Warm Kale and Caramelized Wild Mushroom Salad

Warm Kale and Caramelized Wild Mushroom Salad

Mushrooms are incredibly versatile. Here, we sauté them until deeply golden brown, then pair their savory flavor with hearty kale leaves and a nutty sherry vinegar dressing. It’s an easy vegetarian meal in a bowl.

Note: This article is from our series on Serious Eats. You can find this salad, and other great recipes there as well.

When you cook as a couple, you have to constantly deal with what each person does and doesn’t like to eat. One of us (Matt) loves mushrooms, though, admittedly, mostly fried up English-style for breakfast; the other (Emily) used to dislike them, finding them to be either chewy, slimy, rubbery, or otherwise unappetizing.

We eventually realized that the problem wasn’t with the mushrooms, it was how we’d been cooking them. We’d been treating mushrooms like most other vegetables, when we really should’ve been cooking them like meat. By searing mushrooms until deeply browned, you can bring out their earthy, meaty, umami-packed flavor, while their interiors remain tender and juicy. Now, we have no conflict—we both love mushrooms and work them into our meals all the time. Here, we toss them with baby kale and a flavorful sherry vinaigrette to make an easy, filling salad.

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Quick-Marinated White Bean Salad With Feta

Quick-Marinated White Bean Salad With Feta

A white bean salad doesn’t have to be boring. Creamy cannellinis absorb the bright flavor of a vinaigrette in just a few minutes. Paired with briny olives, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese, and served in lettuce cups, they make a quick and substantial dinner.

Note: This recipe is part of our series for Serious Eats.

We’re as guilty as anyone else of “lazy salad syndrome”. If we can get away with opening a box of pre-rinsed greens and throwing on a dab of supermarket dressing, we’ll do it. As a side salad, that might just about be acceptable. But if we’re making a salad as its own dish – for a quick summer meal, for example – it’s inexcusably lame. But with just a little effort and really no time at all, I can prepare this white bean salad with ingredients I already have in the pantry. Most of the ingredients for this recipe are kitchen staples, and the only things I need fresh are cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and lettuce.

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Chorizo Quesadillas With Radish and Fennel Salsa

Chorizo Quesadillas With Radish and Fennel SalsaCrispy tortillas filled with spicy chorizo and gooey cheese, these quesadillas are balanced by the fresh, unusual flavor of a radish and fennel salsa. It’s a sophisticated pairing that elevates a familiar comfort food.

Note: this recipe also appears on Serious Eats!

There are days when you absolutely crave a quesadilla that is, in food-marketing parlance, “fully loaded.” But the more ingredients you put in your quesadilla, the more prep work and cooking you have to do, and some nights you just don’t have time for that. To keep this version under 20 minutes, we limited ourselves to two main ingredients in the tortilla itself, and paired it with a tart, crunchy chopped salsa that balances the richness of the quesadilla and elevates it from standard sports-TV fare. It may not be fully loaded with ingredients, but it’s definitely fully loaded with flavor.

Chorizo Quesadillas With Radish and Fennel Salsa
Spicy chorizo, gooey cheese and fresh scallions

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One-Pot Thai Curry Mussels with Rice Noodles

One-Pot Thai Curry Mussels with Rice NoodlesWe spiced up our one-pot mussels with Thai curry sauce to make this red curry mussels recipe. It’s cheap, it’s delicious, and best of all, it’s ready in 20 minutes!

Note: you can also find this recipe on Serious Eats!

Mussels are perhaps not everyone’s first choice for a quick weeknight supper, but that assessment deserves to be challenged. They cook quickly and excel in simple recipes like this one. Most people have probably made a variation on moules à la provençale (mussels in a garlic-tomato sauce) or moules marinières (with white wine and butter). Today we’re using a Thai-style red curry paste and a quick vegetable sauté to create a bold, spicy broth that pairs perfectly with briny mussels. Add some easy rice stick noodles and you’ve got a complete meal on your hands in 20 minutes or less.

One-Pot Thai Curry Mussels with Rice Noodles
Fresh mussels cook in minutes which makes them perfect for quick meals.

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Frittata with Bacon, Corn and Gruyere

Frittata with Bacon, Corn and Gruyere

Sweet corn and smoky bacon make a delicious filling to this quick cooking frittata. Studded with cheesy nuggets of gruyere and spicy jalapeños, this is the type of quick dinner you’ll want to make all the time. 

***Note: Matt and I are thrilled to announce that we are now contributors at one of our favorite food blogs of all time, Serious Eats! I’m sure most of you are familiar with them but if you’re not, definitely check them out. I love their approach to cooking because they question everything (and just because something is always done a certain way, doesn’t mean that it’s always the best way). They test and test to make sure that recipes result in the best tasting dishes, with the most efficient and fool-proof techniques.

TL;DR[note]”Too long; didn’t read”, grandpa[/note] They’re even nerdier about cooking than we are!

If the egg is the versatile gymnast of the culinary world, the star of a thousand different techniques and dishes, the frittata is probably its signature move. It’s quick, it’s easy, and you can throw almost anything into it and come up with a winning recipe. You can whip one up in under 20 minutes, so it’s ideal for a quick weekday breakfast or weekend brunch, but we’re betting it will score a place in your dinner rotation, too.

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