Mark Bittman thinks stand mixers are overrated, and that more people should be cooking with cinnamon. Coming from the author of 23 cookbooks, they’re opinions worth taking into account.

We caught up with the cookbook author, journalist and food justice advocate when he spoke on Milk Street Radio last week. Listen to the full interview here to learn more about his new book, “Dinner for Everyone,” about what we can do to actually eat sustainably and about some of his biggest recent hits, like “VB6.”

“I like breaking rules, but I like making them also,” he says.

Dinner for Everyone

What do you make on a Tuesday night when you have 45 minutes to get dinner on the table?

It largely depends on what’s in the house. At this time of year whatever it is likely to include root vegetables.

What's the one ingredient you can't live without? How do you use it?

Salt. I mean, it’s the one ingredient almost no one can live without. But big time runners up are garlic, olive oil, lemon, and soy sauce.

Name a chef or cookbook author you particularly admire right now. Why?

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, because he never stops changing.

Name a favorite kitchen hack.

Pre-cooking beans and grains in quantity so they’re always ready.

Name a tool or appliance that's overrated.

So many. Stand mixers, blenders, multi-cookers, slow cookers, and especially bread makers.

Which cookbook most influenced the way you cook?

Hard to say. Let’s just say a tie between works by Marcella Hazan, Julie Sahni, Richard Olney, Paula Peck, and about 50 now-anonymous people.

Which seasoning is under-appreciated by home cooks?


What's the latest dish to enter your regular rotation?

100 percent whole grain sourdough bread.

What's the best restaurant meal you've had in the last year and why?

So many are disappointing and so many are surprising and fun, but none can be duplicated. Much of the time it’s not about the food.

What's the oldest or most unusual cookbook you own?

I have a number of World War II- era cookbooks that focus on “international” dishes and saving money, and they’re really cool.

Listen to Mark Bittman on Milk Street Radio.

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