It's a Vegetable Extravaganza

Vegetarian dishes for everyone

If I haven’t mentioned lately that I’ve eaten ice cream for dinner more than once this summer, here I am, mentioning it again. It hasn’t been the healthiest few months, so what we’ve put together for this week reflects the desire to get things back on track, and I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. Anyway: These are good, and all three recipes are completely vegetarian. (You're welcome, for those of you who like that, and I'm sorry, for those of you who don't. We aim to please.)

Cucumber Tofu Salad

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 1 ½ hours, largely unattended

This is a great dish for entertaining since it has to marinate for at least an hour before being served — and can sit for a couple of hours after that.


  • 1/2 cup rice or white vinegar

  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced

  • 1 8-ounce block of firm tofu

  • 3 tablespoons corn, grapeseed, or other neutral oil

  • 1 onion, halved and sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


1. Mix the vinegar, ginger, sugar, and teaspoon of salt and toss with the cucumbers. Let stand for at least 1 hour (if it’s a warm day, and you’re going to marinate for more than an hour, refrigerate). Drain off the excess liquid.

2. While the cucumber is marinating, cut the tofu in half horizontally, then put each half on a cutting board that’s propped at an angle so excess liquid can drain off (ideally, it will drain into the sink). Top with another, somewhat heavy object — a cutting board or a skillet, for example — and let sit for a half-hour or so.

3. Put the oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick) over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the tofu, sprinkle with salt, and cook, undisturbed, until it browns and releases easily from the pan, about 3 minutes. Turn and repeat on the other side. Transfer the tofu to a cutting board, add the onion and turmeric to the pan, and lower the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.

3. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch strips and add to the salad. Stir in the onion mixture, taste, and add more salt if necessary. Garnish with the sesame seeds, and serve.

Recipe from The Best Recipes in the World


Pea and Arugula Frittata

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

Many of you know how much we love frittatas, and this one offers a super green variety. It’s almost like a salad frittata — the ratio of vegetable to egg is pretty perfect. Frozen peas are just fine. Parmesan is perfect, but you can beat 4 ounces of soft goat cheese into the eggs instead if you’d prefer.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small onion

  • 1 pound arugula

  • Salt and pepper

  • 6 eggs

  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese (1 cup grated)

  • 2 cups peas (frozen or fresh shelled)

  • Chopped mint or chives


1. Put the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Trim, peel, and chop the onion. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until it’s softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the arugula to the softened onion, a handful at a time, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the arugula is just wilted and the liquid is evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Add the parmesan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and beat the mixture with a fork or whisk. Turn the broiler to high; put the rack 4 inches from the heat.

4. When the arugula is ready, add the peas, herbs, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and turn the heat to low. Pour the eggs into the skillet, tilting it or using a spoon to distribute them evenly. Cook until the eggs are barely set, 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook just until the eggs turn golden, a minute or 2. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve, hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Recipe from How to Cook Everything Fast


Lemony Bulgur with Zucchini, Olives, and Ricotta Salata

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

Finely ground bulgur steeps in a broth of browned zucchini, olives, and onions, and a spectacular pilaf results. Also good leftover, cold, or at room temperature. Can’t find ricotta salata? (I couldn’t; sigh.) Use feta. Vegan? Just omit the cheese — it won’t be as creamy, but it’ll still be tasty.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 pound zucchini, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 medium red onion, trimmed, peeled, and chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped olives

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 cup finely ground bulgur

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

  • 4 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled


1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil.

2. Put 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, onion, and olives.

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are browned and soft, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat to low.

5. When the vegetables are browned and soft, stir in the garlic and the zest and juice of the lemon. Cook, stirring until fragrant, a minute.

6. Stir the bulgur and the boiled water into the skillet; cover and turn off the heat. Let steep until the bulgur is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

7. When the bulgur is tender, add the parsley and ricotta salata; fluff with a fork. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve.

Recipe from How to Cook Everything Fast