Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark takes on one of the biggest dilemmas of busy people: what are we going to eat? In each episode, you’ll join Melissa in her own home kitchen, working through one of her favorite recipes and offering helpful advice for both beginners and seasoned cooks. It’s a practical guide for weeknight eating, from the makers of The Splendid Table.
Think of this as a sort of hot caprese salad —by cooking the tomatoes in a foil packet on the barbecue with their vines, aromatic herbs, oil, and salt, the flavors concentrate and intensify. They work beautifully with the mozzarella, as you would expect, with added interest from the crushed coriander seeds —simple yet luxurious
One of the most popular recipes in The Green Roasting Tin is the Indonesian gado-gado: crunchy potatoes with an addictive peanut, coconut, and chili sauce. It occurred to me that the dressing, slightly adapted, would work beautifully with grilled corn on the cob —and joy, it did! This is now a summer staple.
Could I write a book without featuring crispy gnocchi? Of course not. So I give you my proudest barbecue creation. Forget about threading just plain old vegetables on a stick —here, you intersperse veggies of your choice (I’ve done bell peppers here, but see the note below) on skewers with just-blanched gnocchi. The result is crisp perfection like you wouldn’t believe.
We like to make a big batch of these noodles for a night of staying in, eating noodles, and binge-watching whole TV series. These aren’t your standard takeout sesame peanut noodles. First off, there’s no peanut butter—instead, deep and distinctively nutty sesame paste and chili oil contribute the bulk of the texture and flavor. A hint of Chinese black vinegar, with its malty, slightly sweet bite, cuts the richness of the sesame paste and plays off the heat of the chili oil. Balanced and complex, these noodles hit all the right flavor notes.
It’s all right there for you in the title. Sweet shrimp is sautéed until just cooked through, and fregola (a tiny toasted pasta from Sardinia) is added to the pot to toast in the melted anchovy butter and spices with some cherry tomatoes. I love Calabrian chiles packed in oil and use them here for some punchy heat, but if red pepper flakes are within closer reach feel free to use them instead. Once the fregola finishes cooking, return the shrimp to the pot to warm them through and serve straight from the pan. Serve with many bottles of chilled red wine.
Raw broccoli is a powerhouse salad ingredient, and covering it in yogurt dressing makes for a match made in heaven.
Ground beef gets a bad rap from snobby foodie types, but since it’s something I grew up eating, I prefer to see the positive—it’s an incredibly affordable and versatile starting point for families looking to save money (aka, all families). It’s all about what you do with it. In this recipe, we’re using it to prepare a version of bulgogi, one of the most popular dishes in Korean cuisine, both in restaurants and in homes. Typically prepared with fancier cuts of beef, bulgogi rests in a mild, balanced marinade for hours (ideally overnight) before getting crispy and caramelized on the grill. This recipe delivers all that flavor on a hamburger budget. Sweet and salty, it’s a flexible base that can be served with lettuce wraps, rice, noodles, or rolled up into homemade Kimbap
This recipe hits all the flavor notes of KFC, Korean Fried Chicken—sweet, salty, spicy, extremely savory. But instead of going through the trouble of setting up a deep fryer or panfrying on the stovetop, which is always a pain and a mess, this is a just-as-delicious recipe for the oven that will impress your family and friends. Please have a lot of napkins handy.
This rich pasta, coated with green olives and garlic sautéed in butter, is simple to prepare. Lemon adds acidity for balance, while the burrata and the warm pappardelle create a creamy finish.
If there’s such a thing as a sexy salad, this might be it. Baby gem lettuce is a small lettuce variety that resembles a bite-sized version of romaine. Topped with brilliantly green pistachio-pesto crumbs and garnished with rose petals, this is a salad to make when you’re looking to impress. And I mean impress yourself, not anyone else.