• Don Lichterman

Recipe of the Week, Mint Mojito, Gazpacho, Grilled Corn & Strawberry Shortcake...Love & Lemons!

Mint Mojito

Prep Time: 10 mins - Serves 1

Cool off with this easy mojito recipe! Made with rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and fresh mint, this refreshing cocktail is perfect for summer.

Ingredients

  • 5 mint leaves, more for garnish

  • 2 ounces white rum

  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice

  • ½ ounce simple syrup

  • Ice

  • Club soda or sparkling water

  • Lime slices, for garnish

Instructions

  • Lightly muddle the mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until aromatic. Add the rum, lime juice, simple syrup, a handful of ice and shake.

  • Fresh mint – The star of this classic cocktail! You’ll muddle some mint leaves to infuse the drink with flavor and add more to your glass for garnish.

  • White rum – Jack and I are fans of 10 Cane and Bacardi Silver Rum, but any white rum would work here. Feel free to use your favorite!

  • Fresh lime juice – It adds bright, tart flavor. Always, always use freshly squeezed lime juice in this mojito recipe.

  • Simple syrup – Classic mojito recipes call for sugar, but I like to use simple syrup in its place. It streamlines the recipe, as you don’t need to muddle the sugar with the lime and mint. Simple syrup keeps for several weeks in the fridge, so I like to keep it on hand for anytime I’m in the mood for a fun drink.

  • Club soda or sparkling water – It balances the tart lime and alcohol and gives the cocktail a fun fizz.

  • Ice – You can’t make a cool, refreshing mojito without it!

Gazpacho

As I mentioned above, bread is often used as a thickener in Andalusian gazpacho. For my taste, the soup is plenty creamy without it, so I make my gazpacho with these simple ingredients:

  • Tomatoes – Any variety of tomatoes will work well here. Choose the best ones you can find at your farmers market or grocery store!

  • Cucumber – Dice some cucumber and reserve it for garnish. Then, peel the rest and blend it into the soup!

  • Fresno chiles – Traditional Spanish gazpacho is made with bell peppers. But earlier this summer, I was making gazpacho at home, and fresno chiles were the only peppers I had in the fridge. I tossed them in, and I fell in love with the heat they added to the soup. I highly recommend using them, but you could swap in half a red bell pepper if you prefer.

  • Garlic – For bite!

  • Red onion – Rinse it under cold water before you add it to the blender to tame its sharp flavor.

  • Red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar – It adds delicious tang.

  • Cilantro – It’s not traditional, but I love the herby fresh flavor.

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – 1/2 cup might seem like a lot, but trust me, you’re going to want every drop in this cool summer soup. It’s essential for creating a rich, creamy, and balanced gazpacho.

  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Best Gazpacho Recipe Tips

  • Good tomatoes are gold. This gazpacho recipe calls for a whole lotta tomatoes: 2 1/2 pounds! They make up the body of the soup, so the quality of your tomatoes will really affect the final dish. If you can, look for local tomatoes at your farmers market. But no matter what, make this recipe in summer, when any tomato is sweeter and juicier than it would be at other times of year.

  • Work in batches if necessary. This recipe makes a lot of soup, so you might need to work in batches depending on the size of your blender or food processor. Of course, you could also halve the recipe, but I like having leftovers in the fridge. The soup becomes more complex and flavorful the longer it chills, so it tastes even better on days 2 and 3!

  • Chill the soup for at least 2 hours before you eat. It might be tempting to cut the chilling time short, but trust me, the wait is worth it! After the flavors meld and develop in the fridge, the soup becomes more balanced, complex, and refreshing.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this gazpacho recipe two ways: in a glass or in a bowl. Drink it for a light lunch or appetizer, or load up your bowl with toppings to make it a meal on its own! I like to garnish my bowl with diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil. Roasted chickpeas, croutons, chopped hard boiled eggs, and avocado would be delicious toppings too.


Round out the meal with good crusty bread, socca, or avocado toast. For a heartier meal, serve this easy gazpacho with grilled vegetables and romesco sauce, your favorite protein, or a summer veggie frittata. Enjoy!


This gazpacho recipe is super easy to make - just blend and chill! Cold, complex, and refreshing, it's perfect for a hot summer day.


Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber

  • 2½ pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 fresno chiles, or ½ red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded

  • ¼ small red onion, rinsed

  • 4 small garlic cloves

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs, for garnish

Instructions

  • Finely chop ¼ of the cucumber and reserve for garnish.

  • Peel the remaining cucumber, cut into chunks, and transfer to a blender. Add the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Season to taste and chill for at least 2 hours.

  • Serve the soup with the reserved diced cucumber, fresh herbs, drizzles of olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper.

How to Grill Corn on the Cob

I have two methods for how to grill corn on the cob. They yield slightly different results, but both are delicious. Which one I pick on a given day depends on how much time I have and what I’m craving. Feel free to choose whichever sounds best to you!


1. In the husk – In this method, the ears of corn steam inside the husk, yielding juicy, tender kernels that are bright yellow and barely charred. I pull the husks of the corn back, leaving them attached at the base, and remove the silk. Then, I pull the husks back up and soak the corn in the husks for 10 minutes. (Soaking corn hydrates the husks, preventing them from burning too much on the grill.) After the corn soaks, I pat it dry and grill it in the husks until the corn is tender and light char marks form. I choose this method when I’m craving really juicy, sweet grilled corn on the cob, and I’m not as concerned about the char.


2. Straight on the grill – Choose this method if you’re all about the char! Here, I shuck the corn, removing the silk and husks, and cook the cobs directly on the grill. Cooking corn this way means that the kernels won’t be quite as juicy – they’ll lose some of their moisture to the hot grill grates. However, they’ll be nicely charred and full of smoky flavor. This method is also great if you’re short on time. With no soaking required, the grilled corn cooks up in minutes.

Grilled Corn

Prep Time: 12 mins - Cook Time: 15 mins - Serves 4 to 8


Nothing screams summer like grilled corn on the cob! Both of these methods for how to grill corn yield great results. Choose the first one if you like your corn sweeter and juicier, and choose the second if you want it to have a smoky, charred flavor from the grill.


Ingredients

  • 4 to 8 ears fresh corn

Topping options:

  • Butter, sea salt, lemon or lime wedges, red pepper flakes

  • Cilantro Lime Butter, recipe below

  • Vegan Ranch

Instructions - Husk-on method

  • Pull back the husks of the corn leaving them attached at the base. Remove the silks (as much as you can) and close the husks back over the corn cob. Soak the corn in a large pot of cold water for 10 minutes. This will prevent the husks from burning too much on the grill. Drain and pat dry.

  • Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Place the corn on the grill and cook, turning every 3 to 5 minutes, until all sides of the corn are cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove from the grill, tie back the husks and use them as a handle. Serve with desired toppings.\

Husked method

  • Remove the corn husk and silks and preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place the corn on the grill and cook, turning every 3 to 5 minutes, until all sides of the corn are cooked and light char marks form, about 15 minutes. Remove from the grill and serve with desired toppings.

Notes Cilantro Lime Butter: In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro with ¼ teaspoon lime zest, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Mash in 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter until well combined. Roll into a log, wrap in parchment paper, and chill until firm.

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Ingredients

Speaking of strawberries, I don’t sweeten them in this recipe. If you wanted to, you could toss them with pinches of sugar like I do here, but at this time of year, I don’t think it’s necessary. Strawberries are delicate, juicy, and sweet all on their own! Use the best ones you can find, and you won’t miss the extra sugar.

Here’s what else you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • All-purpose flour – Jack and I have experimented with all sorts of flours over the last few months, and King Arthur Flour yields the best results every time. To accurately measure the flour for this recipe, be sure to use the spoon-and-level method.

  • Cornmeal – I love to make this recipe with medium-grind cornmeal. It adds a nice texture to the dough, but it’s not too coarse or crunchy. My go-to brands are Arrowhead Mills and Bob’s Red Mill.

  • Granulated sugar – For sweetness.

  • Baking powder – It makes the biscuits nice and puffy.

  • Sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

  • Coconut oil – It makes the dough rich and layered without any butter or heavy cream.

  • Lemon juice and zest – They give the dough a super bright, fresh flavor! You need two tablespoons of each, so make sure you have at least 2 lemons on hand.

  • Eggs – They add richness to the biscuits and help them rise.

