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Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Mains, Recipes, Salads, Top

Salpicón Fattoush Salad with Chipotle Dressing

May 13, 2016
This recipe combines Salpicon salad and Fattoush salad with seasoned steak, oven-baked flatbread crisps, avocado, feta cheese, and spicy chipotle dressing.

¡Hola! This post is sponsored by Society Culinaria and Flatout Bread. The recipe and opinions however are all mine. Thanks so much for supporting the business that makes this blog possible!

As soon as the days get hot two things spontaneously happen in our house. Shirts come off (I’m talking about the children here), jorts go on, and every meal becomes instantly better when eaten outside.

Salpicon Fattoush Recipe

We had our first al fresco dinner of the year this week. It hasn’t been consistently warm enough to warrant taking the picnic table out of the garage so it was a hodgepodge of benches, miniature kids chairs, and stools circled up with some of us balancing plates on our laps, but it was glorious. There’s just something about feeling a warm breeze that makes all food taste better.

We were eating burgers but I wish I had come up with this salad for the occasion. It has turned cold again and I’m anxious to test my salad to see if its flavor improves if eaten outside on a blanket in the back yard.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

When Flatout asked me to come up with some recipes using their breads I wanted to make something you are going to want put together again and again all summer long. I took something inherently Mexican (Salpicón de Carne) and combine it with something else I truly love, in this case, a Lebanese salad called Fattoush made with toasted flatbread. It is a salad meant as a blank canvas that will adapt to whatever produce is at it’s peak as the season progresses. Fresh sugar snap peas and spinach would be great right now and heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn would be equally good in August.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

Flatout Artisan Thin Flatbread Pizza Crust makes a delicious, homemade pizza in minutes but the crust is a platform for so much more. It is also low in fat, a good source of fiber, and and available practically anywhere. If you’re not sure where to find it click here to locate a grocery store near you that carries it.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

For this salad I cut the crust into triangles and tossed them with a little olive oil and salt and toasted them in the oven until they were golden and crisp. This little stint in the oven gives them the stamina they need to be tossed with the veggies, steak, and dressing and make it to your picnic spot without getting soggy. Even if it is right out the back door into the yard.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recips


Salpicón Fattoush Salad with Chipotle Dressing Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you think ahead rub the flank steak with the chile seasoning up to a day in advance. Steak can also be grilled instead of roasted if you prefer.
Serves: 6-8
For the Steak:
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Flatbread Crisps:
For the Chipotle Dressing:
  • 2 chipotles en adobo, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Salad:
  • 1 large head Romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
For the Steak:
  1. Lay meat on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until it is an even thickness. Transfer to a baking sheet and rub all over with the tablespoon of oil.
  2. Combine garlic, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a bowl then rub steak with the mixture on both sides. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
For the Flatbread Crisps:
  1. Cut the flatbread into small triangles and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt then toss to coat the crisps in oil. Lay out in a flat layer and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp, turning every 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn oven up to 450°F.
For the Dressing:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a sealable jar. Seal tightly and shake until combined.
For the Salad:
  1. Once oven is hot, roast meat until cooked to desired doneness; about 5 minutes for rare and 10 minutes for medium-well. Let sit about 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  2. Meanwhile toss lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, and onion in a large bowl with the flatbread crisps and dressing. Arrange on a large platter and top with sliced steak, avocado, and feta.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Recipes, Sweets, Top

Pink Grapefruit Bars with Lavender Whipped Cream

May 28, 2015

Welcome to summer!!! I could not be happier to say those three words. Truly.

Pink Grapefruit Bars

So many new developments this week. The garden is in (!!!!) and we’ve added a new sour cherry tree to the family (these are the only kinds of babies I can handle anymore). Louisa is done with the first grade (still getting used to that one), and Hiro has lived up to his end of the deal and quit diapers forever.

Pink Grapefruit Bars with

We’re having a fancy dinner party on Saturday so I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. I haven’t cleaned a speck of the house yet and I don’t think I need to go into great detail about the condition of my bathroom, but let’s just say you’d be amazed at the damage a potty-training three-year-old can do.

