Weeknight Dinners to Spice Up Summer

A lil' bit of spice makes these quick dishes extra nice.
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Monday: Shrimp with Cherry Tomato Pizzaiola Sauce

shrimp with cherry tomato pizzaiola sauce

This sauce gets a nice kick from crushed red pepper, but don't worry if you have a low tolerance for fiery foods—it's balanced by lemon juice, vermouth, and loads of fresh herbs. 

Recipe: Try our Shrimp with Cherry Tomato Pizzaiola Sauce 

Tuesday: Grilled Steak Tacos with Nectarine Salsa

grilled-steak-tacos-nectarine-salsa-9aa7601b

These are some of our favorite tacos to whip up on a warm night. Jalapeños, chile powder, and paprika add heat to the steak, which perfectly complements the sweet nectarines and tangy lime juice. Plus, you can never go wrong with feta!  

Recipe: Try our Grilled Steak Tacos with Nectarine Salsa 

Wednesday: Carbonara with Horseradish & Peas

Carbonara with Horseradish Peas

Rach is no stranger to carbonara—it's her hubby's favorite dish, so she makes it on the reg. But she likes to keep things interesting by adding new twists here and there. This version of the classic includes freshly grated horseradish and shaved baby radishes for a fresh, spicy twist. 

Recipe: Try our Carbonara with Horseradish & Peas 

Thursday: Veggie Pizza with Spicy Harissa Tomato Sauce

Veggie Pizza with Spicy Harissa Tomato Sauce

Ready to take pizza night up a notch? Stir some harissa—a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste—in with your marinara. It's a quick addition that adds tons of flavor! 

Recipe: Try our Veggie Pizza with Spicy Harissa Tomato Sauce 

Friday: Chicken with Cherry-Fennel Barbecue Sauce

chicken with cherry-fennel barbecue sauce served on gray plate

Give your chicken the best upgrade ever with this sweet, spicy, and savory barbecue sauce, a South Asian take on the American version. It's got spicy yellow mustard, Kashmiri chiles, and black peppercorns for plenty of heat—balanced deliciously by sweet cherries and a bit of sugar. 

Recipe: Try our Chicken with Cherry-Fennel Barbecue Sauce 

Ingredients

For the shrimp: 

  • 3 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Salt
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup (combined) loosely packed fresh basil leaves and flat-leaf parsley tops
  • 2 stems fresh oregano or 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb. large shrimp—peeled and deveined, with tails
  • 1/2 cup dry (white) vermouth
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crusty bread, garlic bread, or 12 oz. cooked fresh pasta, for serving

For the steak tacos: 

  • 2 nectarines (about 5 oz. each)
  • 1/3 cup small fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1/3 cup very thinly sliced red onion rounds
  • 1 tbsp. thinly sliced jalapeño chile (about 1/2 small chile)
  • 1 tsp. lime zest plus 2 tbsp. juice (from 1 lime)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground hot paprika
  • 2 strip steaks (about 1 lb. each)
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (about 1 1/2 oz.)

For the carbonara: 

  • About 3 tbsp. EVOO
  • About 1/3 lb. meaty bacon or meaty smoked pancetta
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chopped ramps or 1 leek
  • About 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas
  • Salt
  • 1 lb. spaghetti or bucatini
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp. freshly grated horseradish root, plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp. grainy mustard
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup each (lightly packed) Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup (combined) pea shoots and shaved baby radishes, for serving

For the pizza: 

  • 2/3 cup marinara sauce or pizza sauce
  • 2 tsp. harissa paste
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • 2 cups very thinly sliced cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers from a jar (2 to 3 peppers)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
  • 5 oz. crumbled feta (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves

For the chicken:

  • 1 lb. frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup spicy yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground Kashmiri chile or 3/4 tsp. paprika mixed with 1 /4 tsp. cayenne
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup jaggery sugar or muscovado sugar
  • Fine sea salt
  • 6 chicken leg quarters
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing