31 Recipes to Make in May

Asparagus-and-Zucchini Frittata

Chef Chris Behr’s versatile frittata with crisp spring vegetables can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Serve for brunch with an accompanying platter of crusty bread, fresh fruit, cheese and salumi, or for lunch with a green salad.

Pain Perdu with Roasted Plums

Los Angeles pastry chef Karen Hatfield sprinkles her egg-soaked bread with cinnamon sugar before cooking it, creating an excellent crispy crust. She then tops the French toast with roasted plums and crème fraîche, creating the ultimate breakfast (or dessert).

Freekeh Fritters with Spring Pea Relish

Chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson of Los Angeles’s Kismet make these freekeh fritters as a playful take on Italian arancini. To get the creamy-chewy texture just right, they cook the lightly roasted green wheat called freekeh risotto-style, adding the water gradually while stirring the grain continuously.

Marinated Piquillo Pepper and Whipped Eggplant Toasts

Chef Jose Garces pan-sears sweet and smoky Spanish piquillo peppers before marinating them in a garlic, honey and fresh herb vinaigrette.

Classic Ceviche

A knockout ceviche is the result of a delicate balance of heat, salt, acidity, freshness, and crunch.

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Butter Beans and Tarragon

Gently crushing the cucumbers for this salad releases their aroma and creates nooks and crannies for soaking up the dressing. They still retain plenty of crunch, a great contrast to the rich, creamy butter beans.

Caprese Salad

Serve this classic tomato-and-mozzarella salad with lots of grilled bread for dipping. The olive oil and the cream from the buffalo-milk mozzarella create an irresistible sauce in the bottom of the bowl.

Sirloin, Celery and Cherry Salad

Chef Asaf Doktor of the Tel Aviv restaurant Dok tosses his chargrilled steak with a crunchy, tart-sweet, jalapeño-inflected mix of celery and red cherries.

Bitter Greens with Soft-Boiled Eggs

The key to enjoying greens like radicchio and escarole in their raw state is to temper their bracingly bitter edge with the rich, the citrusy, and the sweet. The creamy golden yolks of soft-boiled eggs and a zesty vinaigrette bring everything together here.

Grilled Carrots with Lemon and Harissa

At Maydan restaurant in Washington, D.C., these carrots are cooked directly in the coals of their massive hearth. Grilling over charcoal until charred gives a similar result. A blend of roasted and dried peppers and chiles give the harissa sauce fruity, smoky depth. Use the leftovers to season roasted chicken or vegetable soup.

Poached Leeks with Sauce Gribiche

These falafel are a colorful and fragrant twist on the Middle Eastern staple. Unlike traditional falafel, these are baked and contain different vegetables, taking on their colors, flavors and nutrients. Beet-pickled turnips make a great topping for this dish but can be served on many other sandwiches and salads.

Rainbow Falafel with Pickled Turnips

These falafel are a colorful and fragrant twist on the Middle Eastern staple. Unlike traditional falafel, these are baked and contain different vegetables, taking on their colors, flavors and nutrients. Beet-pickled turnips make a great topping for this dish but can be served on many other sandwiches and salads.

Rhode Island–Style Clam Stuffies

Packed back into their shells and roasted, “stuffies” are a hearty way to enjoy quahogs and a staple of summer meals in Rhode Island.

Lobster Salad Sandwiches on Brioche

Chef Anne Quatrano makes this delicious twist on a lobster roll with a handful of ingredients. Between the two major styles of lobster rolls—served warm with butter or cold mixed with mayonnaise—she advocates for the creamy mayo version. She also butters the rolls generously before toasting.

Salpicón Taco

Chef Juan Pablo Loza of Rosewood Mayakoba makes this refreshing salpicón, a basic salsa made here with cucumbers, radishes, habanero, red onion, and tomatoes.

Spiced-Lamb Pizzas

These cumin-inflected ground meat pizzas (a.k.a. lachmajun) from Tel Aviv chef Tomer Agay get a flavor boost from a refreshing chopped tomato–mint topper. The homemade dough needs to rise overnight, so plan accordingly.

Beef-and-Celery Yakitori

The surprise in this dish is celery, which is actually perfect for skewering and grilling. It becomes deliciously crisp and tender, making it the ideal partner for rich and fatty rib eye steaks.

Grilled Mushrooms and Sausages with Pimentón Vinaigrette

Delicious griddled wild mushrooms are the stars of this simple Catalan-inspired dish dressed with a smoky, garlicky vinaigrette.

Seared Mackerel with Marinated Tomatoes

Julia Sedefdjian’s simple mackerel is briefly marinated, then seared and served over simply dressed ripe heirloom tomatoes. A white balsamic–spiked tomato vinaigrette provides the perfect sweet-tart counterpoint to the rich, robust flavor of the mackerel.

Butter-Basted Scallops with Spring Greens and Snap Peas

Crisp-tender snap peas, spinach, and dandelion greens finish in the same pan for a truly springy, masterful main dish.

Croatian Langoustine and Squid Ink Risotto

For this creamy Croatian risotto, Top Chef winner and Spiaggia executive chef Joe Flamm was inspired by a dish from Gverovic-Orsan, a seafood restaurant on the Adriatic Sea.

Buttery Crab Casseroles

The simple seasonings in this recipe from the Irish coast, inspired by the luscious buttery crab crumble served at Vaughans Anchor Inn, highlight the crab’s sweetness rather than overpower it.

Grilled Chicken with Coconut Rice and Chile-Lime Sauce

When making this crispy grilled chicken at home, it’s all about the marinade. To make it, use full-fat coconut milk; you’ll skim the cream to make the marinade and use the remaining milk to infuse the rice with rich coconut flavor.

Thin Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Mint

For a weeknight when speed is key, whip up this one-pot pasta. It’s inspired by Greek ingredients like whole cherry tomatoes, briny olives, salty feta cheese, and fresh mint and oregano, and makes a satisfying meal with very little effort.

Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Allowing the pasta dough to rise (just like a bread dough) before rolling and shaping gives the cecamariti in this dish its characteristic texture and flavor.

Whole-Fruit Rocket Pops

Layered with strawberry-lime, coconut-banana and ginger, and blueberry-mint flavors, these pops are an adult twist on those beloved red, white, and blue pops from the ice cream truck—perfect for Memorial Day Weekend at the beach.

Condensed-Milk Ice Cream with Black Sesame Polvoron

At LASA in Los Angeles, chef Chad Valencia makes his own version of ice cream by folding condensed milk into whipped cream—no churning required. A gently toasted black sesame crumble adds texture and a welcome nuttiness.

Huckleberry and Butter Pie

Huckleberries are similar to blueberries; either will work here. Sumac, a dried crimson berry common in Middle Eastern cooking, is naturally tart. It stands in for the lemon here and heightens the floral aroma of the berries. Violet extract is the can’t-quite-place-it element that intensifies the jammy berry filling.

Sweet Semolina Cake with Rose Water

This easy and quick-to-make Middle Eastern semolina cake from blogger Sasha Martin is very dense but moist; she recommends serving it with a hefty dollop of whipped cream and a strong cup of tea.

Strawberry Daiquiri

The best strawberry daiquiri is bright and full-flavored but never too sweet, balancing juicy berries and tart lime.

Sandy Bottoms

This pitcher drink pairs hydrating watermelon with the delicate fennel-and-herb flavor of Peychaud’s bitters. “The watermelon and lime in this deceptively simple cocktail pair perfectly with the sea salt left on your lips from a long day at the beach,” says Stephanie Andrews of Billy Sunday in Chicago.

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