2015 Speaker Recipes

We asked this year’s speakers to share their favorite recipe with the TEDxManhattan community.

Robert Graham – Irene’s Mean Beans


  • Soak 1 bag of small red or black beans overnight in cold water
  • Rinse beans and put in medium pot of cold water, enough to cover the beans
  • Add 1/2 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 medium onion–chopped
  • 3 green onions–chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green pepper
  • Season as you cook and taste – salt and pepper

Boil beans over medium/high heat and then simmer until beans are soft–a few (3-4) hours. Add more water if needed. They are ready when soft.

Place beans in food processor or blender if you want to make them smooth. You can then refry them in a little olive oil in a pan. Otherwise, you can enjoy them as a soup! Delish!


Kendra Kimbirauskas – Roasted Heritage Turkey

This is my favorite recipe that we use when we roast one of our pasture-raised heritage turkeys and that we always share with all of our customers that purchase birds.  I received this recipe from Sandra Kay Miller at Painted Hand Farm in Pennsylvania. I am sharing it with her permission.

Besides the fact that most old fashion Heritage turkeys are also raised the old fashioned way — with plenty of grass and sunshine — they need to be cooked quite differently than their modern, factory-farmed counterparts. This tried and true recipe (which serves 10-12 people) will make the best of your Heritage bird this year.


  • 15-pound fresh heritage turkey at room temperature
  • Kosher or sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 4 cups giblet broth (see recipe below)
  • Rosemary Maple Butter (see recipe below)
  • Oiled parchment paper

Pre-heat oven to 425F-450F. Rub turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Loosen the skin around the breast with your fingers and insert Rosemary Maple Butter between the meat and the skin as well as on the inside of the bird’s cavity. Set bird in deep roasting pan. Use a wire rack to lift the bird off the bottom of the pan.

Add the giblet broth to the bottom of the pan. Using a sheet of oiled parchment paper, tent the roasting pan with the oiled parchment paper. Any type of cooking oil can be used. Brush it on both sides with a pastry brush. The parchment paper is easily affixed to the roasting pan with a strip of foil on each end or you can use clean, oiled wooden clothespins. Remove parchment paper and the last 30 minutes of cooking to develop a crispy, golden skin. Roast the bird until the thigh temperature reaches 140F-150F. Let the bird rest 10-15 minutes before carving to let the juices settle.

A word about basting – quick roasting at high temperatures means the oven temperature needs to be maintained and frequent basting defeats that purpose. By adding butter under the skin, the bird is self-basted. Baste the bird when you remove the parchment tent. If there is not enough liquid for basting, add either more water or wine.

Giblet Broth

  • 2 cups white wine (a deep, oaky chardonnay lends a wonder taste)
  • 2 cups water
  • Giblets & neck
  • Bay leaf

Simmer everything in a small saucepan for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and neck. Giblets can be discarded if they aren’t your type of thing or they can be finely chopped and added to the broth.

Rosemary Maple Butter

  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary

Bring butter to room temperature and whip all ingredients together.


Nikiko Masumoto – Panko-Fried Peaches

Panko Peaches

I call this hapa food. The term hapa is deliciously slippery. It is often used to describe mixed-race Japanese Americans but not always. For me, being hapa provides a way of claiming a whole racial and ethnic identity as opposed to thinking of myself as “just” or “only” half-and-half. I am a whole person, and my experience of race, culture, and nationality is more complicated than adding fractions. This dish did not emerge from a place of separation in which two disparate things were fused together, but rather from the co-constitution, interdependence, and wholeness of my life as a hapa growing peaches in the United States and cooking food from my multiple cultural and racial lineages that go far beyond this country’s borders. I have learned to make and cook my own path. Biting into this treat is like unleashing a burst of glowing peach wrapped in a crunchy cocoon. This could be served as a side dish with other tempura, on top of a salad, or even with green tea ice cream and chile-infused honey as a dessert. When we step outside of rigid categories, possibilities are infinite, no?

  • Canola oil, for deep-frying
  • 5 to 6 soft large peaches, peeled and halved
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups panko

Pour the oil to a depth of at least 3 inches into a deep-fryer, wok, or deep, heavy saucepan and heat to 300F.

Meanwhile, cut the peaches into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spread the flour on a plate and spread the panko on a second plate.

When the oil is ready, using chopsticks or tongs, dredge a peach slice in the flour, shaking off the excess, and then dip in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off. Finally, dredge the slice in the panko, covering it as evenly as possible with the light flakes.

