Macaroni and Cheese with Crispy Topping

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound Colby cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the half-and-half and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add one-half of the Cheddar and Colby cheeses and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Stir in the mustard, nutmeg and cayenne; season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the elbow macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain very well. Return the macaroni to the pot. Add the cheese sauce and the remaining cheese and stir until combined. Spread the macaroni in the prepared baking dish.

Garlic and Cilantro Soup with Chickpeas (Acorda a Alentejana)

2 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (¼ cup), plus more to serve
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika, divided, plus more to serve
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 ounces rustic bread (such as ciabatta), sliced ½ inch thick and torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
8 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 15 1/2 -ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 soft-cooked eggs, peeled (see note)

In a food processor, combine the cilantro, Parmesan, jalapeño, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Process until finely chopped, about 20 seconds, scraping the sides as needed. With the machine running, add 1/2 cup of the oil and process to a pesto-like consistency, 30 to 45 seconds. Set aside.

In a small bowl, toss the bread with the remaining ¼ cup oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Toast in a large Dutch oven over medium, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, return the bread to the bowl, leaving excess oil in the pot; set the croutons aside.

Set the Dutch oven over medium and add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth and chickpeas and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in the pureed cilantro mixture, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide the croutons among 4 serving bowls. Ladle in the soup and top each with 1 egg. Sprinkle with additional paprika and Parmesan.

Tip: Don’t skimp on the olive oil in this soup. The croutons absorb oil as they toast and the broth takes on a rich, creamy texture when the pesto is stirred in.

Indian Spiced Cabbage

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seed
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 small yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 medium head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Fresh cilantro for serving

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds, and cook until they start to sputter, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and red pepper (if using), and stir to combine. Cook 1 minute more.

Add the chopped potato and tomato, mix to combine well, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the cabbage, water, and apple cider vinegar.

Cover pot, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage has cooked down and potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Season to taste with additional salt if needed. Serve hot topped with plenty of fresh cilantro

Tamarind Spiced Cashews with Mint

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate or paste
1 pound roasted unsalted cashews
70 grams unsweetened coconut flakes (about 1 cup)
Large pinch cayenne, plus more to taste
10 grams ground garam masala, preferably freshly toasted and ground (about 1 tablespoon)
8 grams coarse kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling (about 1 1/4 teaspoons)
Chopped fresh mint, for serving

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium pot, melt butter, honey, brown sugar, tomato paste and tamarind. Add nuts, coconut, cayenne, garam masala and salt and toss until coated. Spread on baking sheet.

Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is toasted and sugars have begun to caramelize. Sprinkle nuts lightly with salt and let cool completely. Before serving, break up nuts and sprinkle with mint. (Nuts can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 weeks, but don’t add mint until serving.)

Italian Pantry Soup

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced fennel or celery
Salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
1 large thyme sprig
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 quarts/12 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
2 pounds medium-size starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or russets, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks (or beans or lentils)
8 ounces kale or chard, stems removed, leaves sliced across into 1/2-inch ribbons (about 4 cups total)
1/2 pound dried pennette, orecchiette or other small pasta
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram, for garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Other options: for example, more vegetables, like celery and carrot; some tomato, a little or a lot; bacon or pancetta or ham; or beef or chicken broth.

In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion, carrot and fennel, stir, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 5 to 10 minutes.

Adjust the heat to prevent vegetables from browning or scorching.
Stir in bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, paprika and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add broth, potatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Stir in kale and pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, or until greens are well cooked and pasta is done. (Soup can be made up to this point, without the pasta, cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and Parmesan. Drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil. Pass extra Parmesan at the table.

Blender Tomato Soup

1/3 cup olive oil
1 clove ga1/2 cup chopped onion
1 slice white or whole-wheat bread (crusts removed), torn into 1-inch pieces
28 ounces canned, no-salt-added whole peeled tomatoes, plus their juices
1 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
1 teaspoon seasoning blend, such as Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the oil, garlic, onion, bread pieces, the tomatoes and their juices, the broth and seasoning blend in a blender; begin to blend on low, then gradually increase to high until pureed and smooth.

Pour into a medium saucepan; cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring a few times. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

Serve warm.

Meatballs and Sauce

FOR THE MEATBALLS
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for your hands
1 small onion, cut into small dice
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 slices white/country bread, preferably crusts removed, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk
2 pounds ground veal
2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
1 pound ground pork shoulder (butt)
8 ounces finely chopped or ground prosciutto
1 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese, preferably homemade (see related recipe)
6 large eggs
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups “00” flour, for dusting

FOR THE SAUCE
28 ounces canned whole San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
A few fresh basil leaves (optional)

For the meatballs: Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion, garlic, dried oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook just until the onion and garlic have softened but not browned; transfer to a very large mixing bowl.

