Is there anything more satisfying than setting up an OOO autoresponder? Thanks for your email but I’m not checking my email. Thanks for your email but I’m on the beach, sipping cold wine, playing Scrabble, insert your chillest pastime here. The only doozy is what to cook for dinner (and, hopefully, make for dessert).
Vacation food hinges on two things: what local produce is ripe and what kitchen equipment your lodging has (or, more likely, doesn’t have). These summery recipes are as effortless as they are fun, like floating around a pool on an inflatable doughnut. So crank up the AC and let’s make something good.
Things You Should Just Bring
Just to be safe. No, we’re not going to tell you to bring a stockpot or food processor or your whole spice cabinet. But there are some ingredients and gadgets that we wouldn’t want to be without, especially if we’re driving. Here is our packing wishlist—pick what you have space for.
Flaky salt and kosher salt because bland food is bad food, and bad food is not invited on vacation.Black pepper and chile flakes: See above. Bring freshly ground or whole peppercorns plus a mill.Olive oil and vinegar for perking up whatever you overbuy at the farmers market, from tomatoes to corn to lettuce.That condiment you put on everything: Zhong sauce? Yellow sriracha? Kewpie mayonnaise? All three?Coffee or tea. In case you’re one of those people who becomes Not Nice when you don’t get your caffeine fix as soon as you wake up.Storage containers for leftovers (dinner tonight is the easiest lunch tomorrow) and adventures (so you can win Best Meal at the Top of the Mountain).Knives—yes, even if the Airbnb kitchen photos look promising. Chef’s at a minimum; gold star each for a serrated and a paring.Microplane for citrus, ginger, Parmesan, garlic, etc. As Christina Chaey puts it, “Once you start traveling with your Microplane, you may never go on another trip without it.”Sheet pan: You can’t pack every pan, so you might as well pack the most versatile one.Wine opener because vacation. Go lo-fi with this under-$10 option or spend a little more for an electric wonder.
Recipes That Taste Like Summer
And they’ll taste even better when you blast your go-to karaoke songs while you cook.