Part 4 of our Summer Series :
Perfect Picnic Recipes – created by Nasir Zubair of Karachi Cowboys

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is magical. We love experimenting with what’s in season, hosting BBQs, and dining al fresco. Summer is different this year, so it was especially lovely to develop these recipes as a way to share a meal—even from afar. Cheers! Nas


Growing up dinners at home were almost always accompanied by a super simple salad—tomato, and cucumber dressed with lemon, salt, and pepper. We called it “the salad.” I was often asked to make it and I liked thinly slicing the tomato and cucumber and carefully arranging them in a spiral pattern on the serving plate. This recipe was inspired by “the salad” and by a delicious panzanella salad my friend Angie made when she had Nicole and I over for a socially distant dinner in her backyard earlier this summer.

Makes 4 servings

2 pieces of store bought naan
1 cup high smoke point oil
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 cucumber
½ shallot
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
Salt & pepper

  • Pour 1 cup high smoke point oil (avocado oil works nicely) into a dutch oven, wok, or high walled skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 375 degrees.
  • Tear store bought naan into bite sized pieces. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Flip to ensure both sides get nice and crispy. Fry in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with flake salad while they are still nice and hot.
  • Slice grape tomatoes in half lengthwise.
  • Chop red bell pepper into cubes.
  • Peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and cut into half moons.
  • Peel shallot and thinly slice (about ? inch).
  • Peel ginger and garlic and grate using a microplane.
  • Whisk together lemon juice, champagne, olive oil, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Combine tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, dressing, and shallot in a salad bowl. Toss until well combined.
  • Finish with some nice flake salt—I love Maldon.
  • Just before serving, garnish with the crispy naan.


Tangy, creamy, and so refreshing—this yogurt sauce is good enough to eat on it’s own. It’s an accompaniment in many Pakistani dishes. We love it with warm naan or pita, crusty sourdough,  vegetable crudité, or potato chips. We’ve deviated from tradition by adding lemon zest to add some summery brightness.

1 cup greek-style yogurt
½ cucumber
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 ½ lemons
Salt & pepper

  • Zest one lemon. Juice one lemon.
  • Peel (or not, it’s up to you!) ½ of a cucumber and roughly chop into small pieces.
  • Combine greek-style yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Stir.
  • Add extra lemon juice, if you think it needs it.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nasir Zubair is a Seattle-based cook hailing from Houston, Texas. The roots of Karachi Cowboys are in the Pakistani home cooking of his father’s family and the food his African-American maternal grandparents made when they’d visit on Sundays. Nas’ food is flavorful and soulful. His dishes honor tradition and creatively bend the rules with inspiration and techniques from the Middle East, Pacific Northwest, Texas BBQ, Indian, and Pakistan.