Nicole A. Taylor

For one cook, Juneteenth calls for celebrating with family and summer’s sweetest produce.
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A dream of reuniting with friends and loved ones in 2021 for a Juneteenth celebration inspired writer Nicole A. Taylor's recipe for Moscato Pound Cake with Grape Glaze. Moscato gives this cake a lighter, more tender crumb than a typical pound cake while also imparting a subtle sweetness. Freeze-dried grapes bring vibrant color to the glaze. If you like, you can substitute lime juice in place of Moscato in the glaze for a brighter pink color.
"Nowadays, when I serve plums and nectarines, like in my Stone Fruit Salad with Collard-Peanut Pesto, I'm transported to parties where we dapped, hugged, boogied, and kissed under the moonlight," says writer Nicole Taylor, of her Juneteenth celebrations. In this savory fruit salad, roasted peanuts, collard greens, and Parmesan yield a hearty pesto that's the perfect partner for honey-dressed wedges of plums and nectarines. Fonio, a West African grain similar in texture to couscous, soaks up the the pesto, flavoring each bite of this salad.
In a story about cooking with fruit for Juneteenth, writer Nicole A. Taylor drew on her memories of a ripe, perfect watermelon enjoyed in Austin, Texas to create her recipe for Grilled Watermelon with Chamomile-Cocoa Salt. In this quick-grilling snack, watermelon wedges take on a slightly smoky flavor from the grill that's enhanced by a toasty, crunchy spice blend of benne seeds, chamomile, fennel, and cocoa. Benne seeds have a more robust, slightly bitter flavor than their cousins, sesame seeds; either are delicious in this recipe.
Gorgeous summer fruit and grilling are at the heart of writer Nicole A. Taylor's Juneteenth menu. Here, she takes blueberries for a savory spin, blending the berries with shallots, thyme, and chipotles in adobo to create a sticky sauce that showcases the floral notes of the fruit, while red wine and balsamic vinegar add a tart backbone that brings the flavors into focus. This sauce pairs beautifully with almost any grilled meat; here Taylor spoons it over juicy grilled pork rib chops. Summer berries tend to be sweeter; if you're cooking this recipe with out-of-season berries, gradually add sugar as needed.
Hibiscus Snow Cones
Rating: Unrated
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"When hibiscus is steeped in water, it creates a red drink, an essential menu item of Juneteenth," says writer Nicole A. Taylor, sharing the Juneteenth memories that inspired her to create this Hibiscus Snow Cone. In this playful icy dessert, Taylor riffs on tradition, using dried hibiscus blossoms to make a sweet, tangy syrup for a celebratory snow cone. Whipped cream and crushed pink peppercorns add a final flourish. To make snow cones at home, you'll want to grab a home ice-shaving machine, like the Little Snowie Max, which, pulverizes cubed ice to a fine powder.