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Grace in the Kitchen

Cassata, My Sweet Revenge

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Mini Cassata Cakes // © Ryan Liebe

These pretty Italian cakes make a delicious (and gorgeous) brunch or dinner-party dessert. / © Ryan Liebe

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

Cassata—a traditional Sicilian cake that uses sponge cake, sweetened ricotta, chocolate bits and candied fruit draped with a bright green marzipan fondant—was the very first dessert I made as a kid. The occasion was "International Day" at school, and I was so proud. The taste was rather "acquired" for my little class of eight-year-olds, accustomed to Carvel ice cream cakes and Entenmann's coffee cakes. So when the cake remained largely untouched, I was pretty crestfallen. Fast-forward to a recent trip to Boulud Sud, where pastry genius Ghaya Oliveira prepared her deconstructed version of cassata, and I felt utterly vindicated. Fast-forward again a few months, and I've created my own homestyle, pared-down version that incorporates all the familiar flavors—ricotta, dark chocolate, pound cake, almond liqueur and candied orange—but I've caramelized the cake to give it a crunchy exterior, like crème brûlée. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Peach Madness

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Creamy Peach Tart with Smoky Almond Crust // © Tina Rupp

This simple tart's almost-instant crust is made with vanilla wafer cookies and smoked almonds. / © Tina Rupp

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

We're in the midst of stone-fruit season, and that means all sorts of delicious things, like this creamy tart. This divine tribute to juicy summer peaches is made with a thin layer of creamy cheesecake then topped with nearly unadulterated peach slices. Look for firm but ripe peaches and always buy more than you think you need—I know my bowl is nearly half empty before I can assemble my tart. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

A Burger Even My Nonna Would've Loved

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Italian-Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Spinach // © Stephanie Foley

Using sausage in burgers is a smart shortcut, because the meat is already seasoned. / © Stephanie Foley

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

One of my favorite sandwiches was the pork and broccoli rabe hoagie from Tony Luke's in NYC, which sadly closed in 2007. It was cheesy, meaty and totally savory from the sautéed broccoli rabe. My cravings led me to create this almost-instant burgery riff, which uses hot and sweet Italian sausage patties (perfectly seasoned as-is) and sautéed baby spinach (not as bitter, but extremely delicious). Deli provolone—as plain as it is—is a wonder on burgers. It's gooey and appropriately mild enough to let the other flavors shine. Crusty ciabatta rolls are a must here, but make sure they're soft enough to bite through. No pierced palettes, please! (Unless that's some weird new fetish I don't know about.) SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

A Classic Italian Summer Pasta

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Fettuccine with Tomatoes and Crispy Capers // © Tina Rupp

Fried capers add a delectable salty crunch to this pasta tossed with fresh tomatoes and prosciutto.

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

When tomatoes are fat and plentiful is the time to make this quintessential summer pasta dish. Crispy fried capers and salty, meaty prosciutto give the dish some depth of seasoning, but it's really all about the tomatoes. I like a mix of low acid yellow tomatoes and more robust red heirloom tomatoes. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Sweet, Tart and Creamy: The Perfect Summer Sundae

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Honey-Lime Strawberries with Whipped Cream // © Ryan Liebe

Strawberries become a bracing summer dessert when served over a scoop of lemon sorbet. / © Ryan Liebe

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

Strawberries and cream is such a trite, hackneyed combination, but one I will unapologetically never grow tired of. It just needs a little help from some well-conceived ingredients. Here, I've made a quick syrup of mild honey, fresh lime juice and a hint of cardamom, brought it to a boil and poured it over sliced strawberries. Thirty minutes later, cooled and juicy, the compote is poured over tart lemon sorbet and topped with honey-spiked whipped cream. A little bit of lime zest makes this refreshing, quick dessert even brighter. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Faster & Better Than Takeout

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Moo Shu Shrimp // © Tina Rupp

Difficult-to-find moo shu pancakes are replaced by flour tortillas in this quick one-dish meal. © Tina Rupp

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

It's inconceivable that living in New York, I can't get good or even passable Chinese food in my Brooklyn neighborhood. And though it's not terribly expensive, after you pick off all the breading and scrape off all the gloppy sauce, there's literally two ounces of protein, so it actually winds up being quite pricey. Something as lean and clean as moo-shu arrives at my door mushy and limp. It's just as easy to stir-fry some shrimp with shredded cabbage and mushrooms and serve it with fluffy steamed flour tortillas and hoisin sauce. I like Lee Kum Kee hoisin, because it's not too sweet and has a surprisingly short ingredient list. SEE RECIPE »

Grace in the Kitchen

A Classic Nicoise Salad Re-imagined

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Tuna Niçoise Burgers // © Stephanie Foley

This tuna burger offers the flavors of a Niçoise salad, on a bun. / © Stephanie Foley

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

Three days ago my neighbor and friend Bob Wheeler, a retired NYC firefighter, asked me if I wanted some yellowfin tuna. He looked pretty scruffy, so I assumed he'd just returned from a fishing trip (which he had), and I jumped at the chance. The hunk was as big as my head and less than 12 hours old. The first night, I tossed raw chunks with lime, soy, ginger and avocado and served it with toast and wasabi. The next night, I quickly seared a few steaks and served it with a fresh herb pesto and charred asparagus. Last night, I took the rest (still impeccably fresh), chopped it with scallions, capers and olives and formed it into burgers, which I served with an anchovy aioli on toasted brioche buns. Tuna three days, tuna three ways. SEE RECIPE »

Grace in the Kitchen

Fruit and Crumble: Separate but Equal

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Peaches and Plums with Sesame Crumble // © Ryan Liebe

Prepare the crust and fruit portions of this delicious crumble before baking them together so the topping stays crispy.

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

After years of struggling with soggy fruit crumbles, I stumbled upon a clever method while testing a chef's recipe (huh, imagine that?). Cook the filling and crumble separately, and then bake them together for a few minutes to marry the flavors. Ta-da! The fruit is tender and jammy, and the crumble is crisp and perky. It's completely equal to the sum of its delicious and perfectly cooked parts! SEE RECIPE »

Grace in the Kitchen

A Fruit Salad for Adults

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Melon-and-Strawberry Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Syrup // © Hallie Burton

Chilies add subtle heat to this exceptional fruit salad. / © Hallie Burton

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

I dare you to bring this sophisticated fruit salad to a picnic! Not sure if the kids will go crazy for it, but the grown-ups certainly will. Especially if you bring icy cold bottles of white rum and seltzer to mix with the fruity juices left in the bottom of the bowl. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Two Classic American Dishes in One Sandwich

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Fried Green Tomato BLT // © Quentin Bacon

This riff on a BLT uses fried cornmeal-dusted green tomatoes instead of the usual red tomatoes in this classic sandwich. // © Quentin Bacon

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

It's so hard to wait till the end of summer for all those green tomatoes straggling on the vines to make fried green tomatoes. It's easy enough to get a few at the farmers' market early in the season, if I ask one of the farmers to pick some for me. I've tried this tangy BLT with tomatillos, which work in a pinch, but there's something about green tomatoes that is just so comforting. SEE RECIPE »

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