First things first

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Ricotta and broccoli raab sandwich

Good technique: Rustic bread, sweet caramel, fresh ricotta and a shake of the Japanese red peppers make for a memorable sandwich. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

4. Scatter on roasted broccolini.

5. Shake on a little shichimi. If you like, drizzle with a spoonful of caramel. Enjoy warm.

Roasted broccolini:

1. Slice 1 bunch broccolini into bite-size pieces.

2. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 clove chopped garlic.

3. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.

4. Spread out on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet.

5. Slide into a 425-degree oven and roast until deliciously browned, about 8 minutes.

5. Toss with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

Note: Shichimi togarashi (aka simply shichimi) is a Japanese blend of red pepper, orange peel and other spices, available in the Asian foods aisle. If you don't have any handy, a pinch of red or black pepper will do.

Provenance: Inspired by Birdbath Bakery in New York City.
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