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Grouper With Brown Butter Squash

While roasted butternut squash is delicious on its own, the addition of brown butter makes it utterly addictive. If you struggle with removing the veggie’s stringy seeds, take note: the sharp edge and deep well of an everyday ice cream scoop make it an ideal tool for quickly scraping and seeding the squash. The addition of soft, juicy golden raisins contrasts the nuttiness of the brown butter; we added cider vinegar to give it a punch. Paired with crispy seared fish, this is a filling low-fuss meal that’s great for company, but requires very little hands-on time.

Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce

“No-cook” is our favorite summer phrase, because it means the kitchen can stay cool while we prepare a seasonal meal. A variety of flavor-packed ingredients make this sauce a keeper, including sweet summer tomatoes, finely chopped anchovies, chopped garlic, briny kalamata olives, and spicy crushed red pepper flakes. Letting the mixture sit as the pasta cooks allows the flavors to meld and creates an even better sauce. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and lots of fresh basil for a summertime meal you’ll be enjoying again and again. If you’re not a fan of anchovies, try adding capers instead.

Raisin Jam Rugelach 

Rugelach can often taste too dry, undermining the point of eating a treat. Not so with crescent rolls, which bake up pillowy and flaky no matter what. Inside is a brandy- and pepper-spiked raisin jam. Spread inside a crescent roll, you’ve got something both sophisticated. Serving to all ages? The alcohol in the brandy cooks off when you reduce the jam on the stove. Once you’ve got the hang of this jam, try it as a layer between yellow cakes or served alongside scones.

Chickpea, Arugula, and Pickled
 Carrot Salad

It’s sadly common to eat a salad for dinner and walk away hungry. Not so here. Quinoa, pistachios and chickpeas pack protein, and roasted carrots add a satisfying heft to each bite. Unfamiliar with za’atar? It’s a Middle Eastern spice blend that contains dried sumac (a berry that has a flavor akin to citrus), sesame, cumin, thyme, oregano, and marjoram. If you can’t find it at your store, mixing together any of these listed spices will get you a similar taste. Use any extra za’atar to season meat and fish, or stir it into your favorite plain hummus.

Goat Cheese and Mushroom–Stuffed Acorn Squash

One of the main challenges with vegetarian food is making sure a dinner feels hearty enough. Here, you've got an entire half of an acorn squash per serving, stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, bread cubes, and goat cheese. In other words, it’s not shy on flavor, and the portion feels, well, like dinner. Pro tip: If the squash halves seem unsteady on the baking sheet, you can slice off a little of the outside skin to make a flat base. Serve with a crisp white wine like dry Riesling or Vinho Verde.

Soy-Honey Glazed Fish
 and Rice Bowl

This flavorful fish and rice bowl recipe takes cues from many world cuisines, making something entirely original. Soy and honey are a salty-sweet match made in heaven—think: a sophisticated hoisin sauce. If you’re gluten-free, make sure to buy gluten-free tamari, a wheat-free soy sauce. Affordable, sustainably sourced swordfish is often in the freezer aisle of the grocery store. Just defrost the filets completely before proceeding with the recipe.

Sheet Pan Beef Tenderloin With Brussels Sprouts and Shallots

A one-pan dinner that’s done in 30 minutes and takes only 10 minutes to prepare? That’s just what a great weeknight meal should be. Though, this dinner is definitely elegant to serve at a dinner party. First, start the beef and vegetables in a preheated oven and then finish with the broiler to get a nice golden brown crust. If you have leftovers, toss the dressing with greens and top with the vegetables and tenderloin.

Pan-Roasted Chicken
 With Braised Apple and Cabbage

It might seem strange to cook chicken in a skillet without any oil, but fear not, the fat from the skin renders out and coats the pan. Once the cabbage and apple are in the skillet, the chicken thighs cook on top, making sure everything has a generous dose of chicken fat. At the end, you’ll stir in apple cider, ensuring this doesn’t taste too rich. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, use an equivalent-sized ovenproof skillet. Serve with a dry, hard cider (look for one from France or New England), or a crisp white wine.

Cocoa Pumpkin Crumble

Chocolate and pumpkin might not seem like an obvious combo at first. That is, at least, until you try it. The key is not to let the pumpkin overwhelm the chocolate or vice versa. In this pie, there’s a sprinkling of milk chocolate chips along the bottom of the crust, and on top, there’s a gently cocoa-spiked crumble topping. Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, and perhaps espresso to cut through the richness.