Hello, it’s Emily, and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. As of tomorrow, summer is here. The local gems of the season aren’t, though, at least not where I am in the Northeast — no corn, no tomatoes, no blueberries, not yet. But aren’t you ready to eat them anyway? I am ready to eat them anyway, along with breezy pastas and dishes that evoke a backyard barbecue on a Saturday even if they were made in the oven on a Wednesday.
This is my favorite time of year to cook and eat, full stop. The recipes below speak of summer to me, and I’m at [email protected] if you have ideas or suggestions for recipes you’d like to see in the months ahead.
Here are five dishes for the week:
1. Memphis Dry-Rub Mushrooms
Today is Juneteenth, and in honor of the holiday you could make these crisp roasted mushrooms by Nicole Taylor, who adapted the barbecue rub from the chef Greg Collier. If you think ahead you could serve it with his sweet potato pikliz; if you’re working more last-minute, then Nicole said she’d serve it with cut-up cucumbers, splashed with rice vinegar and olive oil, and topped with nuts and herbs.
2. Skillet Chicken and Zucchini With Charred Scallion Salsa
The zucchini in this recipe by Colu Henry cooks in rendered chicken fat, which means that the vegetables will be tasty even if they aren’t in peak form. If you’re short on time or energy, skip making the salsa and top the dish with chopped cilantro, sliced scallions and a squeeze of lime.
View this recipe.
3. Crispy Rice With Shrimp, Bacon and Corn
Little compares with that euphoric first bite of sweet, juicy corn on the cob. But frozen sweet corn is a good substitute when you can’t actually get that cob; it works well in recipes like this one by Genevieve Ko. Please do not skip the bacon: This is a simple dish, and you’ll need that oomph. Serve it with hot sauce.
4. Sweet and Sour Eggplant With Garlic Chips
I am always in want of fast eggplant recipes and love this one by Sue Li, who pairs the eggplant with crunchy garlic chips, a soy sauce glaze and herbs. If you can’t get into making garlic chips on a Tuesday, you could skip that and just cook minced garlic in oil, though the final dish won’t be as special. I’d serve it with rice and something green.
View this recipe.