Easy dinner recipes: Holiday salad ideas in 25 minutes or less for Meatless Monday

For simple-dish ideas that come together in 25 minutes or less, you can't beat these fall-themed salads, perfect for a weeknight or holiday dinner, served as a first course, light main or hearty side. They're just a few of the many vegetarian options available in our new recipe database:

Endive and mushroom salad with walnut vinaigrette: Endive slivers are tossed with toasted walnut vinaigrette and topped with dressed sliced mushrooms for a dramatic yet simple presentation that comes together in only 15 minutes.

Celery root and apple slaw: Slaws aren't limited to cabbage and this version, with shredded celery root and thinly sliced apple, comes together in less than 30 minutes, combining sweet currants and toasted pecans, and tossed in a creamy dressing flavored with hints of Dijon mustard and horseradish. The slaw can be made up to two days in advance of serving, and the flavors improve over time.

California Cookbook: Stunning recipes from The Times Test Kitchen

Wilted Brussels sprouts with walnuts: Thinly sliced Brussels sprouts are quickly wilted in a skillet to chewy-crisp texture, then drizzled with a tangy mustard vinaigrette. Toss the sprouts with toasted walnuts and you have a dish that comes together in only 25 minutes -- perfect served warm or at room temperature.

You can find the recipes below.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

MORE RECIPES: 99 ADDITIONAL easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less


Total time: 15 minutes | Serves 4 to 6

Note: Be sure to use intensely flavored brown toasted walnut oil, which needs to be blended with olive oil or it's overpowering. Pale yellow walnut oil will not have the flavor needed.

1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons minced tarragon leaves
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
4 heads Belgian endive (about 1 pound), damaged leaves discarded
1/2 pound button mushrooms
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted walnut oil

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shallots, vinegar, salt and tarragon leaves. Set aside to steep while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. In a small, dry skillet, toast the walnuts over medium heat until they begin to brown and turn fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Keep stirring them to keep them from scorching. Set aside to cool.

3. Cut each head of endive in quarters lengthwise. Trim the end and the solid core, then cut each quarter into thin, lengthwise slivers. Set aside. Trim the stems from the mushrooms and cut the caps into medium-thin slices.

4. When ready to serve, whisk the olive oil and the walnut oil into the vinegar mixture until smooth.

5. Place the endive slivers in the dressing and toss to coat well. Lift the endive out of the dressing with tongs and drain excess dressing back into the mixing bowl before arranging the endive in a low mound on a platter.

6. Place the mushrooms in the dressing and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, drain off excess dressing (taste the mushrooms before draining; they may need a little more salt). Mound the mushrooms on top of the endive.

7. Whisk the walnuts in the remaining dressing, drain if necessary, and then scatter them over the mushrooms. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 289 calories; 4 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 29 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 214 mg. sodium.


Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 8 to 10

1 generous cup chopped pecans
3 1/2 pounds (about 3 large or 4 medium) celery root
Cider vinegar
2 large Gala apples
1/2 cup dried currants
1 cup sour cream
1 3/4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the chopped pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 8 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. Using a knife or vegetable peeler, remove the tough outer skin from the celery roots. Trim to square off the rounded edges so that each celery root is a 2 1/2- to 3-inch cube. Use the julienne setting of a mandoline or a sharp knife to slice them into one-eighth-inch julienne. Transfer the celery root to a large bowl, add just enough cider vinegar to coat, then toss; this will keep them from oxidizing and browning.

3. Core the apples (unpeeled) and quarter them lengthwise. Cut each quarter crosswise into one-eighth-inch-thick slices. Toss them with the celery root, making sure they have just enough cider vinegar to coat.

4. Fold the currants and the pecans into the slaw.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, horseradish, Dijon mustard, sugar and 1 tablespoon plus one-half teaspoon cider vinegar. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper, or to taste. Gently fold the dressing into the slaw. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours for the flavors to develop. The slaw will keep for up to 2 days, refrigerated.

Each serving: 234 calories; 4 grams protein; 27 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 14 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 10 mg. cholesterol; 404 mg. sodium.


Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 6

1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Prepare the Brussels sprouts: Trim the dried bases and pull away any loose or discolored outer leaves. Stand the sprout upright on the cutting board and slice it as thin as possible into coins. Aim for pieces as thin as a quarter.

2. In a small lidded jar, combine the vinegar and minced shallot, and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the mustard and walnut oil and shake well to make a smooth emulsion. Taste and season with salt as needed.

3. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large nonstick skillet. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add the Brussels sprouts, sprinkle with one-half teaspoon salt and cook, tossing, until the sprouts start to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. The texture should be chewy crisp rather than simply crisp.

4. Immediately pour over the dressing and remove from the heat. Continue tossing to evenly coat the sprouts with the dressing (they will only be very lightly coated). Stir in the walnuts and serve either warm or at room temperature.

Each serving: 153 calories; 3 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 14 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 28 mg. sodium.


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