An Atlantic Beach Pie State of Mind

My wonderful colleague Margaux Laskey described this Atlantic Beach pie to me as “excellent for a beach rental,” and my mind immediately took off: It’s a little past 8 p.m. in Brigantine, N.J.; we’ve tracked in some sand from the beach, but I’ll sweep it up later. Dinner was grilled chicken with tomatoes and corn, and now we need something sweet to offset the salt that’s clinging to our hair and skin. We sit on deck chairs draped with towels (we’re still in our swimsuits, of course), and dig in to hefty slices of this pie while watching the dog decipher all the smells in the breeze — seaweed, Coppertone, a spilled Capri-Sun.

What Margaux meant, of course, was that this pie comes together with items easily acquired at most grocery stores, wherever your beach rental may be: saltine crackers for the crust, and eggs, sweetened condensed milk and lemons or limes for the creamy filling. But I’d add that it’s good for even just pretending you’re at a beach rental, both in the effortless making and the joyous eating.

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More dishes that evoke that OOO feeling (in either the “out of office” or the “ooh, how delicious” sense): These garlic-scallion chicken sandwiches, a recipe by Christian Reynoso inspired by the famous roast chicken from Zuni Café in San Francisco, are the sort of thing I’d tote along to a picnic wearing my strappiest sandals and billowiest sundress. I’d serve them with a basket of cherries and a chilled bottle of rosé, because in this scenario I am in a park in France.

Naz Deravian’s baked salmon and dill rice, a New York Times Cooking classic, is the sort of easy one-pan dinner I’d whip up anywhere I had access to nice fish and photogenic bouquets of dill. This 15-minute zucchini salad with basil, mint and feta from David Tanis would be lovely alongside the salmon for a gloriously herby feast. But if I have a grill and a Latin supermarket nearby, it’ll be Ham El-Waylly’s pollo asado, a citrusy, subtly spicy dish that makes for killer quesadillas the next day.

Andy Baraghani’s extra-green pasta salad requires a blender, so bookmark it for the group rental with the nice kitchen. Or, you know, make it at home — that velvety spinach-basil sauce, boosted with miso, lemon and garlic, is so vibrant. It’s a welcome reset for the eyes after staring at emails all day.

One last (exciting) thing! Instacart is a sponsor of New York Times Cooking, and they’re helping us make cooking prep a little simpler. If you’re having a busy weekend and can’t make it to the grocery store, you can now get ingredients for NYT Cooking recipes delivered by Instacart. When you’re viewing a recipe on our website — not the app, though that’s coming soon! — click the “Shop ingredients on Instacart” button to give it a try.

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