Writer, cooking teacher, television host, and author of an award-winning book, Amelia Saltsman is passionate about getting everyone into the kitchen.
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Events

Farmers’ Market Tour Santa Monica, CA
Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014
Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Tour with Amelia
Ladies in the Kitchen
Book Signing
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, December 6, 2014
1-2 p.m.
Grand Central Market/Valerie at GCM
Junior League of Los Angeles Book Signing Los Angeles, CA
Tue., Jan. 13, 2015
Cooking Experiences at La Cocina Que Canta Cooking Class and Retreat Tecate, Mexico
May 9-15, 2015
Rancho La Puerta

Thanksgiving Recipe Rescue Guide

Corn Pudding, photo courtesy of Epicurious

We all know Thanksgiving dinner is first about the sides and then about dessert. Vegetarians, try not to be too smug when you remind us that the produce side of the menu is the most interesting.

Want more ideas for seasonal holiday dishes? Join my special SATURDAY Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Tour on November 15, 2014>

Yes, most meat-eaters have a turkey, but when asked what our traditional holiday favorites are, only 30% of us list the bird first. I’m not making this stuff up. Logician and Thanksgiving expert Ian Dengler spent years studying our holiday habits. When Ruth Reichl wrote about Mr. Dengler in 1990, …

How to Roast Winter Squash

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Jerry Rutiz of Rutiz Family Farms carved this red kuri squash for me. It’s almost too pretty to eat!

Sweet, delicious roasted winter squash is one of the delights of the season. And I’ve got an easy way to do it. Forget wrestling to halve and seed a hard, raw gourd. This technique is a simple — and safe! — way to roast any type of winter squash for soups, pies, and more.

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Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Pierce the squash in a few places with a large knife or meat fork, …

How to Skin, Slice and Chop a Melon

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It is officially melon season. Here’s the one trick you need to easily skin, slice, and dice your way through a summer’s worth of cantaloupe, honeydew, or any of the fabulous types available at farmers’ markets, such as Weiser Family Farms’ lovely French Cavaillons, above, and their Israeli Arava variety, below. This technique makes short work of cutting crescents to pair with prosciutto or chunks for a summer salad, like this refreshing and unusual Melon and Cucumber Salad with Mint. What’s that you say? Well, cukes and ‘loupes are kissing cousins and they marry well.

I …

Melon and Cucumber Salad with Mint

At first glance, melon and cucumber seem like an unlikely match. They are actually close cousins that go well together in this ultra-refreshing salty-sweet summer salad that is a play on the Israeli summer favorite made with watermelon.

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I like to use two kinds of cucumbers in this salad–crisp flavorful Persian cukes and prickly, pale yellow lemon cucumbers, named for their looks, not their flavor. You can really see how closely related melons and cucumbers are in this lemon cucumber photo. The two types add color, flavor, and texture variety to this dish. Be sure to use a very sweet melon in this salad for good flavor contrast.

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What’s in Season in Israel?

olive-tree What’s in season in Israel? And more to the point, where and what should I eat? After a too-long 30 years, I’m heading back to the land where my parents grew up, met and married, and then left to study and settle in the U.S.

My desire to return to Israel was there, but blame the kids for the destination not staying in the number one slot. Three children going to college and grad schools in interesting places, then their jobs in interesting places we wanted to visit—Japan! Cambodia! Vietnam!—a couple of weddings, grandkids, family illnesses and passings here and in Israel. That’s how 30 years can pass in the blink of an eye.

Why now, finally? Well, time …

A Fresh New Side Dish for Passover

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Passover Seder side dish inspiration: the Seder plate. Seriously. You’re buying all those herbs, alliums, and radishes anyway. Why not use the extras in a Passover Herb Salsa Verde to serve over steamed fennel, carrots, and radishes?

Yes, radishes. When steamed (or roasted), their sharpness mellows into a young turnip-like sweetness. That may sound oxymoronic, but if you’ve ever had truly young turnips, you know what I’m talking about.

Simply steam wedges of fennel, fat carrots–those round French ones are wonderful here–and French breakfast or pink Japanese Shunkyo radishes until they’re just tender. Shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.Use any combination of Passover herbs for the salsa—lots of parsley accented with mint, garlic or leek chives, or regular chives, and so on. Serve …