Eat by Color: Yellow Foods
This fluffy, nutty rice dish includes split Bengal gram (split chickpeas), black lentils, curry leaves and asafoetida (a garlicky-like spice). In the easy way, use canned chickpeas in place of the split Bengal gram, and swap onion, garlic and bay leaves for the curry leaves and asafoetida.
Roasted Squash Soup with Maple-Glazed Bananas
"It smelled like autumn in a bowl," said Gavin Kaysen, the chef at Manhattan's Café Boulud, describing Tim Hollingsworth's fragrant, fabulous soup.
Pineapple Carpaccio with Lemon Sorbet and Candied Zest
Here's a refreshing dessert that looks and tastes spectacular. If you can find one, try a pineapple labeled gold; relatively new to the market, this hybrid is always lusciously sweet.
Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding
The quality of the seafood is key in this lemony, piquant dish. April Bloomfield recommends seeking out day-boat scallops, caught by fishermen who return from a day at sea with supremely fresh scallops that haven't been treated with any kind of preservative. Instead of being milky white, they're almost coral-colored.
Lemony Chickpea Bruschetta
Chickpeas are a fine source of protein and heart-healthy folic acid. Here, they're pureed until creamy and flavored with preserved lemon, typically sold at specialty food stores.
Serve this creamy, saffron-infused risotto with an earthy, medium-bodied Italian red such as the 2006 Banfi Centine.
Parsnips contain antioxidants and vitamins A and C. "They're our favorite root vegetable," according to Clark Frasier. "We grow them through the winter in our garden at Arrows Restaurant, and they're the best parsnips you'll ever taste. The temperature change concentrates the sugar, which makes them even sweeter and more intensely flavored."
Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder
Not only is yellow corn a good source of vitamin B, magnesium and thiamin, it also contains carotenoids (organic pigments with health benefits) not found in white corn. Ani Phyo likes to add a handful of vitamin A-rich spinach or soft lettuce to the chowder. "Then it becomes part-soup, part-salad," she says.
Lassis are ubiquitous in India; the shakes, made with yogurt or buttermilk, can be sweet or salty. The Victorian-style Imperial Hotel in India's capital, New Delhi, where Peggy Markel stopped on her way to Rajasthan, has an extensive selection of lassi. This one is elegantly flavored with saffron.
Pan-Seared Cod with Preserved-Lemon Aioli
Nonstick skillets are incredibly helpful when preparing lean fish like the cod fillets here, because the flesh sticks to metal so easily. To give the cod a golden crust, Melissa Rubel dusts it with finely milled Wondra flour before cooking. The creamy preserved-lemon aioli she serves alongside the fish is also a terrific dipping sauce for roasted potatoes.
Caramelized Banana Tart
Zoe Behrens of Washington, DC's 1789 Restaurant makes her own puff pastry for this tart, which she serves with homemade ice cream and rum raisins in caramel sauce. In the easy way, good store-bought all-butter puff pastry forms the base of this banana tart glazed with a simple caramel sauce.