A Sultry Peach and Tomato Salad

Plus: The Girl & the Goat, Slab BBQ, and Lisa Donovan on Lunch Therapy.

Hey everyone,

Did that word “sultry” get you? I was just going to call this newsletter “Peach and Tomato Salad” but that felt a little flat, so I threw in a “sultry” to see if that made things better. But this salad does look sultry, doesn’t it?

I made it after coming home from the farmer’s market yesterday, where I got heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, and lots of basil.

The salad was as simple as cutting up some of those tomatoes (I use a small, serrated knife and cut the tomatoes into irregular chunks), a white peach, and some cherry tomatoes, arranging them on my plate, drizzling with olive oil (from a squeeze bottle, it’s very cheffy) and instead of Balsamic, I used Saba (grape musk) which was a little sweet, but exciting. The key is lots of Maldon sea salt and Aleppo pepper, for some heat. Then lots of herbs: basil, dill, and chives. It doesn’t get much more summery than that.

Before we get to the rest of today’s newsletter, I have to tell you about this week’s Lunch Therapy patient, Lisa Donovan, James Beard award-winning author of Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger and one of the South’s best pastry chefs (City House, Margot Cafe & Bar, Husk).

I’ve gotta say, I loved this talk so much. Lisa opens about being diagnosed, recently, with celiac (a real hurdle for a pastry chef!), the difference between pleasing your customers vs. taking care of them, how she captures her voice in her baking, how her kids represent the two sides of her personality, what she learned in Austria as a kid, and how Chips Ahoy and a toaster oven set her on her professional path. CLICK HERE to listen. And, as always, if you like it, please leave a nice review.

Okay, so I went to a lot of restaurant meals last week (Craig was in Athens, Georgia, working on a project, and I didn’t feel so motivated to cook).

On Thursday night, I went with my friend Ryan to The Girl & the Goat, the new L.A. outpost of Stephanie Izard’s beloved Chicago restaurant:

We loved everything that we ate, truly… (in fact, I got the idea for putting Aleppo pepper all over the tomato/peach salad because of all the chilies on the one there), but the best part was the desserts. As you can see, we got three: tres leches with a “salad” on top

The PB&G, which was like a frozen peanut butter and jelly, but better (I think the G stands for grapes):

And the famous popcorn dessert, which I forgot to upload to this newsletter, but you can see it above.

Earlier last week, we went with our friends Mark & Diana to Petit Trois for a pre-farewell dinner (they’re moving to New York next week!) (insert crying emoji):

All of the food we had was stellar, as always, but Craig ordered the Big Mec, a double cheeseburger, which comes doused in Bordelaise sauce. (Sort of a heart attack on a bun.) He loved it.

On Friday, I met my pal Ben Mims at Slab BBQ on 3rd Street near the Beverly Center.

I’m no BBQ connoisseur, but my brisket sandwich was positively divine — smoky, and sweet from the BBQ sauce:

And Ben’s plate came with glorious sides:

I’m not really a potato salad person (too gloppy), but this was silky and smooth and mustardy and eminently eatable.

Guess what? I’m back on my old Etsy plate-shopping thing, and I found these Villeroy & Boch Acapulco cereal bowls and ordered the last three that they had. So excited to put these to use:

Here are some links that caught my eye recently:

If you missed my Thursday paid subscribers only dispatch last week, I wrote about FOMISI: Fear of Missing Important Summer Ingredients, aka: the anxiety you feel about eating all of the tomatoes and peaches before they go away. If you’re not a paid subscriber, here’s a discount to become one:

Get 20% off forever

Until next time!

Your friend,

P.S. I’m looking for some recipe testers for the Broadway cookbook. If you’re interested, shoot me an email at amateurgourmet@gmail.com and let me know what kind of food you like to make. You’ll be thanked in the acknowledgments!