Food Eyeswoon Kitchen:

Athena’s Memorial Day Menu

Memorial Day Weekend

Fire up the grill and prepare for some al fresco dining this holiday weekend. The sun will be shining, the rosé will be flowing, and I’ve got a few spring focused Memorial Day favorite recipes for ya!

I am curious by nature, so when I frst started cooking, I asked a lot of questions. One of my favorites, which I still pose to just about everyone I meet: What is your go-to weeknight meal? In my kitchen, a recipe has to meet certain standards in order to earn that title. I need to be able to prep it ahead, cook it quickly, and serve it straight up—meaning it boasts both veggies and protein. These chicken skewers ft the bill. Juicy grilled chicken is something that eludes even many experienced cooks, but here the yogurt in the marinade tenderizes the meat and prevents it from drying out. I often drizzle these kebabs with lemon-herb vinaigrette and serve tzatziki on the side.

Yes, it’s true: Favas are higher maintenance than your average bean. First, they have to be popped out of their pods, then blanched and slipped from their thick individual skins. But the reward here far outweighs the drudgery—especially when you approach the prep as a meditation, setting yourself up somewhere comfy and zoning out as you peel. With their creamy texture, favas are a pleasure unto themselves, but they also play well with other seasonal crops, like the spring onions, sugar snaps, and soft herbs that round out this super-fresh salad. The addition of buffalo mozzarella gives the dish a decadent feel, making it substantial enough for a light meal. Sometimes, when I’m craving a little extra crunch, I also sprinkle on some homemade bread crumbs.  And if you can’t find favas—or they prove to be too much work—just swap in some defrosted frozen edamame. I won’t tell.

This is one of those “lemme pat myself on the back” recipes. The first time I tasted it I actually squealed with excitement. The zingy ginger and deeply aromatic fecks of vanilla bean are pretty spectacular, and just the right match for the complex, sour favor of the rhubarb. The pastry is also something to swoon over. It’s perfectly flaky, which I attribute to a few factors: adding buttermilk to the dough, freezing the butter cubes, and chilling the pastry a second time after it’s rolled out. Once you master the method, you’ll want to use it again and again—and you can, all year long with just about any fruit that’s in season.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken and Artichoke Skewers with Herbed Dressing

Athena Calderone, Cook Beautiful




½ cup (120 ml) plain full-fat Greek yogurt

¼cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1½ teaspoons Aleppo pepper

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoon smoked paprika


2 pounds boneless chicken thigh meat, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 14-ounce cans whole artichoke hearts, drained and halved

2 red onions, cut into 1½-inch pieces

2 small zucchinis, cubed

1 cup cherry tomatoes

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Freshly cracked pepper

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette, for serving

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)

Zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon honey

Pinch of Aleppo pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Whisk all ingredients together.

Tzatziki, for serving

1 cup full fat Greek yogurt

1 kirby cucumber, seeded and finely chopped

1 small clove garlic, minced

A few fresh dill sprigs, finely chopped

A few fresh mint sprigs, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, for taste

Stir all ingredients together. 


Make the marinade: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients along with the chicken. Stir thoroughly to combine. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the chicken to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours or ideally overnight.

Make the lemon herb vinaigrette and the tzatziki.

Make the skewers: Drizzle the vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper. Skewer the chicken, alternating each piece with the vegetables. Discard any extra marinade.

Preheat the grill over medium-high heat to about 400ºF. Grill the skewers until lightly charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Before serving, drizzle the skewers with the vinaigrette. Serve with the tzatziki and any remaining vinaigrette on the side.

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