Braised Fresh Black-Eyed Peas With Baby Turnips

1 bunch baby white turnips with greens, such as Hokkaido (8 ounces)
4 tablespoons French-style unsalted butter
2 small red onions, diced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh black-eyed peas in pods, shelled
Fresh mint leaves

Remove the green tops from the turnips, and cut the turnips into quarters or sixths depending on size. Separate leaves from stems and discard stems; wash leaves.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 3- to 4-quart shallow stovetop braiser over medium heat. Sweat onion in butter for 1 minute, until translucent. Add turnips and sweat 2 minutes, until glossy and starting to “shine.”

Run a knife through the leaves once, maybe twice, and add to the pot. Season with a healthy pinch of salt and stir until leaves are also starting to sweat and wilt.

Add peas and 1 cup of water. Season with two large pinches of salt (restaurant-chef pinches, not home-cook pinches). Cover. Reduce heat. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Stir. Add 1 cup water. Add pinch salt. Re-cover. Simmer for 10 more minutes.

Stir. Simmer for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until beans are cooked and soft and starchy inside, turnips are cooked and water has turned grayish purple. Taste for salt and season. Let cool completely on stovetop with heat off.

Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow everything to meld and settle. Serve the next day, reheated over low until tepid, stirring in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to melt gently into the broth. Finish with a shower of fresh mint and ground black pepper.

Pepperoni Pasta With Lemon and Garlic

1 pound medium pasta shells or orecchiette
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
6 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced, then coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, cracked with a mortar and pestle or the side of a chef’s knife
Pinch of red-pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 small lemon, zested (if your lemon is very large, just zest half of it)
3/4 cup torn fresh basil or parsley leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
Grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, according to package directions, until about 2 minutes shy of al dente so that the pasta can finish cooking in the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium. Add pepperoni and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisped and brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

If the pan looks dry, drizzle in a little more oil. Add garlic, fennel seeds, red-pepper flakes (if using) and a large pinch of salt, and cook until garlic is lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook until it darkens, about 1 minute.

Add the drained pasta, lemon zest and 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Stir until the pasta is al dente and well coated with the sauce. Add more pasta water, if needed, until the sauce is glossy and the pasta is cooked to taste.

Cut the zested lemon in half and squeeze some juice into the pasta. Stir in herbs and taste, adding more lemon juice and salt, if needed. Cut the remaining half lemon into wedges and serve it alongside the pasta, which should be garnished with more herbs and a drizzle of oil, and sprinkled with Parmesan, if you like.

Cucumber-Tomato Salad with Seared Halloumi

1 pound slightly stale sourdough or country bread, thickly sliced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

4 to 5 cups cucumber chunks, preferably thin-skinned, such as Kirby or Persian
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved, or ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
8 to 12 ounces halloumi or bread cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion or scallions, plus more to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint or basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed

Make the croutons: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each slice of bread into 1-inch-wide strips. Tear each strip into 1-inch pieces, removing the crust as you go if it is very thick. Transfer to a large baking sheet (or use 2 sheets, if necessary to prevent crowding). Drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated.

Bake until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet and turning the croutons halfway through so they brown evenly, and checking them every few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a light sprinkling of salt, if needed. Let cool on the baking sheet.

Make the salad: In a colander in the sink, toss the cucumbers with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place a bag of ice cubes or an ice pack on top to chill and firm the cucumbers. Let drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Slice the halloumi about 1/4-inch thick, then cut into bite-size strips. Smash and peel the garlic cloves and combine with 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl to steep.

Pour off excess liquid from the bowl holding the tomatoes. Add drained cucumbers, red onion or scallions, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons vinegar to tomatoes and toss well. Remove and discard the garlic cloves from the extra-virgin olive oil, add the oil to tomatoes and mix well. (If desired, the salad can be made up until this point and refrigerated for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain off excess liquid in the bottom of the bowl before proceeding.)