  • Almond milk – It adds moisture to the biscuit dough. I also brush almond milk on top of the biscuits to give them a nice crisp crust!

  • Whipped cream or coconut cream – My go-to is coconut cream, as it makes this recipe totally dairy-free. Of course, traditional whipped cream would be delicious too.

How to Make Strawberry Shortcake

Ready to learn how to make strawberry shortcake? Luckily for us, it’s easy! Here’s what you need to do:

First, make the biscuit dough. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Then, add the coconut oil and use your hands to work it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Finally, add the lemon zest, juice, almond milk, and eggs and mix until just combined.

Next, shape the dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, pat it into a rectangle, and fold it into thirds. Pat or roll the folded dough to about 1 inch thick, and freeze it for 20 minutes.

After the dough chills, cut out the biscuits. Use a 2-1/2 inch round biscuit cutter to punch them out, gathering the scraps and re-rolling the dough as necessary. You should end up with 8 1-inch thick biscuits (even though just 6 are pictured here!).

Helpful Tips

  • Make sure your coconut oil is cold. Like the butter in this scone recipe, the coconut oil needs to be cold when you work it into the flour. The cold, solid oil is key for creating layered biscuits that will puff up in the oven. I like to measure my coconut oil in advance and pop it in the fridge for an hour before I start cooking. I don’t recommend freezing coconut oil, as it quickly becomes too hard to work with.

  • Cut the coconut oil into little pieces. This is key! Once your coconut oil is cold, you want to keep it that way. Cutting it into small pieces means that you’ll be able to integrate it with the dry ingredients more quickly. That way, the heat from your hands won’t melt the oil as you work.

  • Don’t cut the chilling time short. Colder dough yields puffier biscuits with better layering, so make sure to freeze the dough for a full 20 minutes before you cut out and bake the biscuits.

  • Top them with sugar. I list this step as optional, but I highly recommend brushing the biscuits with almond milk and sprinkling them with sugar before you bake them. It makes them nice and crisp on top!

  • Assemble the shortcakes right before you eat. Strawberry shortcake is best right after it’s assembled, so just assemble the cakes you plan to eat right away. Any leftover biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. They also freeze well for up to a month!

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Variations

  • Switch the fruit. Strawberry shortcake is a classic dessert, but this lemon biscuit recipe would taste just as good with raspberries or blueberries. Use them in place of the strawberries, or, for a festive variation, fill the biscuits with a mix of strawberries and blueberries!

  • Use your favorite kind of cream. I most often fill my strawberry shortcake with coconut cream, but any cool, creamy filling is delightful here. Make traditional whipped cream with heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract, or serve your shortcake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For a lighter variation, replace the cream with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

  • Keep it simple. These lemon cornmeal biscuits make fantastic strawberry shortcake, but they’re also wonderful on their own! Feel free to skip the fruity filling altogether and enjoy the biscuits plain, or slather them with your favorite jam for a light breakfast or afternoon snack.

Strawberry Shortcake

Prep Time: 10 mins - Cook Time: 17 mins - Chilling Time: 20 mins & Serves 8


This easy strawberry shortcake recipe is the perfect summer dessert. Tender, lemony cornmeal biscuits surround layers of strawberries and cream. To make this recipe dairy-free, replace the traditional whipped cream with coconut cream.


Ingredients Lemon Cornmeal Biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup medium-grind cornmeal

  • ⅓ cup cane sugar

  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoons sea salt

  • ½ cup coconut oil, hardened and cut into small pieces

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • ¼ cup almond milk, more for brushing

  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling, optional

For assembly

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

  • Using your hands, work the coconut oil in until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, and milk and mix until just combined. The dough will be more moist and pliable than traditional biscuit dough.

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper and pat into a ½-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds and pat or roll again until 1-inch thick. Freeze for 20 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Remove the dough from the freezer and use a 2½-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out 3 to 4 biscuits. Re-roll the scraps as necessary to cut out 8 1-inch thick biscuits. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet.

  • If desired, brush the tops of the biscuits with a little almond milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

  • Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

  • Assemble the strawberry shortcakes with the biscuits, strawberries, cream, and mint, if desired.

Named a best spring cookbook by The New York Times, the Love & Lemons Every Day Cookbook is packed with over 300 pages of delicious, easy, healthy recipes that your family will love.
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