Cooking in Quarantine: Spice Up Your Apps with a Special Salsa

Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita has a cure to dress your salad or spice up your bruschetta

By Tricia Romano


April 7, 2020

“Often I am working from home where my teenage son is now in school. I am running part of the logistics for the online store, supporting my crew and learning as much as I can about the CARES Act [emergency unemployment benefits]. I’ve been cooking at home 100 percent of the time. We just enjoyed lamb shanks, which fed us for days and days. 

Cafe Juanita began to offer take away March 17, after closing Friday the 13. Thanks to our amazing guests, our take away is so busy, we are having a hard time keeping up with demand, but we are grateful. It has been enjoyable switching concepts and tackling and creating new systems. I imagine we are doing this concept through the end of June, and then after that, I foresee a hybrid where we seat fewer guests for better social distancing and also continue offering take away as we adjust and roll into fall. It’s anyone’s guess how this will unfold in reality. My goal is to get as many of my staff back as soon as possible.”

Holly Smith is the chef and owner of Cafe Juanita, which focuses on Northern Italian food and wine. The restaurant is offering take out and gift cards during isolation.


  • 3 cups lightly toasted walnuts,
  • 1 1/4 cup anchovies, lightly chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 4T extra virgin olive oil.

Pulse walnuts and anchovies in Cuisinart until pebble size. Remove from machine and add olive oil and microplane one lemon on a fine setting. Mix and taste, add additional zest to tasting.

Add oil until this will “just” drizzle. This is great on bruschetta, with burrata, on roasted veggies such as broccoli or asparagus—alongside lamb, or as a dressing for roasted lettuces (Belgian endive, romaine radicchio.)


Photography by Peachy Juban-Notter

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