Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. In her long-standing capacity as a Newsday columnist, Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, restaurant critic, recent columnist for several leading magazines (Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention); regular contributor to many magazines, (including Self, More, Coastal Living, and Relish) and frequent guest on television and radio, Perry is an accessible and authoritative guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Ms. Perry has contributed recipes and text to nearly 20 other food and nutrition books. Her articles have been syndicated internationally in magazines and books, and her recipes have appeared on the Television Food Network and numerous television news segments.

Perry teaches cooking and food writing at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, food writing at, and is a guest lecturer at the culinary management graduate school at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing and reporting about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, producers and manufacturers; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; consumer trend analysis; and volunteering to bring food and cooking/nutrition know-how to those in need. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship and the Association of Food Journalists Award for Best Food Essay for an ode to her mother and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.

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1⁄3 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut

3 tablespoons canola (or other) mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lime juice

1⁄2 teaspoon lime zest

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 ears corn, husked

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2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1⁄2 teaspoon coarse sea salt


1. Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking (400 degrees).

2. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium high; add the coconut and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned. Spread the coconut out on a plate.

3. Stir the mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest and cumin together in a small bowl.

4. Place the corn on the grill and cook, turning a quarter of the way each time the undersides are lightly browned (about 2 to 3 minutes); cook for a total of 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Brush the mayonnaise mixture over the entire surface of each ear of corn. Roll in the coconut. Sprinkle with the cilantro and sea salt and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 199 calories, 5 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 461 mg sodium


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8 ounces penne

1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

1 tablespoon lemon juice

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1⁄2 teaspoon honey

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Corn from 3 ears, about 1 1⁄2 cups

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped

6 cups baby spinach, divided

1⁄4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, if desired


1. Cook penne according to package directions in plenty of lightly salted boiling water; drain.

2. While the pasta cooks, combine the mustard, shallots, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl; add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a steady stream and continue whisking until the dressing is creamy. Toss with the pasta.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the corn and cook until bright yellow, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes until the tomatoes just begin to break down. Add half the spinach and toss until it is wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining spinach, remove from the heat and continue tossing until the second batch is wilted from the residual heat in the pan. Stir in the basil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes if desired, and toss with the penne. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 397 calories, 12 g protein, 61 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 386 mg sodium



Serve on grilled meat, chicken or fish.


1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar

1⁄2 cinnamon stick

6 whole peppercorns

2 whole cloves

1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1⁄2 small red onion, finely diced (about 1⁄2 cup)

1⁄2 jalapeño, finely minced

2 tablespoons currants

Corn from 3 ears, about 1 1⁄2 cups

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Bring the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves and red pepper flakes to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the onion, jalapeño and currants and simmer gently over medium heat 4 minutes. Stir in the corn and salt and bring to a boil; immediately remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pan.

2. Once the mixture is at room temperature, transfer it (with all the liquid) to a bowl or container with a cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 to 4 days. Makes 4 servings, about 2 cups.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 104 calories, 2 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 1 g fat, 0 saturated fat, 250 mg sodium