Missy Robbins' Winter Salad and More Recipes

Missy Robbins' Winter Salad and More Recipes

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Wall Street Journal
Missy Robbins shares a shaved winter salad recipe, with celery root and parsnip.

Recipe: Missy Robbins’s Brisket

This recipe from her latest cookbook is an ode to her mother.

Missy Robbins, chef/owner of Lilia in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, grew up in a household driven by good food—all thanks to her parents. Of all the things that her mother would make her, one thing she recounts not particularly enjoying was brisket.

But all of that changed a few years ago.

“Now when I’m home . . . I look forward to my mom’s brisket, especially the burnt end pieces,” she states in her latest cookbook, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner…Life: Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen. For her brisket, she does as her mom does, flavoring it with both beer and Heinz chili sauce. Robbins enhances the flavor with additional aromatics like thyme, rosemary and garlic.

“Thanks for the inspiration, Mom!”

Shaved Winter Vegetable Salad

LIKE MANY CHEFS, when Missy Robbins isn't cooking at her own restaurants, she's dining at someone else's. That adds up to many rich meals. "After a while, I need vegetables," she said. "I really like them raw, in their natural state." This winter-white salad, Ms. Robbins's second Slow Food Fast contribution, delivers the freshness she craves as well as the depth of flavor she's accustomed to. Parsnips, fennel, sunchokes and celery root, all shaved paper-thin, come to life when dressed in a piquant walnut vinaigrette.

Though the entire recipe can be completed in 20 minutes, the vinaigrette can also be made up to a day in advance. The longer it rests, the more fully the walnuts infuse the oil.

A mandoline makes short work of slicing the vegetables, but a sharp knife gets the job done, too. Just be sure to wait until right before serving to dress the salad, to preserve its crunch. "It's the best of winter," Ms. Robbins said. Pale green celery leaves, scattered over top, bring a hint of color to the plate, like an early intimation of spring poking up through the snow.

1. Place the 00 flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the egg yolks, a few at a time. Continue to mix until the dough is smooth. If it is a touch dry, add a few drops of water. The dough will be bright yellow.

2. Turn the dough onto a smooth, lightly floured surface and knead by hand until it forms a smooth ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. Divide the dough into three equal portions and flatten the first portion into an oval about 3/4-inch thick. Remove the dough hook attachment from the stand mixer and attach a pasta roller attachment (or use a manual pasta roller for the next step). Set the attachment to the widest setting and run the first portion of dough through the roller. Fold the dough in on itself in thirds, rolling to knead out any air bubbles, and feed it through the roller two more times on the same setting, folding the dough in on itself and rolling between each. Change the attachment to the next setting and repeat the process, working your way through each width setting twice until the pasta is almost transparent. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

4. Remove the pasta roller attachment from the stand mixer and attach the fettuccine attachment. Cut each rolled-out pasta sheet into 12-inch pieces and feed the pieces, one at a time, through the machine. Sprinkle the cut fettuccine lightly with flour and place in bundles on a parchment-lined sheet pan that has been sprinkled with semolina flour. Set aside until ready to use.

40-Minute, 20-Garlic Clove Tomato Sauce With Pasta

This recipe is adapted from Missy Robbins’s new cookbook, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner … Life: Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen. It’s good for just about any shape of pasta you can find.

Serves four, plus leftover sauce.

2/3 cup olive oil
20 garlic cloves (about 1½ heads of garlic), peeled (see tip below)
Two 28-oz.ꃊns of whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
1 tbspꃾnnel seeds
1 tsp਌rushed red chile flakes
2 basil sprigs
Kosher salt
1 lb. dried pasta (Robbins prefers short shapes, like rigatoni)

In a large, heavy saucepan, warm the olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic cloves, and gently simmer until softened and just beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain the canned tomatoes in a colander. Transfer the tomatoes and any purພ in the colander into a food processor and pulse two or three times until the tomatoes are very roughly chopped. (Tester’s note: If you like using your hands, squeeze the tomatoes to break them up into large chunks.)

Using a fork or the back of a spoon, crush half the garlic cloves in the oil leave the remaining cloves whole. Add the tomatoes, fennel, and chile flakes to the saucepan and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Add the basil, season well with salt, and simmer for about five more minutes, until the sauce is richly flavored.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking liquid. Cook the pasta in about 2 cups of the sauce, basting the pasta, until al dente add a little pasta cooking water if necessary. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining sauce for another use.

Garlic tip: To quickly peel garlic, put the separated cloves in a large bowl. Invert another large bowl on top and shake hard for several seconds. This will release the skins from the cloves. Discard the skins.

Missy Robbins’s Linguine with Clams

“I grew up in a kosher home devoid of shellfish, so my love for pasta with clams started later in life. This recipe screams summertime and makes me think of beach weekends spent shoving my face with steamers dipped in butter and lemon. Paired with linguine, they become a traditional pasta dish—and always a crowd favorite—but my take makes a vibrant detour with the addition of mint and lemon zest. The recipe also calls for removing the clams from their shells, which results in a more cohesive dish—and a less messy eating experience.”

1 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil

5 cloves garlic, smashed, plus 2 cloves, finely chopped

4 tablespoons butter (½ stick)

2 teaspoons crushed red chili flakes

juice and zest of 1 lemon

3 sprigs mint, leaves only

4 tablespoons bread crumbs

1. In a wide sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the smashed garlic cloves and gently sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Stir in the clams, wine, and thyme. As each clam opens, use tongs to transfer it to a bowl.

3. Once all of the clams are cooked, use a fine-mesh strainer to drain the cooking liquid into a medium bowl and reserve. Discard the solids.

4. Remove the meat from each clam and discard its shell. Chop half the meat, then place it, along with the whole pieces, in the reserved cooking liquid.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and generously season it with salt.

2. In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the remaining chopped garlic and sweat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the reserved clam liquid, and cook until reduced by one third.

3. Place the pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes.

4. While the pasta cooks, add the clam meat to the pan and warm through over low heat. Stir in the chili flakes. Use tongs to transfer the cooked pasta to the pan. Add ½ cup pasta water and toss until the sauce is mostly absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the remaining tablespoon butter and continue to toss. (The butter will add an element of richness and a sheen to the dish.) If the pasta tightens up, add some of the reserved clam liquid or more pasta water to moisten the mixture.

5. Just before plating, squeeze the lemon juice over the pasta. Taste and season with salt if desired. To serve, evenly divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Garnish each portion with mint leaves, lemon zest, and bread crumbs.

Lilia Chef Missy Robbins Shares a Winter Salad Recipe

I am a fanatic about citrus. I even like to eat lemons and limes. I know. It’s weird.

When winter is dark, vegetables are brown, and seasonal fresh greens are sparse, citrus peaks and sheds a little light on the winter doldrums.

I think most people associate citrus just with sour, but with so many varieties combined in this dish, you can truly appreciate the nuanced flavor that each brings — sweet, sour, tart and bitter. Pistachios add crunch while mint adds dimension.

If you want to make this a more savory dish, add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Winter Salad with Pistachios and Mint

4 Meyer lemons
4 ruby red grapefruits
4 blood oranges
4 tangerines
4 navel oranges
4 tablespoons unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
2 sprigs mint, leaves only

Zest the lemons and reserve the zest. Use a paring knife to cut away the skin and pith from each piece of fruit.

Over a large bowl, segment each piece of citrus, making sure to remove any seeds and squeezing their juices into the bowl. Toss lightly.

Evenly divide the fruit among four bowls, making sure to get a little of each type of citrus and juice into each bowl. Top with the pistachios, mint, and reserved lemon zest. Serves four.

Editor’s note: A version of this recipe appeared in the Fall/Holiday 2017/18 issue of Brownstoner magazine.

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"Chef Missy Robbins, who can't be written about without a mention of her time cooking at Chicago's Spiaggia, where the Obamas became fans of her food, is to thank for the menu. She's friendly and smart and down-to-earth - traits I've learned from devouring her new cookbook, "Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner . Life!" As a memoir peppered with her home kitchen recipes, it's a good read that's also lovely to look at. Somewhere between instructions on how to build a pantry and grill summer beans (which were on the menu at Lilia on a recent visit) and steps for preparing fried chicken and, of course, pastas, is a section on the Italian aperitivo hour - and a simple little instruction to pour the perfect negroni."
&mdashThe New York Times, T Magazine

"The first cookbook from NYC chef Missy Robbins (A Voce, Lilia) comes out September 19. Angled as a cookbook-memoir, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Life! Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen is inspired by the year Robbins took off from cooking professionally to focus on her personal health and relationships"

"The deal: Robbins' anticipated cookbook is like a look inside her culinary diary, with childhood favorites, signature Italian dishes, travel inspiration and more. Recipe to try: Any of the pasta dishes Good for: Home cooks looking for a challenge"
&mdashAM New York 

". inspired by a recipe from her new cookbook: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner. Life! Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen. "

"We know its not a pasta book, but InStyle notes that the book houses over 100 recipes that were 'all dreamed up right before Missy opened Italian hot spot Lilia.' "

"Before she opened the always-booked Lilia in Brooklyn, Robbins was exploring what it meant for a professional chef to actually take time for herself. These are the simple, beautifully balanced recipes that sustained her in the process. "

"Lilia, known for its otherworldly homemade pastas, has been one of New York's hottest restaurants since it opened in 2016. But if you can't get a reservation (and if you can, take us, please?), chef Missy Robbins's first cookbook is the next best thing. In addition to the Italian dishes that earned her a Michelin star, she includes homey favorites like chicken soup and dumplings, lots of veggies and even some Asian recipes inspired by international travel."

