I didn’t know what to call this cocktail, so I made it literal. There’s aperol. There’s rum. There’s pineapple. There’s more to it, but essentially it tastes like a tropical island without the saccharine sweetness that overwhelms so many tiki-style drinks. It comes together in a cinch, making it perfect for a lazy summer day.
1/4 cup sugar
1 ounce Aperol
1 ounce spiced dark rum
1 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
1. Combine sugar and 1/4 water in a bowl and mix until sugar is dissolved to make simple syrup.
2. Combine Aperol, rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, and 1/4 ounce syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover and shake vigorously 30 seconds. Strain into a glass filled to the brim with crushed ice and garnish with mint, if desired.
The first time I had cumin beef was decades ago at an Islamic Chinese restaurant in San Francisco. The silk road influences were obvious: cumin is often used in Ughyur cuisine in China’s Xingjiang Province, in tandem with loads of garlic and chiles. I was hooked.
This fragrant dish is a cinch to make and takes me right back to that first time I tasted Muslim Chinese cuisine. Serve this with rice for an easy weeknight meal.
1 pound trimmed sirloin steak
2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon potato flour
1 green or red bell pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
3 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 fresh red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes, to taste
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1. Cut the beef into thin slices. In a medium bowl, stir the marinade ingredients with 1 tablespoon water and add the beef, mixing to coat. Cut the peppers into 1-inch strips, then cut diagonally into diamond-shaped slices.
2. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a wok over high heat. Add the beef and stir-fry until just cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove beef from the wok and set aside.
3. Return the wok to the heat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the garlic and chili pepper, and stir-fry until hot and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Return the beef to the wok and add the cumin and dried chiles, continuing to stir-fry until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Just before removing from the heat, add the green onions and stir. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and serve.
Iranian cuisine has all manners of frittata, which are typically called kuku: herb kuku, potato kuku, eggplant kuku — you get the picture. But I’d never had varagheh growing up, which is basically kuku’s cousin: an herby, garlicy egg dish layered with stacks of eggplant and tomato. In other words, a Persian summer in a cast-iron skillet.
Adapted from Naz Deravian’s Bottom of the Pot cookbook, this northern Iranian dish has become one of my favorite Iranian recipes. You can make this ahead of time, cut it into wedges, and serve it at room temperature, but be careful: these go fast.
1 pound Japanese eggplant, sliced into 1⁄2-inch-thick rounds
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
1 heaping tablespoon minced tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tomatoes, sliced into 1⁄4-inch rounds
1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
2. Toss eggplant with 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then spread out on baking sheet. Roast until tender, turning once halfway through, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, then lower heat to 400F degrees.
3. While eggplant roasts, beat eggs with garlic, tarragon, capers, remaining 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
4. Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add butter and remaining 1 tbsp. oil. When sizzling, add half of tomatoes in a layer (overlapping if needed), and layer with half of eggplant. Repeat with remaining tomatoes and eggplant. Pour in eggs.
5. Bake until set and edges are slightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.
Things seemed a little iffy when I started making this salad, adapted from a Food & Wine recipe. What business did anchovies, mayonnaise, Chinese sausage, dill, and tomatoes have on the same plate? I made some adjustments (turkey chorizo instead of Chinese sausage, the addition of yogurt to lighten the mayo, less oil) and you know what? This is one of the most delicious things I’ve made all year.
Make this recipe when tomatoes are at their peak, and make a lot. This salad is a cacophony of flavors in the best way ever.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 tablespoons butter
2 anchovy fillets, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 pound Mexican-style turkey chorizo
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped dill
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
1/3 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 to 8 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1. In a medium saucepan, cook the olive oil, garlic and butter over moderate heat, whisking frequently, until the garlic just starts to color, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the anchovies and cook, whisking, until the garlic is golden, 5 minutes more. Transfer the bagna cauda to a heatproof medium bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the crushed red pepper and let the bagna cauda cool completely, stirring occasionally. Season with salt.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high and add the chorizo. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chorizo is browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a medium bowl.
3. In a small bowl, mix the chives with the parsley, dill and mint. In a medium bowl, whisk the Kewpie mayo with the yogurt, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the mixed herbs. Season the herbed dressing with salt.
5. Spread the herbed dressing on a platter. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Spoon the bagna cauda on top, then sprinkle with the chorizo, and remaining mixed herbs. Serve at room temperature.
Creamy avocadoes, crisp cucumbers, and juicy tomatoes: this salad celebrates a California summer in all its glory. Adapted from an old Sunset magazine, use the best quality avocados and tomatoes you can get your hands on here. Freshness makes all the difference.
4 Persian cucumbers, sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
1 or 2 medium tomatoes, cut into slices
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, halved and sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1. Arrange medium tomato slices and cucumbers on a serving platter, followed by cherry tomatoes and avocado slices.
2. Whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar and drizzle over salad.