We think every merchant we work with for Provisions is special -- but when we find one with a great story, we'll be featuring them here. Because we want to tell the world about our favorite makers.
Today: La Boîte à Epice's Lior Lev Sercarz shows us how to spice up our grill.
Of all summer meals, grilling is our favorite way to make the most of seasonal produce and seafood. It doesn’t take much time, it’s easy to multiply for a crowd, and it requires little to no planning beyond heading to the market and picking up whatever looks good (we’re partial to zucchini, burgers, peppers, and peaches). Just add olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you've got a meal.
More: Spending your summer allowance on funnel cake and hot dogs? Learn how to grill on a budget.
Simple is good, but if you want to shake up your routine without too much effort or stress, you’ve got options.
First, try grilling new ingredients (watermelon, or fava beans, or a chocolate-stuffed banana), and second, use spice. When we wanted a quick way to get creative with our grilling, we asked spice master Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte à Epice for help. And in response, he created a collection of Mediterranean grilling spice blends exclusively for us that we’ve added to our Provisions shop. Just sprinkle them over your meat (or fish, or vegetables), and light the grill. Suddenly your steak isn’t just a steak -- it’s a trip around the world.
Lior has been around the world, too -- from a stint in Israel to travels in South America to culinary school in France and beyond. He trained in New York under acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud and went on to launch La Boîte, his spice shop. He's created custom blends for clients like Eric Ripert, Marc Forgione, and now, us. Lior's knowledge of spices is encyclopedic, and his creativity mixing and matching them is an art.
The collection includes three blends:
Moruno N. 21: A mix of coriander, cumin, saffron and salt that pairs nicely with lamb and vegetables. Lior created this blend to mimic the traditional flavors of Spanish tapas; for an adventurous appetizer, roll haloumi or paneer cheese in it and then grill.
More: Go all DIY and make your own cheese to grill.
Izak N. 37: Use this harissa-inspired spice for steak and fish. This blend combines sweet chilis, garlic, cumin, and salt. It’s intensely savory and not hot.
Ararat N. 35: This unusual blend of fenugreek, smoked paprika, Urfa Biber, and garlic is good for white meat like chicken or pork -- it’s a little smoky and a little spicy. We even put it in our Bloody Mary to give it an extra kick.
Now that you’re armed with a secret grilling weapon, go forth and impress your friends. The best part? This trick won’t even cut into your beach time.
What's your favorite summer food to grill?
Photos by James Ransom
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