Combine the bread pieces and milk in a medium bowl; let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the milk is completely absorbed.

Add to the large bowl the ground veal, ground beef, ground pork shoulder, prosciutto, pecorino-Romano, ricotta, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and the soaked bread pieces; use your clean hands to blend the mixture until well incorporated.

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the “00” flour in a wide, shallow bowl.

Grease your hands with a little oil. Form the meatball mixture into 65 meatballs of equal size (shell-on walnuts). Coat each one lightly with “00” flour, dividing them between two parchment-paper-lined rimmed baking sheets. Roast on the upper and lower racks for 10 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until the meatballs are browned and cooked through. Discard any remaining flour.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Use a food mill to puree the tomatoes. Discard the seeds; reserve the can juices for another use, if desired.

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the garlic, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes and dried oregano. Cook just until the garlic starts to brown, then stir in the tomato puree. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, then taste, and season lightly with kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper. Stir in 6 to 8 basil leaves, if desired. Turn off the heat. Transfer 30 of the meatballs to the saucepan, turning them until coated. Cool and reserve the remaining meatballs for another use.

Rafanata

2 peeled russet potatoes
Olive oil
6 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons horseradish
Salt and pepper

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then toss intge potatoes. Cook the potatoes for 10 minutes, then fish them out of the water and turn off the heat. Let the potatoes cool a bit, then move them to a cutting board. Slice the potatoes very thinly (think less than 1/4-inch).

Heat a large skillet with plenty of olive oil over medium high heat. Fry the potato slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Depending on how large your pan is, you may need to fry the potatoes in shifts. When the potatoes are golden brown, turn them out onto a plate lined with paper towels. Wipe out the skillet and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with water, Parmesan cheese, and horseradish. Season the mixture with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper. Drop the fried potato slices into the egg mixture and stir until fully incorporated.

Heat 2 tablespoons more olive oil in the skillet over medium, then pour in the egg and potato mixture. Let the mixture cook for at least 5 minutes before checking underneath to make sure it’s cooking. Now, with confidence, flip the rafanata out onto a plate so the cooked side is exposed (the best way to do this is to place a large dinner plate over the pan, then flip the pan, catching the rafanata). Slide the rafanata back into the pan, cooked side up, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Slide the rafanata out onto a serving plate and slice into wedges. Serve with sour cream, mustard, or solo.

Cabbage and Glass Noodle Stir Fry

1 batch glass noodles (yields 2 cups after soaking)

Option 1:
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
2 dried chili peppers

Option 2:
4 cloves garlic, minced
Stir Fry

2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 head small cabbage, sliced (yield 4 cups after cutting)
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
(Optional) 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce (*footnote 1)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt or to taste

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the dry glass noodles. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until al-dente. Rinse with tap water to stop cooking and drain. Cut into 3-inch strands.

Heat a wok (or a large skillet) over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil and swirl to coat the bottom.

Option 1:
Add the Sichuan peppercorns. Cook and stir until the color turns from red to dark brown, but not burned. Remove and discard the peppercorns by scooping them out with your spatula.

Snip the chili peppers into 3 to 4 pieces, add into the wok, and stir a few times until the color turns dark.

Option 2:
Add the garlic and stir a few times, until you can smell a strong fragrance.
Stir fry

Add the cabbage. Stir and cook for 1 minute, to coat evenly with oil.
Add the glass noodles. Stir for another 1 minute.

Add the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, chicken bouillon powder (or salt), and sugar. Immediately cook and stir, until the cabbage turns tender but retains some crunchiness.

Turn to medium-low heat and carefully taste the cabbage. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and stir again, if needed.

Transfer to a plate immediately and serve hot.

NOTES

Using dark soy sauce adds a beautiful brown color to the dish. You can use soy sauce to replace dark soy sauce as well.

Chicken Skin Crisps

Skin from one whole chicken or 4 thighs
Salt
Parchment paper
2 rimmed baking sheets

Preheat oven to 350 °F/177 °C.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the chicken skin into pieces that are 3 to 4 inches across when stretched out. Lay the pieces down, stretched flat, on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with salt or any other seasonings.

Place another piece of parchment paper over the skin and set a baking sheet on top. (This covering prevents the skins from burning and curling up)

Bake 45 minutes, or until the chicken skin is golden and very crispy.

Meatballs in Coconut Milk

Meatballs
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1/2 onion
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp pink Himalayan sea salt

Coconut Broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup broth

Spices
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 stalk lemongrass
1 inch fresh ginger
lime zest

On an oiled pan, cook garlic and onions until fragrant and translucent.

Meanwhile, combine almond flour and almond milk to create a paste.

Take your ground beef and add salt and your almond paste.

When your onions and garlic are done cooking, add them to the ground beef and using your hands, mix and squeeze to combine.

Begin creating your meatballs by taking a small handful of ground beef and giving it a good squeeze to eliminate air bubbles. Roll them in your hands gently creating uniformly sized balls about 2 inches in diameter. The smaller the meatballs, the faster they’ll cook. Keep that in mind so they don’t overcook and dry out.

Once your meatballs are assembled, use the same pan to brown the meatballs on both sides. Arrange the meatballs along the edge of the pan leaving the center empty.

While the meatballs are browning, add your spices into the empty center of the pan. The spices will begin to heat and denature, releasing their flavor into the pan. You’ll see a sort of paste form in the oily center of the pan.

After the meatballs are browned on both sides, you can pour in the coconut milk and broth. Give it a good shake to disperse the spices.

Add in your lemongrass stalk (whacked with the blunt end of a knife to release its oils) and fresh ginger and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Take one of the meatballs out and cut it in half to see if it’s cooked throughout. If it is, you’re set! If it’s not, check on another again in about 3-5 minutes.

Serve with some coconut broth in a bowl and your favorite side dish!

Basic Crepes

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk (10 fluid ounces; 280ml)
1 cup flour (5 ounces; 140g)
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter or vegetable oil (1/2 ounce; 15ml), plus more for cooking
Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon (8g) sugar, if making sweet crepes
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chervil, or chives (optional; for savory crepes)

For the Batter: Combine eggs, milk, flour, melted butter or oil, salt, and sugar (if using) in a blender. Start blender on low speed and increase to high. Blend until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add herbs (if using) and pulse to combine. (Alternatively, you can combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until smooth.)

To Cook: Heat a 10-inch nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron or carbon steel skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Lightly grease with oil or butter, using a paper towel to wipe out the excess.

Hold the pan’s handle in one hand and pour in 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60ml) batter, swirling and tilting pan immediately to spread batter in a thin, even layer over bottom of pan.

Let cook until top looks dry, about 20 seconds. Using a thin metal or nylon spatula, lift one edge of crepe. Grab that edge with the fingers of both hands and flip crepe. Cook on second side for 10 seconds, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Fill crepes as desired (such as with butter, sugar, and lemon juice; with butter and jam; with ham, cheese, and eggs; or with spinach and feta) and serve. Crepes can also be made ahead and stored, unfilled and wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a nonstick pan to serve.

Sweet Potatoes with Honey, Esplette, and Lime Yogurt

1/2 cup [120 ml] Greek-style yogurt
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium to large yams
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp espelette pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
Flaky sea salt
2 green onions (white and green parts), sliced thinly on the bias

Preheat the oven to 425°F [220°C].

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime juice and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cut the yams lengthwise into eight wedges (about 1 in [2.5 cm] in diameter). In a medium bowl, toss the yams with the honey, 1/2 Tbsp of the espelette pepper, and the remaining olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. Marinate for 10 minutes, tossing once or twice to coat.

Transfer the yams to a rimmed baking sheet and roast until they are nicely caramelized around the edges and soft when pierced with a knife at the thickest part, 25 to 35 minutes.

Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle yogurt over all, and garnish with the green onions and remaining espelette pepper. Season with flaky salt. Serve warm

Roasted Beets with Avocado, Citrus, and Hazelnuts

11/2 lb [680 g] red baby beets,
1 to 2 in [2.5 to 5 cm] in diameter
4 Tbsp [60 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp water
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice, plus 2 oranges
2 Tbsp hazelnuts
1 ripe avocado, cut in 1/4-in- [6-mm-] thick slices
Flaky sea salt
Best-quality olive oil for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C].

In a roasting pan, toss the beets with 2 Tbsp of the extra-virgin olive oil and the water and season with kosher salt and pepper. Roast until the beets look caramelized and feel tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 25 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beets and cut into quarters.

In a medium bowl, toss the beets with the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, the sherry vinegar, and orange juice. Season with kosher salt and pepper and let stand until the beets have absorbed the flavors of the dressing, about 30 minutes.

In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Lay out on a work surface and let cool. With the bottom of a heavy pan, crush the nuts.

