What to Eat (Besides the Feast)


Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes, pre-Thanksgiving edition. I have dinner ideas for you for the week to come, whether you’re traveling, waiting for a wave of family to come in, or just lying low.

I have a dessert for you, too: Julia Turshen’s one-bowl, one-pan applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting from her new cookbook, “Now & Again.” I’d seen people posting photos of it on Instagram, and so I made it on election night as I waited for the returns (the technical term for that is distractibaking). I was charmed: a nice cake you can pull off on a weeknight! It’s moist, autumnal and not too sweet, ideal for novices to make for Thanksgiving or for anyone to keep around for snacking all week.

I also asked Julia what she makes on weeknights when she’s too tired to cook. She revels in repurposing leftovers; if there aren’t any, though, she goes with eggs. “I love to make a big diner-style omelet with some cheese,” she told me over email. “Or a kimchi-and-cheese omelet with sliced cucumbers on the side and my favorite ever super-fast salad dressing, which is equal parts kimchi juice and mayonnaise.” (Ooh!) So what are you cooking this week? Need suggestions? Have thoughts for me? I’m dearemily@nytimes.com.

Here are five dishes for the week:

2. Slow-Roasted Citrus Salmon With Herb Salad

The term “slow-roasted” is relative here — the fish still cooks in about 30 minutes, and it is utterly delicious and worth all the olive oil it bathes in. This recipe is easy enough to make anytime, but special enough to make for company. Double it if you need to, and serve with rice or farro and sautéed green beans, chopping extra fresh herbs to scatter on top.

View this recipe in your weekly plan.

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3. Broccoli-Walnut Pesto Pasta

An excellent, appealing, veg-packed idea. Blanched broccoli and mint replace the basil in pesto, walnuts sub in for pine nuts, and lemon brightens it all. I don’t think you need another vegetable, but roasted carrots would be good for a sweater-weather meal. This dish travels well and can be served at room temperature.

4. Sheet-Pan Cumin Pork Chops and Brussels Sprouts

Another sheet-pan supper! I’m guessing two isn’t too many, though. (A friend told me she’d love it if this newsletter consisted solely of sheet-pan recipes.) This recipe is written for two smaller pans, but you could definitely do it all on one big sheet pan: Put pork on one side, sprouts on the other. Remove the chops from the pan to rest and return the sprouts to the oven to finish cooking. Voila.

View this recipe in your weekly plan.

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