cover image Dinner in One: Exceptional & Easy One-Pan Meals: a Cookbook

Dinner in One: Exceptional & Easy One-Pan Meals: a Cookbook

Melissa Clark. Clarkson Potter, $30 (256p) ISBN 978-0-593-23325-2

New York Times food columnist Clark (Dinner in French) calls upon her decades of “recipe streamlining” in this excellent guide to weeknight cooking. Guided by two questions—“Is there a way I could make this recipe easier, faster, and tastier? And what’s the minimum number of pots, pans, and dishes I need to dirty to get there?”—Clark offers a pared-down approach to making dinner. A recipe for sag paneer simmers a mix of baby greens in the same Dutch oven as the cheese, while Clark’s Instant Pot chicken and dumplings deploys packaged gnocchi. Sheet pans get a workout, using the method of adding various elements in stages: coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds, for instance, get dry-toasted on the pan first to release the “fragrance and flavor” for her spiced brussels sprouts. Many recipes riff on familiar dishes like tuna casserole—here done in a saute pan with spaghetti, garlic, capers, and tomatoes—and creations from other culinary minds and restaurants including New York City’s Charlie Bird (whose farro salad is a favorite of Ina Garten’s). Occasional veg-friendly “upgrades” offer meat replacements, such as doubling the greens in a crispy spicy lamb dish with avocado, while a tempting selection of one-bowl cakes—including an appealingly simple blueberry coffee cake—round out Clark’s tasty affair. Busy home cooks shouldn’t miss this smart collection. (Sept.)