Section one of the oranges by cutting off both ends. Set it on one end, and use a paring knife to cut away the peel and pith in strips, starting at the top and following the curves to the bottom. Then, holding the orange in one hand, carefully insert the blade of the knife between the flesh and the membrane to cut out the sections without any membrane attached. The sections should come out easily. Repeat with the remaining orange, and set aside.

Arrange the beets on a serving platter with the avocado slices, and sprinkle them with sea salt and pepper. Distribute the orange sections throughout the salad and sprinkle with the crushed toasted hazelnuts. Finish with a drizzle of best-quality olive oil. Serve immediately

Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Parsley, and Vinegar

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into large florets
1/3 cup [75 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves Garlic Confit (page 64)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 500°F [260°C].

In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over high heat. Dump the cauliflower into the hot pan and cook until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the cauliflower, undisturbed, until well seared, about 5 minutes longer. With a spatula, turn the cauliflower and cook on the other side until well seared, about 3 minutes longer.

Remove from the oven, add the garlic confit, parsley, red pepper flakes, and vinegar and stir to distribute the seasonings and toast the garlic slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This also works with broccoli or romesco.

Roasted Romesco with Tahini and Sumac

1/4 cup [85 g] tahini
Juice of 2 lemons
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp cold water
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium heads romanesco, trimmed and chopped into 1-in [2.5 cm] florets
1/4 cup [45 g] golden raisins
2 Tbsp Vegetable Stock (page 222) or water
1 Tbsp ground sumac
Flaky sea salt
Best-quality olive oil for drizzling

In a small bowl, combine the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic, and cold water. Whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. The sauce should be thin enough to drizzle with a spoon. (If it is too thick, add in more cold water, 1 Tbsp at a time.) Season with kosher salt and pepper.

Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and warm until hot but not smoking. Add the romanesco, cut-side down, and cook until deep golden brown in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir with tongs or a wooden spoon and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Turn the heat to medium and add the raisins. Season with kosher salt and cook, stirring, until the raisins soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock and allow the ingredients to steam briefly. Taste a piece of romanesco for seasoning and doneness; it should be tender.

Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle the tahini sauce on top, sprinkle with sumac, and garnish with sea salt and a drizzle of best-quality olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Vegetable Basics

Broccoli:

2 large heads of broccoli, cut into large florets with some stalk attached
5 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss broccoli and oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned, 25–35 minutes.

Brussels Sprouts:

3 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, quartered if large
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss brussels sprouts, oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned, 35–45 minutes.

Butternut Squash:

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1½-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss squash and oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned, 35–45 minutes.

Carrots:
3 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 3-inch pieces, halved lengthwised, quartered if large
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss carrots, oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned, 35–45 minutes.

Cauliflower:

2 medium heads of cauliflower, cut into large florets with some stalk attached
5 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss cauliflower and oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned, 25–35 minutes.

Sweet Potatoes:

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1½-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Add appropriate combinations of following flavorings (choose 1 from each category, or maybe two finishes):

Aromatics
Ginger (grated): 1 Tbsp.
Garlic: 2-4 cloves grated or whole-roasted then smashed
Shallots: 2-4 shallots quartered
Onion: small, quartered
Leek: white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

Oils (use amountsin recipes)
Olive, vegetable, chicken fat, bacon fat, coconut

Herbs
Thyme, sage, rosemary, bay
1-2 tsp. chopped
1-2 bay leaves

Spices
Warming spices (cinnamon, allspice, cloves): 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.
Chile flake: 1/2 to 1 tsp.
Chili powder, paprika, and curry: 1-3 tsp.

Finishes (These go on after the veg is out of the oven.)
Oil drizzle (olive, pumpkin, walnut): 1-2 Tbsp.
Crunchy (toasted bread crumbs, seeds, fried onions or shallots) 1/4 – 1/2 cup
Spicy drizzle (tabasco, sriracha, sambal)
Sweets (dark brown sugar, maple, honey): 2-4 tsp
Meats (bacon, chorizo, sausage): 1/4 – 1/2 pound
Soy and fish sauce: 1-2 tsp.
Fresh herbs (tarragon, chives, parsley, mint, cilantro): 1/4 cup
Sour (citrus, malt vinegar, cider vinegar, wine vinegar, sherry vinegar): drizzle

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Salad

1 large head of cauliflower, stem trimmed
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup basil leaves
3/4 teaspoon Madras curry powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about 1/4 cup), plus 3 ounces cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup parsley leaves with tender stems, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons mint leaves, plus more for serving
4 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice, divided
3/4 teaspoon sugar, plus more
Kosher salt
1/4 cup golden raisins
8 ounces sheep’s-milk feta in brine
1/2 cup chopped salted, roasted almonds
4 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
1/2 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided

Preheat oven to 425°. Place cauliflower on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Blend onion, garlic, basil, curry powder, cayenne, grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup parsley, 2 Tbsp. mint, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 3/4 tsp. sugar in a blender until smooth. Slather onion purée over cauliflower so it covers the entire surface in a thick layer; season generously with salt.

