Pressure Cooker Green Tomato Chutney

1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafetida optional
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1-2 jalapeños
4 green tomatoes roughly chopped (around 2 pounds)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar or jaggery

Turn Instant Pot to sauté(more) mode and heat oil. Add mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. This may take 2-3 minutes. Add asafetida, turmeric, jalapeños, green tomatoes, and salt.

Give a quick stir. Add brown sugar. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve set to sealing.

Pressure Cook (low pressure) for 5 minutes followed by quick release or natural pressure release.

Open Instant Pot and set to sauté mode. Mash the tomatoes using a masher, cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Mix well and enjoy!

Kakdi Koshimbir (Indian Cucumber Salad)

4 small Persian cucumbers
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds lightly crushed in the palm of your hand
1/8 teaspoon asafetida
1 small green chili sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons peanuts roasted and ground
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped finely for garnish

Peel the cucumbers, finely dice and keep in a medium bowl.
Heat ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Lightly crush cumin seeds in the palm of your hands and add to the hot ghee. Allow the cumin seeds to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add hing and green chili and cook for another 30 seconds.

Pour the tempering on the chopped cucumbers. Add salt, sugar, peanuts, and cilantro. Mix well and serve immediately.

If making ahead of time, hold on the salt and sugar and add them just before serving. This helps the cucumber not release too much water. Leftover koshimbir can be refrigerated for a day.

Notes:
To make it vegan simply use any neutral oil instead of ghee.

You can skip the peeling cucumbers or peel them partially.

Powdered hing often contains wheat flour, but gluten-free versions are also available.

Add salt and sugar just before serving so the cucumbers do not release too much water.

Pick out the chili before eating unless you like super spicy food 🙂

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad

2 Persian cucumbers
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic finely minced

Dressing:
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp chili oil optional
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional

Wash the cucumber and then pat dry. Cut the cucumber into about 1/2-inch thick slices. Try to cut as evenly as possible so every piece is roughly about the same size.

Add salt and let it marinate for 1 hour. The salt will draw out water from the cucumber, which will make the cucumber crisp.

Rinse off excess salt with clean water. Pat the cucumber really dry.

Mix all dressing ingredients for seasonings and stir to combine.

Pour the seasonings over the cucumber. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour if possible. This cucumber salad tastes even better when it’s chilled.

Buttermilk Sheet Cake With Peaches and Blueberries

16 tablespoons (226 grams; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
3 cups (360 grams) flour
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt or fine sea salt
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup well shaken buttermilk, preferably full-fat
3 peeled, pitted peaches, sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 2 cups; see NOTE; can use frozen)
1 cup (150 grams) fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper so the 2 shorter sides overhang a bit (for lifting the cake out of the pan.) Grease the paper with a little butter.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Combine the 16 tablespoons of butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat on medium speed, 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl from time to time.

Add the vanilla extract to the buttermilk and stir to combine. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture in two or three additions, ending with the flour, mixing until just barely incorporated. Use a flexible spatula to gently fold the batter a bit more by hand, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to work in any residual dry ingredients. Once the batter looks combined with no white streaks, scrape it into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula.

Arrange peach slices on the top and scatter the blueberries evenly over the peaches. Bake (middle rack) for about 1 hour (start checking after 50 to 55 minutes), until the cake is golden brown on the edges and begins to pull away from the sides. During the baking, the batter will puff up over the fruit; once the cake cools, it will deflate a bit.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (in the pan). Lift the cake using the parchment paper ends, then discard the paper and cut into 15 to 20 squares.

NOTE: To peel peaches, plunge them it into boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl of ice water. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. The riper the peach, the less time it needs in the boiling water.

Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce (Suan Ni Pai Huan Gua)

1 cucumber (about 11 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons light soy sauce (not same as reduced-sodium soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon Chinkiang vinegar
2 tablespoons chile oil
1 to 2 pinches ground roasted Sichuan pepper (optional)

Lay the cucumber on a chopping board and smack it hard a few times with the flat blade of a Chinese cleaver or with a rolling pin. Then cut it, lengthways, into four pieces. Hold your knife at an angle to the chopping board and cut the cucumber on the diagonal into 1/8- to 3/8-inch slices.

