Pear, Ginger, and Almond Bread Pudding.

This dish not only makes great left-overs-it's made from them as well. A dose of spicy ginger adds a little kick to the recipe, which otherwise adheres to the traditional version. 2 cups milk Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon … Continue reading Pear, Ginger, and Almond Bread Pudding.

Sweet Potato, Sage, and Parmesan Gratin.

This variation on traditional gratin showcases the tangerine hue and mellow, honeyed flavor of sweet potatoes. The tangy, salty combination of Gruyere and Parmesan offsets the sweetness, with sage adding an earthy depth. 1 cup milk {or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream} 1 large clove garlic, peeled and halved 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, … Continue reading Sweet Potato, Sage, and Parmesan Gratin.

Eggplant “Parmigiana” with Saffron Custard.

Adapted from Deborah Madison, this recipe gives a face-lift to an old standby. Meaty eggplant slices are bathed in a zippy tomato sauce and then blanketed with a velvety saffron-scented custard. Tasty? Yes. Eggplant Parm "just like Grandma used to make"? Not exactly! About 1/2 cup olive oil 1 large onion, chopped Salt 2 cloves … Continue reading Eggplant “Parmigiana” with Saffron Custard.

Lasagna with Arugula Pesto and Mushrooms.

This lasagna does away with the red sauce and relies instead on a pesto made from fresh arugula and basil to make the dish pop. A combination of dried and fresh mushrooms lends texture and flavor, and pecorino, a cheese derived from goat's milk, offers a tangy zip. For the pesto: 2 1/2 cups packed … Continue reading Lasagna with Arugula Pesto and Mushrooms.

Frittata with Winter Greens, Thyme, and Ricotta.

Few dishes are simpler or more satisfying than a frittata when it comes to whipping up a quick meal. This version bulges with hearty dark greens {which thrive in colder temperatures}, tender leeks, and fragrant thyme. It’s finished off with dollops of creamy ricotta. 3/4 cup fresh ricotta 8 large eggs 1/2 cup grated Parmesan … Continue reading Frittata with Winter Greens, Thyme, and Ricotta.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.

While this recipe, adapted from James Beard’s famous dish, is delicious year-round, on a cozy winter’s night, there’s nothing better than smearing a hunk of crusty bread with a velvety clove of roasted garlic. This dish tastes even better the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to meld. 6 stalks of celery, … Continue reading Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.