Weeknight Cooking

A Spring Menu to Eat All Week Long

May 15, 2015

Peace of mind is what we all crave and where we all strive to arrive. But how do you get there? Do you meditate, take a bath, get a massage? Do you take a run or swim a mile a day? For lots of us, the biggest puzzle piece is deciding what to eat for the week and then setting ourselves up for success, which for many of us means organizing our grocery lists and starting our cooking process before the week has even begun.

We may not have all of it figured out, but Sunday cooking is a major stress-reliever, both when we're in the kitchen, tasting our favorite soup straight from the pot, and during the rest of the week, knowing that the major legwork has already been done. Let these recipes guide you towards an easy (well, easier) week, and the only thing you'll have to dread is waking up early to take out the dog.

Here's what to cook on Sunday:

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And here's how to stretch these recipes and ingredients all week long:

What to do with the Mussels with Fennel, Italian Sausage & Pernod: Make it for dinner. Serve it with a baguette for sopping up the extra liquid. Grab extra fennel and you'll be able to make Caramelized Fennel, Leek, and Orange Salad later in the week, or throw it into Roasted Fennel and White Bean Dip. Extra Italian sausage will come in handy for Lentil and Sausage Soup with Kale, or you can sub it in for chicken in the Chicken Sausage Meatball and Brocolli Pasta Bowl.


Where the Ramp Carbonara can take you: Ramps' sharp, onion-y flavor is a highlight of spring—they're good to have around. You can throw them in Fried Eggs with Asparagus, Ramps, and Oyster Sauce, stuff them into Georgian Khachapuri Filled with Ramps, Green Onions, Herbs, and Cheese, and layer them into a Green Madame.

Chard Gratin features the best of what spring has to offer on warm days and cool nights. Keep some extra chard in your crisper drawer and use some in Chard Salad with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Parmesan, or feature it in a Slab Galette with Swiss Chard and Gruyère. You can also swap it in for the kale in Lentil and Sausage Soup with Kale. Use up your extra milk and cheese in Martha Stewart's Macaroni and Cheese, which is sure to smooth out the edges of the mid-week dinner question.

Having all the ingredients on hand for the Romaine and Avocado Salad with Anchovy Garlic Vinaigrette can be a godsend. Not only do you assure yourself a quick and beautiful salad at least two or three nights this week, but you can have Avocado Toast for a snack or stick the ingredients in scrambled egg tacos

Treat yourself to a slice or two of Coconut Quickbread for dessert—and then toast up leftover slices for breakfast, or stick cubes in lunchboxes, or have some slathered with Key Lime Curd for a mid-afternoon snack. That sounds like a great idea to us.

Your menu, day by day:







To make your day of cooking a bit simpler, we've written your grocery list for you:

Serves 4

From the refrigerated and dairy case:

1/2 cup half and half
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1 1/4 cups milk

From the produce department:

2 large fennel bulbs, sliced thin, fronds reserved
3 large shallots, sliced thin
1 pound chard, stems and leaves
1 pound ramps
1/2 lemon
20 to 25 romaine leaves
2 avocados
1 lime

From the dry goods, bulk, and international aisles:

1 tablespoon fennel pollen, divided
1 pinch saffron
1 pound spaghetti
2 oil-cured anchovy fillets
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
5 ounces unsweetened, shredded coconut

From the meat and fish counters:

2 pounds freshest wild mussels
1 link sweet Italian sausage
1 cup chopped Pancetta

From the liquor store:

1/2 cup Pernod
1/3 cup white wine 

We're assuming you have a healthy supply of garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, butter, whole-grain mustard, Dijon mustard, black pepper, eggs, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and sugar. If you don't, add them to your list.

First three photos by James Ransom, fourth by Phyllis Grant, and last by Alexandra Stafford

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • snobird39
  • Hanna Hussey
    Hanna Hussey
  • Natalia Alfonso
    Natalia Alfonso
Mei Chin

Written by: Mei Chin

Let's have dinner sometime. There will be champagne and ice cream for sure; everything else is up in the air.


snobird39 May 24, 2015
It would be helpful if the photos transferred with the recipe so I could see what the dish should look like when finished. I like to keep everything in one place...picture with recipe, please.
Hanna H. May 15, 2015
Yes- this kind of layout is so useful to me as a working mom! Thank you.
Natalia A. May 15, 2015
This is awesome