"As executive chef of A Voce Madison and A Voce Columbus in New York, her skills earned both restaurants Michelin stars before deciding to take a year off. Her first cookbook, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner&hellip Life!: Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen, bears the fruits of that time, sharing the new world of cooking she discovered both in her tiny West Village kitchen, and travels around the world."
&mdashFood & Wine Magazine

"Missy Robbins on Cooking Up Something New"
&mdashWomen's Wear Daily 

"The charming and welcoming chef, who recently moved to Williamsburg to be closer to Lilia, chatted with Domino about the book, how she stays healthy, and her favorite go-to recipes."

"New York City chef Missy Robbins took a year off from the restaurant game, and the result is this cookbook, an ode to cooking for the joy of it. There are, of course, the Italian dishes Robbins is famous for, but she also includes healthy fare and some Thai and Vietnamese-inspired recipes after taking a trip to those countries."

"In her new cookbook, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner &hellip Life: Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen (which came out in September), Robbins reveals her favorite version of an all-purpose tomato sauce"
&mdashBloomberg Pursuits 

"Thankfully, when she's not sitting across from you, regaling you with the accounts of her pasta-making training in Italy, her new book, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Life is there to keep the craving satisfied"

"She is in the best shape of her life, she says, after adopting some healthier habits that have stuck with her, and has recently published a cookbook called Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Life where she shares the lessons and recipes she developed while she transitioned from cooking in a professional kitchen into much tighter and less lavishly-stocked quarters at home."
&mdashExtra Crispy

"Missy Robbins has figured out a fundamental kitchen truth"
&mdashAppetite For Books 

"After a career of more than 20 years as an executive chef in professional kitchens, Robbins finally embraced the joy of cooking for herself at the age of 42. She documents this personal journey (and self-discovery) through food in her new book, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner&hellip Life!"

"With a candid eye and a sense of humor, Robbins details her first days out of the kitchen and drops culinary wisdom culled from years in the business and extensive travel."

Dinners for a Deal: Eat Like a Chef!

"Parmesan rinds have lots of uses. I save them in my freezer and use them to thicken risotto, and you can dice and microwave them to turn them into croutons, like in this recipe." -- Jonathon Sawyer, chef of the Greenhouse Tavern, Trentina and Noodlecat in Cleveland

Josef Centeno&aposs Shrimp & "Grits" with Red-Eye Gravy

"Don&apost toss your leftover brewed coffee! Use it to deepen the flavor of rich sauces." -- Josef Centeno, chef-owner of Bar Am? and Baco Mercat in Los Angeles

Tyler Kord&aposs BLP (Bacon, Lettuce & Pineapple) Sandwich

"All fat is good fat, so hang on to that flavor-packed grease and the fat that renders out of your roasted chicken and use it instead of oil." -- Tyler Kord, chef-owner of No. 7 restaurants, NYC, and author of the upcoming A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches

Amanda Freitag&aposs Italian Sausage Chili

"Dried or canned, beans are a frugal way to enrich any meal. Add them to salads, soups or vegetable ragouts or just serve them on their own with your favorite seasonings." -- Amanda Freitag, NYC-based chef, cohost of American Diner Revival and a judge on Chopped

Rick Bayless&apos Greens & Beans Tacos

"Canned chipotle chiles are my ace in the hole when I cook at home. They add smoke and heat to just about anything. And it&aposs easy and economical to stock up. You can find them in almost any supermarket for a buck or two." -- Rick Bayless, chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and host of Mexico -- One Plate at a Time

Richard Blais&apos Lemon Curd Roast Chicken & Carrots

"Check the global aisles of your grocery store, where you can usually find pantry items like spices, dried herbs and vinegars at lower prices." -- Richard Blais, chef, restaurateur and Top Chef All-Stars winner

Missy Robbins&apos Linguine with Anchovies & Caramelized Cauliflower

"Anchovy paste is a great, inexpensive ingredient that adds a ton of flavor. You can throw it in dishes for extra complexity without added chopping or prep time." -- Missy Robbins, chef-owner of Lilia restaurant, NYC

