Someone asked last week if I could recommend some cookbooks I've been checking out and I realized there are too many great ones on my coffee table right now (meaning: I plan to cook from them ASAP) not to share here too: Repertoire, Dosa Kitchen, Eat A Little Better (there is an impressive amount of cooking inspiration here, btw, and the recipe ingredient lists are delightfully short), Marbled, Swirled and Layered, Bread, Toast, Crumbs, Six Seasons (we've already discussed this but I don't see myself putting this away for a while), The Palestinian Table, Shaya, and River Cafe London.
Meanwhile, I've had a surge of requests recently from people who have meal-planning and meal-freezing on their minds and wanted to create a collection of the dishes I turn to, some which are even downright summer-y, when I hope to plan ahead. Hope it gives you some fresh ideas.
FRESH AND NEW
linguine and clams Only a few days in to summer, and this is already our official dish of it. You do not need one fancy thing to make it, save the freshest clams you can find. You can pick them up on the way home from the beach or sprinkler park or wherever you’re going to spend your summer day now that cooking will be the easiest part of it.
FREEZER FRIENDLY DINNERS
pizza beans One of my favorite recipes from Smitten Kitchen Every Day—basically giving baked white beans the ziti treatment, melty cheese and all.
baked chicken meatballs Halfway to meatloaves but so much lighter, these baked chicken meatballs are a forever weeknight favorite of ours—with a salad, grain or even slider-style in a bun with sautéed greens and just enough cheese to melt it all together. The leftovers are fantastic too.
martha's macaroni-and-cheese There's macaroni-and-cheese, and then there's Martha's Macaroni-and-Cheese, legendary for having the meltiest, gloriously balanced three-cheese base and the best buttery crunched lid.
broccoli cheddar soup I made this over and over again to get it exactly the way I wanted it: a little indulgence, a lot of broccoli. It is completely, unapologetically, 100% habit-forming.
herbed summer squash pasta bake Pros:
*Bake this today, have dinner sorted for at least a couple nights.
*Using fistfuls of fresh herbs and a small mountain of summer squash while they're still around.
*Pasta baked with two types cheese (hello!).
*You'll probably wish you didn't have to share.
zucchini rice and cheese gratin This magical recipe, undeniably the most bronze-lidded, short ingredient-listed delicious use for a mountain of zucchini was awesome as it was first written, but maybe a little fussy. (Sorry, Julia Child!) I updated to make it easier than ever—no parboiling rice, no salting and draining zucchini and also you can skip that flour, making it gluten-free. Don't miss out on this awesome summer thing.
swiss chard pancakes Pancakes for dinner? You don't have to ask us twice. Still not convinced? These thick but crepe-like pancakes take all of 5 minutes to prepare the batter and 15 more to fry up, and are loaded with greens and herbs. Around here, this passes for weeknight dinner magic.
my old-school baked ziti Craving some old-school comfort? Us too! My go-to ziti is simple, ricotta-free (it's dolloped on the side) and makes bronzed, crispy corners I will swat your fork away to get to, classy person that I am.
herbed summer squash and potato torte There's no such thing as too much zucchini—it's just more of an excuse to make this crazy delicious crispy-edged showy but easy summer dinner. We have wedges with salad for a light meal; grilled sausages for a heartier one. I have never regretted making two.
chocolate chunk granola bars Packed snacks don't get much better than these gluten-, dairy- and nut-free granola bars that are barely sweet, come together quickly and freeze well. Did that sound too austere? They're also loaded with chocolate chunks. (Phew.)
banana oat weekday pancakes A fork-mixed, one-bowl whole wheat pancake that's miraculously not compromised in taste or texture that goes from assembly to plates and mouths in 15 minutes, which means even a human who slacks as much as I do most mornings can pull them off.
blue sky bran muffins Hearty with a crisp lid, barely sweet and absolutely loaded with a belly pocket of fresh fruit (whatever you have on hand), if I'm going to make a weekday breakfast muffin, it's always going to look something like this.
THE SMITTEN KITCHEN COOKBOOKS
zucchini grilled cheese 1 YEAR AGO THIS WEEK
corn and black bean weeknight nachos 2 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
saltine crack ice cream sandwiches 3 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
frozen coconut limeade 4 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
espresso granita with whipped cream 5 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
broccoli parmesan fritters 6 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
rich homemade ricotta 7 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
root beer float cupcakes 8 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
lemon mint granita 9 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
dead simple slaw + 6 heat wave reprieves 10 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK