Hi, hello! Welcome back to What We’re Cooking This Week, a new weekly letter about the recipes our team is cooking—and talking and dreaming about—off the clock.
Literally no one:
Me: Yes, I am still doing my 30-day yoga challenge! Adriene has been talking more and more about transitions—say, from plank to upward dog—and how we hurry them but shouldn’t.
This got me thinking about summer and fall and how yesterday was summer and today is fall. It happened while we were sleeping. I had planned on writing a letter about pumpkin-spice this and braised-beef that and cozy-cozy-cozy. But then I realized: Why rush it?
Let’s eat up the transition.
When our test kitchen set out to create the ultimate quiche, we prioritized a tender, flaky crust and silky-as-heck custard. But we also focused on customizability. This way, if you have tomatoes that are about to go bad, or leftover sautéed kale, or mushrooms you forgot about—you get the idea. Anything can be quiche. Quiche can be anything. This week, I’m feeling garlicky sautéed chard and provolone. Like a lot of foods, quiche is best at room temperature.
That one ingredient is Brie, which becomes melty, gooey, and utterly sauce-like when tossed with hot pasta. I first learned about this magic from our co-founder Merrill Stubbs, who, in 2012, wrote a recipe for pasta with tomatoes, garlic, basil, and brie. Our customer care operations manager Erin Sanders just made the dish with some last-of-the-season tomatoes and declared it “the perfect weeknight meal.” If you can’t find good-looking tomatoes, check out this adaptation I developed for colder days: cavatappi with sun-dried tomatoes, brie, and Arugula.
Instead of sugar, raisins, and the like, our contributor EmilyC makes zucchini bread with shredded manchego, slivered almonds, chopped olives, and a bump of smoked paprika. Yes! Because zucchini season is getting smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirror, our books editor Brinda Ayer has a plan to fall-ify the loaf by swapping in carrots (or parsnips! or apples!). Another recipe on my to-do list is another savory carrot bread—yeast-risen and enriched with olive oil, almost like focaccia.
I’ve wanted to make this recipe ever since my work wife Ella Quittner published it almost a year ago. And tonight, I will! (I will also make my home husband record me, so come hang out with us on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.) It’s got a garden-load of greenery, thanks to an arugula, scallion, and chive pesto (extra-creamy not from cheese, but from cashews). At the same time, it’s an excuse to eat a baked potato for dinner. Not that I needed an excuse.
Grilling is often seen as a summer thing, but it’s even better suited for fall. Then, the hot grates can warm you up, like a fireplace on a chilly day. Before snow season (at that point, I’ll happily retire to my stove), I want to try this turmeric-yogurt grilled chicken, with an oversized salad and warm flatbread alongside. Another favorite grilled chicken recipe: halfsies, which is, well, just what it sounds like.
Every time I eat lettuce wraps for dinner, I wish that I did so more often. The filling is hearty as a stew, but bundling in butter lettuce makes it feel like a salad. A stew you eat with your hands? A salad you eat via meat? It’s nuts. I love that. You could jump straight to one of our lettuce wrap recipes, like this braised chicken beaut. Or, you could choose your own adventure by making any braised meat, then lettuce-wrapping it from there. Two good starting points: braised short ribs and slow-cooker pork shoulder.
Many of the kale salads on our site (have you noticed we have, ahem, a lot of these?) are fall-minded and make-ahead friendly, which is checking all my boxes right now. I’ll be making big batches of these on Sundays, and having less stressful mornings from there forward. Which one would you want to make first? (And you’ll share some with me, yes?)
Two apps I downloaded that are making me read more than ever: GoodReads, which helps me keep track of the books I’ve read (just finished The Fate of Food) and want to read (Educated: a memoir next). And Pocket, where I can tuck away articles for later (no Wi-Fi needed).
What are your lunches and dinners looking like these days? And what are you reading and listening to? Do let me know in the comments.