Two Summery Meals

Here are two meals you can make this weekend: one, a meal of farmer’s market goodies that are seasonal and good for you and good for the planet and the farmers, and the second a crowd-pleaser from your local grocery store that isn’t good for you or the planet but boy is it good and easy to make. Let’s start with the angel on your shoulder meal:

There on the plate you’ll see vegetables–sugar snap peas, beets and radishes. You’ll also see a Parker House roll (from the post below this). What I liked about this meal was that, even though it was a meal of just vegetables, it wasn’t punishing in any way. After washing and peeling the snap peas, I took butter–a few tablespoons–and cooked it in a skillet until it turned a toasty brown (make sure it doesn’t burn!) and then I added the peas and tossed them around until they were coated. I sprinkled them with salt and pepper and after a few minutes (and tasting one to see that it was just cooked enough) I put it on the plate. The beets were prepared with the knowledge that raw beets are better for you than cooked beets, so I peeled them and cut them thinly into strips and tossed with a simple vinaigrette of mustard, red wine vinegar and olive oil. And they were fantastic–I think I like beets better raw, now, than cooked!

So that was a relatively healthy dinner, rounded out by the rolls which helped fill us up. On the flip side was this:


This is a meal I hope all of you make at some point this summer. It’s like an instant picnic, and even if you eat it at home after a long day of work (as Craig did having come home from a full day of teaching high schoolers how to make movies) it transports you instantly to a sunny bench in the park.

The components are simple: fried chicken, biscuits, and watermelon feta salad. All of these are recipes I’ve posted on the blog before. For the fried chicken recipe click here; for the biscuits click here; for the watermelon/feta click here. It’s guaranteed to please a crowd or just a grateful significant other. And you’ll really impress if you serve the biscuits with your homemade red currant jam, as I did:


We’re eating well this summer, aren’t we? Let me know if you give any of this a try….

14 thoughts on “Two Summery Meals”

  1. I love the combo of watermelon and feta. and it’s the perfect foil to the greasy crunch of a piece of fried chicken. my mouth is watering. i’ve gotta try this dinner!

  2. I love the combo of watermelon and feta. and it’s the perfect foil to the greasy crunch of a piece of fried chicken. my mouth is watering. i’ve gotta try this dinner!

  3. Oh my gosh, I just went to my farmers’ market today. I love beets; I have a great recipe for beets, goat cheese and toasted walnut salad with a basalmic glaze. Maybe I’ll make that this week. Thanks, as always for the inspiration. (By the way, I love that Craig is working with students. They must love him!)

  4. Is Craig teaching the summer film program for high school students at NYU?? If so, my boyfriend is a teacher for that program as well…maybe they know each other!

  5. I would never have thought of putting watermeoln and feta together, but it sounds wonderful — and perfectly refreshing. Has anyone tried something similar with different fruits (I wonder about fresh peaches or mango for instance)?


  6. Adam,

    This comment is not intended for you to post. I just wanted to let you know I posted a review of your book on my site. You were the one who really gave me the incentive to try blogging. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. The watermelon salad looks fantastic.

    I agree about raw beets – though I prefer them grated. The increased surface area improves the seasoning-to-beet ratio.

    I love your blog!

  8. We tried using slivered beets in a salad after reading this. We loved it! We used beets, snap peas and lettuce from our garden, and made some fresh croutons from homemade bread by cubing some, tossing it with olive oil, sprinkling with seasoning salt and dill and baking. I made enough croutons for several generous servings, but my partner polished them off before bed. Here’s a pic: .

    We also had a steak (probably our only one this summer at these ridiculous prices!) and some green beans from our garden, steamed and sauteed with bacon and carmelized onions.

    We love this blog! So many ideas.

  9. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a plate full of vegetables! (At least that’s what I always say …)

    It looks beautiful and fresh and all things wonderful, Adam. :O)

  10. Great recipe. The watermelon salad looks sooooooooo gooood! I wonder what it would be like to toss in some cantelope with it too? Or honey-dew?

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