Ricotta Toast with Figs and Seeded Honey

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Say hello to my new favorite breakfast. It’s super simple, so the dish really rests on the quality and seasonality of the ingredients. The figs? Local. The ricotta? Local. The honey? Definitely local. Insufferable, but delicious.

Ricotta toast with figs and seeded honey

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 loaf rustic bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 fresh ricotta
6 figs, sliced

1. In a medium bowl, combine the seeds and honey and mix.

2. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Cut the bread into 4 thick slices and brush with oil. Toast bread on skillet until warmed through and lightly toasted, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

3. Spread the ricotta onto the toasted bread and arrange figs on the ricotta. Drizzle the honey-seed mixture over the top and serve.

Heirloom Tomato Galette

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Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe, this garlicky, flaky tomato galette is one of my favorite ways to capture our summer produce. The puff pastry was made by hand here, but if you’re short on time feel free to use store-bought. Just make sure to salt the tomatoes thoroughly; otherwise, you’ll end up with a soggy galette. And nobody likes a soggy galette, amirite?

Heirloom tomato galette

Ingredients:

2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 ounces firm cheese (such as Asiago, cheddar, or Gouda), grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 egg, beaten
Pepper
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1. Pulse flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

2. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; drizzle with vinegar and 1/4 cup ice water. Mix with a fork, adding more ice water by the tablespoonful as needed, until a shaggy dough comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and lightly knead until no dry spots remain (be careful not to overwork). Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Toss tomatoes, garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Let sit 10 minutes (tomatoes will start releasing some liquid). Drain tomato mixture and transfer to paper towels.

4. Unwrap dough and roll out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to a 14″ round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer on parchment to a baking sheet. Scatter cheese over dough, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border. Arrange tomatoes and garlic over cheese. Bring edges of dough up and over filling, overlapping as needed to create about a 1 1/2 inch border; brush dough with egg. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Chill in freezer 10 minutes.

5. Bake galette, rotating once, until crust is golden brown and cooked through, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly on baking sheet. Finely grate zest from lemon over galette; sprinkle with chives.

Eggplant, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

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This Middle Eastern-inspired salad is peak summer: buttery eggplant, juicy tomatoes, and crispy cucumber are bound by a cooling and tangy yogurt dressing. The best part? It’s so much easier to make than it looks.

Eggplant, tomato, and cucumber salad

Ingredients:

2 Japanese eggplant, sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cucumber, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons Greek or Middle Eastern-style yogurt
Salt
Pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat the broiler: brush the eggplant slices with the vegetable oil and cook over high heat, turning once, until golden and tender. Cut slices in half.

2. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Add the warm eggplant, mix, and chill for at least 1 hour. Add the cucumber and tomatoes. Transfer to a serving dish and spoon the yogurt on top and garnish with parsley.

Lemongrass Chicken with Rice Noodles

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I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t love bun, or Vietnamese rice noodle bowls. And no two bun are the same: the combinations are endless, but one thing remains the same: a good bun is a riot of textures and flavors: crunchy and chewy and salty and sweet and tart all at once.

This lemongrass-heavy version with grilled chicken is my favorite way to make bun at home. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Lemongrass chicken with rice noodles

Ingredients:

For the nuoc cham:

1/2 cup warm water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste

For the marinade:

1/4 cup roughly chopped lemongrass
3 tablespoons roughly chopped shallot
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon pepper


1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 (8-ounce) package uncooked thin rice stick noodles
4 cups lettuce, thinly sliced
1 Persian cucumber, julienned
1/2 cup torn fresh mint
1/2 cup torn fresh Thai or other basil
Vegetable oil, for grilling

2/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts or cashews, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup crispy fried shallots

1. Make the nuoc cham: Stir together water, lime juice, and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Add additional lime juice to taste; dilute with water if flavors are too strong. Stir in fish sauce; add additional fish sauce to taste.

2. Marinade the chicken: Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor; pulse until mixture is pureed. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add chicken to marinade in bowl, mixing to coat. Cover, refrigerate, and marinade chicken for 2 to 6 hours.

3. When ready to cook, boil noodles in a pot of water until chewy-tender (cook time will depend on brand). Drain and rinse under cold water; drain again. Divide lettuce and cucumber among 4 large serving bowls. Sprinkle bowls evenly with mint and basil. Top evenly with noodles.

4. Heat a grill pan over medium-high. Lightly brush chicken with oil. Place chicken on hot grill pan; cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is slightly charred and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, let cool for 2 minutes, and slice into bite-sized pieces.

5. Divide chicken among bowls. Top bowls evenly with peanuts and fried shallots. Serve with nuoc cham as an accompaniment.

Hummus with Spiced Zucchini and Lamb

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Continuing along our theme of oops, I grew too much zucchini this summer and now I don’t know what to do with it, I present to you this one-dish meal. (Or appetizer, if you like.) Serve this with pita bread or you know, do like me and eat it by the spoonful. It’s that satisfying.

Hummus with spiced zucchini and lamb

Ingredients:

2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground lamb or beef
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
1 pound zucchini, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped parsley

1. Make the hummus: Process chickpeas in a food processor until ground, about 30 seconds. Add garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt and process until smooth. With motor running, drizzle in ½ cup water and process until hummus is very smooth, light, and creamy. Spoon onto a large platter.

2. Make the lamb: Mix together remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add lamb and press into a large 1 1/2-thick patty; sprinkle with half of spice mixture and half of garlic. Cook, without moving, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn over in pieces and cook until other side is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, breaking up and stirring, until cooked through, about 4 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, scoop lamb over hummus.

3. Discard fat and wipe out skillet. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over high. Cook zucchini in a single layer, undisturbed, until browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining spice mixture and garlic and cook, stirring, until squash is coated and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Spoon squash over lamb. Top with parsley and serve with pita.