Tomato and White Bean Soup

Tomato and White Bean Soup

Tomato soup is the ultimate in comfort. Much of the time, I prefer it to chicken noodle soup because of the thick, hearty factor and because I am a mad tomato lover. Plus, you can't dunk a grilled cheese in chicken soup, but life is better when you do so with tomato.
I love the subtle notes of hot pepper, lemon and saffron in my recipe, and after once adding white beans to get my sons to eat more soup, I decided I really loved their inclusion too.

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Rapini with Vin Cotto

Rapini with Vin Cotto

One of my favorite appetizers at one of DC's best pizzerias is the rapini with vin cotto. I've been to known to actually lick my plate to make sure none of the gooey, syrupy, incredible vin cotto goes to waste. Vinegar is one of my favorite condiments, and the bitter-sweet combo of it and the rapini in this dish is off the charts awesome. This is my version of the restaurant's dish.

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Farro with Beets, Feta and Pecans

Farro with Beets, Feta and Pecans

This is the fall season in a dish. A delicious grain (farro) plus a veggie (roasted gold beets), cheese (feta), nut (maple-glazed pecans) and a fresh herb dressing (chive-sage oil). Absolutely wonderful, fresh, healthy and pretty! 

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Bucatini with Caramelized Shallots and Brussels Sprouts and Speck

Bucatini with Caramelized Shallots and Brussels Sprouts and Speck

Caramelized Brussels sprouts and shallots concentrate in flavor and soften just enough to provide a slight textural contrast to the pasta. The sherry offers a touch of sweetness that perfectly matches the savoriness of the veggies and the speck. The dish is subtle yet each bite suffuses your mouth with flavor. Sublime! 

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Olive Oil Cake with Dark Chocolate

Olive Oil Cake with Dark Chocolate

Olive oil cakes are, at their best, incredibly fragrant, moist, flavorful creations. They lend themselves to all manner of tweak and topping: you can load them with citrus elements, or stud them with chocolate (as Boyce does here); you can let them be and top with macerated cherries and any other fruit compote. They are a lovely combination of sweet and savory which makes them as good for breakfast as they are for dessert. And this one incorporates some spelt flour which pairs marvelously with the chocolate.

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Brussels Sprouts, Crispy with Lemon, Capers and Pecorino

Brussels Sprouts, Crispy with Lemon, Capers and Pecorino

Recently, while lunching at a popular DC restaurant (Blue Duck Tavern), I ordered a side of its Crispy Brussels sprouts with lemon, caper and pecorino. Every bite was a shut-your-eyes, revel-in-the-bliss thrill. I returned home determined to recreate the dish. And here it is. 

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Mustard Greens Provencal

Mustard Greens Provencal

In the midst of winter, I enjoy a warm lunch salad. For this, sturdy greens make a great base. I bought a gleaming bunch of mustard greens recently- they were so fresh and healthy that they appeared to be lit from inside. As I got out my trusty Lodge pan and gently warmed some oil and garlic, I was reminded of another dish that I simply adore: my mom's tomatoes Provencal. At that point I knew I simply had to merge the two ideas into one.

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Kale Salad, Perfect

Kale Salad, Perfect

This salad is nothing fancy, and I mean that in the very best of ways. Each element shines, and the whole is a wonderful confluence of terrific parts. The fresh kale is rubbed aggressively with a lemony garlic oil and then topped with toasted walnuts, tangy-sweet sour cherries and curls of shaved Pecorino.

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Parsnip, Potato, Persimmon Potage

Parsnip, Potato, Persimmon Potage

A potage incorporates the vegetables (and/or meat) one has on hand, and today, a cold, gray one, I considered that a comfort dish like a fresh potage would not only satisfy but help me clean through my kitchen.
In my fridge I had a fresh pound of parsnips and some lingering rutabagas. My pantry proffered a handful of small red-skinned potatoes, some shallots, garlic and good olive oil. And a glance at my windowsill reminded me that one of the persimmons I’d plucked last month was finally seriously ripe.

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Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce

I absolutely adore this flavorful sauce. Its piquancy and color derive from parsley, cilantro, garlic, red wine vinegar, red pepper and cumin. Chimichurri never fails to perk me up as it does for any food with which it's paired. Great with grilled meats, scrambled eggs, and a whole host of other things.

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Pistachio-Pepita-Pimentón Pesto

Pistachio-Pepita-Pimentón Pesto

This is a phenomenally good sauce/pesto/dukkah/rub: the smokiness of the pimentón elevates the nuttiness of the pistachios and pepitas to new heights while salt and lime zest brighten the whole mess! This is great drizzled on roasted sweet potatoes and spread over salmon that's then seared.

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