Place in a bowl with the salt, mix well and set aside for about 10 minutes.

Combine all the other ingredients (garlic, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, chile oil and Sichuan pepper, if using) in a small bowl.

Drain the cucumber, pour the sauce over them, stir well and serve.

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

3 ripe, delicious smelling peaches, halved
6 oz baby arugula (or other favorite green)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, or fresh mini mozzarella balls
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
10 basil leaves, cut into ribbons. Purple basil is pretty.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ( white balsamic is nice, or use regular)
1 Tablespoon honey or maple
4 Tablespoons olive oil
generous pinch salt and pepper

If grilling the peaches, preheat the grill. ( You don’t have to grill them)

Mix the vinaigrette together in a small bowl or jar.

Wash peaches, rubbing the fuzz off with your fingers under running water ( or uses a dry towel). Half the peaches, scoop out the seeds and brush with a little olive oil. Grill for 4-6 minutes over medium heat uncovered until they have noticeable grill marks. Using a metal spatula gently turn over and grill one more minute. Try to keep peach in tact. Cut peaches into wedges.

Toss greens, onions, basil leaves, slivered almonds and goat cheese in a medium bowl with some of the vinaigrette. You may have some leftover. Place the grilled peaches on top, sprinkle witih optional nasturshim petals.

Peach and Berry Skillet Cobbler

7–8 fresh peaches – 2 lbs, peeled (optional) sliced into chunks or slices ( about 3 cups total ) or sub plums or nectarines. ( see notes)
1 cup fresh berries (optional – sub blackberries, blueberries)
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cobbler topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( or use a GF flour blend) or half whole wheat
1/3 cup sugar ( or sugar substitute like coconut sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons, or 3/4 cup ) melted, and then cooled slightly (or use coconut oil)

FOR SPRINKLING:

turbanado sugar ( optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

In a large bowl, combine peaches, sugar ( see notes) spices, salt, lemon juice, vanilla and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and gently fold in berries. Taste and adjust sugar, adding more, if berries are particularly tart.

Place the fruit only, in a greased 10 inch cast iron skillet, and heat over the stove over medium heat, until just bubbling and hot in the center about 8-9 minutes. If this looks overly “juicy” feel free to spoon out some of the liquid ( this mostly happens with over ripe fruit and plums).

While this is heating, make the topping. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.

Mix the melted butter into the flour and sugar and combine to form a crumbly dough.

Pat handfuls of dough into 2 inch-wide disks, 1/2-inch thick. They dont have to look perfect.

Add disks to the top, overlapping a little bit if you like, sprinkle crumbles of the remaining dough, into all the nooks and crannies, and place in the hot oven and bake until bubbly, golden and crispy, about 45 -55. minutes – checking at 20-30 minutes to see if it’s getting too dark and if so, rotate or lightly cover with foil for a bit.

Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Blueberries will most likely need less sugar, start conservatively. Huckleberries are pretty tart and may need more.

To get the biscuit topping crispy, golden and cooked all the through, make sure to add it after the fruit is heated and bubbly ( either stovetop or in the oven.) Bigger dollops of topping may require you to cook longer and cover the cobbler with foil for part of the baking time, to prevent them from getting too dark.

Farm-Style Peach Galette

Pie Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
10 tablespoons cold butter – cut into 10 pieces
1/4 – 1/3 cup cold water
Filling

8–9 medium peaches, perfectly ripe – sliced into ½-¾ inch slices (about 6–7 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 – 1/2cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar ( more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
—–
1 tablespoon butter- optional
1 beaten egg
sugar for sprinkling
fresh thyme or garnish
serve with vanilla ice-cream (optional)

Make the pie crust: Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add butter, then pulse repeatedly (15-20 times) until it resembles course sand with some larger pea sized clumps of butter. Turn processor on and gradually add water,just until dough clumps together and forms a shaggy ball. You may need to add a little more or little less. Just until it clumps together.

