Cookbookmarked! is our series where we review the latest cookbooks from the foodie influencers you follow. Check back often to find out which new releases are worth your hard-earned cash and the recipes you should try first from each.

Mark Bittman thinks there should be an iconic dish for every mood. In his new cookbook, Dinner for Everyone ($38), the food journalist gives you three different takes (easy, vegan, and big-batch) on 99 classic dishes from burgers to bouillabaisse. Prepare yourself for 300 exciting answers to the ever-burning question, “What’s for dinner?”

Dinner for Everyone‘s concept allows you to cook what you’re craving no matter the day. Say you feel like mac and cheese on a hectic Monday evening, then whip up Bittman’s stovetop version in half an hour. Another day, you could meal-prep his healthier pasta with vegan cauliflower sauce; or when you’re having friends over, serve baked three-cheese macaroni with nutmeg and chives. These three-route recipes mean you can work your way up from home-cooking basics like Caesar salad to restaurant-worthy treats like lobster risotto.

Bittman’s book is composed of 100 “classics screaming for an update,” so you’ll find plenty of freshened-up versions of familiar staples like chili and chicken noodle soup. The book also reflects just how worldly our appetites have become, featuring recipes for North African couscous dishes, French coq au vin and cassoulet, and noodle-y delights from all over Asia. In Bittman’s terms, “classic” never means boring.

The most valuable takeaway from Dinner for Everyone is that you should cook what makes you happy. On that note of uncomplicating dinner, here’s a four-ingredient pan-roasted salmon recipe you’ll want to memorize for good.

brown-butter salmon with tomatoes and capers

(Serves 4)

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 thick salmon fillets or steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds total), skin on
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved if you like
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 475°F. Put the butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, add the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Cook, undisturbed, until the salmon sizzles and the butter darkens, 2 to 3 minutes. Scatter the tomatoes and capers around the fish and transfer the pan to the oven.

3. Roast without turning until the salmon browns on top and the inside is as cooked as you like (you’ve got to peek between the flakes with a knife to check), 3 to 8 minutes. (If you’d rather they be opaque all the way through, then leave in the oven for up to 8 minutes. Just don’t overcook them or they’ll be dry.) Serve the salmon steaks with the tomato-caper sauce spooned on top, passing the lemon wedges at the table.

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(Reprinted from Dinner For Everyone. Copyright © 2019 by Mark Bittman. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Aya Brackett. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.)