If left to my own devices (and sporadic grocery shopping habits), I'd probably make some sort of lazy, one-pot pasta for dinner every night of the week.
But I live with a Weeknight Pasta Shamer.
I was surprised as anyone to learn that such a person existed. Nate first revealed his true colors on a date only a few months into our relationship, in response to my suggestion that we split both an order of rigatoni with mozzarella and a saucy, lamb-y maltagliati number.
"But it's Sunday," he'd said, muttering something vague about next-day sprightliness, and how he thinks it relates to vegetables and the like. "I'm having the grilled squash."
To my deep chagrin, this sort of Weeknight Pasta Shaming behavior has persisted over the years, no matter how many English peas I've thrown into pots of carbonara, or plant-based noodle alternatives I've ushered into his pantry.
Now that we share a kitchen and, for the most part, dinner schedule, we've had to find some common ground.
Enter: hearty salads. It's a category of dinner I define as largely vegetable-forward, with enough highly desirable bits (like, deeply roasted squash, cheesy breadcrumbs, bacon crisps) to make each bite like unwrapping a present.
Here are 12 top contenders:
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