It's the longest day of the year, the start of summer, and a Friday. A cosmic gift? Definitely.
As tales once told say, dancing and feasting celebrations of the summer solstice were centered around an open fire pit (metaphorical sun) and worshiped the sun god for the upcoming harvest season. Sounds kind of fun and kind of too biblical.
An ode to the biblical holiday, peRhaps you could simply grill outside. Might I suggest grilling some earthly gems sweetened by the sun, to really get that sun god worshiping vibe going. Heavy tomatoes, full lemons, soft peaches, ripe mangos and sweet corn. All solid options.
If you're working with no grill, no open flame, a ripping hot cast iron will do the trick.
Some ideas for my fellow sun god worshipers, or just fellow summer friday worshipers.
Burrata, Grilled Peach and Basil Salad
From the Pantry
1 fresh, ripe yellow or white peach, washed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 to 8 basil leaves, torn if large
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
From the Fridge
4 cups arugula
4 tablespoons lemon juice
6 ounces burrata
Slice open the peach, remove the stone, and tear or cut it into large pieces. Place the peach in a bowl, drizzle with oil, and season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. On low heat, grill peach slices on two sides until you have some char, about 3 minutes. Remove from grill, toss in the basil.
Toss arugula with lemon juice, arrange on serving plate.
Tear the burrata into large pieces, place on top of arugula, and spoon the peach mixture on top. Finish with flaky sea salt.
Grilled Rib-Eye with Burst Tomatoes and Chimichurri
From the Pantry
Salt and freshly cracked pepper 2 stems on-the-vine cherry tomatoes (there are about 10 tomatoes per vine) Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, plus extra for the grill
From the Fridge
2 boneless rib-eye steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick, left at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling
For the Chimichurri 3 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1/4 teaspoon minced habanero chile 1 small shallot, finely chopped 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped 1/4 cup arugula, finely chopped Freshly cracked pepper
Oil the grill grate and preheat the grill over high heat to about 450oF (230 ̊C). Pat the steaks — dry and season them with salt and pepper. Grill 6 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare.
While the steaks are grilling, place the tomatoes in a cast-iron skillet, drizzle them with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
When you flip the steaks, place the skillet on the grill. Grill until the tomatoes have just begun to burst, 7 to 8 minutes.
Let the steak rest for 5 minutes before serving with the burst tomatoes and chimichurri sauce on the side.
For the Chimichurri:
Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and salt to a paste.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, habanero, and shallot. Stir in the garlic paste, cilantro, parsley, and arugula.
Season with cracked pepper.
Strawberry Graham Galette
From the Pantry
7 graham crackers (about 3.7 ounces)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
From the Fridge
2 large eggs
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled, divided
1 pound strawberries, hulled, sliced
1 lime (½ teaspoon finely grated zest and 1 teaspoon fresh juice)
½ cup very cold heavy cream
Place a rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°. Place graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag and zip it up, pressing out most of the air. Using a wine bottle or rolling pin, firmly roll over crackers several times, crushing them into fine crumbs (some larger crumbs are okay).
Measure out 1 cup crumbs (which should be almost all of them) and transfer to a medium bowl. Add salt, ⅔ cup flour, and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Mix with a fork to combine, then add 1 egg and 6 Tbsp. melted butter.
Mix with fork until dough forms, then knead with your hands inside of bowl until no floury spots remain and dough is smooth. It’ll be a little soft and slightly oily, which is fine!
Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and place dough on top. Lightly flour top of dough, then cover with another piece of parchment.
Using bottle or rolling pin, roll dough into a round (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) about 12" in diameter and ⅛" thick. Periodically peel back parchment and dust with more flour to prevent sticking. Slide entire sheet of parchment paper onto a rimmed baking sheet.
Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. sugar over surface of dough, leaving about a 2" border. Pile strawberries into center of dough and arrange in an even layer, leaving the same 2" border.
Sprinkle strawberries with 1 Tbsp. sugar and drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter.
Using a microplane or fine grater, grate zest of about one-half of lime over strawberries.
Cut off half of lime with no zest and squeeze juice over strawberries. Save the other half for later.
Beat remaining egg in a small bowl with fork until no streaks remain. Brush egg wash around border of pastry (you won’t use it all).
Using edges of parchment to help lift, fold empty border of dough up and over strawberries, working your way around in roughly 2" sections, overlapping folds as needed. Press all the way around to secure folds and keep dough in place. It might crack or tear in places, but don’t worry! Just pinch it back together.
Brush top of border with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.
Bake galette until crust is browned around the edges and juices from strawberries are syrupy and actively bubbling, 40–45 minutes. If some juices escape and end up on the parchment paper, don’t worry—the parchment will prevent the tart from sticking. Let cool at least 20 minutes.
Beat cream with a large whisk in a medium bowl until voluminous, thick, and starts to hold tracks of whisk. Hold whisk upright and look for the “peak” of cream that forms on the end. It should droop and slump over—these are “soft peaks,” which are what you want!
Grate zest from remaining half of lime over cream and serve with tart.
Tart can be made several hours ahead. Let sit at room temperature. Once fully cooled, droop a piece of plastic over top.