At the risk of sounding, well, obvious, sometimes the only thing I want is mac and cheese (or, with my apostrophes appropriately in place, “mac ‘n’ cheese”). You know how those cravings hit: You get a glimpse of a recipe or a dish and you can’t get the idea out of your head until it’s in your stomach. What will it take to get from there to here?
That’s how I felt when I saw a recipe for a vivid green version of the dish in Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook, “Ultimate Veg” (Flatiron Books, 2020).
Thankfully, it doesn’t require much effort: You purée cooked leeks, broccolini stalks and fresh spinach with milk, cheese and a little flour, mix it with cooked pasta and the fresh broccolini florets and bake it under a shower of sliced almonds.
What emerges, bubbling and toasty, practically demands you to resist. Just try. It lives up to the ideal and offers a bonus: the vegetables, some blended in so thoroughly only their vibrant color remains, and some — those florets — lending a little extra fresh crunch every bite or two to offset that luxuriousness.
I’d call it kid-friendly, but I don’t have kids, and I suspect that its appeal might hinge on their attraction to — or revulsion at — the color. Thankfully I’m all grown up, and I can’t get enough.