The Making of a School Cookbook

Recipe revolutionaries: Two of Multi-Cultural Night organizers Cheryl Bedini and Kenna Panton.

Editor’s Note: We don’t often think of the East End as a hotbed of ethnic eats. But in fact Sag Harbor has held exotic flavors for centuries. In its glory days as a whaling port, the peripatetic maritime workforce meant there were 200 languages spoken on Main Street—not unlike a busy block of present day Jackson Heights, Queens. And while churches, Rotary clubs, Ladies Village Improvement Societies, and other community organizations on the East End have been publishing cookbooks since the 1700s, packed with recipes for potato salad, strawberry shortcake, clam pie, Long Island duck and other regional specialties—the recently published Multi-Culti cookbook features the cooking traditions that locals have brought here from the farflung nations of their heritage.

Celebrating this international diversity in Sag Harbor was the vision of Cheryl Bedini, a coffee roaster and mother of two in the school district. A few years ago, Bedini launched a Multi-Culti night and invited parents and friends to bring an international dish and serve it on a table decked out with flags, traditional dress and other indigenous regalia. The event was a smash and remains one of the most popular of the school calendar—attended by locals and enjoyed by locals.

It’s not surprising, perhaps, that Sag Harbor—once the main shipping port for Sagaponack farmers—has also been at the center of the food and drink awakening rippling across the East End. The American Hotel was among the first meeting places for the East End chapter of Slow Food. Java Nation, the coffee roaster owned by Cheryl and her husband, Andrew, was among the region’s first. The East End now counts nearly 10 regular farmers market; the first was launched a short eight years ago in, you guessed it, Sag Harbor. Every school district on the North and South forks now counts an edible schoolyard, teaching greenhouse or other farm-to-school program, and the greenhouse and garden in Sag Harbor were among the first.

Edible East End was glad to play a role in the building of this book as well. Publisher Stephen Munshin designed the pages, while his wife and our photo editor Lindsay Morris went home to home to photograph all the recipes in the works. Our friend, neighbor and fellow food writer Lauren Chattman edited the recipes. So, let the book—and this photo essay—be your excuse to try a new sweet or savory—from Argentine Provoleta to Chinese chicken wings, from Korean scallion pancakes to Moroccan lamb tagine with dates, and from Polish hunter’s stew (Bigos) to St. Lucian fish cakes. And let it be your inspiration to better know your neighbor through food. —Brian Halweil

Gall o Pinto Costa Rica •

by Marina Leous

Gallo Pinto is the traditional Costa Rican dish of rice and beans. It is popular at breakfast, with a crumbled hard-boiled egg. It is also served as a side dish.

2 T. vegetable oil

2 T. finely chopped onion

1 T. finely chopped bell pepper

2 c. cooked black beans, preferably freshly cooked but canned are okay, too

3 c. cooked rice (leftovers are okay)

1⁄2 T. Lizano sauce or Worcestershire sauce

2 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro

1⁄2 t. Tabasco sauce (optional)

3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and pepper and cook until softened. Add beans and cook 2 minutes. Add rice, mix and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.

2. Add Lizano sauce, cilantro and Tabasco sauce if desired.

Garnish with bacon if desired and serve.

Makes 2 to 4 servings * Lizano sauce is available at

Potato-Beet Salad
Russia • by Marina Leous
This salad will taste even better with a greater variety of vegetables.
Experiment and enjoy!
11⁄2 lbs. potatoes
1⁄3 c. white wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
2 T. chopped parsley
1 T. Dijon mustard
One 15-oz. can baby beets, rinsed and drained, or 15 oz. boiled beets
1⁄2 chopped red onion
Cooked carrots, green peas, sauerkraut, pickles (optional)
Ground black pepper
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, cover and
simmer until just tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes and cover with cold water. Drain when
cool, about 15 minutes.
3. Mix vinegar, oil, parsley and mustard in a wide bowl.
4. Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes and beets into 1⁄4- to 3⁄4-inch
cubes and add to bowl. Add onion and other vegetables if
desired, mix gently and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings

Grannie Mackay’s Scotch Broth

Scotland • by Kenna Panton

A popular soup in Scotland, Scotch Broth is documented to have been eaten as early as the 17th century. Every family has a different version, but most were traditionally made with mutton.

1 lb. beef brisket or boneless mutton

8 c. water or beef stock

1 c. dried peas

1⁄3 c. split peas

1⁄3 c. yellow lentils

1⁄3 c. barley (optional)

4 carrots, peeled and diced

2 onions, finely chopped

1 small rutabaga (called a “neep” in Scotland), peeled and diced

1 leek, white and light green parts, chopped

2 c. kale (optional), tough inner ribs removed, coarsely chopped

1 c. curly parsley, chopped


Ground black pepper

1. Place brisket in a large pot or Dutch oven, cover with water or stock and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and skim foam from top. Add dried peas, split peas, yellow lentils and barley if using. Simmer gently for 1 hour.

2. Add carrots, onions, rutabaga and leek to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add kale and simmer another 30 minutes. Dust the top with cocoa powder.

3. Remove meat from pot, shred or chop, and return to pan. Adjust seasonings, stir in parsley and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings