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Exclusive recipes that the Best Dishes Bon Appétit staff cooked this week

It’s all about the fresh fruits and vegetables in the peak season.

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Yes, the members of our staff consider breakfast, lunch, supper, and dessert while working. But we also consume all of those foods during our free time. We share the recipes we prepare for fun and plan to make again as soon as feasible in our weekly digest. Every Friday, check back for more August favorites.

Aug. 19

Avocado with Black Beans on Seedy Arepas

With the help of a moldable, flexible dough, Sarah Jampel’s recipe for arepas makes stuffing them as simple as playing with play-doh. I prefer to omit the pepitas and use a mixture of black beans, crumbled chorizo, and queso oaxaca. You already know there’s a gallon bag of these in my freezer since making arepas in bulk is considerably simpler. — Associate in digital operations, Nico Avalle

With a Spicy Soy Dressing, Silken Tofu

To say that I “prepared” this Hetty McKinnon recipe from NYT Cooking would be considered a minor crime. The meal employs mostly Chinese pantry staples like soy sauce and chile oil and doesn’t require a stove. But the outcome is stunning, whether served as an additional appetizer for a summer dinner or as a chilly, creamy, salty meal on its own. As the headnote says, I also included zhai cai and chile oil from the eatery Xi’an Famous Foods. The most common ways to consume tofu these days tend to be fried or in stews, but this recipe serves as a reminder that it can be stunning with just a few tweaks. —Editorial director Serena Dai

Pork Chops Grilled With Plum Mostarda

When my college-bound son informed he had also asked a buddy, my husband and I had already invited our friends over. All of a sudden, I had a sizable crowd to feed. I desired something simple yet elegant. I was drawn to Tianna Gee’s Grilled Pork Chops With Plum Mostarda. Brown sugar, a game-changer that helps the meat char, is added to the seasoning mix for the pork chops along with salt, pepper, and smoky paprika. Plums that have been grilled are added to the zesty mustard vinaigrette. It’s supposed to be served atop a bed of arugula, but since I had watercress on hand, it worked just as well. —Dawn Davis, chief editor

Cake made of chocolate zucchini

When I had an excess of zucchini and some kind neighbors three days ago, my incredibly skilled coworker Shilpa Uskokovic’s recipe for chocolate zucchini bread was of no use to me. So I used this recipe from Jesse Szewczyk’s NYT Cooking, which is similar but contains more shredded squash and no nuts. Contrary to Shilpa’s recipe, Jesse’s does not include cinnamon, but I wanted a little warm spice to balance the cocoa powder. So I used bits of Madhu’s dark masala chai chocolate bars in place of the chocolate chips. — Senior commerce editor MacKenzie Chung Fegan

Honey-Harissa Popcorn Chicken

I’ve been using up my harissa jars quickly lately, primarily because to Asha Loupy’s harissa-honey popcorn chicken. Thanks to the combination of rice flour and cornstarch, the chicken pieces have a wonderfully crisp exterior. They are also coated in a harissa-honey sauce that I intend to use for everything I prepare. It has a robust flavor and is buttery, sweet, fragrant, and aromatic. — Nina Moskowitz, chief editor’s assistant

a 5-ingredient plum salad on August 12

Nicole Taylor’s book Watermelon & Red Birds was the subject of a book party I held. For the meal, I chose a straightforward menu of lobster rolls, potato chips, and a special dessert of strawberry hand pies, a recipe I chose because it’s in her book. I became anxious that there wouldn’t be enough food at the last minute. When I logged onto our website, Chris Morocco’s Plum Salad With Black Pepper & Parmesan struck my attention as the recipe of the day. It couldn’t have been simpler or more delicious with just five ingredients: plums, Parmesan, sherry vinegar, honey, and black pepper. My preferred summer fruit is the plum. Now I can enjoy them in a different way. — Chief editor Dawn Davis

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Gochujang

Joy Cho has never disappointed me. All the benefits of deep-fried shrimp are included in her recipe for crispy shrimp, but without the trouble. However, I’m not here to discuss my lunch; rather, I’m here to discuss the tomato gochujang pasta that I cook for dinner whenever I want to impress. The ideal foundation for a creamy pasta sauce that, in my opinion, tastes even better the next day with roasted mushrooms is created by caramelizing tomato paste and gochujang combined. — Senior social media manager Esra Erol

Kimchi and hot dogs with sheet-pan corn pizza

I’m going to make tonight’s incredibly entertaining sheet-pan pizza from Shilpa Uskokovic to let me feel a little relief from the work week. A pretty recognizable trinity of foods—salty hot dogs (not on a stick), kimchi for acid and spice and all things lovely, and corn for, well, summer—gives enormous carnival excitement. I’m going to have a large slice of pizza on my terrace as the sun sets, drinking an Aperol spritz and wistfully sighing into the breeze. —Ali Francis, editorial staff member

