This Summer, Thirteen is Your Lucky Number
This group of recipes is extremely seasonal and handpicked just for you
Surprise, Bittman Project members! It’s time for another collection of our favorite super-seasonal recipes. Thirteen of them, to be exact, including:
Quick-Pickled Charred Vegetables
Vegetable Fajita Salad
Plum Chicken Salad
Grilled Chocolate Panini
and more …
This special recipe collection is for subscribers only — PDF below. Not a subscriber? No problem — scroll down to get Eggplant “Meatballs” and Grilled Chocolate Panini. Join us here to get the full summer experience, plus
Member-only posts featuring delicious, no-fuss dinners anyone can master; Mark’s travelogues, musings, and recommendations
Access to every single recipe we publish via our Recipe Index (literally hundreds of Bittman-certified recipes)
How-to-cook guides (like conquering lunch strategies and less pasta, more sauce) and all seasonal recipe collections
And just in case we haven’t said it lately — we’re so glad you’re here!
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 1 hour, largely unattended
The more I play around with vegetable-based meatballs, the more I like them; certainly they’re not the same as meat meatballs, but the different textures and flavors are terrific. To round out the meal, serve these over pasta, rice, salad, or steamed greens with a squeeze of lemon.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into cubes no larger than 1 inch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup cooked or canned white beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup breadcrumbs
Pinch red chile flakes (optional)
2 cups any tomato sauce (like this one)
1. Heat the oven to 375°F. use 1 tablespoon olive oil to grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Put 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. when it’s hot, add the eggplant and 1/4 cup water. sprinkle with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes. transfer the eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.
2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic and return to the heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until they’re soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the beans; if using canned, rinse them before draining. add the beans and parsley to the work bowl with the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not pureed.
3. Toss the eggplant mixture with the onion and garlic, then add the breadcrumbs and red chile flakes if you’re using them. taste and adjust the seasoning. roll the mixture into 12 balls about 2 inches in diameter; transfer them to the prepared pan. bake, undisturbed, until they’re firm and well browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, warm the tomato sauce. Serve the meatballs hot or at room temperature along with the tomato sauce.
— Recipe from The VB6 Cookbook
Grilled Chocolate Panini
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 15 to 20 minutes
S’mores go uptown. You can make these crisp and gooey dessert sandwiches with any kind of bread as long as it’s fairly sturdy and sliceable. I like to keep it simple with Italian peasant bread, crusty on the outside with a chewy, open crumb on the inside; baguettes cut at a slight angle are nice, too. For the chocolate, choose what you like to eat, which for me is bittersweet. Serve with a scoop of ice cream if you like.
4 large or 8 small slices bread (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
8 ounces chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1. If using a gas grill, heat it for medium direct cooking. If using a charcoal grill, after taking off dinner, add more coals if necessary and close the lid until ready to cook. In either case, clean the grates.
2. Put half of the bread slices on a baking sheet. Divide the chocolate evenly on top, spreading almost to the edges. Top with the remaining bread. Spread both sides of each sandwich with the butter; sprinkle with the sugar. (You can do this earlier in the day if you like; wrap the panini in plastic to keep the bread from drying out.)
3. Put the panini on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until the bread develops grill marks and the chocolate has melted, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Let cool for a minute or 2; cut large sandwiches in halves, quarters, or sticks if you like and serve.
— Recipe from How to Grill Everything