Roast cauliflower until florets are tender and browned but stem is still firm and crunchy, 40–45 minutes. To test for doneness, stick a skewer into the center of head—it should encounter some resistance at the core. Let cool.

Meanwhile, toss raisins, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, and a pinch each of salt and sugar in a small bowl. Let sit until raisins rehydrate and are plump, 10–15 minutes.

Process feta in a food processor in long pulses, thinning with brine as needed, until feta is smooth and the consistency of Greek yogurt.

Transfer cauliflower to a cutting board and cut into 1/2 pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and add almonds, cubed Parmesan, and raisins with their soaking liquid.

Drizzle with oil, season with salt, and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt and lemon juice, if needed. Fold in half of scallions and half of cilantro.

Spread feta across bottom of a large platter and mound cauliflower mixture over. Top with remaining scallions, remaining cilantro, and more parsley and mint. Drizzle with a little more oil.

Roasted Red Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta

4 red bell peppers, halved, seeds and ribs removed
6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup basil leaves, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup fresh ricotta
1/4 cup pitted small black and/or green olives
Flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°. Place bell peppers, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish and top with anchovies and garlic. Tear 1/4 cup basil leaves over top, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil. Bake until peppers are tender but still hold their shape and are slightly charred around edges, 35–45 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, blend remaining 3/4 cup basil and remaining ? cup oil in a blender until smooth; season basil oil with kosher salt and black pepper.

Arrange bell peppers on a platter. Top with tomatoes, ricotta, olives, and more basil, then drizzle with basil oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Sriracha-Braised Brisket Sandwiches

1 5–6-pound brisket, first-cut, untrimmed
2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal or 1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 large onion, peeled, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup Sriracha, plus more for serving
12 potato rolls, toasted

Remove brisket from its packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Lay brisket flat on your cutting board so that one of the longer sides is closest to you and layer of white fat is facing down. Take a close look at the meat itself—you’ll notice that there are long “grains” (thread-like muscle fibers) running left to right across length of brisket. You are going to “slice against the grain,” which means positioning your knife blade perpendicular to the direction of the fibers, into 2″-wide pieces. You do this so that when you go to shred the meat at the end, the fibers don’t stretch a mile long and they’re a manageable length for sandwiches.

Place brisket halves in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, brown sugar, and cumin. Use your hands to really massage the meat and work in all the salt and spices so every little spot is coated. Get in there! Set brisket aside for a moment.

Mix onion, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire, ? cup Sriracha, and 1 cup water in a large Dutch oven or stockpot.

Using tongs, nestle brisket into pot so fattier sides are facing up and pieces fit together in a single layer. The meat should be barely submerged in liquid, so add a little more water if that’s not the case (depending on size of your pot).

Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to achieve a very gentle simmer.

Cover pot and cook brisket, peeking inside occasionally to make sure heat isn’t too high or low—you want a couple of areas in the pot to be gently bubbling. If bubbles are roiling all over the place, reduce heat. If you see no bubbles at all, increase slightly. If liquid drops below top of meat, add a little more water to keep barely submerged.

After 2 hours, check meat for doneness. Poke a fork into a few pieces and twist the tines to see if the meat will easily separate into shreds. If not, that means it’s still tough. Keep cooking, checking again every 15 minutes or so. This could take up to an hour more.

Turn off heat and position lid so that it’s cracked open a bit. Let brisket cool until no longer steaming hot, about 30–40 minutes. Cover and chill overnight.

The next day, remove pot from refrigerator and uncover. There will be an layer of solidified orange fat on the surface (the color is from the Sriracha!). Using a fork, lift off fat in large pieces and discard.

Reheat brisket in pot over low until meat is warmed all the way through, 30–40 minutes. Transfer meat to a rimmed baking sheet. If meat is too hot to touch, let cool for a few minutes until you can handle it.

Using your fingers or 2 forks, separate muscle fibers into shreds and return to pot. Remove any pieces of fat and discard.

Return pot to low heat and bring liquid to a gentle simmer, tossing meat with tongs to encourage it to soak up juices. Add more Sriracha to taste.

Serve over toasted buns with even more Sriracha, if desired.