Girl In The Kitchen Cookbook By Chef Stephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard's new cookbook leaves us inspired--and hungry

"Asking for a little tongue is a great way to start up a conversation," writes Stephanie Izard.

Her first cookbook, Girl in the Kitchen ($30), is a trove of ideas about flavor and philosophy–one that has us excited to bring out the pans and start splattering its pages.

The tongue dictum accompanies a recipe for pig tongues braised with strawberries and pineapple, served with quick-pickled sunchokes. We've long admired Izard's deft use of fruit, and here it's widespread: cherries in lamb hash; nectarines in caponata; dates in Thai-chile-spiked brown butter adorning pan-roasted skate.

The book's inspiration–and Izard's talent–lies in the unusual combinations of ingredients. And the book's great surprise is its substantial focus on soups, a whopping total of 15 recipes out of 100 in all, including starters, salads, pastas, mains, sides and basics.

Pork-coconut soup is an intriguing, peanut-butter-spiked Thai homage, and fennel-potato soup with butter-poached lobster and blood oranges is a knockout for an elegant holiday dinner. But the soup for right now is a warm potage of apple with tarragon yogurt (click here to see the recipe).

Do as Izard would, and source the apples and apple cider from Seedling or Earth First Farms, two local favorites.