Good morning! This is Tejal, writing to you from Los Angeles, where the summer produce is nudging me toward this gorgeous succotash (above) from Vallery Lomas.
It’s everything good about late August crammed together in one bowl: fresh corn, ripe tomatoes, shelled butter beans, slippery okra — and a little Andouille sausage and seasoned shrimp, if you want to make it meaty (though Vallery says that’s optional, and I agree).
I also love Hetty McKinnon’s version of gado gado, the Indonesian dish that’s exactly what I feel like eating this week — a big, cool, juicy mix of vegetables from the market with perfectly soft, yellow-centered hard-boiled eggs, crispy brown fried shallots and a deeply savory peanut sauce.
I plan to double the peanut sauce, so I can have some ready to go later in the week. I might use it to dress some noodles, loosening it up with a splash of vinegar and finishing with a little sesame oil, or just use it as a dip for crudités — I never get tired of dip for dinner!
Melissa Clark’s green goddess dip goes with pretty much everything, and I’ve always got this vibrant raw beet dip with labneh on rotation, which I learned to make from Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling at Botanica.
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I was making some simple arroz con gandules the other day, following the instructions in Illyanna Maisonet’s Puerto Rican cookbook “Gorda Eats,” when I realized that I didn’t have sazón in my new kitchen. I was delighted to find a guide to making your own, made by Marisel Salazar, tucked away in our Instagram highlights.
The chef Pati Jinich recently wrote a beautiful story about the way community is nourished and sustained around carne asada in the Mexican state of Sonora. Her children helped her make this new video at home, demonstrating the techniques she learned in the region. It definitely made me want to swab a halved onion over a hot grill and watch for the sheer beauty of a puffing tortilla.
And I thought this piece about asafoetida by Vidya Balachander in the new issue of Whetstone was remarkable, not just for its precise, beautiful descriptions of the spice, but for the deep context it provided on how caste supremacy informs food culture.
That’s it from me! I’m signing off with one last note: Please be extra kind, extra patient and extra generous with everyone who’s working to keep you fed right now — the people cooking, serving, delivering, growing and processing our food are doing so at great risk, in the midst of a pandemic, in dangerous air, near wildfires, and in so many other difficult conditions.
Julia Moskin will be taking over the newsletter for the next week until Sam gets back, so you’re in very good hands. And if you want to stay in touch with me, I’m on Instagram and Twitter, where I’m always posting the things I make at home, or glamorous photos of my dog.