A June Letter from the Editor: My Summer Goal Is to Eat More Plants
I emerged from this heck of a long year with an absolutely savage craving for all things green, leafy, and alive. We’re only a week into June, and my salad consumption is through the roof. I’m lucky to be partnered with a person who is also enthusiastic for salads, which is good because we’ve eaten two dinner salads in two days. First there was old-school taco salad with crumbled cotija and seared corn spritzed with lime; the night after that there was a Mediterranean-ish situation with herby greens, Trader Joe’s feta dressing, and their extremely convenient gyro strips.
But meat in these salads has been a side player, not the star — and more and more, that’s just what feels good.
So good, in fact, that we are kicking off this summer with our first-ever special issue, called Eat More Plants, where I assembled exactly what I wanted to read right now: a colorful, abundant bundle of stories to inspire you to take one more step in putting plants at the heart of your plate. We’re so grateful to Follow Your Heart for partnering with us on this issue, and among the recipes we worked with them on, I need to make sure you try the super-simple yet punchy Marinated Lentil Salad, and this Triple-Lemon Cake which I am now calling THE cake of summer 2021.
Our cover stars for this special issue included Gregory Gourdet, whom you might know most recently from Top Chef — but whose new book, Everyone’s Table, transcends most TV-star books for its unexpected twists and whole-food energy. It’s not vegetarian, but it will make you want to murder some plants. I also interviewed Jenny Rosenstrach of Dinner: A Love Story, whose next book, The Weekday Vegetarians, is out this fall. Jenny is a crafty family cook who knows that a game plan is just as important as a recipe, and if you want to level up your Meatless Mondays into more frequent plant-based weeknight dinners, she will help you get there. Last but not least in our three cover stars is Priyanka Naik — vegan chef, Instagram and TikTok video star, and author of the forthcoming The Modern Tiffin, out in November. I loved talking with Priyanka about how she melds the cooking of her family’s vegetarian Indian table with global influences from her travels, and her passion for zero-waste cooking.
These three voices are all people who I think have something to say to us about cooking plant-first right now in the summer of 2021, when we crave color, connection to nature, and the sense that good change is coming. I hope you enjoy these interviews and their recipes — as well as the rest of our special issue. If you are going to throw a party anytime soon, you really must at least consider Susan Spungen’s spectacularly oversized grain platter — a much larger-format take on the lunch classic. We also talked to people who have made significant changes in the amount of plants they eat (how did they do it?) and learned a dozen magic tricks with vegetables that everyone should know.
And that’s only the beginning of June, our Get Outdoors month. We kicked off the month last week with the most lovely Pride Bakeshop, a joyful and celebratory start to Pride, with recipes like Pichet Ong’s Tropical Fruit Trifle. Next week we have a Juneteenth cookout at home with Meiko Temple of Meiko and the Dish. The week after that is Grilling Week, with a clever take on the clambake (beach not required), and then we roll right into stories devoted to this year’s IT cooking accessory: the outdoor pizza oven. We’ll tell you what you need to make a backyard slice so good, it’ll send Bluey’s dad straight to Hammerbarn (if you know, you know).
Thank you for reading, and happy June! We’re thrilled it’s summer; let’s get outdoors together.