Carefully place the peach slice in the hot oil. It should immediately begin to bubble and hiss. While the first slice is cooking, continue to dredge and dip more slices in the flour, egg, and panko and add them to the oil. Fry no more than 3 or 4 slices at a time, making sure they do not touch one another, for about 1 minute, until evenly golden. Using a wire skimmer, transfer the finished slices to a wire rack set over a shallow bowl or pan to drain briefly. Serve piping hot. Serves 4 to 6.


Peach Bruschetta 

Peach BruschettaArugula pesto

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1  tablespoon olive oil, plus more for 
brushing the bread
  • 1  red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1  teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1  baguette, sliced 3/8 inch thick
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 soft small peaches, peeled, halved, 
pitted, and cut into wedges 1/4 inch 
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Coarse salt

To make the pesto, combine the garlic and walnuts in a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the oil and arugula and continue to pulse until the mixture is evenly moist and spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the bruschetta, heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and rosemary. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft. Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare a medium-hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill. When the fire is ready, paint each bread slice on both sides with oil. Arrange the bread on the grill rack and toast, turning once, for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. (If you do not have a grill, toast the bread on both sides in a preheated broiler until golden brown.)

When the bread slices are ready, let them cool enough to handle, then rub the smashed garlic cloves on both sides of each slice. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the pesto on one side of each bread slice. (You will need only 1/2 cup pesto; cover and store any remaining pesto in the refrigerator for another use.) Top each slice with some of the caramelized onion, 1 or 2 peach slices, a little Parmesan, and a sprinkle of salt. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6.

Peach Day Pickles

In 2011, I took my first trip to Japan with my mom, dad, and brother. We visited relatives in the small village of Takamura in Kumamoto prefecture where one of my great-grandmothers was born and spent her childhood. Driving from the train station to the family farmhouse, I looked out the window to see a flat, sweeping basin of cultivated land under the protective gaze of distant mountains. I felt at home. The scene looked similar to the view from our farm in the Central Valley, bordered by the towering Sierra Nevada. Many years ago, as my o-baasan (great-grandmother) worked on the same land that I work today, I wonder if she looked up at the Sierra and thought for a second that she, too, was home. But she lived and toiled in these fields when anti-Asian racism was legalized in the early twentieth century by the California Alien Land Laws of 1913 and 1920 that prohibited Asian immigrants from owning land in the state. Asians were not wanted, not welcomed. And yet, here I am, a fourth-generation Japanese American and I call this place home.

The roots of this recipe come from tsunomono, a lightly pickled Japanese cucumber salad I grew up eating. I wish I could share it with my o-baasan; I wonder if her spirit is still in these fields imagining that she is home. Serve these pickles as a condiment, a salad, on a salad, or on a sandwich. We have enjoyed them tucked between slices of ciabatta with roast beef, roasted poblano chile, arugula, and a mild cheese like Fontina, fresh goat, or provolone.

  • 1 peach, firm or with give, peeled, halved, pitted, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole-grain mustard

Put the peach slices in a small bowl. In a second small bowl, stir together the vinegar and mustard, mixing well. Pour the mixture over the peaches and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Makes 1 cup (enough for 4 to 6 sandwiches).

Credit: Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Peach by Marcy Masumoto, Nikiko Masumoto, and David Mas Masumoto. Copyright © 2013 Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photography copyright © 2013 Staci Valentine


Michele Merkel – Soupa di Pasta y Fagioli

My mother is a first generation Italian, and her mother and father abstained from eating meat on Fridays, because it was a common practice of the Catholic Church.  One of the meals that my grandmother provided on Friday nights was Pasta Fagioli.  Here is the recipe that my mother still uses today.

  • 1 lb dried pinto beans
  • 2 T flour
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 ribs celery with leaves
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 lb butter
  • 1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 10-1/2 oz cans beef , chicken broth, or vegetable broth, homemade if you have it
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 T dried basil or 1/3 c chopped fresh basil
  • 8 oz pasta

Soak beans overnight.  Rinse, drain and put in a large pot.  Add flour and 3 T olive oil and stir until the beans are coated.  Add 2 qts. warm water and garlic.  Cover and simmer for 1-1/4 hours or until the beans are soft.  Meantime, coarsely chop onion, celery, carrots.  Sauté vegetables in 2 T olive oil and the butter for 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, parsley.  Cover and simmer 1 hour.  Add water if necessary to prevent sticking.  After beans are done, set aside 3 cups.  Put remaining beans and vegetables through a blender or cuisinart.  Put in large pot.  Add broth, reserved beans, 2 t salt, pepper and basil.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add more broth or water if too thick.  Cook macaroni and add to soup.  Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, parmesan reggiano and eat with a good loaf of Italian bread!


Danielle Nierenberg – Bengali Style Okra

Okra, or Abelmoschus esculentus, is a perennial flowering plant belonging to the mallows (Malvaceae) family. It is an indigenous crop and has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any vegetable.

A delicious dish from East India, this recipe is easy and quick to make and can be enjoyed hot with parathas or plain chapatis.


  •     2 cups okra
  •     1 tbsp poppy seeds
  •     1 tbsp mustard seeds
  •     2 tsp oil
  •     1 1/2 tsp finely chopped green chilies
  •     Salt, to taste
  •     1/2 tsp sugar
  •     1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  •     1/2 tsp chili

Wash the okra and pat dry on a kitchen towel. Trim off both edges of all the ladies’ fingers and cut halves them horizontally. Combine the poppy seeds and mustard seeds and grind in a mixer to a fine powder. Heat the oil in a non-stick kadhai, add the okra, and cook on a medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes or until they become soft. Stir occasionally. Add the green chilies, prepared powder, salt, sugar, turmeric powder and chili powder. Mix well and cook on a medium flame 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Stephen Reily – New Orleans Breakfast Beignets

As a native New Orleanian, I want people to know how easy it is to make beignets even when you can’t get yourself to the French Quarter.

  • 2  1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 3  1/2 – 3  3/4 Cups Unbleached Flour
  • 1/8 Cup Vegetable Oil

For cooking and serving:

  • Frying oil
  • Powdered Sugar

Combine the yeast, water, and a pinch of sugar in a bowl and let the yeast proof.  Mix the salt, egg, evaporated milk, remaining sugar, and oil, and then add the yeast mixture to it.  Then add the flour, slowly, until the dough is smooth and non-sticky.  Roll it to about 1/2” thickness on a floured surface and then cut into 2 ½” squares. Let the dough rest and rise on the floured surface.  Pour at least 3-4 inches of frying oil (I prefer peanut oil) in a dutch oven and heat to about 370 degrees. Fry the beignets in batches, turning them once as they become puff up and golden brown on each side.  Frying only takes a couple of minutes.  Lift them from the oil, drain, and then cover with sifted powdered sugar.  Dip in chicory café au lait if you can.


Stefanie Sacks – Cowgirl Chili

While my husband complains that I always put too much stuff in my chili, everyone else seems to love it. Packed with wholesome goodness in the beans, plus veg, healthy fat, and spice, this dish is medicinally delish. Speaking of spice, when testing, we added way too much, nearly blowing a hole in my mouth (thus the name Cowgirl Chili), but much to my surprise, everyone still loved it. The spice has been sliced, but add more if you want to electrify your senses and decrease inflammation. Eat alone with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream and sliced avocado, or as part of a meal—for lunch or dinner—or even as a little dip on a chip.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, medium spice
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into quarter-moons
  • 1 small yellow squash, cut into quarter-moons
  • 1 15‑ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15‑ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15‑ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8‑ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed, roughly chopped
  • Salt, to taste

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, and chili powder and sauté until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash, mix well, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste to the pot and stir well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Add the cilantro and gently mix. Season with salt to taste. Store in the fridge for up to three days or freeze for up to three months. Serves 4 to 6.

Excerpted from What the Fork Are You Eating? An Action Plan for Your Pantry and Plate by Stefanie Sacks. © 2014 by Stefanie Sacks. Published by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, Penguin Group USA, A Penguin Random House Company.


Marcel Van Ooyen – Greenmarket Peach Salsa

There are many.  All found in the New Greenmarket Cookbook sold at a Greenmarket near you.  (Yes. I know. A shameless plug.)  But here is one of my own I love, which sadly can’t be made from market produce until the summer.

  • 2 peaches, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (optional), finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1/2 a medium sized red onion, chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and/or lime juice and honey if you prefer it sweeter.


Ietef “DJ Cavem Moetavation” Vita – Ginger Coconut Cashew Kale with Toasted Sesame Seeds

  • 1 head of Kale rinsed, chopped (discard stems if preferred)
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw Cashews (chopped)
  • 2 T unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 T Grated Ginger
  • 2 garlic gloves minced
  • 1 T toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 T shredded coconut (toasted or raw)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat Coconut oil in a medium skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Sauté onion, bell pepper, cashews, ginger, and garlic. Add kale. Toss in skillet combing with well with other ingredients. Cover for 3 minutes tossing once. Remove from heat and toss with sesame seeds and shredded coconut. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2.




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