10 Fast Summer Dishes to Remind You of a Seaside Vacation

Enjoy a beachy dinner, even if you’re landlocked

Mark Bittman
Published in
5 min readAug 25, 2020


A square plate of spaghetti with fresh mussels and seafood on a table with a white tablecloth.
Photo: Christine Wehrmeier/Moment/Getty Images

If your summer beach plans have changed this year because of the pandemic, here’s the next best thing: 10 fast, seafood-centered meals to bring you some memories of the sea, even if you’re landlocked.

1. Mussel and Vegetable Pan Roast With Saffron Aïoli

Makes: 4 servings

Pan roast is code for throw some vegetables, shellfish, and liquid in a roasting pan, toss it in the oven, and come back when everything is done. This version with mussels, potatoes, corn, and tomatoes — kind of a one-pot clambake — is ideal in summer.


  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • 2 pounds mussels
  • 8 ounces andouille, kielbasa, linguiça, or other smoked sausage
  • ½ cup beer, white wine, or water
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley


  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters.
  • Put the potatoes in a large roasting pan; toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. When the oven is hot, roast, stirring once or twice until the potatoes are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, husk the corn and cut each ear into thirds. Scrub and debeard the mussels; discard any that don’t close when you press the shell together. Cut the sausage into chunks.
  • When the potatoes are lightly browned, stir in ½ cup beer, white wine, or water, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, corn, mussels, and sausage.
  • Continue roasting until the mussels open and the potatoes tender, another 15 minutes or so. Peel and mince small garlic clove; put it in a small bowl. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon…



Mark Bittman

Has published 30 books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6: The Case for Part-Time Veganism. Newsletter at markbittman.com.