As a nod to their Norwegian heritage, Sophie Dahl and her family ate blini (mini pancakes) topped with smoked salmon every Christmas Eve. Now Dahl makes the blini with wonderfully earthy buckwheat flour and serves the salmon-topped hors d'oeuvres at parties throughout the year.
Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's Incanto is known for his offal dishes but a hearty fish like sardine, served whole, can also appeal to the nose-to-tail crowd. Cosentino pan-fries the omega-3-rich fish with an exhilarating mix of olives, capers, lemon zest, parsley and chiles. To make this more of a main course, he prepares a crunchy salad of artichokes and sunchokes to eat alongside.
Oaxaca is famous for its complex mole sauces, often made with more than 20 ingredients. Since moles are so time-consuming to make, most Mexican cooks rely on prepared pastes, and Olmedo is no exception. Instead of stewing chicken in the mole, he takes a more elegant approach: He roasts chicken breasts until the skin is crisp and serves the mole alongside.
Zucchini and yellow squash can both be mild in flavor, but nothing about this tangy, herby pizza is bland. The summer squash is sliced into slender coins, then roasted in a hot oven until it's lightly caramelized, bringing out its sweetness.