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What's Juanita More Cooking Up?

Four recipes from the queen of Pride.


Summer sangria.

(1 of 2)

Pickled-beet toast with ricotta and beet-green salsa verde.

(2 of 2)


Editor's note: This is part of a feature on drag queen and budding food-world star Juanita More, from the June 2016 Pride Issue. Back to main story

Harissa Shrimp with Chermoula and Preserved Lemon
For the harissa:
¼ cup cumin seeds
¼ cup coriander seeds
4 small dried chili peppers
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2–3 tbsp olive oil

For the chermoula:
1 bunch mint leaves
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp honey
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined, and minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
¾ tsp coarse salt
1 preserved lemon, rind only
⅓ cup water

1 pound shrimp (about 20)

Make the harissa: In a heavy, dry skillet over medium heat, stir seeds until they’re fragrant and turn a shade or two darker, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Pound the seeds in a mortar and grind to a rough powder. Add chili peppers and pound until flaky. Stir in garlic. Salt to taste. Slowly add olive oil until a runny paste forms. Store in an airtight container; keep refrigerated until ready to use, then marinate the shrimp in the harissa for up to 5 hours in advance.

Make the chermoula: Place all ingredients in the jar of a blender. Blend until smooth.

Make the shrimp:
To cook, heat a grill pan to medium high and brush the grates with oil. Place 2 shrimp on each skewer. Grill for about 3 minutes on each side, until opaque. Serve with the chermoula as dipping sauce.


Juanita’s Summer Sangria (by Kevin Hoskins)
Serves 12
2 bottles Sancerre blanc
8 ounces Giffard Crème de Pêche de Vigne
8 ounces cognac
4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients in a large Cambro container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer into a pitcher and pour into tall glasses filled with ice.

Turnip Dip
Makes 1 cup
1 tbsp butter
8 small turnips, washed and cut in half
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup olive oil
Sea salt
Nigella seeds
Rind of one orange, grated
Pita bread, for toasting

Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the turnips with a splash of water. Cook until soft, then set aside to cool.

Add the turnips, tahini, and olive oil to a food processor; blend until smooth. Season, transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with nigella seeds and a bit of orange rind. Serve at room temperature with toasted pita bread.


Pickled-Beet Toast with Ricotta and Beet-Green Salsa Verde
Serves 12
1 pound beets, greens attached
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar, plus a splash, divided
¼ cup water
1 shallot
1 bunch tarragon
Zest of 1 lemon
Baguette for toast

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Clean the beets and greens in a bowl of cold water. Set the greens aside for the salsa verde. Place the beets in a small ovenproof pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a splash of olive oil. Add vinegar and water to the pan and seal tightly. Bake for about 1½ hours, until the beets are cooked through. Discard the cooking liquid, then cool, peel, and dice the beets into small pieces.

Make the salsa verde: Chop the shallot finely, sprinkle with salt, and add a splash of vinegar to macerate. Chop the beet greens and tarragon leaves finely and add to the shallots with enough oil to create a simple sauce. Season the ricotta with the lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can also add a touch of crushed chili flakes.

Cut the baguette into slices and toast. Spread the toast with ricotta, scatter with chopped beets, and finish with beet-green salsa verde.

Lamb-and-Beef Meatballs with Pine Nuts and Saffron Yogurt Sauce
Makes about 40 meatballs

For the meatballs:
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 tbsp milk
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
¾ pound ground lamb
¾ pound ground beef
¼ cup olive oil

For the sauce:
Pinch of saffron threads
3 tbsp hot water
1 cup Greek yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon

Make the meatballs: Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, mix the eggs together with the garlic, pine nuts, parsley, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper. Squeeze out any excess milk from the breadcrumbs and mix them into the egg mixture. Mix in the meat until just combined. Using a tablespoon, shape into small balls; place on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Make the sauce: Steep the saffron in the hot water for 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl with the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth and fully combined; taste for salt. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

To cook the meatballs, heat the olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add meatballs and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Serve immediately.

Originally published in the June issue of
San Francisco

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