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Tuna Melt

It’s funny some of the dos and don’ts that people have come up with around food. Things like that you shouldn’t wash button mushrooms, that you should drink red wine with cheese, and that you shouldn’t let soap anywhere near your cast iron skillet. Nope, nope, and nope. Not sure where these things get started, but people grab the ball and run with it without…

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Panzanella: Bread and Tomato Salad

Tomatoes didn’t originally come from Italy, but they’ve certainly made up for lost time. Now it’s hard to think of Italian cuisine without them, from classic dishes, from Pasta all’Arrabiata and Salade Caprese, to Pizza Margherita and Panzanella, a bread and tomato salad that’s one of my favorite things to make, and eat. This summer salad gets tossed with basil, which boosts its appeal (at…

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Pasta Puttanesca

One of my favorite pastas is Pasta Puttanesca. For some reason, I don’t make it very often, because I always seem to be sautéing fresh greens in olive oil and garlic, or something like that, to toss with noodles. But I love all the ingredients in Pasta Puttanesca; capers, olives, anchovies, crushed red peppers, and lots of garlic, so when faced with what to make…

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Asparagus Mimosa

I came to the conclusion a while back that there isn’t a vegetable that’s not better roasted. I backtracked a bit, not just because that idea was too many double-negatives in one sentence, but thought that peas probably aren’t better roasted. I haven’t tried them; the idea of tiny peas being reduced to a shriveled bb’s doesn’t sound appealing to me. And while I know a…

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Tinos, Greece

Tinos isn’t one of those Greek islands that you hear a lot about. It doesn’t have exciting nightlife, like neighboring Mykonos, and while the weather is warm, the winds can be a bit fierce. But the upside is that it’s ruggedly beautiful and if you go during off-season, you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself and you can drive several kilometers and not come…

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Caponata

I used to have a hard time with certain cooked vegetable salads, such as ratatouille, even though people have insisted that I would like their version. Which I’ve always found odd, because if someone told me they didn’t like chocolate (I know – horrors!), I would not try to sell them on a brownie or chocolate cake. Ratatouille always tastes like a lot of stewed vegetable all mixed up,…

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Pantelleria

Well, what can I say? After everyone telling me so much about Pantelleria. I didn’t quite get it when I arrived. But when it was time to leave, it was hard to go. On the day after I landed, by the time afternoon rolled around, I had curled myself up on a cushioned chair with a book I’d been looking forward to delving into. Then…

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Sauce Gribiche

France is supposedly all about liberté, but in fact, everyone is really judged, and categorized, by one thing: the number on their license plate. Paris is number 75, and if you drive anywhere else in France, aside from your black clothing, the chain-smoking, and the mad tapping on your iPhone, you’re pegged as a Parisian if your license plate ends with the oft-feared soixante-quinze. Parisians have…

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