I LOVE lemon sauce with pasta. Don’t get me wrong—a thick, zesty marinara is always good. But this lemon sauce is to die for. Tart, herbaceous, and nutty. Feel free to toss in your favorite protein or serve alongside a simple veggie, like the blanched haricot verts pictured here.
I first had Greek lemon potatoes 3 years ago in a fabulous little Greek restaurant near my old office. I had never thought about pairing lemon with potatoes before, but boy was I missing out on something so comforting and delicious. Ever since, I’ve been trying to recreate the magic of those Greek potatoes at home. My recipe is definitely not as good as the real thing (I don’t know how they do it!), but it’s pretty close. At least, it serves as an elevated side dish to just about any main course.
Greek-Inspired Lemon Potatoes
This dish is a perfect marriage of sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy, officiated by good ole’ soul-satisfying pasta. For this recipe, I have to send a special shout out to Trader Joe’s for providing the fresh butternut squash ravioli. Trader Joe’s fresh pastas are inexpensive, flavorful on their own, and cook within 3-4 minutes: what more could you possibly want for getting a quick, tasty dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes? But if you’re really feeling ambitious, may I suggest that you pair this sauce with my recipe for homemade butternut squash stuffed shells?
Butternut Squash Ravioli With Pistachio-Parmesan Butter Sauce
As I get more comfortable with basic cooking techniques with my go-to ingredients, I sometimes get the burst of courage and inspiration to try something more difficult. This time, inspiration took the form of salmon with beurre blanc (which is French for “omg-I-died-and-went-to-heaven-velvety-awesome white butter sauce”). To even out the challenges of cooking a protein and sauce I’ve never made before, I kept the other parts of this dish simple—virtually foolproof steam-in-the-bag fingerling potatoes and simply dressed green beans. And, to help ensure my salmon would be evenly cooked, I bought same-sized pre-portioned filets from the fish counter and used the foil-packet technique, which I read is good for beginners. The result? A spotless plate, newfound confidence in cooking salmon, and recurring dreams of drinking beurre blanc by the gallon.
Salmon with Beurre Blanc, Haricot Vert, and Ricotta-Mashed Fingerling Potatoes
This recipe is a labor of love, and it’s so worth it. Warm, sweet, savory, melt-in-your-mouth comfort food doesn’t get much better than this. So much so, that despite being a self-proclaimed efficiency queen, I love this dish even though I can’t multi-task my way to completion within an hour. If I had one regret about the last time I made this dish, it’s that I didn’t make twice as much for my guests. Serve with a simple boiled or roasted vegetable, such as string beans or broccoli rabe.
Sweet Potato Pillows With Brown-Butter Sage and Garlic-Herb Crumble
When I’m hosting friends for dinner, I try not to overthink a complicated menu. I strive for comfort food that is elegant but not fussy, and ingredients that yield good-size portions without breaking the bank. I’m fortunate to have a farmers’ market nearby, so I get all of my fresh vegetables for a fraction of the cost at the grocery store. That’s how I was able to pull of this meal for roughly $5 per person, and if you follow these steps, you’ll be done and ready to serve in an hour!
Crispy Butter Chicken Pinwheels with Roasted Haricot Vert and Twice-Baked Lemon Ricotta Potatoes
A very wise editor I used to work with spoke often of the misuse of the exclamation point. She was not a fan of the emphatic “thank you!” or “hi!” in e-mails either because, honestly, you were never THAT appreciative or happy toward someone you worked with. She told us that editors and writers are only given 3 exclamation marks to use in their ENTIRE lifetime of writing, so you better use them well. Personally, I break this rule daily, as an email “thank you” without the exclamation mark is more likely to be construed as passive aggression. As predicted, we’re all de-sensitized to the exclamation mark. However, if there was ever a time to justify an exclamation mark, now is one of those times…
Shells Stuffed With Butternut Squash in Brown Butter Sage Sauce!