When ready to serve, add about half the croutons to the salad and toss so they can absorb the liquid. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar.
Cook the halloumi: Line a plate with paper towels and lightly coat a nonstick skillet with extra-virgin olive oil. Heat oil over medium-high until rippling. Working in batches, cook the halloumi strips on both sides until golden-brown and crusty, about 1 minute per side. Remove to the plate to drain.

Taste and add more croutons to salad as desired. (If there are too many, the salad will be starchy; too few, and it will be wet.) At the last minute, toss in the halloumi, add another good glug of extra-virgin olive oil, mix gently and serve immediately. (If desired, transfer to a clean bowl or platter for serving.)

No-Bake Cheesecake With Caramelized Pineapple and Coconut

1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups/225 grams fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes (from about 1/2 small pineapple)

6 tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter (3/4 stick), melted, plus more for greasing the pan
7 ounces/200 grams gingersnaps, from about 28 (2-inch) cookies
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 (13-ounce/400-milliliter) can full-fat coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
16 ounces/450 grams cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon lime zest plus 2 tablespoons juice (from 2 limes)
Toasted coconut flakes (optional), for topping

Make the caramelized pineapple: Heat a medium saucepan over medium until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and make a dry caramel by adding the sugar in an even layer. The sugar should begin melting into a clear syrup once it hits the pan. If it browns immediately, your pan is too hot and the heat should be turned down. Allow the sugar to melt, stirring with a heat-safe spatula to cover any dry spots, about 3 minutes. As the crystals melt, the syrup will change color from light to golden brown, about 5 minutes. Once melted, continue to stir and cook the syrup until it is a deep amber color, 2 to 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low, and very carefully, to avoid splatter, add the pineapple all at once. Immediately cover with a lid to prevent the hot liquid from bubbling over. Once the bubbling slows after 1 to 2 minutes, stir the mixture to melt any hard chunks of caramel that have formed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the pineapple pieces to steep in the caramel syrup until they are infused, at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight in the refrigerator). The pineapple will turn a deeper yellow as it steeps, and will develop a more pronounced caramel taste.
(Caramelized pineapple can be made up to 1 week ahead, refrigerated and stored in the syrup.)

Using a fork, remove the pineapple pieces from the syrup, transfer them to a food processor to purée, or finely chop. Reserve and refrigerate the leftover caramel syrup for another use.

Make the crust: Lightly grease and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on two sides. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps until they form coarse crumbs. (Alternatively, place gingersnaps in a resealable bag and crush with a wine bottle or rolling pin.) You should have about 1 1/2 cups crumbs.

Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl; stir in the melted butter, sugar and salt. The crumbs should look slightly wet and clump up when pressed together in your palm. Pour the mixture into prepared pan and spread to completely cover the bottom. Use the flat side of a measuring cup to compress, push and flatten the crumbs to cover the base and about 3/4-inch up the sides. Refrigerate while you make the filling. (Crust can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.)

Make the filling: In a small saucepan off the heat, combine 1/2 cup/120 milliliters coconut milk with the gelatin and allow to bloom, about 5 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sugar, salt, lime zest and juice on the lowest setting until smooth. Heat the coconut milk-gelatin mixture on low to melt, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the coconut milk to cool down the mixture. Scrape down the bowl and switch to the whisk attachment. Slowly pour in the coconut milk mixture with the mixer on the lowest setting. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed. As the coconut milk incorporates, the mixer speed can gradually be increased to medium to make sure the mixture is smooth throughout.

Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and dot the top with teaspoonfuls of the pineapple purée. Some spoonfuls will sink in to create lovely pockets of pineapple within the cream filling, which is fine! Chill at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
To unmold, run a knife or an offset spatula along the sides of the pan to loosen the crust. Lift both sides of the parchment and move cake to a board. Slice into 9 to 12 squares with a clean, warm knife, top each square with toasted coconut if using.