Recipe Roundup No. 7: Top Five in Two Weeks


The family pilgrimage to Tahoe at the end of July provided a much-needed break from all things real-life related, and aside from a bit of Insta-action I really didn’t go online much.  Which was healthy.  And should happen more.

In contrast, this last week has been all the things a first-week-back from vacation usually is: laundry (sooooo much laundry, always), overdue visits to the dentist, grocery shopping, catching up on email, back-to-school shopping, freaking out that it’s already time for back-to-school, and so on.  Also, after a week of virtually pickling ourselves in cucumber-flavored cocktails accompanied by ginormous meals, we’ve been fairly austere in our cooking.

So instead of a meal plan, today I offer this: a list of the Top Five things we cooked in the past two weeks.  Not all of them are completely weeknight-friendly, but all of them are worth a spin.

  1. Steak with Grilled Caesar and Sweet Potato.  The only thing you really need to know about this meal is grilled Caesar.  This recipe from the New York Times is a revelation as far as salads go.  I could eat it every night.  In fact, I’m eating it tomorrow night, when we will again have access to a grill.  The sweet potatoes are also pictured here and totally easy: literally just scrub the potato, cut into medallions, brush with olive oil, and grill on both sides.  They would benefit from some kind of lime-aioli or something to dip them in.
  2. Taco Tuesday.  It simply never gets old.  Usually Taco Tuesday involves some easy chicken or fish with a little coconut oil and lime, and store-bought salsa and avocado or something, but when I have time I LOVE to do a full feast with all the fixings from scratch (except the tortillas, of course).  My husband also mixes a killer margarita with fresh grapefruit.  This time around I used my girl GP’s Crazy Good Fish Taco recipe from It’s All Good.  All good, crazy good: it was all those things.  Plus: margaritas on a Tuesday.
  3. Greek Baked Beans with Honey and Dill.  It’s no mystery that summer in San Francisco is freezing, and the first night back after a week of “true summer” elsewhere is like winter in the soul.  So on Sunday it seemed fitting to make a slow-cooking stew of a meal to warm us up.  My very favorite vegetarian cookbook is Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Shulman; it’s both comprehensive and inventive.  To wit: my husband and I were both deeply skeptical of the “honey” aspect of this recipe, but man, it was delicious.
  4. Grilled Vegetable “Caponata” with Quinoa.  Caponata, from what I can glean, is actually meant to be kind of a puree or a dip or a spread.  We wanted to make it a meal (mostly, we just wanted to grill a whole lotta farmer’s market stuff and eat it), so instead of mashing the grilled veggies together we tossed them like a salad with quinoa and kalamata olives.  We used a recipe similar to this one, but instead of roasting the veggies we grilled them (grilled celery, you ask?  Yes!).  Also, because I am lazy about little steps, we grilled the eggplant whole (according to this method — be sure to pierce the eggplant first or it will explode!).  Then at the end we tossed it all together with quinoa and pretended we were healthy.
  5. Miso Tuna Burgers.  Yes, this sounds like a bit of a stretch, but it’s so delicious.  If you are feeling really ambitious, you can make your own pickled cucumbers as a side dish (it’s easier than it sounds, I promise).  But if you aren’t feeling the cukes, mixing Greek yogurt with a dash of miso and lime makes a fine condiment too.

Our kids go back to school in one week.  One week of summer left!  It’s so strange how time works.  And so, we are racing off to make the most of it up in Wine Country this weekend, where warmer temps await.  See you Monday, friends.


Taco Tuesday Sides: jalapeño slaw, black bean & corn salad, roasted tomato-chipotle salsa, roasted tomatillo & lime salsa


Grilled romaine.  Yasssss.


Sweet potato medallions (my husband would like you to please note the care he took on the grill markings).


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