, the most famous chefs and foodies in Boston were interviewed and they added their commentary on the 68-year-old magazine's demise. Food historian and author, Laura Shapiro, who reviewed the movie "Julie and Julia" in a recent issue added, "This is another nail in the coffin of literate journalism."

Now, I have been a subscriber of Cooking Light and Weight Watchers Magazine in the past, but never Gourmet. My Dear Husband and I, however, back in the day (i.e., before kids) used to buy an issue of Gourmet every now and then and try out some new recipes. The result of that is that we have some old dog-eared and food-splattered copies of Gourmet tucked in between our cookbooks.

One of my favorite recipes that my DH likes to make for me is Spicy Sauteed Broccolini With Garlic from the January 2002 issue.

2 lb Broccolini or broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
1/4 low-fat chicken stock or low-sodium fat-free chicken broth

Cook broccolini in a 6-8 quart pot of boiling salted water until stems are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, then plunge into cold water to stop cooking. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels. (Wow - that's labor-intensive. Now you can see why we did this Pre-Kids!)

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add half of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and saute, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add half of Broccolini and 2 tablespoons stock and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. (OK, dividing ingredients makes me crazy! Again, a recipe we used to make Pre-Kids!)

Transfer to a serving dish, then repeat with remaining oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, Broccolini, and stock. Season with salt.

Today, when my DH wants to do something particularly romantic for me, he buys the ingredients for this dish that I love so. Usually the Broccolini or broccoli rabe sits in our refrigerator for about a week, wilting by the day, until he finds the time to drag out the big pot and fill the sink with ice water - all between work, home improvements, cub scout meetings, soccer, lawn care, lunch-making and laundry. But eventually he gets to it, knowing how much I just love my leafy greens that have been treated Gourmet-style.

So, why all this talk about broccolini and broccoli rabe. Two reasons! First, I just finished reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food where he recommends, "Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants." It was a great reminder that the best foods out there are just that: Food. Not processed food. And plants. Like vegetables and fruit. While I feel I do a really good job of following his advice, I also find that I get into a rut of eating the same things all the time. It's time to try some new vegetables. Second, if there is one thing I've learned from working at NuVal it is this: Vegetables are Rock Stars. With rare exceptions (iceberg lettuce gets an 82), almost all vegetables score in the very high 90s or 100. And I feel my best when I eat lots of them. Broccolini and broccoli rabe both score 100.

Was I surprised by the Gourmet announcement last week? A little bit, but then, not really. I have some cookbooks that I will never give away and my DH just gave me a copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking as an anniversary gift (and yes, I find that romantic). But these days, when I am looking for a new recipe, I do what we're all doing. I go online. Bonsoir, Gourmet.


  1. I loved In Defense Of Food. It made me think more about the ingredients in the packaged things I buy. Obviously, packaged isn't optimal, but from time to time it's needed for life. The best thing to do is choose the package with the simplest ingredients then.

  2. That's a shame! Some of my favorite recipes have come from this magazine. Let me know if you want my favorite Greek-Spiced Baked Shrimp recipe that was featured in Gourmet Mag last year about this time. It's fantastic!

    Happy Anniverary, btw!