With minimal ingredients and maximum joy in mind, Ali Slagle‘s no-nonsense, completely delicious recipes are ideal for dinner tonight—and every single night. Like she does with her instantly beloved recipes in the New York Times, Ali combines readily available, inexpensive ingredients in clever, uncomplicated ways for meals that spark everyday magic. Maybe it’s Fish & Chips Tacos tonight, a bowl of Olive Oil-Braised Chickpeas tomorrow, and Farro Carbonara forever and ever. All come together with fewer than eight ingredients and forty-five minutes, using one or two pots and pans. Half the recipes are plant-based, too.
Organized by main ingredients like eggs, noodles, beans, and chicken, chapters include quick tricks for riffable cooking methods and flavour combinations so that dinner bends to your life, not the other way around (no meal-planning required!). Whether in need of comfort and calm, fire and fun—directions to cling to, or the inspiration to wing it—I Dream of Dinner (so You Don’t Have To) is the only phone-a-friend you need. That’s because Ali, a home cook turned recipe developer, guides with a reassuring calm, puckish curiosity, and desire for everyone, everywhere, to make great food—and fast. (Phew!)
Roasted Roots with Green Salsa
Psst: This salsa perks up just about any protein, veg, grain, or salad.
- Heat the oven to 450°F. Halve 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into ½-inch-thick wedges. Transfer to a sheet pan. Trim 1 pound small carrots with green tops of their greens. Transfer the carrots to the sheet pan and coarsely chop ½ cup of the greens (wash if gritty). Transfer the greens to a medium bowl.
- Add 5 scallions to the sheet pan. Season the mixture with S&P and toss with enough olive oil to coat. Spread the vegetables out in an even layer, dividing between 2 sheet pans if they’re cramped. Roast on the bottom rack until browned and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the salsa. Add these things to the carrot greens as you cut them: Remove the husks from 8 ounces tomatillos (about 5) and coarsely chop. Finely chop 1 or 2 fresh chiles (serrano or jalapeño), depending on heat preference. Season generously with S&P, then add the juice from 2 limes (about ¼ cup) and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir and adjust seasonings to taste (the mixture will loosen as it sits).
- Snip the charred scallions with scissors into the salsa and stir. Transfer the root vegetables to plates and top with the salsa and lots of crumbly cheese (Cotija, feta, ricotta salata).
• If your carrots don’t have greens, add cilantro to the salsa.
• Instead of tomatillo, use cucumbers, corn, or zucchini.
• Good with grains, black beans, peanuts, pepitas, avocado, sour cream.
• Everything here is good at room temp; components will keep for 3 days in the fridge.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House.