But here is the menu if you’re interested:




Pink Grapefruit Bars with Lavender Whipped Cream

A word about these pink grapefruit bars. Think of them like key lime pie meets a lemon bar meets pink grapefruit juice. They are a tad sweeter than your average citrus dessert thanks to the grapefruit juice but that same juice adds a touch of bitterness that makes them irresistible.

Pink Grapefruit Bars with Lavender

The lavender whipped cream is just showing off so if you can’t find edible lavender buds than your standard Chantilly will certainly due. Also, I used Gamesa María cookies as the base because they have a biscuit quality that lends itself so beautifully to this dessert but graham crackers would also be delicious.

Pink Grapefruit Bars with Lavender Whipped Cream Recipe


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 20 Bars

Bars can be topped with cream and refrigerated up to 3 hours in advance, bars without cream can be made up to 2 days in advance.


    For the Bars:
  • 2 (4.9 ounce) packages Gamesa Marîas Cookies (about 3 cups crumbs) or equivalent amount of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly-squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons pink grapefruit zest
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried edible lavender buds


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Line with enough parchment paper or foil so it is hanging at least 1-inch over the sides of the dish and grease the parchment or foil.
  2. Place cookies in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, breaking them up as you go. Pulse until cookies are in crumbs. Add sugar, butter, and salt, and process until combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan and press evenly on to the bottom and sides of the dish, making sure the crust comes up at least 1 inch on all sides.
  4. Bake on the middle rack until fragrant and browned, about 15 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool slightly and lower oven temperature to 325°F.
  5. Beat eggs until smooth in a large bowl. Add condensed milk, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and grapefruit zest. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Pour filling into crust and bake until just set, but still a bit wobbly in the center, about 30-40 minutes (bars will firm up once chilled). Let cool, then refrigerated for at least 2 hours.
  7. Before serving, combine cream, lavender, and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Using the parchment paper, gently lift the bars out of the baking dish and spread cream over the top of the bars, slice and serve.


Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes, Top

Spicy Mango Margarita

May 1, 2015
This spicy mango margarita is as easy as pie (or drinking a margarita). It's made with mango nectar, lime juice, tequila, and a sugar-chile rim!

This being the weekend before Cinco de Mayo I think it’s only right that I bring you a margarita recipe. I mean what kind of Latina (nueva or otherwise) can think of anything but tequila, lime juice, and salt in a moment like this?

Spicy Mango Margarita on the Rocks

There is no better cocktail (in my humble opinion) than the margarita. Sure, there are more interesting drinks out there. Prettier ones requiring more exotic liquor, and herbs that need to be slapped just so but I will always return to a well-made margarita if given the choice. It probably has something to do with tequila, I have a borderline obsessive affinity for it, especially it’s scent. When I was pregnant with Louisa I used to take the bottle down from the shelf and waft it under my nose for a good few minutes, slumping against the wall in pure bliss. If anyone out there wants to make a tequila-scented perfume I will happily buy it.

Spicy Mango Margarita

Running a close second to the tequila part is the salted rim part. Getting that salty tinge mixed with the all-at-once sweet and sour drink is pure heaven. Which is why a mango margarita with a chipotle chili, sugar, and salt rim is pure heaven x 10.

Mango Margarita with chili rim

This drink is super simple to pull off, only requiring a handful of ingredients and a cocktail shaker. I used mango nectar instead of fresh mango to make a drink that is big on mango flavor but small on effort, which comes in handy when you’ve had more than one margarita.

If you are excited about Cinco de Mayo as I am, follow my Cinco de Mayo board on Pinterest for tons of fun party ideas.

Spicy Mango Margarita Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 drink
For the Rim:
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
  • lime wedges
For the Drink:
  • 1 ounce silver tequila
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 4 ounces mango nectar
  • ice
  1. Combine the sugar, salt, and chile powder in a shallow dish. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a glass then dip the top of the glass in the sugar mixture.
  2. Combine tequila, lime juice, and mango nectar in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosty. Pour into the prepared glass and serve.


