Discover more from the smitten kitchen digest
labor day menu essentials
plus: corn cacio e pepe
Monday, August 28, 2023
I do not know how this happened, I certainly did not approve this message, but we are under a week until Labor Day Weekend, which typically marks the return to the grind and the closing of summer routines. Despite the fact that my kids will not be back in school for 10-but-who’s-counting-days and despite the fact that fall is my favorite season, I wouldn’t mind another month of beaches and perfect tomatoes and eating outside while it’s still light outside. If you, like me, feel the same, this weekend is the perfect time to seize all that’s left of summer energy and squeeze it into a final holiday weekend. Below, some essential later-summer dishes that are guaranteed to please crowds, small or large, this weekend. I hope you enjoy them all and that someone else is washing the dishes.
The Smitten Kitchen Classroom Wishlist Project 2023 is live! In the US, a tremendous number of teachers don’t get the funding they need to set their classrooms up for success. Most will end up paying out of their own pockets to buy educational materials, which is all wrong, especially when the first paycheck of the year might not come until October. I’ve asked teachers to send me their wishlists in hopes that we can help clear as many as possible, as we did last summer. Help out if you feel you’re able — you will unquestionably make a teacher’s (and their students) day! [Project information. Direct link to spreadsheet.]
I’ve written three cookbooks and I’m a tiny bit biased, but I think you’d love them all. I’m thrilled that this warmer weather means you might be able to cook some of my late-summer favorites from my most recent cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Keepers, such as: zucchini cornbread and tomato butter, clam chowder with bacon croutons, cucumber salad with garlicky dill yogurt, zucchini and pesto lasagna, crispy chili garlic butter shrimp, and raspberry crostata, big crumb pie bars, and salt and pepper limeades. Were you looking for a list of all the recipes in each of my cookbooks? I added these a new, separate page and hope it makes it easier for you to find everything you want to cook.
New: The only thing I love more than the combination of salty, funky pecorino cheese and copious amounts of black pepper on a tangle of linguine is the way I make it in the summer: adding sweet, crunchy corn. It's the perfect complement; they're made for each other. Hurry so you can make this before the corn disappears and the cardigans arrive. 🍂
My favorite way to prepare green beans takes longer to eat (which says a lot, given that I usually inhale them) than it does to make. Don’t have green beans? Don’t miss the almond pesto, which tastes good on basically every vegetable.
Not your usual pasta salad, this one has a pesto-like sauce, capers, lemons, peas, and zucchini and it's anything but boring. You serve it warm but I can attest that cold from the fridge leftovers will make for a perfect lunch tomorrow or the day after.
This potato salad is one of my favorites: heady, sinus-clearing horseradish softened a in and balanced by a creamy dill and chive dressing that’s a welcome accompaniment to whatever we throw on the grill.
A love letter to homemade ricotta and my favorite way to serve it in the summer, that is with whatever vegetables and bread look good, grilled. It's great for potlucks, host gifts, and it's also the warm-weather light meal of my dreams. I hope you're inspired.
Caramelized onions, peppery arugula, and a creamy-sharp dressing make this steak sandwich our favorite, and such low-key luxury for a summer weekend.
Almost through August and we haven't made lobster rolls yet? We cannot let this continue. These are my favorite best-of-both-worlds (butter, mayo) lobster rolls, here shown as sliders for a party, but equally good in a few hearty sandwiches you don't have to share with anyone.
Galettes are the very best way to bring pie into your everyday life — and yes, I believe your everyday life deserves baked fruit in a buttery, flaky shell — because everything about them is easier. This is my core recipe for any and every kind of fruit galette. You could be eating it in less than two hours.
One-bowl, one-pan classic chocolate ice cream sandwiches with a perfect yield, perfect texture from the freezer, all from perfectly little effort. Our weeks are going to be even more amazing with these in them.
Crumble toppings are really just cookies, right? So why not use a great cookie? Here we take deeply toasted pecans to make pecan sandy crumbles to top baked peaches, a combination so good, you'll never want another peach crumble.
It's not a late summer holiday weekend if I'm not thinking about sangria. Refreshing and forgiving, one version here is classic and uncluttered and the other is finished with a low-sugar orange soda. Why choose? Make both.
Ever wonder where I get my cutting boards, paring knives, offset spatulas and more than you see when I cook? I've created a page on Smitten Kitchen with links to some of my favorite kitchen items, the ones I'm asked about the most. I recently added several new favorites I’ve bought in the last year. For each item, I've attempted to provide a range of shopping links so we're not just focusing on one giant retailer.
See you next week!