Incredibly talented and someone our family is proud to call a dear friend, Colu Henry is a food writer and recipe developer extraordinaire. With over 15 years’ experience in food, her work has been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and New York Times recipe site, NYT Cooking (where her recipe for Roasted Tomato and White Bean Stew was the site’s most popular vegetarian recipe of 2020!) Her latest cookbook, “Colu Cooks: Easy Fancy Food” really encapsulates her expertise – creating delicious, elegant and approachable recipes without the unneeded fuss. When not on the road for her book tour, Colu splits her time between Hudson, NY and Nova Scotia, Canada, where, fun fact, she is renovating an 1860’s farmhouse with her husband. We recently sat down with Colu for some advice for our Mariani home chef community:
What does ‘eating well’ mean to you?
Listening to your body and giving it what it asks for. Some days it's fish and roasted vegetables and others it might mean a cheeseburger or fried chicken. In short, I think “eating well” means not depriving yourself of anything.
What would you say to a home chef intimidated to try something new?
Just try it! What’s the worst that can happen? I cook every day and still can mess things up. The only way to learn is by doing. You likely won’t make the same mistake twice and I bet if you do, it’s still edible.
What is always in your pantry?
I did a whole section on this in my new book Colu Cooks: Easy Fancy Food! It’s one of my favorite things to talk about. Dried fruit and nuts for sure, along with pasta, dried beans, canned tomatoes, tinned fish, and I could go on and on. I do believe having a well-stocked pantry is the trick for making weeknight meals sing.
What food says "home" to you?
Nothing comforts me more than a big bowl of pasta and a few glasses of wine. The pasta can be one with meat sauce or a Carbonara or one with some tinned fish topped with toasted nuts - as long as I have noodles glossy with sauce, I’m happy.
If you could change the world with one dish, what would it be?
A pot of perfectly cooked beans. I’m obsessed with them. Especially in the fall. They can be worked into soups, stews, pasta dishes and more. Plus, they are so good for you.
We are thrilled to share a recipe from Colu, created just for you: Flatbread with Dates, Blue Cheese and Red Onion.
Simple enough for a “just because” during the week yet, in true Colu fashion, perfectly elegant to impress guests. This recipe is on our fall rotation.
Colu’s first book, Back Pocket Pasta, is available at https://www.coluhenry.com/shop