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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Tomato, Peach and Feta Salad

Adjust the amount of honey in the dressing based on how sweet your peaches are.

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 2 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

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1 1/2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, cut in thin wedges

4 peaches (about 1 pound), cut in thin wedges

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced

1. Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, peaches, feta, onion and basil, and toss gently but thoroughly. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 204 calories, 5 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 363 mg sodium


Simple Tomato and White Bean Salad

May be served as a side dish, doubled for a main dish, or used as topping for crostini.

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2 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups mixed red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

1 15-ounce can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

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1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced

1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until they are wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in the beans, vinegar and salt, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the basil and allow to cool to room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 129 calories, 4 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 203 mg sodium


Roasted Chunky Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 medium carrot, cut in 1/4-inch pieces

1 celery stalk, cut in 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Coat a large, shallow baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Place the tomatoes in a single layer, cut side facing up, on the pan. Brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; roast until they are very soft and barely hold their shape, about 2 hours. Allow to cool and slip off the skins if desired.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, oregano, thyme and dried basil, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the tomato paste, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup water, stirring until the paste is dissolved. Stir in the roasted tomatoes, bring to a boil, immediately reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up the tomatoes, until the sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and add the fresh basil. Cool completely before refrigerating or freezing. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 150 calories, 3 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 516 mg sodium

TIP: Got more tomatoes than you can usee Roast them according to the directions in the Roasted Sauce recipe below and freeze the "semi-dried" tomatoes for later use.