The Coziest White Bean Stew

Hello and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. Margaux here, filling in for Emily this week. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, whatever that looked like for you this year. Mine was small and different, but kind of perfect? It’s been a challenging several months in so many ways, and yet I’ve also never felt so thankful.

Big news: It’s officially Christmas cookie season. If you’re as excited about this as I am (peanut butter blossoms!), don’t forget to R.S.V.P. for the (virtual) New York Times Cookie Swap on Dec. 5, featuring Melissa Clark, Dorie Greenspan, Samantha Seneviratne and Sohla El-Waylly. They’ll demonstrate recipes and answer questions live.

With the exception of my Thanksgiving leftovers enchiladas pie, which I’m making tonight, I’m taking a break from meat this week after all of that turkey and gravy. Bring on the vegetables and fish.

Here are five dishes for the week:

1. Roasted Tomato and White Bean Stew

This cozy vegan soup from Colu Henry had nearly 4,000 five-star ratings when I typed this, which is quite an endorsement. Topping it with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan or feta (my choice) is not a bad idea, but that will obviously take it out of vegan territory. Serve it with hot, crusty bread.

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2. Vegetarian ‘Carbonara’ With Spinach

Kay Chun uses butter, starchy pasta water and smoked Gouda to mimick the creamy texture and smoky flavor that’s prized in traditional carbonara. Top it with a fried egg if you’re particularly famished, and plenty of black pepper to cut through the richness.

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3. Sheet-Pan Roasted Salmon Niçoise Salad

Lidey Heuck’s clever take on the classic salad calls for salmon instead of tuna and roasted vegetables instead of steamed or raw ones, making it a lovely jumble of textures and temperature perfect for chilly weather. The salmon and vegetables are roasted on the same pan because we all have better things to do than wash more dishes.

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4. Crispy Bean Cakes With Harissa, Lemon and Herbs

Pick a bean, any bean, and make these simple and versatile spiced patties from Yewande Komolafe. One reader made a vegan version by replacing the egg white with the liquid from a can of chickpeas, and another by whisking together 3 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds or whole chia seeds. (We love our readers!) Serve alongside Yewande’s cucumbers with yogurt and herbs or a cold and crunchy romaine salad.

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5. Thanksgiving Leftovers Enchilada Pie

I had so much fun coming up with this recipe a few years ago for The New York Times for Kids, a monthly print-only section of The New York Times. I’m making it tonight with my daughters, but I can promise you that even grown-ups with more refined palates than mine love it. (Paging Sam Sifton.) A little Velveeta is called for here because it maintains its “melt” better than Cheddar or Monterey Jack alone, but skip it if processed cheese makes you cringe.

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