The 17 Finest Recipes Our Meals Employees Cooked Final Month

The 17 Best Recipes Our Food Staff Cooked Last Month

The nice thing about May is that it brings pristine spring weather with it. Cool days can occur from time to time, but there are no whispers of bitter cold. Like hope, the product springs forever, and nowhere was that clearer than on our plates. Last month, The New York Times Food and Cooking staff were wild at the bright flavors, preferring herbs, vegetables, and ripe, juicy fruits over the somewhat staid flavors of cold-weather cuisine. Here are some of the meals we prepared in May.

Nowadays there is a lot more reason to celebrate, and since the first summer strawberries appeared, I have been making cakes and combining the berries with rhubarb or balsamic vinegar. I split a slice or two, then keep the rest in the fridge and chop it up bit by bit – for breakfast, for a midday snack, for an appetizer while I reheat leftovers. My favorite recipes are from Four and Twenty Blackbirds Brooklyn Bakery, but this Florence Fabricant recipe and this classic Times recipe can take you there too. KRYSTEN CHAMBROT

Recipe: Lattice-top strawberry cake

Like this classic Juicy Lucy from 5-8 Club and Matt’s Bar, a good burger doesn’t need much more than salt and pepper, an unobtrusive bun and a plain old slice of American cheese. But Kay Chun’s Korean cheeseburgers convinced me with their promise of Korean barbecue flavors, strong cans of soy sauce, spring onions and sugar, and sweet and sour pickles coated with sesame oil. They take a little more effort, but deliver a bright burst of flavors that I’ll crave – and cook – for over and over again. ALEXA WEIBEL

Recipe: Korean cheeseburger with sesame cucumber pickles

Salade Niçoise is really one of my favorite dishes, especially in the warmer months. The combination of flavors and textures is a joy to eat, so one afternoon I put together Jacques Pépin’s version of replacing the red salad with arugula and romaine lettuce. And although this version uses seared fresh tuna instead of the more conventional canned ones, I used jared tuna in oil. At the end of the month, I finally made Gena Hamshaw’s very good, very fluffy, very simple vegan pancakes. Readers, they suggested. KASIA PILAT

I had an excess of leftover fresh herbs in my fridge, so I used them to make Melissa Clark’s outrageously delicious Greek Goddess Dip for our Memorial Day BBQ evening. It’s so good I could eat it by the spoonfuls. Earlier this month, I made Sarah DiGregorio’s slow cooker lemon chicken soup, which is a lighter version of the warmer-weather classic. It’s the ideal meal for a rainy spring day. MARGAUX LASKEY

Recipe: Greek goddess dip

I’m still not convinced it actually happened in the last month, but according to my camera roll it did, and I apparently made Darun Kwak’s Gilgeori toast a couple of times. It’s the perfect home lunch – flavorful, structured, very adaptable, comes together in minutes. Every time ketchup and mayonnaise walk into the sandwich party, you know you’re going to have a blast. VAUGHN VREELAND

Recipe: Gilgeori Toast (Korean street toast with cabbage and egg)

I would be lying if I said I cooked something last month. It’s an exaggeration to say I made this michelada because I just squeezed the juice of a whole lime into a glass with ice, added a light beer, sprinkled a wad of kosher salt on it – and on my shoulder for all the trouble knocked. Then I ordered pizza for dinner. EMILY FLEISCHAKER

Recipe: Michelada

One day in the market the scallops were so fat and shiny and beautiful that I bought a pound to make a large serving of these scallops with brown butter, capers and lemon. I cooked them over high heat, quickly so that they burned hard on one side, and then I took them out of that area for them to rest. You don’t want to overcook scallops. You don’t want to get too close. Then I made the sauce on a lower heat and spooned it over the meat, and that made for a dinner so good that I did it again the next night with butter and just a little squirt of lemon. I was looking for pure scallop flavor. I found it. SAM SIFTON

Recipe: Scallops with brown butter, capers and lemon

I had almost everything I needed to make Eric Kim’s Kimchi Jjigae – everything except watercress and Maesil Cheong (green plum syrup). The watercress was easy to find, but the syrup wasn’t so much. Luckily Eric wrote back when I asked for a replacement, assuring me that a pinch of sugar would be A-OK. It was a delicious dish and not difficult to make at all. MELISSA CLARK

Recipe: Kimchi Jjigae with Ribs

There’s the perfect salad, and it’s the Insalata Verde recipe from the five-star Via Carota, adapted by Samin Nosrat. With some textured veggies and a number of staples from the pantry – sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and whole grain mustard, garlic, etc. – you get a light, light, and crunchy salad that is so easy to put together and can go with practically anything. I especially love the assembly strategy of the salad – you put a layer of vegetables in a shallow bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, spoon the dressing over it, and repeat the process to create a pile of layers to create that green tower in which no leaf remains unseasoned. PRIYA KRISHNA

I had a fit of nostalgia for my suburban upbringing in Detroit over Memorial Day weekend, so I grabbed Sam Sifton’s grilled chicken. I save the sauce with some cayenne pepper, add thighs and breasts, and cook them on my gas grill instead of coals. But I channel my inner suburban father and follow his grill technique exactly. KIM SEVERSON

Recipe: Grilled chicken

We were visiting friends we hadn’t seen since the pandemic started, and one is Canadian so I brought one of my favorite desserts – butter tarts. But people are fanatical about their butter cake preferences, so I asked him ahead of time. Currants, raisins or plain? Easy. Liquid or solid? No answer, so I played it safe with a slightly caked, liquid cake. (My recipe on New York Times Cooking has instructions for all preferences.) The pies are so easy to make that I could get them out of the oven about an hour before leaving home. Sweet perfection in just a few bites. SARA BONISTEEL

Recipe: Butter tarts

As a sweet tooth, I love to have a sweet treat on hand at all times. In an effort to use the cranberries in my freezer that I didn’t know what to do with, I whipped up Florence Fabricant’s quick and easy cranberry and nut bread to satisfy my cravings. I swapped the pecans for hazelnuts for a nice, nutty combo. It goes perfectly with morning coffee or as a lunch snack for me. GABRIELLA LEWIS

Recipe: Cranberry Nut Bread

Crème brûlée is my mom’s favorite dessert, so I made this Jerrelle Guy crème brûlée cake for her when we met again for Mother’s Day. The rich cream pudding and caramelized sugar topping are extremely satisfying. We ate it warm straight out of the oven but found it even better the next day after chilling in the fridge overnight. KIM GOUGENHEIM

Recipe: Creme Brulee Pie

This month’s heat wave in New York made me avoid my stove and oven at all costs. When it’s that hot, my perfect “Alone Dinner” follows this formula: a simple no-boiling dip plus crusty bread (or crackers or pita) and raw vegetables. Yossy Arefi’s Herbal Feta Yogurt Dip with Sumac is my favorite, always and forever. BECKY HUGHES

Recipe: Herbal feta yoghurt dip with sumac

For a good part of my 20s I worked at Chelsea Market and ate lots of chocolate chip cookies from a since closed Jacques Torres Chocolate Shop (RIP). The sweetest part of the experience was an insider tip: ask about the cookies “in the back”. The clerk raised his eyebrows and went to the back of the stand, skipping the biscuits on display, where there was a tray of fresh biscuits hidden under a towel. I will always remember these cookies: sticky chocolate, crispy edges, chewy insides. Fortunately, we have a recipe for it. ERIC KIM

Recipe: Chocolate chip cookies