I love this Mexican condiment for its bold flavors and easy prep—no machines needed, just a good sharp knife to dice the main ingredients. Besides being a delicious dip for chips and veggies, it’s a great condiment for grilled chicken and fish for your next Taco Tuesday.
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 large fresh tomatoes or 6 canned Roma tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 1 jalapeño or other chile pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (leaves and some stems)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Coarse sea salt
- Black Lime
Mince the garlic and set aside. Dice the tomatoes and onion. Wearing gloves to keep the powerful oils off your skin, slice the jalapeño in half lengthwise and use a small spoon to scrape out the ribs and seeds, and then cut it into a small dice. Place the vegetables in a large bowl along with the garlic and cilantro, and toss well. Fold in the cumin and lime juice. Taste, add a few twists of the black peppercorn grinder and a sprinkle of the salt, and taste again, adding more salt and pepper as desired. Let the flavors meld at room temperature for 30 minutes and then refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, top with a sprinkle of black lime.
Yields about 2 cups
Delicious all year round, this is a crunchy, flavorful vegetarian version of the Asian classic. For a more traditional filling, start with a row of boiled shrimp and sautéed slices of pork belly. When serving, dip the rolls in the vinaigrette first—a great “dressing” for the veggies wrapped inside—then the peanut sauce, for a second jolt of flavor. Rice paper wrappers come dried, so you can store them in your pantry.
For the vinaigrette dipping sauce:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chili sauce, such as Sriracha
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
For the peanut dipping sauce:
- 2/3 cup crunchy-style peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste or hot sauce
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Up to 1/3 cup water, as needed
For the summer rolls:
- Small head of Boston or Bibb lettuce, separated into leaves, rinsed, and patted dry
- 1 large cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 3 large scallions, trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 2 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into matchsticks
- 1 cup bean sprouts or enoki mushrooms
- 1 cup each fresh mint leaves, Italian or Thai basil, and cilantro
- 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin rounds
- 16 round rice paper wrappers, about 9 inches in diameter
Prepare the two dipping sauces by whisking their respective ingredients in two small bowls. For the peanut sauce, blend the peanut butter with the olive oil to soften it, then add the rest of the ingredients; add the water, as needed, to thin the sauce to a pourable consistency. Set both aside.
Prep all the vegetables and then fill a 9- or 10-inch pie plate with warm water. Slide one rice paper wrapper into the water and swirl it around briefly, only about 3 to 5 seconds—it should still feel slightly firm as you take it out of the water. Transfer it to a plate or a cutting board and, starting with a lettuce leaf, layer on your fillings one-third down from the top of the wrapper. Fold the top of the wrapper over the fillings, fold in the sides, and then roll up the rest of the wrapper.
Transfer it to a serving plate and continue to make the rest of the rolls. Serve with the dipping sauces.
Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as an appetizer
Traditional friend zucchini is such a popular appetizer, especially when dipped in zesty tomato sauce, but it’s almost always more breading and bland oil than a healthful way to eat your vegetables. My baked version offers all the taste you’re looking for in a way that elevates the zucs. For a quick and easy homemade sauce, see The Oil Olive Hunter Newsletter #137.
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, more as needed
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Reggiano-Parmigiano cheese
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine the zucchini slices and olive oil in a large bowl and toss to coat well.
Set up three shallow bowls or pie plates. Put the flour in one, whisk the eggs in another, and in the third, stir together the cheese, panko, basil, salt, and pepper. One at a time, dust the zucchini slices with flour, dip them in the egg, then in the cheese mixture, and place them on the sheet pan.
Bake until the coating turns brown and crispy, for 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
Yields 4 servings
This recipe comes from King and Godfree—what started as an innovative grocery store in a historic 1870s building in Melbourne’s Little Italy neighborhood has blossomed into a vibrant destination with numerous eateries as well as other businesses. This recipe is pure simplicity but brings together flavorful ingredients. Bresaola is a luscious Italian cured meat made from beef rather than pork and is available at many stores selling charcuterie.
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar from Modena
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of coarse sea salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head radicchio, cored and shredded
- 4 fresh figs, washed and quartered
- 8 ounces bresaola, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces gorgonzola dolce, cut into small cubes
In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and a pinch each of the salt and pepper until emulsified. Add the radicchio and toss to combine. Add the figs and toss again.
Arrange the bresaola slices on a large platter or 4 individual plates and top with the radicchio mixture, dividing the figs evenly between the plates. Top with the cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.