Leg of Lamb with Boozy Fruit & Mint

Leg of Lamb with Boozy Fruit & Mint

A butterflied leg of lamb is wonderful crowd pleaser, and we love it as the centerpiece of an Easter or Passover feast. Here we’ve made it a little sweet, adding brandy-soaked dried fruit to the stuffing. Ask your butcher to butterfly a leg of lamb for you. The meat will end up boneless and relatively flat. Though fairly simple to cook well, this dish leaves a lasting impression: When sliced, the spiral of stuffing nestled within the roll of sweet, tender spring lamb is an impressive show stopper.

Sprouted Chickpea & Escarole Salad

Sprouted Chickpea & Escarole Salad

Right now, many of us are itching to plant and yearning to see spring greens pushing up through the ground. Escarole is a crisp, bitter winter green that you can enjoy while waiting for those more tender spring greens to arrive. It can be sautéed, or can be eaten fresh as we have it in this salad. Not quite ready to dig in the dirt? Sprouting your own chickpeas is an easy way to scratch that spring planting itch (just think of it as tabletop gardening).

Chicken Soup with Rice

Chicken Soup with Rice

Oh my once, oh my twice, oh my chicken soup with rice! Did you know that the healing power of chicken soup has been scientifically proven? When your immune system takes a hit, chicken soup will actually help you to get well more quickly. In our version of Jewish penicillin, we save the chicken skin from the poached bird, fry it in a pan, and crumble it over the top of the soup like bacon. Have some, you'll feel better (even if you're already feeling fine).

Pavlova with Grapefruit Curd & Cocoa Nibs

Pavlova with Grapefruit Curd & Cocoa Nibs

Dreamy clouds of sweet meringue combine with the bracing flavor of grapefruit in this ethereal dessert. Pavlova was named after a Russian ballerina. We imagine the loft of a fluffy tutu was the inspiration behind the original dessert. Pavlova is practically the national dish of Australia and New Zealand, where it’s often made with passionfruit or berries. Here, we embrace seasonal winter citrus, playing with super tart flavors of cocoa nibs and whipped Mexican sour cream.

Slow Roasted Cauliflower with Bagna Cauda Dressing

Slow Roasted Cauliflower with Bagna Cauda Dressing

This time of year in the Northeast, we tend to act like cats--searching out the warmest spot in the house to spend the afternoon. Our favorite winter place is a kitchen with a toasty oven. This recipe keeps the oven running and gives you a warm, melty, caramelized side dish. The Bagna Cauda Dressing cuts through the soft cauliflower with vinegar and anchovy, giving it an earthy bite.

Martini Stew

Martini Stew

If you love a martini, you’ll love this stew. Why? Juniper is the essential flavor in gin, and it marries perfectly with venison here in this winter stew. Vermouth will help mellow any gaminess from the venison. If beef is more readily available to you, try the recipe with chuck roast instead. Wait until the next day to eat this--stew is always best a day or two later, after the flavors have melded together.

Cream of Rice Cereal with Maple & Lemon

Cream of Rice Cereal with Maple & Lemon

This cereal makes for a cheery, warm morning. The sour lemon segments are tempered by the sweet maple syrup. At the market, look for ripe citrus--it will be bright, have tight skin, and feel heavy for its size. If you feel like being an overachiever, or you can’t find cream of rice cereal at your local grocery, use a coffee grinder or blender to grind 1 cup of rice (try white or brown) to a fine rice meal and use that instead.

Crunchy Buckwheat Hazelnut Chicken

Crunchy Buckwheat Hazelnut Chicken

Buckwheat! Not wheat at all, this grain-like seed is high in nutrients and a bit sour in flavor. When ground, its lovely dove-gray appearance would make for a fine paint color. The inside of the seed pods, or the groats, are what we’re after; and here we use them for a crunchy coating. This easy weeknight meal is sure to become a regular at your table, as it has for us.

Kimchi Cold Fighting Stew

Kimchi Cold Fighting Stew

It’s that time of year when colds are flying around, descending on everyone like Hitchcock’s birds. This stew is a spicy, garlicky fix for any oncoming bug and it comes together quickly. The flavors are based on a Korean dish called kimchi–jjigae, traditionally made with overripe, super sour kimchi that mellows as it cooks. Here, we’ve taken many liberties in making it our own. We love to add sliced tatsoi, shiitake mushrooms, long green Korean chili peppers, and rice noodles for a warming meal.

Oysters in Cornflake Batter

Oysters in Cornflake Batter

Nothing says New Year’s Eve like a briny oyster. Our crispy, fried rendition adds an indulgent crunch and richness to a cocktail party any time of year. Gluten-free people are often left out of the frying game at restaurants so they’re apt to be overly appreciative of these light little mouthfuls. If you’re in no mood to fry, the sauces will work with a raw bar as well. The sauces are really unique from one another, providing a tart herbal, citrus, or spicy counterpoint to the creamy oysters.

Meyer Lemon Cocktails

Meyer Lemon Cocktails

This cocktail is great for winter – it’s citrus season! The Meyer lemon is sweeter and more herbal than its common cousin, and can be found in specialty supermarkets.Look for dark yellow fruit that is heavy for its size. The lemon syrup is a great mixer with gin, vodka or prosecco, or spooned over plain yogurt. The cocktail recipe can be made in a martini glass as we have it here, or can be served as a punch or mixed with seltzer and ice for a high ball. You can also make it a day ahead (without the seltzer), and keep it in a pitcher in the fridge until the festivities begin.

Almond Spice Cookies

Almond Spice Cookies

We love to curl up with a book and a blanket while the house fills with the complex aroma of these delicious cookies. The spice mixture is roughly based on a German cookie called Lebkuchen, and pairs nicely with the delicate orange glaze we've used here. The next time winter weather comes, put a batch of these wonderful cookies in the oven, make yourself a cup of tea, and contemplate the snow.

Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

This is a wonderfully elemental cookie recipe. Using your thumb as a decorating tool, these little gems come together easily with ground nuts and some jam. Our favorite way to make them is with quince jelly; the flavor is an incredible compliment to the hazelnuts. Almonds work well too. Play around with any preserves you have on hand; raspberry, strawberry or apricot will all do nicely. With the holidays fast approaching, these jewel-like treats make a pretty gift tied up inside a glassine bag, or a colorful addition to a gluten-free desert platter.

Butternut, Chicory, & Mizuna Salad

Butternut, Chicory, & Mizuna Salad

What is the most underrated food of the holidays? Salad. With all the indulgent food being passed around and piled high on plates, salads are the perfect counterpoint. They’re palate cleansing and offer a nice resting place during a big holiday meal. Ours is also vegan and dairy-free, so it will make everyone happy. We love fall and winter salads made with chicories like endive and radicchio. Chicories are closely related to lettuces, but are heartier and a tad bitter.