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Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

A favorite Italian wedding of ingredients, this linguine with red clam sauce calls for fresh littleneck clams in their shells as well as for making your own sauce. More exciting to look at than a standard chopped-clam sauce, you could serve this either as an entree, or in smaller portions as a first course followed by grilled fish and a summer salad. For dessert, stay in the warm-weather mode by serving fresh blueberries with lemon sorbet.

Wheatberry Salad with Peppers & Grapes

Wheatberries have a very satisfying texture. They are similar to barley in that they remain slightly chewy even when fully cooked.

Cucumber Salad with Mint-Scallion Dressing

This refreshing salad would make a delicious addition to a pita pocket sandwich of grilled chicken; it would also be great as a side dish for broiled fish. Timing alert: The yogurt for the dressing needs to drain for 1 hour, and once the salad is assembled, it should chill for about 1 hour.

Caramelized Onion & Apple Focaccia

This rendition of the classic Italian flatbread is served here as an hors d’oeuvre, but you can also serve it as a bread to go along with a meal. Cut it into larger portions and serve with a soup or salad.

Nutty Smoothie

Smoothies are one of the best and quickest ways to introduce lots of easily digested protein and gradually "hide" green foods in a palatable, portable meal.

Vegetable Curry

Although the ingredient list for this dish may look daunting, most of it is made up of the spices used to flavor the curry sauce. The seasonings are actually included in most commercial curry powders, so if you are pressed for time or lack some of the individual spices on hand, you can make this dish with 2 to 3 teaspoons of mild store-bought curry powder.

Winter Squash & Lemon Soup

This autumnal soup is sweet and creamy without any cream. A nice accompaniment would be very thin slices of toasted sourdough bread and a tossed escarole salad with a simple vinaigrette.

Pesto Sauce

This traditional basil-garlic sauce from Genoa is normally made with a substantial amount of oil (in addition to a lot of cheese and nuts). We’ve trimmed the cheese and nuts a bit, but the oil has been cut from 1/2 cup to 1 tablespoon, allowing the other flavors to shine. This sauce makes enough to coat 1 pound of pasta. When ready to serve, toss the pesto with the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Using the hot pasta cooking water helps to melt the Parmesan in the pesto so that it nicely coats the pasta.

Commander Gundry's Pecan Fish

Several years before his untimely death, I questioned chef Jamie Shannon while dining at his incomparable New Orleans restaurant, Commander's Palace, about a dish that combined fish and nuts. That discussion sparked my take on a great fish dish. In this recipe, nothing can replace the matchless taste of butter. If using trout, don't remove the skin.