From show-stealing sides to sunny scallops, chefs share their tricks for brighter weeknight dinners.

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Seared Scallops with Pomegranate and Meyer Lemon

Seared Scallops with Pomegranate and Meyer Lemon
Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

At Bavel in Los Angeles, chef Ori Menashe serves bowls of scallop crudo, and diners can't get enough. "It's a roller-coaster flavor journey—sweet, sour, spicy, crunchy, aromatic, floral, and smoky," Menashe says. This twist on his raw dish sends scallops to the skillet for a crunchy, just-caramelized crust.

Get the Recipe: Seared Scallops with Pomegranate and Meyer Lemon

Hanger Steaks with Cabbage-and-Beet Salad

Hanger Steaks with Cabbage and Beet Salad
Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee Montiel

This salad is sweet, salty, savory, and acidic; it's so dynamic when you're eating it," says chef Craig Koketsu, of New York City's Quality Bistro. Though it stands alone on his menu, we've paired this version with hanger steak for a quick weeknight dinner.

Get the Recipe: Hanger Steaks with Cabbage-and-Beet Salad

Crispy Pork Cutlets with Tonnato Sauce

Crispy Pork Cutlets with Tonnato Sauce
Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee Montiel

Thinly sliced pork cut- lets stand in for veal in this weeknight version of 2020 F&W Best New Chef Daisy Ryan's vitello tonnato. "The lemon is the key component of the tonnato, bringing contrasting brightness," Ryan says. "The sauce instantly makes any dish more impressive, and the buttery texture is almost luxurious."

Get the Recipe: Crispy Pork Cutlets with Tonnato Sauce

Mushroom Cuban Quesadillas

Mushroom Reuben Quesadilla
Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee Montiel

Chef Samuel Yoo's Mushroom Reuben Quesadillas get rave reviews at New York City's Golden Diner. "The taste is very similar to a meat-based Reuben," Yoo says. This Cuban riff channels those vibes with pickles and tangy mustard.

Get the Recipe: Mushroom Cuban Quesadillas