A Use-What-You-Have Frittata That Won’t End Up a Mess

January 13, 2024
Dining & Wine
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As Emily Weinstein says in this week’s Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter — you are subscribed to Five Weeknight Dishes, yes? — a dish like a frittata, that clean-out-the-fridge standard, walks a fine line between delicious and disaster. This new cheesy frittata recipe from Sohla El-Waylly, however, keeps you safely on the stellar side of things, since it comes with a video of Sohla walking you through every step. (She also explains the differences between all those terms on egg cartons and has more kitchen tips to share: 11, to be exact.) The recipe is clear, informative and friendly — everything you’d expect from a series called Cooking 101.

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(Speaking of clear, informative and friendly: Next week the Well section of The New York Times kicks off its Mediterranean diet series, a week of daily emails filled with nutritional facts and shopping suggestions, along with a selection of our Mediterranean diet recipes. If you’re already subscribed to the Well newsletter, you don’t have to do anything. You’ll receive the first installment in your inbox. If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up here.)

Let’s continue with more helpful, versatile basics, shall we? Melissa Clark’s salt-and-pepper roast chicken calls for only four ingredients — chicken, an herb bundle, and the aforementioned salt and pepper — and it is the sort of perfect, no-fuss roast chicken that garners rave reviews. (We love this note from Steven, a reader: “To Melissa Clark’s herb bundle of sage, rosemary and thyme, I added parsley. I’m not sure that it improved the flavor significantly. But to someone of the Simon and Garfunkel generation, it made the dish more lyrical.”)

Eric Kim’s recipe for miso soup is similarly simple and ready for your improvisations. Splash in some sake and mirin for balance and sweetness, swap the bonito flakes for dried shiitake mushrooms if you want to make your soup vegan, or — if you have some of that salt-and-pepper roast chicken left over — add shredded chicken for extra protein.

Two cans of chickpeas form the base of this gingery chana masala from Zainab Shah. Don’t worry if the tomatoes at your store are tight and unyielding. After a good simmer with deeply spiced onions, garlic, ginger and green chiles, they become a soft sauce for the buttery chickpeas. It’s an easy recipe that turns a reliable pantry staple into something luscious.

And here are two great green recipes to wrap things up: First, Sandra A. Gutierrez’s pasta con palta, or creamy avocado pesto pasta, a recipe adapted by Christina Morales. The pesto here isn’t a blend of herbs and cheese but rather avocado and walnuts, making it both vegan and supremely creamy. For something even greener, there’s Ali Slagle’s green smoothie, an emerald blend of spinach, kale, ginger and banana. (If you’d like more smoothie recipes, we have plenty more in our smoothie collection.)

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