This is the recipe I wrote for the Sunday meal at Rancho La Puerta during my week as visiting chef. Originally, I’d planned on serving the polenta with slender spears of broccolini, but we had a giant box of snow peas and beautiful bok choy fresh from the garden, so Chef Eddy and I changed it up a bit. I love searing squares of this polenta in some hot olive oil—or charring it on the grill as I do here—and serving it with just about anything: An egg and some greens in the morning, a mushroom ragu or tomato sauce at night. It’s super versatile and a great thing to have in the fridge for easy meals throughout the week.
A pressure cooker makes this sublimely tender, shot-through-with-flavor-to-the-bone barbecue ribs recipe possible in under an hour using the same technique as our Last-Minute Corned Beef From Scratch. Given their quick and easy nature, and the proliferation of really good bottled barbecue sauces out there, I opted not to take the extra step of making a sauce from scratch. When choosing your sauce, look for as few ingredients as possible (ideally all “real” words) with real sugar or honey or molasses or maple syrup as a sweetener, rather than high fructose corn syrup.
This is true end-of-summer fare. A batch of pesto from the basil that’s growing gangly in the garden. (Try our zippy Asian Pesto, Basil-Mint Pesto or Spicy Sage and Parsley Pesto.) A spatchcocked (butterflied) chicken cooked (relatively) quickly on the grill, since the days are shorter now. Which is good. I like saying goodbye to a season with a taste of all I love about it — and this grilled chicken recipe has it.
Christopher and I pulled this together on a whim one night when we were dialing back to just veggies, healthy fats and whole grains. We had eggplant and tomatoes in the garden, onions in the pantry, and a brand new Magic Bullet on the counter. This grilled eggplant recipe demonstrates that all it takes to make a healthy dinner is a few simple ingredients!
Looking for a satisfying veggie burger recipe? These portobello burgers will win you over from beef burgers … they’re that good. Portobello mushrooms have a meaty texture that appeals even to committed carnivores.
This wild salmon recipe has become one of my weeknight faves. Wild salmon is an ingredient that doesn’t need a lot of “help.” It has rich texture and full flavor, so your best bet is to keep it simple. This super-easy rub calls on smoked paprika to complement the richness of the fish. We love it on tortillas, topped with our Fiery-Sweet Peach Salsa, Quick-Pickled Red Onions and sliced avocado.
True barbecue involves indirect heat and smoke, and dedicated barbecue aficionados invest in a smoker. But you can set up a standard charcoal or gas grill for smoking, which works fine for tender cuts like tri tip, seafood or poultry. Tri tip (also called triangle roast) is a lean, quick-cooking cut of beef sirloin that’s an ideal introduction to smoking. It’s the cut used in Santa Maria-style barbecue in California’s Central Coast. I’ve added a touch of brown sugar to the spice rub for a little flavor of the Deep South. The result is smoky, spicy, subtly sweet, incredibly tender and, as my husband says, very “more-ish.” Serve this with our Santa Maria-Style Beans, corn or flour tortillas and your favorite salsa. Sometimes I’ll serve it with our Roasted Red Pepper Romesco Sauce (only I’ll put the veggies on the grill to smoke with the meat). Leftovers make divine sandwiches for lunch!
This halbut burger recipe, adapted from Jill Silverman Hough‘s book 100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with Wines You Love (Wiley), is simple way to showcase halibut, which is in season in spring and summer. Wild-caught Alaskan halibut is the most sustainable choice. “Napa cabbate has a juiciness, a refreshing crunch that regular cabbage doesn’t–which helps the slaw nicely complement a similarly light and refreshing piece of fish,” says Hough. She recommends opening a bottle of Pinot Grigio to serve with this burger. It will also work well with Chardonnay, especially if you spread some mayonnaise on the buns or boost the amount of blue cheese in the slaw. “Oh both!” says Hough. This dish is great for warm-weather entertaining because you can do much of the prep work in advance and then it comes together in no time.