burnt sauce

Photo: Alison Gootee

A Dip That Gives New Dimension to an Old Favorite
Forgetful cooks, rejoice: Burnt foods are having a moment, from caramel sauce to toast. This burnt honey-mustard dip plays into the trend in the most crowd-pleasing way possible, making just a minor adjustment to the time-tested accompaniment to pretzels, summer sausage and vegetable crudités. You let honey simmer in a saucepan just until it's deep brown, then mix in plain yogurt and mustard, so it's creamy and mellow. And instead of serving with the usual carrot and celery sticks, try baby bell peppers, halved and seeded; Persian cucumbers, which are just four to six inches long and don't need to be peeled or seeded (quarter them lengthwise to create spears); or, rainbow carrots.

Get the recipe: Burnt Honey-Mustard Dip
tandoori chicken

Photo: Matt Long

The So-Brooklyn Roast Chicken
At his Brooklyn restaurant James, chef Bryan Calvert cooks the kind of uncomplicated food that feels at once familiar and special (and is gorgeous enough to generate a steady stream of Instagram-worthy snaps). The tandoori chicken from his new book, Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates is a terrific example: making it is simply a matter of marinating chicken pieces in spiced yogurt, roasting them and serving them hot, at room temperature or cold.

Get the recipe: Tandoori Chicken Recipe
kale salad

Photo: Thomas J. Story

A Kale Salad That Won't Alienate Half the Party
Win over converts with this reinvention of the ubiquitous healthy salad from the new Camp Sunset: A Modern Camper's Guide to the Great Outdoors. It starts with red quinoa, which provides a nutty crunch; then there are diagonally sliced carrot coins (they're a bit larger than circles and help make the plate more eye-catching); and baby-kale leaves, which are more tender than the regular-sized. You toss the leaves in a pomegranate-molasses-sherry vinegar dressing, for a bit of sweetness; and finally, sprinkle on hefty doses of crumbled goat cheese and toasted, sliced almonds.

Get the recipe: Kale Salad with Red Quinoa and Carrots Recipe

Photo: Carrie Vitt

A Grain-Free Way to Serve Rice
Whether or not you're cooking for gluten-free eaters, cauliflower "rice" is a delicious and supereasy side that feels fresh and light for practically any potluck. All you need is a grater; it does a speedy job of shredding the florets into grain-like bits, which you can then sauté or steam. The bits will cook more quickly than their carb-y counterpart and their mild flavor goes with a wide range of other dishes. This simple recipe pairs the cauliflower with herbs, lemon, apricots and walnuts; but, you can easily swap in alternatives, such as dried cranberries and pistachios.

Get the recipe: Cauliflower "Rice" Salad with Herbs and Dried Fruit

Photo: Donny Tsang

The Ice-Cream Topper with a Surprise Add-In
Walnuts and maple syrup are a traditional, sweet-and-nutty topping that can take any ice cream, from vanilla to cinnamon, to a new level. But this creative recipe introduces a brilliant ingredient to the mix: whiskey. It brings a warm, toasty honey-like flavor to the sauce that will make you want to spoon it over lots more than just ice cream (for starters: pound cake!).

Get the recipe: Whiskey Walnuts