Gather up and place on a well-floured piece of parchment, flouring the top as well. Form into a round ball, then flatten into a neat and tidy 1-inch thick disk about 7 inches wide. Wrap in parchment and refrigerate 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 4ooF

Gently rub peach fuzz off the peaches with a terry cloth towel or rub it off under cold running water. Pat dry. Leaving the clean, defuzed skins on, slice peaches into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick wedges. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice, flour, sugar salt and spices, mix very gently, to combine. If you like a juicier pie, only add ¼ cup flour. Or, for a thicker consistency, add up to ¼ cup more flour. Taste for sweetness. The sweeter and riper the peaches the less sugar you will need- but note you do need at least ½ cup sugar to get the right consistency when baking. Add more sugar to taste. Set aside. The lemon juice is not just for flavor, it adds vibrancy to the color of the cooked peaches and helps the consistency- so don’t leave this out.

Roll out the dough: Neaten the edges, flip and begin rolling it out on the floured parchement, from the center out to the edges- while keeping the underneath surface well-floured to prevent sticking. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick or roughly 14 inches in diameter. Carefully lift pie dough and place in a 10 1/2-inch wide cast iron skillet, gently pressing it into corners and sides. Sprinkle the bottom with a tablespoon of flour, this helps the crust to not get soggy.

Spoon in the pie filling, and arrange peaches nicely just in the top middle area where they will show. Dot with a little butter if you like.

Fold the raggedy edges of the crust over itself about 1/4 inch or so, just to clean up the edges.

Then carefully draw the crust up over the filling, folding and overlapping in the same direction, every 2 inches or so. It need not be perfect.

Brush the top of the crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Place on the middle rack of a 400 F oven for 15 minutes.

Turn heat down to 375F and continue baking until deeply golden and bubbly, about 35-40 minutes.

If crust starts to get too brown, lover heat to 350, or cover the edges with foil – this doesn’t usually happen, but every oven is different!

When done, let rest 20 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with vanilla ice-cream and enjoy!!

Notes:
You can also just bake this on the parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake at 375 the whole time- 40-45 minutes.

Chili Lime Chicken with Glazed Peaches

1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or ground chipotle

1–2 teaspoons salt
1– 1 1/4 lb skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

2 shallots, sliced into thin rings ( about 1/2 cup)
2 large peaches, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
2 tablespoons lime juice, more for garnish
1 tablespoon honey
Garnish: cilantro and lime wedges

Preheat oven to 400 F

In a small bowl mix chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne

Season both sides of chicken generously with salt. ( a good guideline is 1 teaspoon salt per 1 pound chicken)

Coat and rub all sides of the chicken with the spice mix.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and sear the chicken, top side down until deeply golden. (If using skin-on, get that skin crispy!). Turn and sear 2 minutes then place chicken on foil, or on a sheet pan in the 400 F oven and let it finish cooki guess all the way through, about 10 minutes.

To the same skillet, over medium heat add the shallots. Saute stirring often until tender about 3-4 minutes. Add the peaches. Gently saute for 2 minutes, turning them over after they just begin to soften and caramelize. Squeeze with a couple of tablespoons of lime juice and drizzle 1 tablespoon honey, stir carefully with the goal of keeping the peaches intact. Once they are heated through turn heat off.

To serve: Either nestle the chicken back into the skillet with the peaches, squeeze chicken with lime and garnish with cilantro, or place all on a platter, spooning the flavorful pan juices over top, garnishing last.

Cottage Cheese Pasta With Tomatoes, Scallions and Currants

1/4 cup dried currants (or chopped raisins)
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for boiling the pasta
1 pound short pasta, such as farfalle, cavatelli or fusilli
4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 cup whole milk cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
1/2 cup torn mint leaves, plus more for serving
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley, plus more for serving
Ground cinnamon, for serving (optional)
Flaky sea salt, for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put currants in a small bowl and ladle a little of the boiling water over them to cover. Let soak for 10 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, salt the remaining water in the pot. When it returns to a boil, add pasta. Cook according to package instructions until al dente, usually 1 minute less than the package directs. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

In a large serving bowl, combine scallions, tomatoes, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

When the currants are soaked, add them to the bowl with the tomatoes and toss to combine. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Add pasta to the serving bowl, along with cottage cheese, pepper and a few splashes of reserved pasta water (about 1/4 cup), and toss until evenly coated. If pasta looks dry, add a little more pasta cooking water, a tablespoon at a time. Stir in herbs. Taste, and add more salt and lemon, if needed.

To serve, top with a dusting of ground cinnamon (if you like), flaky salt, a lot of black pepper, and more olive oil and herbs. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Comeback Sauce

FOR THE TOMATOES
3 medium, firm green tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
Smoked salt (may substitute kosher salt)
2 large eggs
1 cup whole or low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons store-bought or homemade Cajun or Creole seasoning blend (see related recipe)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup vegetable oil, such as canola

FOR THE SAUCE
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Generous 1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon store-bought or homemade Cajun or Creole seasoning blend (see related recipe)
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Make the tomatoes: Place the sliced tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet or large platter and sprinkle on both sides with the smoked salt. Let them rest for at least 5 minutes.

In a large, shallow bowl or pie dish, beat the eggs and then add buttermilk, whisking until combined. In a separate shallow bowl or pie dish, stir together the flour, Cajun/Creole seasoning, cayenne (if using), cornmeal and panko. Dip each tomato slice in the egg mixture and then the flour mixture, using the tines of a fork to move them (fingers tend to rub off the breading). Repeat the process. Double-dipping ensures a wonderfully crisp crust. Transfer the coated slices to a separate rimmed baking sheet. Every so often, scrape off the buildup of the flour mixture that will probably accumulate on the fork, but save a little on the side for testing the frying oil’s temperature. Let the breaded tomato slices rest for at least 10 minutes (about as long as it takes for the oil to heat up) to help the coating set.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. If you have an instant-read thermometer, check the temperature of the oil, aiming for around 300 degrees. You also can test by dropping in a small clump of the moistened breading into the oil. It should immediately start bubbling and turn golden. If the oil just soaks into the breading with very little action, it’s not ready.

In batches, fry as many tomatoes as you can fit in the skillet without crowding (we did about 5), for 3 to 4 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side. Halfway through each batch, rotate the slices 180 degrees to ensure even browning. The oil should maintain a lively bubble, but if it’s too vigorous or the breading is edging toward burned, reduce the heat as needed.

Transfer the tomatoes to a rimmed baking sheet or large platter (from the first step, just wipe it dry) lined with a double layer of paper towels to drain. Let cool slightly (the tomatoes can be very hot inside) while you make the sauce.

Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, honey, hot sauce, Cajun/Creole seasoning and Worcestershire sauce until thoroughly combined.

Serve the tomatoes warm with the sauce on the side for dipping.

Ritz Carlton Blueberry Muffins

3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt, optional
5 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
5 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 or 5 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
Additional sugar for topping

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients together. Stir in eggs, milk and butter; do not overmix. Carefully stir in berries.

Grease the top of large muffin tins. Insert paper cups and spoon batter to the top of the paper cups. Sprinkle generously with sugar.

Reduce heat to 400 degrees, place muffin tins on middle shelf of oven. Bake about 25 minutes, until muffins are golden brown. Remove from muffin tins and cool.

Stir-Fried Garlic Scapes with Pork, Chicken, or Beef

8 ounces pork shoulder (cut into thin, 2-inch strips; can also use pork loin, pork butt, or even pork belly)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

FOR THE REST OF THE DISH:

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
(divided)
5 dried chili peppers (optional)
1 teaspoon ginger (finely julienned)
1 medium carrot (julienned into 2 x 1/4-inch lengths)
10 ounces garlic scapes (cut into 2-inch pieces)
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1/3 cup chicken stock or water
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons light soy sauce (or to taste)
2 teaspoons cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

In a medium bowl, add the pork, cornstarch, water, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and vegetable oil. Mix well and set aside for 20 minutes.

Place the wok over high heat until it is just starting to smoke. Spread 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil around the perimeter of the wok. Spread the pork on the wok in one layer, and sear for 1 minute on each side. Remove the pork from the wok, and set aside. (For more tips on searing meat, see Judy’s post on how to keep food from sticking to your wok.)