Pasta with Caramelized Zucchini

My local CSA supplies me with all of my ingredients during the summer, and this week I received a quantity of zucchini that would have brought a weaker person to their knees. I, however, was unfazed because I remembered seeing Ali Slagle, a site buddy and easy-dinner champion, make this spaghetti dish on NYT Cooking. Yes, I had to treble (triple!) the recipe due to the abundance of zucchini I had on hand, but I wasn’t upset to have additional caramelized zucchini during the week to use in grain bowls, spreads, dips, and other dishes. —Kendra Vaculin, a culinary editor on staff

Coconut Cream Miso with Roasted Garlic

At Costco, I purchased 2 12 pounds of premium cashews, and the excess made me feel positively intoxicated. I processed a cup of them right away into cashew cream by soaking them in hot water. I substituted half a head of roasted garlic for raw garlic and added a heaping tablespoon of white miso and nutritional yeast to the blender for an umami boost. It produced a creamy, flavorful sauce for spaghetti with loads of vegetables after being slightly thinned. And I’ve been spreading it over toast and adding only the best tomatoes to it. —MacKenzie Senior commerce editor Chung Fegan

Aug. 5

Sandwich with a Tomato-Focused Focus

I promised to eating every single one of the overly ripe tomatoes I purchased last weekend before they went bad because I was overwhelmed by the abundance. We ate caprese, tomato toast, and Zaynab Issa’s curried tomato sandwiches for three consecutive days. These sandwiches take the classic mayo-and-tomato combo and kick it up a notch by adding capers and frying the bread in curry powder-infused oil. There are very few times when it is worthwhile to alter a classic. — Editorial executive Sonia Chopra

Fried sage green salsa

This crackly, acidic, herby salsa by Samin Nosrat was prepared by a friend for a dinner party to top garlic-roasted potatoes, and it’s a wonderful way to use up extra summer parsley. Sage becomes crisp and simple to crumble when it is fried. This is such a wonderful, punchy condiment to add to any protein or vegetable that needs a blast of acid, thanks to the raw shallots that have been mellowed out by a dip in vinegar. — Associate cookery editor Antara Sinha

Phyllo Pie with Guava and Goat Cheese

This Guava and Goat Cheese Phyllo Pie was undoubtedly the star of the brunch I gave for my family this week to celebrate my mother’s 60th birthday. The phyllo pastry provided the ideal simple base, the custard was rich and creamy, and the guava was just slightly sweet without being overpowering. Serving guests this dish is spectacular but easy. Additionally, most of the processes can be completed before anyone shows up as long as you give the phyllo sheets enough time to defrost. Even my father, who normally doesn’t enjoy sweet things, was impressed. —Olivia Quintana, manager of associate social media

Peach Crumble with For-Seasame-Lovers

Recently, I had to bring a dessert to a dinner that was dairy- and egg-free, and I settled on Sarah Jampel’s peach and sesame crumble. Tahini, sesame seeds, and sesame oil have a triple impact on sesame, adding nutty depth to a delicacy that could otherwise err on the side of sweetness. At the gathering, both this dish and Sarah’s outstanding focaccia, which were both cooked with almost-too-ripe peaches we purchased that morning at the farmers market, were well-received. Be aware that it only took my crumble, baked in a glass baking pan, around 30 minutes to cook thoroughly. Editorial executive Sonia Chopra

Cakes of Crispy Rice with Halloumi

I recently returned from a few weeks spent at home in Australia with my family, and I’m jet-lagged, overloaded, and already missing Halloumi, which is available everywhere down under. I’m going to keep making Susan Kim’s chewy tteok and melty ‘loumi salad to sooth the many aches. The dish includes a warm, salty-spicy gochugaru sauce that you’ll want to duplicate and pour on everything—or cool and solidify as compound butter for a later time. It’s full of fresh greens, comes together easily enough for my crazy head, and has enough of vegetables. Ali Francis is a staff writer and an associate editor.

Yogurt Mango Semifreddo with Mango.

I will be honest and say that I had ice cream for dinner. But in this heat, the mango-sumac semifreddo that Kendra Vaculin makes is all I want. This dish’s texture comes from the ribboned mango purée and marbling of bittersweet chocolate, which gives it a tangy yogurt flavor. The sumac’s tangy, sweet, and flowery aromas enliven the semifreddo. An overall well-balanced supper. —Nina Moskowitz, chief editor’s assistant