One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Breads, Breakfast, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets, Top

Lime Raspberry Poppy Seed Muffins

May 8, 2014
 Here’s what I want for Mother’s Day……..
  • I want my children to shout “Hooray!” whenever I announce what’s for dinner… matter what’s for dinner.
  • I want to drink a glass of stellar red wine on a regular basis without feeling like I have a hypnotist sitting on my shoulder saying “you’re getting sllleeepppyyy”.
  • I want all children to calmly and without protest go to bed at 8pm every night for the rest of their lives.
  • I don’t want any more of those days when I look in the mirror and think My God I look old, tired, fat…you fill in the blank.
  • I want to be wearing no more than two layers of clothing by the end of May.
  • I want more compassion and less frustration.
  • I want to laugh more and worry less.
  • I want words of wisdom to freely flow from my lips when faced with questions such as “Mama, what are slaves?” and “Why do people kill each other?”
  • I want to listen more and critique less.
  • I want to have the courage to raise children who understand the world can be a brutal place but that’s okay, they should not be afraid, sometimes the struggle is the blessing.
  • I want more love and less guilt.
  • I want my kids to go through life feeling loved, protected, proud, and humble.
  • And I want to eat Lime Raspberry Poppy Seed Muffins, warm out of oven, slathered with butter and that is all.
Lime Raspberry Poppy Seed Muffins

Yield: 12 Muffins


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 ounces (1 heaping cup) raspberries


  1. Heat oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners. Combine sugar and lime zest in a medium bowl and rub together with your fingers until the lime zest in coated in sugar and the sugar smells like limes.
  2. Add the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt and whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the almond milk, vinegar, eggs, vanilla, oil, and lime juice.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and combine with a rubber spatula until most of the flour is mixed in. Add the raspberries and gently fold them in, being careful not to break them up too much.
  5. Divide the mixture between the muffin cups (they will be mostly full) and generously sprinkle the tops with sugar.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and serve warm with butter.
Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Top

Lemon, Herb, and Garlic Roast Chicken

May 20, 2013

Although there is a university here, Valley City is not a college town per se. Absent are dingy cafés serving slightly burnt coffee and overly-toasted bagels, sleazy dance clubs, or head shops. We don’t have any interesting ethnic restaurants, or art house movie theaters, or any movie theaters at all actually.

There are a few times of year however when for the few of us involved in university activities feel like, just maybe, we live in a college town. Last week, graduation, gave us reason to celebrate.

Lemon, Herb, and Garlic Roast Chicken

We were invited to a graduation party hosted by two foreign exchange students and a guy from Florida, which for all intents and purposes might as well be considered a foreign exchange student here. I don’t think its a mystery to anyone who is familiar with human nature to understand why a Mongolian, a Ghanan, and a Dominican from the South would be friends here in Little Scandanavia.

Lemon, Herb, and Garlic Roast Chicken

When you’ve made the commitment to leave your family so far behind to study and make something better of your life it is that much more rewarding to achieve your dream. They were proud, like chests puffed out, dressed to the nines proud. And so were their families. Everyone’s parents came, from Mongolia, Ghana, and Florida as well as relatives from all over, Minneapolis, Chicago, and beyond.

Lemon, Herb, and Garlic Roast Chicken

It’s intoxicating all that love and happiness and untapped potential. It took me back to the days before children, and marriage, and career when you had your whole life spread out in front of you like a gigantic blank slate ready to be scribbled over. Life was so freeing back then, all that blankness, you could stretch out your arms and twirl around Sound-of-Music style. Life is just as fulfilling now but in a more nuanced way, your slate gets crowded once the scribbling begins, you don’t have as much room to move around.

Of course the best part for me was the food. Everyone brought their favorite dishes, there were baby back ribs, Ghanan rice and peas, dumplings from Mongolia (literally from Mongolia, his grandmother made them and brought them over on the plane). There was this incredible mouth-igniting coleslaw that was kind of like kimchi but sweeter. There was fried chicken, grilled chicken, and big chunks of juicy pork butt cooked with tons of sweet peppers and garlic. We ate goooooood. It was the best party I’ve been to in four years.

