2 of 5Photographer: Jennifer Davick; Prop Styling: Linda Hirst; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns
Flank Steak with Lemon Fennel
Naturally thin cuts such as flank steak and skirt steak cook quickly when seared over medium to high heat for a nice brown crust. You can use your favorite cut, such as strip, but to keep the prep and cook time under 15 minutes, the steak should be no more than ¾ inch thick.
Tip: Very thinly sliced fresh fennel mellows to an almost sweet, oniony flavor when briefly sautéed. Lemon zest adds a touch of citrus without being too sour. If you can't find fennel, or don't like it, substitute onion, and add cracked black pepper in place of the fennel seeds.
3 of 5Photographer: Jennifer Davick; Prop Styling: Linda Hirst; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns
Fresh Pasta and Zucchini with Ricotta Salata
Fresh pasta cooks in less than half the time as dried pasta. Look for unflavored varieties or the spinach version in the deli section of your market. Ricotta salata is a variation of ricotta cheese that is salted, pressed, and dried. It can be sliced or grated. If it's unavailable, try feta cheese but be sure to decrease the added salt.
Tip: Salty cheese, fresh herbs, and lots of lemon add punch but don't overpower the pasta.