Wild Rice Pilaf with Dried Cranberries and Pecans

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With its nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture, wild rice is a welcome addition to the winter table. It is not a true rice but rather the seed of an aquatic grass that still grows wild in the northern Great Lakes area of the United States. In this recipe, wild rice can be mixed with short-grain brown rice, which is chewier and sweeter than long-grain brown varieties. This pilaf is also delicious when made with all short-grain brown rice; unlike white rice, it has not been processed, so its nutritious outer coating remains intact.

Pearl Onions Au Gratin

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Barbara Lynch, chef-owner of No. 9 Park and six other Boston-area restaurants,  has served this dish for years, originally inspired by the pickled pearl onions her mother served as an appetizer on toothpicks. One of her favorite suppliers for fresh produce is farmer Chris Kurth of Siena Farms in Sudbury, Massachussets.

Farro with Balsamic-Rosemary-Roasted Shallots and Grapes over Roasted Portobellos

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The ancient Tuscan grain known as farro sounds exotic but really couldn’t be friendlier. Think of it as barley-esque, only sexier. When tender, the grains will be a bit exploded, like barley. Because of farro’s Italian roots, this recipe uses a lovely Italian treat-roasted grapes and shallots-to marry the farro with roasted portobello caps. The finished dish is earthy, sweet, and tart all at once, and looks lovely at the center of the plate, garnished with a rosemary sprig.

Vadouvan Indian Spice Blend

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There are many versions of vadouvan, but we like the one that Grimes came up with, starting with a formula by chef Inaki Aizpitarte, of Le Chateaubriand, and roasting it for an exotic meatiness.
Make one big batch and keep it in the freezer for weeks–we’re sure you’ll be tossing it into all kinds of dishes.

Spring Salad with Fava Beans

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Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled (11/2 cups)

1/2 head frisee, leaves separated

5 ounces baby spinach

3/4 cup packed fresh mint

1 small carrot, peeled into thin ribbons

1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced

4 ounces fresh goat cheese

2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Slow-Cooker Sicilian-Style Beef Stew

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3 pounds beef chuck, fat trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 shallots, thinly sliced (2 cups)

1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon

1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed

1 bulb fennel (12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1 sprig rosemary

2 strips orange zest (each 1 inch by 3 inches), plus orange wedges for serving

1 cup pitted green olives, such as Castelvetrano (7 ounces)

Mashed potatoes, for serving