Bright Flavors for Dreary Days

Bright Flavors for Dreary Days

Hello and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. We all know September is back-to-school time, but this late-January repeat after the last gasp of winter holidays needs a name. Again, we are settling into weekly routines — except with more darkness and lesser holidays to look forward to (Presidents’ Day feast, anyone?). So I am craving fresh recipes, to jolt awake my hibernating urge to cook. Fortunately, this week’s batch from the NYT Cooking recipe hive is particularly bright, bouncing from spicy vegan to richly earthy to knockout Italian classic.

Here are five dishes for the week:

1. Italian Wedding Soup With Turkey Meatballs

What’s that? You thought that, with Emily away, this newsletter would take a break from meatballs? Think again — I love them, too, especially made from ground chicken or turkey, which I always have in my refrigerator as a quick-cooking, super-versatile protein. No one knows precisely why this is called wedding soup, but it is a beloved multigenerational staple at my house.

3. Three-Cup Vegetables

Sam Sifton’s Three-Cup Chicken is one of our most popular recipes, with its delicious bath of rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil. Lots of ginger and garlic wake up this super-easy vegan version with winter vegetables. To make it even faster, use just two kinds of vegetables; to make it dinner, add seared or pan-fried tofu.

View this recipe.


4. Fried Eggs With Garlicky Green Rice

Do not underestimate the power of just-cooked rice as the basis for an entire dinner. Its fragrance and flavor are at peak then, and in this recipe — based on Mexican arroz verde — its heat releases the deliciousness of cilantro, parsley and garlic. Add softly fried eggs for richness, and fresh radishes and lime juice for spark.

5. Sausage and Peppers Pasta With Broccoli

I grew up going to street fairs in Little Italy, getting delirious from the smell of charcoal-roasted onions, peppers and sausages from local butchers. Since Italian sausage is already seasoned, it’s a great weeknight shortcut for meat eaters. And adding broccoli to the classic combination, to make it a one-bowl dinner? Thank you, Kay Chun.

View this recipe.

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