Molly Baz knew she wanted to learn how to cook when she was distracted by the food of Italy while living in Florence and studying art history.
She went on to become a food editor and recipe developer, and now her new cookbook “Cook This Book” features a recipe inspired by the woman she lived with in Italy.
The New York Times bestseller is filled with innovative ideas, like including QR codes that pull up videos related to Molly’s recipes.
But Molly says the essence of “Cook This Book” is about learning the importance of good technique in the kitchen and understanding how to come up with different flavors.
Jessica and Molly recently made a Caesar potato salad from “Cook This Book.”
This segment aired on California Cooking with Jessica Holmes Episode 102.
Caesar-ish Potato Salad with Radishes & Dill, serves 4. Reprinted from Cook This Book. Copyright © 2021 by Molly Baz. Photographs copyright © 2021 by PEDEN+MUNK. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.
- 2 pounds baby potatoes, any variety
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 lemon
- 6 radishes
- 1 cup of dill leaves, plus more for finishing
- Kosher salt
- 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 1⁄3 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Cook the potatoes: Place 2 pounds of potatoes and 1 cup of salt in a large pot and cover with 3 quarts water. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once the water reaches a simmer, adjust the heat to medium to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork or paring knife. This should take roughly 8 to 10 minutes after the water comes to a simmer, but timing will vary greatly by the size of potato, so focus on the doneness rather than the minutes.
- While the potatoes cook, make your dressing: Firmly smash and peel one garlic clove. Add a pinch of salt to the garlic and, using the side of your knife, mash the garlic to a paste. Finely chop three anchovy fillets and then, using the side of your knife, mash them into a homogeneous paste. Combine the anchovy paste with the garlic paste and mash a few more times to combine. Add the paste to a large bowl along with 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk well to combine. Slowly stream in 2 tablespoons olive oil, whisking as you go. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice of both halves into the dressing; whisk to combine. Season the dressing to taste with salt.
- Assemble the salad and serve: Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and let them cool just until they can be handled. Smash each potato against the cutting board lightly with your palm so they are just crushed and their skins have broken to expose their flesh, but not totally crumbly. Add them to the dressing, tossing to evenly coat. Thinly slice six radishes crosswise into coins. Finely chop 1 cup of dill leaves. Add the radishes and dill to the potatoes and toss to coat. Taste and add more salt and black pepper as needed. Top with more dill leaves and serve immediately.