Category Archives: In Season

Summer Tomatoes

My favorite summer taste…

Zucchini Pineapple Slaw

 

Find yourself with more zucchini in the summer than you know what to do with? Here’s a fresh summer salad and another way to enjoy your bountiful summer harvest. This slaw works equally well as a light lunch or as a tangy side for your favorite BBQ. A wide vegetable peeler or mandoline makes the slicing task a little easier.


Zucchini Pineapple Slaw
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Carrots, peeled
  • 2 Apples (Granny Smith or other crisp, tart variety)
  • 2 Zucchini
  • ½ Pineapple, cored and peeled
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp mustard (dijon or spicy brown)
  • 2 tbs white vinegar (white balsamic or champagne)
  • 1 tsp honey
Instructions
  1. Slice the carrots and zucchinis lengthwise into very thin strips.
  2. Slice the apples into thin rounds.
  3. Slice the pineapple into thin rounds or half-moons.
  4. Slice the cabbage into thin wedges and separate the leaves.
  5. Mix and arrange the slaw ingredients on a serving platter.
  6. Top with fresh basil leaves and drizzle with dressing.
  7. Serve with additional dressing on the side.
Dressing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and honey together until mixed.
  2. Add the mayonnaise and whisk until blended.
  3. Whisk in the mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Notes
Use a wide vegetable peeler to slice the carrots and zucchini into lengthwise strips or use a mandoline. You can leave the core in the apple as I did or core it before slicing with a knife or mandoline. This slaw recipe makes a very beautiful presentation but it must be cut into bite size pieces to eat it. For a more user friendly and portable version to serve and eat, try cutting the carrots, zucchini and apples into matchsticks or shredding them. Cut the pineapple into very small wedges or small dice. Shred the cabbage or buy it already shredded in a package. Make the dressing and then toss everything together and garnish with the basil.

Kayaking and Fruit Tarts – A Perfect Sunday

You know – every morning when you walk through the garage past the screaming green neon kayak…

Well today, we finally got her in the water again. We spent a very peaceful, albeit, hot, morning paddling through mangroves just off the Inter-Coastal waterway. It’s been a while since we paddled and my shoulders feel the love. It’s that “feels so good it hurts” love – and that’s ok.  And I have just a hint of sunkiss on my face and arms. Another reason to love Florida – even in the depths of summer.

And speaking of summer – oh the lovely fruit! It’s the end of rainier cherry season (so sad) and blueberries are fresh all over. I’ve been experimenting lately with tart crust and decided to try some fruit tarts.  And violà, cherry and blueberry tart with streusel topping. Oh, and a little thyme in the streusel and some lemon zest in the blueberries – yum!

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Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

David Lebovitz’s post a while back for a French Tomato Tart inspired me to try my own version of the tomato tart with the wonderful tart crust I learned from Madame Paule Caillat in her Promenades Gourmandes class. In class, we made a sweet dessert tart, but Paule assured us that the crust would work with a savory filling too.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart (Adapted from David Lebovitz, A Culinary Journey in Gascony, and Paule Caillat’s family crust recipe)


Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
Recipe type: Savory
 
Ingredients
For the tart crust
  • 90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil (I used lemon, orange and herbs de provence infused olive oil)
  • 3 tbs water
  • 
1/2 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150 g (about 1 cup) flour
For the tomato filling
  • Dijon mustard
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes sliced into thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme and parsley snipped from the garden)
  • 8 ounces (250 g) fresh or slightly aged goat cheese
Instructions
For the tart crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 410º F (210º C).
  2. Combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt in a large glass measuring cup or oven safe bowl
  3. Place the butter mixture in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the butter is boiling and just starts to brown.
  4. Remove the butter mixture from oven and add into the pre-measured flour. Stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. If needed, add flour a spoonful at a time until the dough pulls away form the side of the bowl.
  6. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and line it evenly.
  7. Use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough for patching any cracks.
  8. Pierce the bottom with a fork and use the back of the fork to line ridges around the sides of the dough.
  9. Bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is light brown and shows light cracks.
  10. Let the shell cool before filling.
The Tomato Filling
  1. Keep the oven hot at 410º F.
  2. Slice half of the goat cheese into rounds and store in the refrigerator until tart assembly.
  3. Place the other half of the cheese in a small bowl to soften.
  4. Finely chop the herbs.
  5. Combine 1 tbs of the chopped herbs and ½ -1 tsp dijon mustard with the softened goat cheese.
  6. Carefully spread the cheese mixture over the bottom of the tart.
  7. Place the tomato slices in concentric circles over the cheese.
  8. Drizzle with olive oil.
  9. Sprinkle the tomatoes with some of the herbs.
  10. Top the tomato slices with the reserved goat cheese rounds.
  11. Sprinkle on the remaining chopped herbs.
  12. Bake about 30 minutes until the tomatoes are tender and the cheese is nicely browned.
Notes
When I made this tart, I only had 4 ounces of goat cheese, so I sliced some rounds from about ⅔ of the roll and substituted cream cheese for the rest in the spread. It was very creamy and delicious. Add dijon mustard to the spread to taste. It does add a lovely tang, but can overpower the tomatoes very easily. The crust is very flaky and crumbly (yum) so the goat cheese can be a challenge to spread. I used a spreader rinsed in hot water to spread a bit and then rinsed and spread until I had a nice even layer over the bottom of the crust.

