What to Cook This Weekend

With the holiday approaching, plan for mushroom-beef burgers, classic coleslaw and more recipes.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. These are fractious times, and I imagine we’ll register the charged atmosphere over this weekend, the 246th anniversary of our declaration of independence from Britain and the start of our experiment in democracy. I hope you’ll hold your family and friends close. I hope you’ll cook for them the best you can. Fellowship ought to be something we all agree is important, however and whatever we cook.

For me, this weekend, it’ll be hamburgers, particularly these mushroom-beef burgers (above), cremini-rich and juicy. There’s something really remarkable about how the mushrooms accentuate the beefiness of the patty, adding heft without fat. But I won’t make only hamburgers. I’ll make hot dogs and barbecued chicken, too. (Or maybe jerk chicken with pickled bananas!) Possibly some baby back ribs. And definitely a big pile of steamed clams.

To serve on the side: How about a creamy and vegan tahini potato salad with charred scallions? And a classic coleslaw spiked with celery seeds? I love this mango-avocado salad, inspired by a Vietnamese green papaya salad: ripe fruit with crunchy sugar snap peas and greens in a lime-and-fish-sauce vinaigrette. Also, this green bean salad with hot mustard dressing, sweet and fiery. And absolutely this Southern broccoli salad in a creamy dressing with Cheddar, sunflower seeds, raisins and bacon.

Strawberry shortcake for dessert, I think. Or watermelon popsicles? It’ll be grand.

There are thousands and thousands more recipes to cook this weekend waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. (Here are recipes for the Fourth of July, for summer barbecues, for side dishes for summer barbecues, for make-ahead salads for cookouts). As I mention periodically, you need a subscription to access them. Subscriptions are the fuel in our stoves. I hope, if you haven’t done so already, that you will consider taking one out today. Thank you.

Well be standing by if you have difficulty with that: [email protected]. Or you can write to me if you want to share your philosophy or a thought: [email protected]. I can’t respond to everyone. But I do read every letter sent.

Now, you couldn’t be much further from matters of bread and wine than this, but Sam Dolnick put me on to Ken Kalfus’s tense and absorbing novel “2 A.M. in Little America,” and I’m happy to pay that kindness forward.

Do read Louisa Lim in The Guardian on the King of Kowloon, a folk hero who became a cult graffiti artist in Hong Kong, and whose work was erased by authorities — until it started to reappear after his death.

David Remnick on Mavis Staples, in The New Yorker: A master class in profile writing. Read that, too.

And then to take us off, here’s a new poem from Jorie Graham in the London Review of Books, “Fog.” I’ll see you on Sunday.

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