Amanda Cohen&aposs Grilled Tofu & Onion Salad with Sesame-Lime Vinaigrette

"If you have any leftover parsley or basil-- or any other green herbs! -- puree them in your blender, then freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray. Toss the herb cubes into pasta or rice for extra flavor." -- Amanda Cohen, chef-owner of Dirt Candy in NYC and coauthor of Dirt Candy: A Cookbook

The Art of Grocery Shopping: Chef Missy Robbins Shares the Secret to Stocking Your Pantry Like a Pro

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

Photo: Evan Sung from the book Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Life! Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen by Missy Robbins with Carrie King / Rizzoli Publishing

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

“What does success mean if you don’t have the time to enjoy it? If you work 100 hours in six days? If you’re too tired to take advantage of your one day off a week?” These are some of the questions that Chef Missy Robbins found herself asking, when, after 22 years of working at some of the country’s most prestigious restaurants and earning countless accolades (including two Michelin Stars, three Rising Star Awards, and the admiration of the Obamas), she realized she needed to make a change. “I had been lucky enough to receive some critical acclaim and the recognition from my chef peers, and it all seemed to be happening just as I had dreamed,” explains the chef, who helmed Chicago’s Spiaggia before becoming executive chef at New York’s famed A Voce restaurants. “But my hours had increased, my responsibility had increased, and the 12- to 14-hour workdays had taken a toll emotionally and physically. I was often absent at family occasions . . . it was difficult to keep up with friends . . . and I realized that I almost always felt torn. I’d developed joint problems, shoulder issues, back issues, and suffered from a general lack of taking care of myself.” So, at age 42, Robbins did something no one expected: She quit A Voce to take some much-needed time off.

This self-imposed hiatus—and the process of rediscovering herself, regaining her health, and finally building a balanced life—forms the basis for Robbins’s new book, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner . . . Life! Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen, out today from Rizzoli. One-part cookbook and one-part memoir, the 220-page hardcover chronicles everything from Robbins’s childhood in Connecticut to her 50-pound weight gain to the eventual light at the end of the tunnel: the opening of her very own restaurant, the acclaimed Lilia in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg. Told with honesty, humor, and humility, Robbins’s accounts are as fascinating and inspiring to read as her recipes (which include many Lilia signatures, including plenty of pasta and that ridiculously delicious olive oil cake) are tempting.

Photo: Evan Sung from the book Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Life! Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen by Missy Robbins with Carrie King / Rizzoli Publishing

When I was a kid I loved going to the grocery store with my mom. It brought me great joy to roam through each aisle as we searched for our old standbys for the pantry: the perfect potato chip, Temp Tee whipped cream cheese, Doritos, salsa, Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese, French dressing. My palate was not as sophisticated as it is now, but I think what excited me was the sheer variety. Instead of a kid in a candy store, I was a kid in a grocery store. But for the suburbs, my family had a unique approach to shopping because it wasn’t just one-stop shopping at the grocery store. My mother rounded out our “regular” grocery store haul with meat from the kosher butcher, fish from the fish market, a stop at the Italian market for oils, cheeses, and olives, the cheese shop for fancy cheeses, the farm stand and orchard for apples, and so on. As I got older, I found it to be a pain in the ass that we spent so much time in the car running from place to place. In and out of the car. In and out of the car. But, like any great chef that values the quality of ingredients, my mom knew where the best was and she wouldn’t settle for less. The multiple stops for hours on end drove me insane, but once in the stores my eyes were always wide open and I loved assessing the “product.” It was so important—the right piece of salmon, the right piece of Brie (there was a lot of Boursin purchased as well), the right cut of brisket, the right kosher hot dog . . . This type of shopping and scrutiny was ingrained in me at an early age, and being so attracted to the process paved the way for me to become a chef.

When I actually started cooking professionally, I never ate at home. I never kept food in the house, except for maybe a few staples like olive oil and pasta. I didn’t need to. For one, I had terrible eating habits and never ate until I got to work. And two, I always worked and didn’t have time to eat at home. On my days off the last thing I wanted to do was cook. I wanted to try other restaurants and absorb what was happening in whatever city I called home. The meandering grocery shopping I once loved became a foreign concept. I got what I needed in quick spurts on demand, usually at a bodega or corner store or whatever spot was easiest. For twenty years, every time I had the occasion to cook at home, I had to start from scratch and get everything I needed, from eggs to olive oil (which had usually gone rancid sitting on the shelf, unused in the months since I last cooked).

Watch the video: A Look Inside The Pasta Room At Missy Robbins Popular Brooklyn Restaurant Misi (May 2022).


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