Hello and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. My goal here is always to keep cooking simple: You need to be able to pull off these recipes after a busy day, especially if you’ve got kids at home, clanging around.
But this time of year is really about keeping it simple: Summer and simplicity go hand in glove. The fresher and better tasting your produce, the less you need to do to it, and even the plainest food tastes good when you eat it outdoors, if you can. (I find this is especially true at the beach. Not that I am eating weeknight meals at the beach. Though that would be nice.)
The recipes below are, yes, simple and delicious. Tell me what you think at [email protected].
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Here are five dishes for the week:
In this recipe, the chef Sean Sherman joined two iconic ingredients of the Pacific Northwest — salmon and blackberries — to honor Indigenous groups of the region. The result is gorgeously simple, and will shine with wild salmon and the best berries you can find.
Melissa Clark went all out with the tomatoes to make this Caesar salad, which absolutely could be dinner with a loaf of good bread. (Or garlic bread!) If you’re very hungry, add avocado, or shred poached or rotisserie chicken to layer in with the tomatoes. Fresh, juicy, irresistible.
This recipe, adapted from the chef Gary Danko, is one of the best ways I know to make chicken on a weeknight: Coat the legs with Dijon mustard, bread crumbs and herbs, and bake for about 35 minutes. If you don’t have fresh bread crumbs, panko will do.
This subtle, delicious dish by Alexa Weibel is inspired by one from the restaurant Chez Panisse. The recipe would make superb use of celery from the farmers’ market, which is shockingly flavorful compared with the bagged bunches you get at the supermarket (though those would work here, too). Serve with toast, pearl couscous or farro.