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5 easy dishes with 8 or fewer ingredients

By: Enrique Gili on Nov. 1, 2011, 6:09 p.m.
Tomato, mozzarella and basil salad

Photo: margouillat photo/Shutterstock

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Master of simplicity

Recipes usually can be divided into three categories: the aspirational, the trendy and the seasonal. But the eternal question binding them all is, "Does a dish have to be complicated in order to be good?" The short answer is no. Experienced cooks know that some ingredients belong together like Brangelina, a supernova of food pairings almost too good to be true. Sometimes KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the best possible route to success.

Often the quickest way to mastering tasty, simple meals is to follow a few guidelines. Invest in several cookbooks that appeal to you. Practice cooking techniques until they become almost instinctual, and use the freshest ingredients whenever possible. Here are five classic Mediterranean-style recipes focused on doing more with less, geared toward getting out of the kitchen and into the dining room in less time than in takes to order takeout.