October 17, 2011 12:00 PM

Bobby Flay’s HAM SALAD

The star chef shares a favorite fall recipe from his new cookbook. ‘It’s a dish that puts an American spin on a Mediterranean classic,’ says Flay

KENTUCKY HAM SALAD

Serves 4

¼ lb. baby arugula

5 fresh figs, preferably Black Mission, quartered

Molasses-Mustard Dressing (see below)

Kosher salt and black pepper

¼ lb. thinly sliced country ham

½ cup pecans, toasted

2 green onions, thinly sliced

4 (½-in. thick) slices country bread, grilled

½ cup ricotta cheese

1. Put the arugula and figs in a large bowl. Add half of the dressing, season with salt and pepper and toss gently.

2. Divide the greens and figs among 4 large plates. Place a slice or two of ham on each plate. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with pecans and green onions. Top bread with ricotta and serve with the salad.

DRESSING

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp. molasses, 2 tbsp. water, 1½ tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1½ tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. honey, ½ tsp. kosher salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Slowly whisk in ½ cup canola oil until completely blended.

Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2011) is in stores now.

Todd English’s

FOUR WAYS TO SHAKE UP YOUR SALT

“Salt is the key to great cooking,” says the top chef, who reveals some of his favorite ways to use it on your food

1 GIVE IT A SPICY ZING

English makes a salt-spice combo that he recommends grinding onto grilled chicken or fish dishes. Mix 2 tbsp. kosher salt, 1 tbsp. fennel seed and 1 tsp. dried orange zest. “It’s so delicious it’s almost like a sauce,” says English.

2 KEEP IT IN THE MIX DURING DESSERT

“Salt brings out the chocolate and caramel flavors in cookies,” says English, who always adds a pinch of sea salt to his cookie batter. “The minute it hits your palate, it enhances the characteristics of sugar.”

3 GIVE IT AN ITALIAN FLAIR

Here’s a combo that “creates one of my favorite Mediterranean flavors,” says the chef. Chop 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary and the zest of 2 lemons and leave it on the counter to dry out overnight. Place in a salt grinder with ½ cup sea salt and grind over lamb chops, vegetables or steak. “It brightens up the dish,” he says.

4 DON’T FORGET TO SPRINKLE IT ON FRUIT

“Any kind of melon is more delicious when you sprinkle salt on it,” says English. “It really brings out the fruit taste.”

Cooking in Everyday English (Oxmoor House, 2011) is in stores now.

Kathryn Ireland

INSIDE MY HOME

The Million Dollar Decorators star shares some favorite design tips

SHAKE THINGS UP

“I mix bold prints with antiques,” says Ireland. “I never like everything to match-I’ve even got two different chairs.”

RECYCLING IS COOL

“I got this table at a flea market,” says Ireland, who has a textiles and furniture line. “I go to flea markets all the time. I like giving things new life.”

GET PERSONAL

“You have to have a little bad taste in a room too,” says the designer, who uses a ceramic fish painted by her son as an accessory. “As long as it means something to you.”

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