It's true, autumn is officially here. There's a subtle chill in the air some mornings and we feel like cooking, not grilling dinner. We haven't given up on eating tomatoes or corn just yet, but we're gradually, oh so gradually, moving toward butternut squash. Let us help you navigate the path to getting dinner on the table. The recipes here take less than an hour of mostly hands-off time, many cook much quicker than that but may require constant stirring. These are meals the whole family can enjoy. Yes, there will be pasta. So join us every week for dinnertime inspiration.
Monday: Summer Vegetable and Bean Tacos
Call it colorful: Red onion, bell peppers, and yellow squash meet black beans, and they all mingle in corn tortillas.
TUESDAY: Barley Salad with Chicken and Corn
Make this satisfying salad with a chicken breast you cook tonight or leftovers from a roast or grilled dinner. Either route leads to a main dish packed with summery flavors but also with the heft we need from fall fare. And use quick-cook barley if you need to save some minutes with prep.
WEDNESDAY: Summer Beef-and-Rice Casserole
We're still making one-pot dinners on Wednesdays -- and we can't quite let go of summer, there's zucchini layered in this ground beef casserole. It calls for our favorite fast meat sauce, which is a recipe to know, and one we're sure you'll make again and again. (Make a double batch of meat sauce ahead, freeze in half recipe portions for dinner in a flash.)
THURSDAY: Poached Salmon with Potatoes, Cucumber, and Buttermilk-Dill Dressing
Simple cooking lets the fresh flavors shine in this 25-minutes-to-the-table dinner of wild salmon with baby potatoes and a super-easy dressing -- how does mayo thinned with buttermilk and flavored with dill sound? We're sure you'll love it.
FRIDAY: Vegetable Garden Linguine
We're sneaking some whole-wheat pasta into your family's diet tonight with this yummy vegetarian pasta that features fennel, fresh mild chiles, and cherry tomatoes -- and plenty of Parmesan.
SATURDAY: White Pizza with Pickled Onions and Peppers
Pickled onions and peppers, three kinds of cheese (ricotta, Parmesan, and Monterey Jack) plus soppressata on a pizza -- doesn't that sound like the dinner you'd like? Our latest, greatest quick pizza dough takes an hour -- open the wine while the dough is rising.
SUNDAY: Grilled Shrimp "Boil"
Have one final summer hurrah with this easy-entertaining meal. Mix it up with this entree that combines the seafood boil with backyard grilling. We grilled shrimp, corn, and potatoes, so this classic seafood boil trio has a delicious smokiness. And to start: Hot crab dip meets pimiento cheese for a totally irresistible spread. Dessert is a new take on the icebox pie: Raspberries are folded into vanilla custard, with a classic graham cracker crust.