Bites: Arlington resident turns into salad star for Food52’s newest cookbook

An Arlington resident contributes original recipes to food website Food52’s ‘Mighty Salads’ and ‘Ice Cream & Friends’ cookbooks.

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Instead of posting recipes and cooking adventures to a personal blog, Facebook or Instagram, Emily Connor submitted her dishes to contests held on Food52. The cooking site, started in 2009, invited home cooks to share recipes with a community of food obsessives—not professionals, but people who cared about what they put on the table every night.

An environmental scientist by day, Connor wanted “to feel like I’m doing something creative” and, most importantly, wanted to avoid the pressure that can come along with building a new brand through social media. Food52 was a place to play with food, writing and recipe development without the stress.

Connor, who lives in Arlington with her husband and two children, ended up posting more than 100 recipes to the site, and in May 2015, “out of the blue,” she says, Food52 called to ask if she wanted to contribute original recipes to a cookbook they were working on: Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner. It published last month with 30 recipes from Connor.

Connor also contributed to Food52’s Ice Cream & Friends: 60 Recipes and Riffs cookbook (also out in April) and is now freelancing for the site.

Before she had kids, Connor says she and her husband used to drive around to five or six grocery stores on the weekends. These days … not so much.

Here is where Connor, now a published author with dreams of more food writing, likes to shop and eat in Northern Virginia:

Farmers Markets: Falls Church and Westover

Vendors: Potomac Vegetable Farms, Spring Valley Farm and Orchard and Stachowski Brand Charcuterie

Pantry: The Italian Store (Westover location) for pasta, olive oil and fresh mozzarella; Arrowine for cheese, charcuterie, wine and beer; Penzey’s and India A-1 Grocery for spices; Lebanese Taverna Market for dried beans and tahini; and German Gourmet for sausages, bratwurst and dried goods.

Restaurants: Peter Chang, Pizzeria Orso, Pupatella and Lyon Hall.

Also, before the weather returns to sweltering, here’s where to find ramen, and for your nitro coffee fix, the newly open Portside Coffee & Bakery has you covered.