Meryl Rothstein is a features editor at Bon Appétit, where she works on stories about restaurant trends, advice on becoming a better home cook, and, as often as possible, desserts. When she’s not working, she’s often cooking, attempting to learn how to garden, or watching House Hunters. She is a born and bred New Yorker and currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
Meryl is a very close friend and her discerning taste commands respect. So we offered her the opportunity to be featured in this post and prepare a couple of dishes for us which we know you will love for their simplicity and flavor.
Meryl tells us about the recipes she created:
“A few years ago, I made a commitment to bring my lunch to work four days a week. I hoped to save money, eat more healthfully, and more deliciously. Though I don’t always live up to my four times a week goal, I’ve been pretty good about it—and the key for me is being realistic about what I can cook for lunch. As someone who frequently gets home from work at 8pm (and then often cooks dinner), I don’t have the time or the patience to make something elaborate that I’m going to wolf down at my desk the next day (my next goal is to take time to enjoy my homemade lunches more…).
Excellent condiments are crucial for me in lunch prep—it’s basically a shortcut to getting lots of flavor without doing much work. Someone’s already done most of the labor for me! Sometimes that means harissa slathered on chicken thighs, tahini spiked with lemon juice as a sauce to make pretty much any protein or vegetable more interesting, or in the case of the recipes I’ve prepared here, pesto for a chicken salad, and orangey aioli to make salmon moist and flavorful.
I love keeping pesto in my pantry, because I will basically put it on anything—I’ll toss it with pasta and finish it with parm for a three-ingredient dinner, spread it on a sandwich, whisk it into a salad dressing etc. And I rarely eat chicken salad, but for some reason I love pesto chicken salad. For this recipe, I poached chicken breasts, but shredded rotisserie chicken would work just as well if you’re looking for an even shorter shortcut.
The salmon was inspired by my mother’s crazy simple recipe. One time she served a salmon dish that I couldn’t stop raving about. It turns out all it was was salmon with some mayo and mustard on top. That’s it? I thought the Delicious & Sons Garlic Aioli with Saffron & Orange would have a similar effect — the fat from the aioli would help keep the salmon moist (just as my mom’s mayo did), and the saffron and orange flavors would bring a nice flavor that didn’t mask the fish. I cooked a medium-sized salmon filet so that I could have some for both lunch a dinner (one of my favorite workday lunch moves!). For dinner, I served the fish with roasted asparagus and rice. For lunch, I packed the leftover salmon atop salad.
Meryl wrote and created these recipes in the final stages of her pregnancy with her first child, for which we are incredibly appreciative of her generosity. We all know how hectic those final moments can be trying to get everything in order both at work and at home and it is not easy. So, Meryl, thank you!
These are the recipes she cooked with us. Remember to click on the title of each recipe to visit the complete recipe and also with direct links to buy the products with which Meryl cooked.