Chickpeas are rich in both types of dietary fiber, which are important for maintaining heart health and for stabilizing blood sugar levels. Chef Pam Anderson uses them as the base for this Indian-flavored creamy (though cream-free) soup, which she prepares by first pureeing it, then simmering it, to save time. "Pureed beans give you richness without having to enrich the soup," she says.
Steve Corry loves to toss roasted beets with the complex sherry vinegar that Taylor Griffin imports from Spain. To help mellow the vinegar's tang, Corry reduces tangerine juice to a syrup and adds it to the dressing. Inspired by peanut brittle, he candies marcona almonds to give the salad crunch. The nuts are fantastic on their own.
For supertender gnocchi, Steve Corry is careful not to overwork the dough. After draining the gnocchi, he sautés them until they're slightly crispy, then tosses them with the lemony sauce. Instead of sprinkling the gnocchi with Parmesan cheese, Corry likes to shave bottarga—dried and salted gray mullet roe—over the top, but they're also delicious without it.
Because brussels sprouts are slightly bitter, Michael Nischan likes to pair them with something sweet: dried cranberries that have been plumped in off-dry Riesling. "I don't like to overdress vegetables," he explains. "It takes just one counterpoint to bring the sprouts to a place where people say, 'This is really good.'"
This classic British dessert—which is said to have originated in the 1960s in England's Lake District—is made ultramoist by poking holes in the date cake and soaking it with a rich, buttery toffee sauce.