excerpt from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison “The roundish red or green leaves are very pretty and fragrant, bringing to mind basil, mint, and fennel – in combination, that is…I like to sliver it and add it to leaf salads or pasta salads, where its flavor comes as a surprise…In the hands of American cooks, it seems to pair well with corn, cucumbers, beets, peaches, and melons – that is, wherever you might consider using a spicy scented basil. It also makes an interesting mojito.”
Shiso Gin and Tonic From Near and Far by Heidi Swanson
Shiso simple syrup 20 shiso leaves, torn 1 cup water 1/3 cup natural cane sugar Zest of 1 lemon Zest of 1 lime
Gin Ice cubes Tonic water
To make the shiso simple syrup, in a saucepan over gentle heat, slowly bring the shiso, water, sugar, and lemon and lime zest to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Try to avoid boiling – you want to infuse the syrup, not overcook the shiso. Remove from the heat and let the shiso steep at room temperature, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight glass jar and chill until cold. If you’re pressed for time, place the jar in the freezer until chilled, but not frozen. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing then discarding the solids. The syrup will keep, refrigerated, for 4 to 5 days.
To make each drink, combine 1.5 ounces gin and 2 teaspoons of shiso syrup in each glass. Stir to combine, fill each glass two-thirds full with ice, and top off with ¼ cup/2 ounces of tonic water. Stir again and taste, and add a bit more tonic water if you like.
Note: give the red shiso simple syrup a good squeeze of lime juice after straining to really boost the ruby color
Tuna Poke Bowl From It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow Serves 1 (adapt to serve more)
½ cup cooked white or brown rice ¼ cup cooked edamame 1/3 cup diced sushi-grade tuna, cut into ½-inch pieces ¼ cup diced avocado 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 2 tablespoons sliced scallions 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shiso 2 tablespoons Furikake seasoning (recipe follows) Ponzu sauce (recipe follows) Place the rice in a bowl, top with the edamame, tuna, avocado, sesame seeds, scallions, shiso, and furikake, and pour the ponzu dressing over. Ponzu sauce 2 tablespoons ponzu 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Whisk or stir the ingredients together until blended. Furikake Makes about ¾ cup
2 toasted nori sheets 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 2 teaspoons coconut sugar ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil A pinch of salt
Use your fingers to crumble the nori into very small pieces into a bowl, then add the remaining ingredients. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.