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Weekday dinner inspiration: Warm Lentil and Potato Salad and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Mushrooms take on a meaty flavor when cooked and are so satisfying as a pizza topping for White Mushroom Pizza. Saute whatever sliced mushrooms you'd like in olive oil with some chopped fresh rosemary; season with salt and pepper. Cover a Boboli crust or another purchased pizza base with shredded smoked mozzarella and top with mushrooms. Bake according to directions on packaging. Let sit for a few minutes before cutting so cheese sets, and serve with green salad.

Tues | Seafood, eat food

Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine is a classic dish that goes together quickly on a weeknight. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, and while that's happening, heat ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet. Add 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp and cook through; remove with slotted spoon and set aside. To remaining oil in skillet, add 4 large, minced garlic cloves, some red pepper flakes and about ½ cup white wine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute, then add ½ stick butter in pieces. Return shrimp and heat briefly. Mix with pasta and garnish with chopped parsley.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad (recipe below) is a satisfying accompaniment to carved rotisserie chicken. It can be served hot or at room temperature. If you want to make it in advance you can, but heat gently before serving. I would wait until just before serving to stir in parsley so that the taste stays fresh.

Thurs | Fusion tacos

Black Bean Tacos With Feta and Slaw is a Stir Crazy favorite that starts with canned black beans heated with ground cumin. In a separate bowl, whisk ¼ cup of olive oil with the juice of 1 lime and a few shakes of hot sauce to taste. Add shredded cabbage to mix. Set aside for about 15 minutes so that the cabbage wilts a bit. Stuff soft or hard taco shells with the bean mixture, crumbled feta cheese, dressed cabbage and chopped scallions. More hot sauce optional. Serve with rice and fresh fruit.

Fri | Built for leftovers

Asian-Style Salad With Pork holds up well for a next-day lunch, and won't your co-workers be jealous when you pull out a bowl. Mix cooked cellophane noodles, shredded napa cabbage, thinly sliced cucumber, red bell pepper and scallions, shredded carrot, chopped basil and mint, and slices of roasted pork, your leftovers or from the deli. For the dressing, mix 3 tablespoons each fresh lime juice and rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon each fish sauce and vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon red chili paste or Sriracha (or to taste) and salt to taste.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586. Follow @roadeats on Twitter.

>>EASY

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

½ cup dried French green lentils

1 ½ pounds small red potatoes, halved

5 bacon slices

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 large shallots, finely chopped

1 celery rib, sliced

2 garlic gloves

2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard

1 ½ cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Bring lentils and 4 cups salted water to a boil in a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 to 25 minutes or just until tender.

Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover for 15 minutes or just until tender. Drain lentils and potatoes.

Cook bacon in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat 6 to 7 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.

Add olive oil to hot drippings in skillet and heat over medium heat. Saute shallots, celery and garlic in hot olive oil mixture 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in lentils, potatoes, bacon and parsley.

Serves 8.

Source: No Taste Like Home: A Celebration of Regional Southern Cooking and Hometown Flavor by Kelly Alexander (Oxmoor House, 2013)

Weekday dinner inspiration: Warm Lentil and Potato Salad and more 09/30/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 30, 2013 2:19pm]
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