Lemon, Herb, and Garlic Roast Chicken

The next day, still drunk on all that joy, I wanted to make something that symbolizes all the love I have for my family and what says love better than roast chicken? Especially one stuffed with fragrant lemons and fresh herbs. And if you’re making a roast chicken why not make two? Spread the love, invite some friends. Which is what I did, and which is why the photographs show two chickens, while the recipe just calls for one. I appreciate you in advance for your understanding.


Lemon, Herb, and Garlic Roast Chicken

Yield: 4-6


  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 lemons, halved, juiced, and halves reserved
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs basil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed, unpeeled
  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Combine onion, lemon juice, thyme, basil, and garlic in a roasting pan or large baking dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat on all sides.
  2. Fill the cavity with the lemon halves, herbs, garlic, and as many of the onion slices as possible (the rest of the onion slices can just hang out in the bottom of the roasting pan). Tie the legs together with kitchen twine to keep everything from falling out. If you're not sure how to do this follow this video.  Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. If you have time refrigerate the chicken uncovered for a couple hours, or better yet, overnight to let the flavors soak in. If not, go ahead and heat the oven to 400°F and arrange the rack in the bottom third of the oven, leave the chicken out at room temperature while the oven heats.
  4. Roast the chicken for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the inner thigh reads 165°F. Baste the chicken occasionally during cooking; if the breast gets too brown before the chicken in completely cooked, cover it with a small piece of foil.
  5. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Apps, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Top

Beet and Pear Chips

May 18, 2012
 For the first couple months of the baby’s life he wouldn’t stop crying, except I guess when he was grunting or spitting up, I’ll give him that.

For a while I was blurry eyed and asking myself, this is normal, right? I don’t know, I don’t really remember, I’m kind of incapable of thinking right now.

We started out with remedies used to cure slightly upset babies—watered-down chamomile tea, gas drops, gripe water—they all worked for approximately 15 minutes. We took him to the doctor who recommended Zantac even though the baby seemed happier when he was lying on his back, something anyone suffering from acid reflux will tell you is the opposite of a comfortable position. We tried a chiropractor who confirmed that he was in pain (thank you) but who’s adjustments offered no relief. Finally I did what I should’ve done all along—the only thing that has ever worked for me when I find myself bewildered by my children—I called another mom.

She mentioned food allergies, something all three of her daughters suffered from as babies, and told me to try an elimination diet. She explained that this technique of removing all but five or six foods from your diet would stop the crying, start some sleeping, and diminish the constant trail of spit-up that went over my shoulder, down the back of my shirt, and splattered all over the floor.

Simple, right? I began immediately. Coffee the next morning? No thank you. I’ll just fix myself a nice warm bowl of rice, sprinkled with salt, a few slices of pear and a tall glass of ice water. I followed that satisfying meal with slices of turkey, some roasted sweet potatoes, and seared zucchini. And guess what? It worked. He was quiet, calm, he even smiled. Whatever I had been eating had been getting into my breast milk and making him sick, the poor child.

The idea was that I do this for two weeks and then I can start introducing other foods into my diet to see what causes a reaction. Okay, great. This is fine, I can do this. I like rice. I’m a cook, time to get creative.


I don’t make too many things that are blog worthy or that anyone not on this diet would actually get excited about eating—rice cakes with avocado anyone? But occasionally I’ve made some things that I would make again when my life returns to normal.

Thin slices of beets and pears sprinkled with salt and baked to a crisp in the oven are one of them. Although I do recommend a tangy goat cheese dip to go with, that recipe however is not included because I can’t eat that so we’ll put goat cheese dip in the category of things I’ve dreamed about and not actually made.

The only kind of pain-in-the-butt thing about making these chips is that you can’t fit very many on a baking sheet then they shrink down to half their size leaving you to think, why couldn’t they start out that size so I could fit twice as many on this stinking baking sheet. Instead you have to do several batches to have a significant amount, which is not that big of a deal, just a little time consuming.

Beet and Pear Chips

Yield: 4

This technique can be used with all sorts of fruits and vegetables, try with sweet potatoes, parsnips and apples.


