Sara Jenkins is famous for making the Italian roasted pork street food known as porchetta trendy in New York. She’s also known for her way with pasta (and has a new book out with her famed food writer mom celebrating it). She’s had turns at a handful of great Italian restaurants in New York, earning them stars and accolades and has written at length for The Atlantic about Italian food. And almost all I ever want to talk about here? Her salads.
I can’t help it — they’re riveting, and while I will forever love roasted pork and pasta, in my life, nothing fills the inspiration deficit that accumulates from the daily repetition of cooking that real life requires like chefs that have a way with vegetables — ways we can take back home and eat food we’re more excited about. It began the first time we went to Porsena nearly 5 years ago, when I fell in love with a green bean salad busy with pickled onions, fried almonds, thinly sliced fennel and celery, which I’m of the opinion never gets enough praise. Crunchy and bright, I became obsessed and made it again and again at home. Last week, we were back for an early Sunday night dinner with our menagerie of mini-humans (fine, just two, but it feels like a lot!) and the giant shells with kale pesto were excellent, my son’s thousand-layer deeply broiled duck lasagna was otherworldly, my husband has nothing but good things to say about the linguine with clams, but the only thing I spent the next week babbling on about was the salad I had with dates, feta and radicchio.