Gerardo Gonzalez isn’t the first person you’d associate with kasha varnishkes, that Ashkenazi Jewish specialty of toasted and boiled buckwheat groats and bow-tie pasta, slicked with oil or schmaltz and flavored with caramelized onion. But the California-born, Mexican-American chef fell for the dish as soon as he tasted it at B&H Dairy. For the lunchtime riff he serves at his Chinatown restaurant, Lalo, Gonzalez takes inspiration from his mom’s parsley-and-mushroom salad, substituting goat’s-milk Gouda for Pecorino and cremini for her button mushrooms. But it’s the kasha that makes it — crisped in browning butter, adding airy crunch to the parsley and agrodolce-coated noodles. Lemon vinaigrette brings brightness, and a poached egg turns the salad into a meal.
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On the lunch menu at Lalo, $12; 104 Bayard St., nr. Baxter St.; 646-998-3408
*This article appears in the February 6, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.