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 mediabistro.com, 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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ZUCCHINI, RADISH AND WATERCRESS SALAD

1 (12-ounce) zucchini

1 (8-ounce) yellow squash

1 bunch watercress, about 2 cups leaves

2 cups radishes (about 18), thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

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¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Use a vegetable peeler to cut zucchini and yellow squash into long ribbons. Toss with the watercress and radishes.

2. Combine the lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl; whisk in the olive oil. Toss with the summer squash and Parmesan. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 139 calories, 10 g fat, 3g saturated fat, 6 g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 350 mg sodium

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ZUCCHINI FRIES

2 medium zucchini, about 1¼ pounds

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1 large egg

¼ cup nonfat milk

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon dried basil

½ cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs

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½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Cut the zucchini into 3-inch-long by ¼-inch-wide sticks.

3. Whisk the egg, milk, garlic powder and basil together in a medium bowl.

4. Combine the panko and Parmesan on a plate.

5. Dip zucchini sticks in egg, then bread crumbs; place in single, uncrowded layer on prepared pan. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown and tender, about 22 minutes. Sprinkle with salt just before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 125 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 9 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 199 mg sodium

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GRILLED ZUCCHINI-PESTO MELT

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 red onion, cut into 8 slices

1 (12-ounce) zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 thick slices

8 ounces French baguette, cut on a steep angle into 8 slices

2 tablespoons prepared pesto

6 ounces reduced-fat Cheddar, thinly sliced

2 plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch slices

1. Heat the grill for direct heat, medium (400-degree) cooking.

2. Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil evenly over the tops and bottoms of the zucchini and onion slices. Grill until well marked and tender, about 3 minutes on each side. Cut the zucchini across in half and transfer to a plate.

3. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on one cut side of the bread slices. Turn the bread over and spread the pesto on the other side. Top 4 of the slices (pesto-side facing up) with half the cheese, followed by half the onion, the zucchini, tomato slices, remaining onion and, finally, the remaining cheese. Top with remaining bread, with the pesto-side facing down (inside the sandwich).

4. Place the sandwiches on the grill and cook until the undersides of the bread are golden and the bottom cheese melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the sandwiches over and repeat. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 417 calories, 17 g fat, 6g saturated fat, 23 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 813 mg sodium