Weeknight Summer Dinners
Summer dinners! That means all the peaches, nectarines, berries, zucchini and heirloom tomatoes. On Instagram last week, I posted a photo of my nectarine and burrata crostini and the crowd went wild. I honestly haven’t had that much reaction from a photo in a while, so thank you. I feel seen. Maybe you’re just tired of all my tomato pics! A couple other oldie but goodie recipes that I haven’t shared in a while are cold green gazpacho and Indian-spiced tomatoes. So yes, always more tomatoes!
Don’t forget to sign up for my summer live stream cooking classes! You can cook along or just take notes for later. Either way, we’ll talk about cooking basics, correcting flavor, knife skills and summer recipes. If you have a request for a specific class, let me know and I’ll work it in! Here’s what’s on tap for weeknight dinners this week.
Father’s Day! We’ll celebrate with swimming, grilling and a relaxed afternoon. For a full list of menu and gift ideas, head to our guide. If you didn’t realize from my weekly menus, our family LOVES Mexican food and it makes an appearance about twice a week. I’m making spice-rubbed flank steak (recipe below) that we made in a class last week. Serve it with a side of kale guacamole, spicy jalapeño mint margaritas, La Taqueria hot sauce and fresh pico de gallo. Make a big side salad and call it a night!
Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak
2 pound flank steak (just one flank, slightly more or less than 2 pounds is fine)
1 teaspoon ground espresso (Instant espresso or finely ground coffee works, too)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ancho or Arbol chile powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Score the flank steak lightly on both sides. In a bowl, mix together the coffee and the dry spices. Sprinkle the spice rub on both sides of the flank steak. Marinate in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, or set out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Grill the steak 3-4 minutes per side for rare, 5-7 minutes per side for medium and 8-9 for medium-well.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing thin against the grain.
It’s one of those days filled with doctor’s appointments I’ve put off for months (going on years). Make-you-own-sushi is in order. Steamed sushi rice with some warm rice vinegar cut in, sheets of nori and julienned red peppers, jalapeño, cucumbers, carrot and avocado. Gluten-free tamari and a little sriracha mayo on the side. For a step-by-step guide use this.
I have a baking basics class today and we’re making some of my all-time favorites: Savory onion tart, blueberry galette, popovers and flourless chocolate cake. So much for bikini body. Let’s be honest, this stomach hasn’t seen vitamin D in years!! For dinner, it’s a quick frittata with all the random summer veggies accumulating in my fridge: Squash, zucchini, sweet onion, broccoli and leek. Here’s a frittata primer you can use for any combination. A tart salad of greens and fresh herbs is the perfect side.
How to Make Any Frittata
Aromatics (onion, leek, shallot, scallions)
Meat (optional; ham, bacon, pancetta, crumbled Italian sausage or sliced kielbasa)
1/2 cup milk (or feel free to leave it out! Don’t substitute with water.)
1/4 cup cheese or more to taste (crumbled goat cheese or feta, or grated Gruyere, cheddar, jack or leave out!)
Herbs or greens (add chopped chives, parsley, chervil or cilantro if you’d like. Spinach, arugula, chard or collards.)
Preheat your pan. Start by sautéing chopped onion (or use leek or shallot or scallions) in olive oil or butter until softened. I most often use my Lodge cast iron skillet, but you can also use an 8-9” non-stick skillet that’s oven safe. I use a DaTerra Cucina ceramic non-stick for eggs.
Add any meat after the onion softens.
Add any other chopped vegetables (up to about a cup of chopped zucchini or squash, cherry tomatoes, cubed butternut squash, broccoli florets, mushroom slices, etc). Saute over medium heat until softened.
Greens (about two big handfuls of spinach, Swiss chard, kale, collard greens or just herbs).
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and cheese. Add herbs if you’re using, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan and pat down any greens to make sure they are covered in the egg mixture.
Bake at 350 until egg is set and center is slightly puffy and brown around the edges, about 20-25 minutes.
What’s your go-to summer dinner? This time of year, it’s grilling, cold “snack dinners” of dips and crudité, veggie-based pastas and salads. Here’s a summer cooking guide I put together last summer to give you ideas. Come July, I typically take a break from meal planning and cook based on what sounds good and what we find at the farmer’s market. It helps me get in “summer mode” and relax into a summer schedule. Tonight it’s cacio et pepe and a side of roasted broccoli.
I’m filming recipe videos all day, which means I’ll be fall-on-my-face tired tonight! I think I’ll clean up the kitchen and we’ll eat recipe video leftovers for dinner. If you’re cooking at home, consider this Mexican chopped salad from Hola Jalapeño or halibut in parchment paper.