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 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

A teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

4 portobello mushroom caps, about 1 pound

A cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella

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A cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

A cup grape cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise

1. Whisk the balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Brush the mixture over the entire surface of the mushrooms and allow them to sit at room temperature 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the grill for direct heat cooking.

3. Place the mushrooms, gill side down, on the grill and cook 4 minutes, until they readily release from the rack surface. Turn and cook another 4 minutes, until they are tender but not soft. Top with the shredded cheese and cook until the cheese is nearly melted, about 1 minute.

4. Remove from the grill, top with the shredded basil and tomatoes and serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 174 calories, 7 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 13 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 254 mg sodium



2 medium eggplants, about 3 pounds

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A cup tahini

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

A teaspoon sea salt

1. Heat the grill for direct heat cooking.

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2. Prick the eggplants in several places on all sides with a fork. Place them directly on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until they are soft and wrinkled, about 25-30 minutes.

3. When cool enough to handle, cut the eggplants lengthwise in half and scoop out the flesh; discard the skin. Place the flesh in a colander or strainer and drain 5 minutes, tossing once or twice. Transfer to a food processor and add the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and process until smooth. (If preferred, the dip may be thinned with a little cold water). Keeps well for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Makes 6 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 128 calories, 4 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 358 mg sodium



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

A teaspoon salt

3 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise

1 red onion, cut across in A-inch thick slices

1/3 cup shredded Parmesan

1. Coat the grill rack with oil; heat the grill.

2. Make the dressing: Whisk the oil, lemon juice and salt together. Brush about half the dressing on the romaine and red onion slices.

3. Place the romaine hearts (cut-side down) and onion slices on the grill. Cook 2 minutes; turn the romaine and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer the romaine to a platter, and turn the onion. Cook another 3-4 minutes, or until tender.

4. Cut the romaine across in strips; cut the onion rings in half and toss together. Toss with the remaining dressing and Parmesan and serve. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 117 calories, 4 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 270 mg sodium


TIP: When grilling sliced onion, insert a toothpick horizontally through the rings to hold them together. Leave only one end exposed, and wrap it in a small piece of foil to prevent it from burning off.