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The Pleasures of Green Salad

Plenty of herbs and a dill vinaigrette make Eric Kim’s new recipe restaurant worthy.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. Eric Kim wrote about salad for The Times this week, and delivered a terrific recipe with the essay, for green salad with dill vinaigrette (above). That could be part of your meal tonight, maybe alongside some roasted salmon.

As good as that recipe is, though, my main takeaway from Eric’s story came from one of the chefs he interviewed, Jim Burke, of Wm. Mulherin’s Sons in Philadelphia, who doesn’t ever use black pepper in his salad dressing. “Pepper is an extraordinarily assertive flavor,” Burke told Eric. “It doesn’t have a place in everything, especially with delicate leaves.”

I laughed at that. It reminded me of a brushback the chef Ned Baldwin threw at Jeff Glor, a correspondent for “CBS This Morning,” who interviewed Baldwin about his book “How to Dress an Egg” in 2020. Baldwin was preparing a black sea bass for the camera, dressing it with salt, lemon and herbs. “And pepper too,” Glor said. Baldwin cut him off. “No pepper,” he said. “Don’t believe in pepper.”

It’s a valuable lesson these chefs offer. Consider it in your cooking moving forward. I’ve been largely off pepper except as what they call a finishing spice for months now, and it’s been revelatory.

(On the other hand, these black pepper chicken thighs with mango, rum and cashews are bonkers delicious, as is this black pepper beef and cabbage stir-fry.)

What else to cook this week? I’m thinking sheet-pan paprika chicken with tomatoes and Parmesan; tomato rice with crispy Cheddar; millionaire’s shortbread; and Korean cod jeon, pan-fried cod sliders on Hawaiian rolls.

I’m also thinking a lot about Thanksgiving pies and desserts. Maybe a cranberry curd tart this year, or some pecan pie truffles? Maybe baked apple cider doughnuts, a simple bread pudding, a spiced pumpkin pie? Practice makes perfect!

Thousands and thousands more recipes are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking, including hundreds appropriate to the coming Thanksgiving feast. (Dry-brined turkey for the win.) You do need a subscription to access them, it’s true. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. Please, if you haven’t already, subscribe today.

Visit our Instagram page and YouTube channel for even more inspiration. And do reach out for help if you find yourself in trouble with a recipe or with our technology. Just write:, and someone will get back to you. You can also write to me, if you’d like to register a complaint about, or your deep happiness with, all that we have to offer: I read every letter sent.

Now, it’s a far cry from marjoram and almond oil, but I’d like to put you onto Gary Shteyngart’s novel “Our Country Friends.” Molly Young calls it his best yet, and who am I to argue? It’s good fun.

Women have been admitted to the formerly all-male cowboy institution Deep Springs College in rural California and, as Tessa Love reports for Outside, that doesn’t mean it’s changing.

Here’s a new poem by Tracy K. Smith in The New York Times Magazine, “We Feel Now a Largeness Coming On.”

Finally, I’ll leave you with a soundtrack for the week, from the infinite playlists of NTS Radio: “Island Time.” Easy skanking! Listen loud, cook a lot and I’ll be back on Wednesday.

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