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When my brother left for college, my parents found themselves alone for the first time in over twenty years, their at-home gang suddenly reduced from four to two. They are excellent empty-nesters and have embarked on a great number of projects together, including, but not limited to, a series of bread-baking classes. Books on baking bread in a home oven have begun to bend the shelves of their cookbook collection—and have been joined by another, slimmer, and well-thumbed volume: The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook.
Cooking for two has its pluses. There's an intimacy you don't get when you're cooking for and eating with a crowd. You have some freedom to cook exactly what you want, and fewer meals to squeeze into your budget. Meals for two can be simple, decadent in quality, and even a little sexy. And if there's only one of you—well, lucky you. You get to do it all again tomorrow.
Dinner for two? Here's what to make:
If you have about two hours to devote to meal prep:
- Smoky Clams for Two by Summer of Eggplant
- Romaine and Avocado Salad with Anchovy Garlic Vinaigrette by Phyllis Grant
- White Peach and Lemon Thyme Galette by vvvannessa
Round it all out with a glass of wine. Pick something that will pair well with the smokiness of the clams.
If you have one hour or less to make dinner:
- Baked Figs with Balsamic and Feta by Phyllis Grant
- Roasted Onion Salad with Arugula and Walnut Salsa by Marian Bull
- Vesper Martini by Food52
Photos by Mark Weinberg, Phyllis Grant, James Ransom