A Clever Dinner Hack From a Reader

Feeding some picky eaters? Make Lidey Heuck’s salmon Niçoise salad, and let everyone choose what they like.

By Emily Weinstein

One of the smartest approaches to feeding a group of opinionated people with different preferences — say, your family — is to make something that’s easy to construct or deconstruct as you like. (Tacos are the reigning champions in this arena.)

Last week, I got an email from a reader saying that she makes Niçoise salad all summer for her family, which is a great pick-and-choose meal; let everyone take what they want from the platter of canned tuna, green beans, boiled eggs, tomatoes, olives and so on. Smart!

You’ll find a roasted salmon-centered take on Niçoise salad below, as well as a dumpling salad that can be separated into parts for anyone who won’t go for the full package. The tajín chicken, BBQ tofu and creamy lemon pasta are just plain delicious.

Suggestions? Questions? Write to me at [email protected]. And we have you covered if you’re looking for recipes for Juneteenth or Father’s Day, or if you’re looking for a present for a dad in your life: a gift subscription to New York Times Cooking. Perfect every time.

1. Tajín Grilled Chicken

This easy recipe from Rick Martínez harnesses the electric flavors of tajín, the beloved chile-lime spice, and uses them to bring chicken to life. You can serve this as is or sandwiched on a bun.

View this recipe.

2. Sheet-Pan Roasted Salmon Niçoise Salad

This recipe comes from Lidey Heuck, who essentially makes a sheet-pan meal of salmon, potatoes, tomatoes, olives and string beans and then serves it with lettuce and dressing for a riff on Niçoise salad. You can skip the hard-boiled eggs on a weeknight; the dish will still feel like a homage to one of the salad greats.

View this recipe.

3. Dumpling Tomato Salad With Chile Crisp Vinaigrette

We have a new recipe from the amazing mind of Hetty McKinnon: this combination of pan-fried potstickers, tomatoes and chile crisp dressing. Make it with meat-filled dumplings or keep it vegetarian — but definitely make it.

View this recipe.

4. Creamy, Lemony Pasta

Pasta with lemon sauce is among the most delicious simple dinners you can make. This recipe by Yasmin Fahr is both creamy and tangy from the yogurt she uses in the sauce.

View this recipe.

5. Folami’s BBQ Tofu

This richly red tofu recipe, which Nicole Taylor adapted from Folami Prescott-Adams, a community psychologist, is perfect for celebrating Juneteenth with a crowd. But it’s also great for any weeknight when you want a helping of crisp, flavorful tofu.

View this recipe.

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Emily Weinstein is the Food and Cooking editor of The New York Times. She also writes the popular NYT Cooking newsletter Five Weeknight Dishes. @emilyweinstein

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