 

Salmon and Corn Fritters


Salmon and Corn Fritters
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
 
A delicious way to use summer corn goodness.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 5 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 fresh ears of corn (kernels removed)
  • 1-3 tbs fresh dill, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Skinless salmon filets
  • Watercress
  • lemon wedges
Instructions
  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Cream the softened cream cheese and eggs together in a bowl. Whisk in the milk, then the flour mixture. Stir in the corn kernels and dill.
  3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the pan for each fritter. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through and nicely browned. Keep warm in a low oven.
  4. When all of the fritters are done, add some olive oil to the pan. Cook the salmon filets about 3-4 minutes per side or until it flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Flake the salmon into large chunks. Top the corn fritters with the salmon. Dress with watercress sprigs and lemon wedges.

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine

Promenades Gourmandes – Paris Cooking Class

With the market portion of our Promenades Gourmandes experience complete, we took the metro back to Paule Caillat’s stunning Paris apartment to begin the cooking portion of our class. There were six of us in the class and we enjoyed every minute – especially the tasting. The first part of the class was to get acquainted, set the ground rules and put on our aprons. I fell in love with her fabulous red stove and wanted to take it home with me.

 

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Much more to share in the next post.

Paris Market Street – rue de Petits Carreauex

While in Paris, I decided at the last minute to see if I could get into a cooking class. What I really wanted was some instruction in Paris market shopping. A quick internet search turned up Madame Paule and her Promenades Gourmandes class. We met at rue de Petits Carreauex for the first part of the class for a native’s perspective on Paris market shopping. I had heard much hype about rue Cler as a wonderful market street and had visited there the day before. I have to say that it was such a disappointment. Especially after my morning at the Versailles open air market earlier in the week. Rue de Petits Carreauex, however was just as I envisioned a Paris market street. We began at the fish monger, made our way to the butcher, the produce market, the cheese experts, and finally the bakery. Normally the last stop is the wine shop, but Madame Paule already had a selection of wines prepared for our class and meal.

I’ll post about the Versailles market and my class later. For now here is the market street rue de Petits Carreauex.

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Guilt Free Dessert – Yogurt Cheesecake with Strawberries and Pineapple Sauce

A refreshing dessert that’s good for you too.

 


Yogurt Cheesecake with Strawberries and Pineapple Sauce
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Plan ahead for this luscious dessert. The yogurt needs a minimum of 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Ingredients
  • 1 32 oz container plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
Instructions
  1. Line a small sieve (5-7 in diameter) with 2 layers of paper towels.
  2. Place the sieve over a bowl.
  3. Stir the yogurt and scoop into the sieve.
  4. Adjust the paper towels to remove folds.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours. The yogurt with drain and thicken.
  6. Place the pineapple juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  7. Cook over high heat until reduced to about 1 cup. This will take about 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and let the sauce cool.
  9. Refrigerate the sauce until serving time.
  10. To serve, unmold the the yogurt by placing a plate over it and then turning it over.
  11. Remove the paper towels and use a warm knife or spreader to smooth the yogurt.
  12. Serve with sliced strawberries and the pineapple syrup.
Notes
I used Greek vanilla yogurt when I made this (you can see the black flecks of vanilla bean in the photo). I also let it sit in the refrigerator about three days before I could finish the dish. I di use paper towels, but cheesecloth would also work. Use a large pan for the pineapple sauce as it sputters quite a bit on high heat while reducing. Disclaimer: I've had this recipe in my file for a very long time and I do not recall it's source. I think it may have been in Oprah magazine.

 

Pesto!

Pound Cake + Strawberries + Nutella | Decadent Trio

 

So here’s the finished product from my last post.

 

And the recipes.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

  • 1/2 pound butter (Keri Gold or other grass fed)
  • 2 – 3 cups organic sugar (depending on your taste for sweetness)
  • 1 cup sour cream (Daisy brand is the best, just cultured pure cream)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 6 large free range or pastured eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating each egg 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch bundt or tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

 

Florida strawberries, sliced and a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

 

Nutella Fondue

To scale this recipe use a 1:1 ratio of heavy cream to nutella.

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup nutella

Heat the cream until very hot (top of stove or in microwave at full power for 45 seconds).

Whisk nutella into the hot cream until smooth.

Serve warm with fruit and cake or biscotti for dipping.