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I am most certainly not taking any credit for this laughingly simple technique that impresses both in flavor, texture, and looks. My version coats a whole head of cauliflower in canola oil, and seasons it with smoked salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast until crispy and dark brown on the outside, and tender inside. Serve a wedge over a smooth squash puree* (in this instance, kabocha) and garnish with a bright, fresh gremolata.

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*I went all indulgent with butter and cream, but feel free to omit for a vegan version.

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In order for a salad to achieve entree status, it must be exciting, varied in texture, and include higher calorie ingredients to keep me sated (think meat, cheese, nuts, avocado…). This salad is colorful, crunchy, and doesn’t skimp on flavor.

2 hearts of romaine, torn into bite-size pieces
1 head radicchio, thin slice
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 roasted red peppers, thin slice
4 oz salami, medium dice
10 oz croutons (homemade from stale bread will make this dish extra-special, but store-bought is just fine in a pinch. I used whole wheat focaccia to make homemade croutons)
2 oz pecorino, shaved
Vinaigrette of your choice (lemon or red wine vinaigrette is particularly well suited for this salad)

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat.

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For some reason–perhaps it’s the pronounciation–I’ve always shied away from making clafoutis. A recent trip to my local farmers’ market compelled me to purchase cape gooseberries, and figured they would be a great stand-in for traditional cherries in this French dessert. The berries are sweet and tart, with a lingering, almost nagging, tomato flavor.

I used this recipe from John Besh via Epicurious. The only thing I did differently was add a pint of cape gooseberries.

Straight from the oven, the clafoutis is beautiful: puffed like a souffle and a gentle golden brown. In the time it took me to swiftly bring it to the front door for a close-up, it was dead-on-arrival. How did it taste? Kind of like a big, thick crepe, or a sweet, dense pancake. Not bad, but I feel this could use some tweaking in the future, especially since it lends itself to fruits of all seasons. Either way, it was a nice little project that came together quickly and satisfied our inevitable nighttime dessert binge. Next time, this will serve as breakfast in lieu of French toast.

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Not the prettiest dish, but hearty and tasty. I used this recipe for Sauteed Sausages with Grapes and Balsamic Glazed Onions from Fine Cooking, made a few little changes, and served it over raw Tuscan kale.

3 tsp canola oil
4 andouille chicken sausages (I used precooked because it was all I had on hand, but uncooked is best)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup red seedless grapes (if they’re small, leave them whole; otherwise, cut in half)
1 pound Tuscan kale, ribs removed, cut into 1-inch thick slices
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
2. Remove the sausage, lower the heat to medium, and add the onion to the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
3. Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown bits, and reduce by half.
4. Add the chicken broth and grapes, and nestle in the sausages.
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced by about half and the sausages are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, massage kale with lime juice, salt, and pepper and place on a platter.
7. Serve sausages, grapes, and onions over the kale salad.

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