I’ve been a longtime cheerleader versatile ingredients, like ‘nduja and instant dashi, and recipes like XO sauce, chili crisp, or a pot of well-cooked beans, that can be kept close at-hand in your pantry and fridge, and deployed for delicious, varied meals that don’t require hours of planning and cooking just to figure out what to make for dinner. Creamed shishitos are my most recent entry in the adaptable recipe playbook—they’re simple to make, taste great on their own, or can be used as a flavor building block in other recipes. Here, I served them with a thick, butter-basted steak and fresh summer tomatoes, in a nod to the classic steakhouse pairing of a big old hunk of juicy beef with a side of creamed spinach and slabs of beefsteaks.
The richness of creamed spinach makes it best-suited for cold weather, but the sweet heat of the shishitos in this version helps to cut through the dairy fat that makes it a great option for an end-of-summer meal. Peak-season tomatoes complete the look; after cooking, the steak is rested on top of sliced tomatoes, warming them and allowing them to soak up meaty juices. Finally, the butter-basting pan drippings from cooking the ribeye are spiked with a little sherry vinegar and fish sauce to form a savory dressing that is spooned over the steak and tomatoes. Make this meal to give summer produce the send-off it deserves.