I fell in love with this recipe from the first time I saw it in this month’s issue of Gourmet. The description of what was to lie ahead is what I think did me in: “Long marinating in a sweet, garlicky rub ensures the ribs soak up loads of flavor. Next, a leisurely roast in the oven makes them fall-off-the-bone tender. Finally, a mop of balsamic-brown-sugar glaze and a few minutes on the grill gives the ribs a whiff of smokiness and caramelizes their edges.” How irresistible does that sound?! I knew that no other gift I could get for Dad would compare to these ultimate savory ribs. He seemed to agree. You can get the recipe here.
The recipe asks you to allow the rub to marinate anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. I chose to go the 24hr+ route for absolute maximum flavor. Smearing the garlic rub over the fresh cuts had some therapeutic affect for some reason. I think there’s just that utter excitement that brews from within when you have this combination of flavors that now exist because of you, and you anticipate the transformation of flavor that lie ahead. Salt-smashed garlic, fresh aromatic rosemary, thick and sweet balsamic, sticky brown sugar, and a small kick of some cayenne … are you turned on yet?
I will warn you: although I purely enjoyed giving these baby backs a rub down with my bare hands, the smell of those 8 cloves of garlic didn’t leave my skin, no matter how much washing or sterling-silver rubbing I did. I didn’t really mind the lingering scent—it became a subtle reminder of the proud stacks of racks with so much flavor I’ve been responsible for blooming. My friend, however, wasn’t too thrilled when we went to see a movie that night and my garlic-wreaking hands engulfed the popcorn we shared. I don’t think the people on the other side of me appreciated it either. But they had NO idea what magic I had created. It’s worth the judgment being passed.
The execution of the recipe is pretty fool proof and not as demanding as I expected. Rub ‘em and leave ‘em in the fridge, then stick them in the oven for a couple of hours. I’m not going to lie, I kind of missed not having to bow to a high-maintenance attendance for these pretty ribs during the process when all that was left was just waiting time. But I got back some one-on-one contact again when it was time to mop on the balsamic glaze over the grill. I brushed it on at least 4 times, and flipped them every 3 minutes to prevent over-caramelization.
These ribs are SO tender and just scream umami, and I don’t think I’ll ever make ribs with traditional BBQ sauce ever again. Match made in heaven.
Can’t forget something sweet to finish it off. There’s always room for a light dessert after stuffing our faces with pounds of baby back ribs. I wanted something that represented the beginning of summer. Peaches are finally in season, but I nursed them into full ripeness by letting them kick it in a closed brown paper bag for a few days (put an apple with it if they are really underripe ). What goes better with peaches than cream? I’ve always had an obsession with Greek yogurt. Sooo thick and creamy and just the perfect amount of tang to go with its silky decadence. Yea, you could just do with some freshly-whipped vanilla cream, but this is Father’s Day, and the first sunny day in LA for over a week—I needed to do the season justice. So I came up with a frozen Greek yogurt recipe. Go big or go home.
Grilled Peaches with Frozen Greek Yogurt and Honey
3 cups Greek yogurt (I like Fage brand)
3/4 c sugar
1 tbsp good quality vanilla extract
In a mixer, blend all ingredients until whipped and well combined (2 minutes). Refrigerate for 1 hour before pouring into an ice cream maker. Then, follow the manufacturer’s instructions based on your machine (mine ran for 25 minutes). Freeze until ready to serve.
Split peaches in half and remove the pit. Preheat grill on medium and lightly oil racks with vegetable oil. Add peaches cut side down and grill for 5 minutes, or until nice grill marks are achieved and peaches are hot and tender all the way through. Transfer peaches to a plate and allow to cool slightly before scooping out yogurt.
Assemble one peach half with one scoop of frozen yogurt. Drizzle with good-quality honey and serve.