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Thumb_10124_Ricotta Crostini

Thumb_10124_Ricotta Crostini

Garlicky, toasted bread is a delicious medium for creamy ricotta. Of course just about any cheese would work here -- though you'd probably want to put firmer cheeses under the broiler for a couple of minutes to melt them.

Thumb_11061_Arugula Salad With Lemon, Olive Oil And Parmesan

Thumb_11061_Arugula Salad With Lemon, Olive Oil And Parmesan

This simply dressed Italian classic will add peppery brightness to just about any pasta, meat or vegetable dish. Add more parmesan (or mix in some other hard cheeses) to taste.

Thumb_13224_Prosciutto-Wrapped Radishes

Thumb_13224_Prosciutto-Wrapped Radishes

In France, radishes are accompanied by a dollop of soft butter and a bit of coarse salt. Why not trade the rich, saltiness of butter for the rich saltiness of cured pork? Read more about this recipe at the Cookthink blog.

Thumb_19424_Braised Broccoli Raab

Thumb_19424_Braised Broccoli Raab

Here broccoli raab is simply braised in a little chicken broth (vegetable broth would also work), along with minced garlic and red pepper flakes that have been lightly toasted in olive oil. Be sure to trim away and discard the tough ends of broccoli raab's stems.

Thumb_7093_Pan-Roasted Boneless Chicken Breasts

Thumb_7093_Pan-Roasted Boneless Chicken Breasts

This is as basic as it gets - just chicken, cooked to perfection. Whoever said great taste was hard to achieve?