Just-Right Recipes

By Emily Weinstein

The sun is out. I’ve made my annual switch to iced coffee. I’m buying Lambrusco and making a spritz. Summer is nigh! After the year we all had, you will catch me indoors only when it’s time to sleep, shower or type on this laptop (and maybe not even then).

But, OK, let’s still take a beat to revel in spring. Many of the recipes below are gloriously green, and all are just the right heft for this in-between moment. Best of all, they are legitimately easy to make (which, again, after the year we all had… ).

Tell me how you’re doing: I’m [email protected], and I love to hear from you.

1. Glazed Tofu With Chile and Star Anise

I love making new recipes from Yewande Komolafe, especially ones with tofu: She just has a way with it. This recipe for this dish, which is inspired by Sichuan hui guo rou, or twice-cooked pork, has you searing whole blocks of tofu, tearing them into pieces and then tossing them in a darkly sweet sauce with rice wine, soy sauce, ginger and scallions.

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2. Crispy Grains and Halloumi With Smashed Cucumbers

The vegetarian sheet-pan meal you need is here. In Ali Slagle’s highly customizable new recipe, you can use brown rice, wheat berries, farro or a mix of grains; halloumi or feta; and lemon, lime or grapefruit. Chickpeas bring heft. Crispness brings joy. Cook the grains ahead, if you can, for a very fast dinner.

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3. Roasted Salmon and Brussels Sprouts With Citrus-Soy Sauce

Here’s another truly delicious, no-brainer recipe from Ali Slagle, a fast meal made even faster if you buy shredded brussels sprouts. Put the pan in the oven, stir together a simple sauce of citrus juice, rice vinegar and soy sauce, and serve. I like it with rice.

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4. Chicken Katsu

This is Kay Chun’s recipe for the Japanese classic, a comfort-food dish of breaded pork or chicken cutlets served with tangy tonkatsu sauce. Kay’s method delivers a remarkably crisp crust and juicy meat, and while you could buy the sauce, her homemade version keeps indefinitely in the fridge and is good on everything.

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5. Spring Minestrone With Kale and Pasta

Here’s another Kay Chun recipe, this one wonderfully verdant — spring in a soup pot, studded with teeny ditalini. This soup comes together quickly, and leftovers make a superb desk lunch.

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