Add ½ tablespoon oil to the wok. Add the dried chilies, ginger, carrots, and garlic scapes. Stir-fry over medium high heat for 1 minute to give the scapes a good sear. Add the Shaoxing wine. Continue to stir-fry for another 20 seconds.
Add the chicken stock or water, and increase the heat to high. Push everything into the middle of the wok, cover, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the cover and stir the vegetables around the super hot perimeter of the wok to create some wok hei.

Next, add the cooked pork and its juices, along with the ground white pepper, sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Continue to stir-fry at high heat for another 20 seconds. Give it a taste and re-season according to your own taste.

Add the cornstarch slurry, being sure to pour it directly into the standing liquid, and stir-fry for another 15 seconds. Transfer to a serving plate. Served with

One-Bowl Skyr Cheesecake

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup (133 grams) plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
2 cups (16 ounces/453 grams) plain low-fat skyr (Icelandic yogurt), at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Wrap the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with foil and place it on a large, rimmed baking sheet.

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer (or in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until very smooth, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer, add 2/3 cup of the sugar and beat, starting on medium-low speed and increasing to medium-high until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then add the skyr, vanilla and lemon zest and beat on medium until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between additions, and beat until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 15 minutes, then, keeping the cake in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes, or until the cake is just set but still jiggles a little in the middle. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour. Then, keeping the cake in the pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

When ready to serve, in a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and the lemon juice. Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan before unmolding. Serve each slice of cheesecake topped with a mound of the strawberries.

Yogurt Parfait with Warmed Strawberries

2 cups strawberries, quartered 2 Tbsp turbinado sugar
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
Granola, as much as you desire
Whip cream, as much as you desire

Slice the strawberries into quarters.

Line the air fryer basket with perforated parchment paper (optional) and place the strawberries in the air fryer. Sprinkle the sugar on the strawberries and air fry at 400°F for 8 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl, add in the yogurt, honey, mixing to combine.

Place the yogurt and honey mixture in small glasses, filling the glass 1?4 of the way full. Add the same amount of strawberries and granola on top. Repeat those steps until the glasses are full.

Place whip cream at the very top.

Cauliflower Adobo

1 large cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
1/2 cup rice-wine vinegar
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons raw or light brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 bay leaves
1 Thai chile, halved lengthwise, or 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 scallions, thinly sliced, for serving

Trim leaves and woody stalk from the cauliflower, then cut through the root into 8 wedges. Season both sides of each wedge with salt and pepper. Reserve any loose cauliflower pieces.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place one layer of the wedges in the skillet cut-side down and cook without moving them until well browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and continue until all the cauliflower is seared, adding more oil as needed. Return all the cauliflower to the pan with uncooked side facing down.

Add 1/4 cup water, any loose cauliflower pieces, 2 teaspoons black pepper, rice-wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, bay leaves and Thai chile. Cover and let simmer over medium heat until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Uncover, turn the heat to medium-high, and cook, basting the cauliflower occasionally with the sauce, until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce has thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve the cauliflower with plenty of sauce and a sprinkle of scallions.

Quick Pickled Zucchini and Summer Squash

1 lb patty pan, crookneck or zucchini squash-or enough to fill four small 4 oz jars- (pick squash no bigger in diameter than the width of the jars you will be using).
1 small onion or shallot, sliced thin
1 tablespoon salt
1 garlic clove, sliced – per jar
1 T fresh dill -per jar
1 tsp mustard seeds– per jar
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns– per jar
1 small red chile, sliced thin

Pickling Liquid

1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or sub more white vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Using a mandolin, carefully slice the summer squash. If using a knife, make sure to cut pieces as evenly as possible, to the same thickness. Thicker slices will result in a crunchier pickle. Paper-thin will be softer.

Slice the small onion, or shallot. Toss both onion and squash in a bowl with a tablespoon of salt and let drain in a colander or strainer over a bowl for 2 hours or overnight. Pat dry.

Make the pickling solution: In a small pot, bring white wine vinegar, water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves, let cool slightly.

