Earthy Mushrooms, Bold Peppers

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By Krysten Chambrot

Hello, Five Weeknight Dishers. This is Krysten, stepping in for Emily. (Close watchers of this space will remember me as this newsletter’s editor!)

I’m sorry to say it, but New Year’s Eve just isn’t my holiday. I love going to bed early and hate the passage of time. I don’t even really like Champagne. So if I make it to midnight, I’ll toast my partner with some Martinelli’s and turn in moments later.

But I do love New Year’s Day and its promise of a fresh start. In recent years, I’ve marked the day by jumping in the ocean or walking about 10 miles. And, of course, I’ve simmered a pot of black-eyed peas with greens for good fortune.

This year, I’m hoping to go for a long run, and yes, simmer some beans. Later that evening — and for the week beyond — I’ll look to a menu that takes just a tiny bit longer at the stove, with recipes that feel warming but fresh, with lots of citrus and bright, bold flavors. I’m sharing dishes in that vein this week, in hopes that you’ll have a bright, bold first week of 2022. In the meantime, I’m on Instagram, and happy to hear from you.

1. Roasted Mushrooms in Ata Din Din

Yewande Komolafe combines bright red peppers, pickled onions and a generous mix of herbs with crisp, earthy mushrooms in this full-flavored dish. Serve this recipe with rice or whatever grain you have on hand, so not a drop of the pepper relish goes to waste.

View this recipe.

2. Crème Fraîche Pasta With Peas and Scallions

I cannot get enough citrus lately. Enter Hana Asbrink’s lemony, creamy pasta, which features scallions in two (two!) different ways — caramelized and raw. It’s the kind of dish that comforts and delights in equal measure.

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3. Arroz con Tocino

For me, a simple rice dish is the ultimate solace. Von Diaz’s recipe, full of salt pork (or bacon and bacon fat), is a perfect bed for a fried egg, and takes me right back to a cozy weeknight standby of my childhood: rice and a salty-in-all-the-right-ways picadillo.

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4. Chicken With Artichokes and Lemon

Even more lemon! And this time, from the queen herself, Joan Nathan. And this chicken dish is just one reason she is, as just a few ingredients make something great. Use frozen artichokes here to make prep especially quick. The result is brilliantly lemony — and just plain brilliant.

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5. Tofu Larb

A beautiful, light counterpoint to the weeks of heavy meals we’ve just had, this recipe from Hetty McKinnon doesn’t skimp on flavor for a second. Don’t skip the toasted rice powder: It lends a crisp texture to the tender tofu.

View this recipe.

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