A staple at Todd English’s Olives restaurants is his much-lauded house-made flatbread, topped with sticky-sweet fig jam, pungent Gorgonzola cheese and salty prosciutto. In the easy way, use store-bought pizza dough instead of homemade.
Daniel Boulud’s deliciously light and clean-tasting soup—a mix of sweet peas, favas, pea shoots, snap peas and snow peas—is on the menu each spring at his Café Boulud in New York City. The recipe appears in the Café Boulud Cookbook (Scribner). In the easy way, skip the labor-intensive fresh favas, as well as the snow peas and pea shoots. Instead, just use sugar snaps and frozen baby peas.
At his flagship New Orleans restaurant, August, John Besh makes his chopped salad with 21 different kinds of vegetables and herbs. In the easy way, cut the number of vegetables back to eight; the recipe is still fantastic.
In her version of lemon meringue pie, Gale Gand forgoes a traditional crust for quick-baked sheets of sugared phyllo dough, which she layers with house-made lemon curd and a brown-sugar meringue. The recipe, a classic at Tru restaurant in Chicago, appears in Gand’s book Butter Sugar Flour Eggs (Clarkson Potter). In the easy way, use good quality store-bought phyllo dough and lemon curd.
Thomas Keller’s salmon cornets (tuiles shaped into tiny cones and topped with crème fraîche and fresh salmon) are a famous kickoff to his luxe and whimsical meals at the French Laundry in Napa Valley. The original recipe appears in The French Laundry Cookbook (Artisan). In the easy way, leave the tuiles flat and top them with store-bought smoked salmon and crème fraîche.