In each 4 oz jar, add about a tablespoon of fresh dill, a teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, a few slices of chile pepper and sliced garlic cloves. You could also try experimenting with other seeds like whole coriander, cumin, or fennel seed. Then layer the squash and onion in jars, and top off with the pickling liquid.

Press down on the squash. Seal, and let cool in the fridge.

notes

These will keep for up to 2-3 weeks.

Israeli Salad

2 extra large tomatoes, finely diced
1 English cucumber, finely diced
1 cup red onion, finely chopped (1/2 of a medium red onion)
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup fresh herbs (Italian parsley, mint or cilantro, or a mix of all three)
zest of one lemon
Lemon juice (start with ½ a lemon, add more to taste)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Chop the first 6 ingredients into a very small fine dice. The smaller, the better. Take your time with this and a sharp knife really makes this easier!

Place in a large bowl and toss with the lemon zest, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper.

Taste and adjust lemon and salt to your liking.

Pork Fried Rice With Corn and Shishito Peppers

2 cups cooked white rice (12 ounces; 350g)
2 1/2 tablespoons (40ml) vegetable or canola oil, divided
6 ounces (170g) fresh corn kernels, cut from 1 to 2 ears of corn
2 scallions, sliced, whites and greens reserved separately (1 ounce; 30g)
12 shishito peppers, thinly sliced, or 1 green bell pepper, finely diced (about 6 ounces; 170g)
6 ounces (170g) leftover roast pork or ham, finely diced
1 teaspoon (5ml) soy sauce
1 teaspoon (5ml) toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt
Ground white pepper
1 large egg

If using day-old rice, transfer to a medium bowl and break rice up into individual grains with your hands before proceeding. Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until rice is pale brown and toasted and has a lightly chewy texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining rice.

2.
Return wok to heat and add 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred on several surfaces, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl with rice and toss to combine.

If using day-old rice, transfer to a medium bowl and break rice up into individual grains with your hands before proceeding. Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until rice is pale brown and toasted and has a lightly chewy texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining rice.

Return wok to heat and add 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred on several surfaces, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl with rice and toss to combine.

Return all rice and corn to wok and press it up the sides, leaving a space in the middle. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to the space. Add scallion whites, peppers, and pork and cook, stirring gently, until lightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Toss with rice to combine. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Push rice to the side of wok and add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Break egg into oil and season with a little salt. Use a spatula to scramble egg, breaking it up into small bits. Toss egg and rice together.

Return all rice and corn to wok and press it up the sides, leaving a space in the middle. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to the space. Add scallion whites, peppers, and pork and cook, stirring gently, until lightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Toss with rice to combine. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Push rice to the side of wok and add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Break egg into oil and season with a little salt. Use a spatula to scramble egg, breaking it up into small bits. Toss egg and rice together.

Add scallion greens and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Extra Crunchy Fruit Crumble

FOR THE TOPPING:
1 1/2 cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/50 grams rolled oats
1/3 cup/75 grams light or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup/65 grams granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, ginger or allspice, or use lemon zest
1/2 cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled

FOR THE FILLING:
2 to 5 tablespoon light brown sugar (or granulated sugar), depending on the sweetness of the fruit
2 tablespoons cornstarch
8 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen), or cubed peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, or pitted sweet cherries (or a combination)
Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the topping: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugars, salt and spices. Stir in butter. Using your hands, squish mixture until coarse crumbs form. Some should be about 1/2-inch in size, some smaller.

Spread topping in one layer onto a rimmed baking sheet. (You don’t have to grease it first.) Bake until crumbs are solid when you gently poke them, and are fragrant, about 15 minutes. They won’t change appearance very much. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool while you make the filling. (Crumbs can be baked up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)
Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch until well combined. Add fruit and gently toss to coat with the sugar mixture. Pour filling into an ungreased 2-quart gratin dish or 10-inch cake pan, mounding the fruit in the center.

Spoon crumbs over filling and place the crumble dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any overflowing juices. (You can use the same baking sheet you cooked the crumbs on.) Bake until filling bubbles energetically around the edges, about 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if you like. Crumble can be made up to 8 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, or warmed up briefly in a 350-degree oven.