  • 1 medium beet, unpeeled
  • 1 medium underipe pear, unpeeled
  • olive oil and salt


  1. 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Scrub the beet to remove any dirt and wash the pear. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife slice the beet and pear somewhere between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch thick (I found 1/8-inch to be too thin and 1/4-inch to be too thick).
  2. 2. Oil two baking sheets with olive oil and lay the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 200°F. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, turning the slices over every 20 minutes or so until crisp and dried. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Dairy Free, Mains, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes, Top

Lasagnette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

May 4, 2011
I love taking familiar ideas and turning them on their heads. Take this pasta dish for example, an inside out, upside down lasagna of sorts, that elevates the flat, broad-based noodle from the Pyrex dish to the pasta bowl.

Lasagnette noodles are glorious hefty things. Not really twistable with a fork, but thick, with a terrific chew that soak up lots of sauce. This is sort of lasagna-y without the cheese and takes about a quarter of the time to make. If you can’t find lasagnette noodles, regular lasagna noodles will work, just break them in half before cooking.

Lasagnette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

Yield: 4


  • 1 pound lasagnette pasta or dried lasagna noodles broken in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces spicy Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can beef or chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes


  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add sausage and mushrooms  and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned. Add tomatoes and garlic and season with salt. Continue cooking until most of the tomatoes have browned and burst open. Add broth and chile flakes; simmer until reduced slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain and return noodles to pot along with sausage mixture. Toss gently to coat adding additional salt as desired; serve immediately.

Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Top

Porchetta-Style Pork Shoulder Recipe

May 28, 2010
About seven years ago The Professor and I traveled to Italy on a post-graduation trip abroad. We arrived tired and weary in Rome and out of idiocy and financial desperation we happened to be staying at what turned out to be a campground in the suburbs of Rome in a town I have diligently tried to erase from my memory.
We fell into what only can be described as our cots that night and arose the next morning starving and disoriented and decided to head out on foot to search for something to eat. This was not the beautiful Italy we had dreamed about, but rather a town built around The Autostrada—groupings of cinderblock structures basically huddled under the towering roadways.
The one golden moment on that dreadful first day was a lunch truck with a beautiful crackly-skinned stuffed pig rotating on a spit. Miraculously, in my horrendous Italian, I was able to order two panini stuffed to overflowing with the juicy, fennel-studded meat. I think the sandwiches cost something like 2 Euros and I remember handing the guy 20 Euro. He looked at me like I was insane and then while grumbling under his breath had to dig through his own pockets to find enough change, but I didn’t care, by that time I was enveloped in this incredible sandwich.
We went on to have many unbelievably good meals over the three months we spent traveling all over Italy, but I will never forget my first—that crippling good porchetta sandwich.
Porchetta-Style Pork Shoulder Recipe

Yield: 6-8

Classic Italian porchetta-style pork shoulder rubbed with garlic, herbs, and lemon zest and either cooked indirectly over a low grill or roasted in the oven.

Adapted from Weber's Way To Grill


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder, about 5 pounds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • leaves from 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 16 large basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Butterfly open the pork shoulder, making any additional cuts until the roast is of an even thickness. Trim off the thin pieces of meat on the ends of the pork shoulder and any excess fat to create a rectangular-shaped piece of meat. Ideally you will have about 8 to 10 ounces of meat and fat that you have trimmed off the roast. Cut this trimmed meat into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, combine the 1/2 cup olive oil, rosemary, basil, lemon zest, garlic, salt, fennel, and chile flakes. Process to a smooth puree. Add the trimmed meat and pulse until the mixture resembles ground sausage.
  3. Place the roast skin-side down on a work surface and evenly distribute the filling over the pork, leaving a 1-inch border around the sides so the filling doesn't fall out when you roll the meat. Press filling into any grooves.
  4. Roll up the meat working from one short end to the other, creating a compact cylinder. Using several pieces of butcher's twine, tie the roast both crosswise and lengthwise to secure closed. Rub roast on all sides with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and black pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while you prepare the grill.
  5. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat, brush the cooking grates clean and grill the roast with the lid closed, until the internal temperature reaches 170°F, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. 
  7. Transfer roast to a cutting board and loosely tent with foil. Let rest 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. Remove twine and carve into thin slices.