This is one of those transitional dishes that takes you from one season into another - the last of the summer corn, combined with dark leafy greens in a warm tart. The original recipe didn't have any protein, but it did use feta and dill, so I thought shrimp would be perfect.
If you don't eat shrimp, then no problem - leave them off. The veggies and cheese are hearty enough on their own.
Here's another quick, end of Summer post for you - melon pops! Half cantaloupe, half honeydew, all yummy.
They are made with just melon pureed with a little agave (optional). The layering looks really cute, and is easy to do, but you could do whole pops of one or the other melon. Quick, easy, healthy treats - yay!
Makes 10 pops
1/4 cantaloupe, cubed
1/4 honeydew, cubed
agave, to taste (optional)
Place the honeydew cubes in a blender and puree. Add agave, if using, keeping in mind that the pops will be less sweet when frozen.
Pour the honeydew mixture into an ice pop mold, being careful not to fill more than halfway. Freeze until slushy, about an hour. (Don't be like me and let it freeze solid, preventing the layers from sticking together - doh!)
Repeat the process with the cantaloupe, being careful when adding it to the mold not to mix the layers. Insert wooden sticks and freeze until solid.
Ugh - sorry folks, I've been bad about posting this last week! And this post is going to be pretty short, too. We are finally on our way into Fall, but the transition has been slow and there is still some stone fruit to be had. I am still really into tartines at the moment, so I paired sliced nectarine with goat cheese, prosciutto, and basil for a quick lunch.
Then the store finally had some burrata in (this is a seriously random occurrence, you never know), so I paired that with some ripe peach, basil, EVOO, balsamic, and sea salt.
I saw this on Pinterest and thought it looked like a great idea! Put a bunch of ingredients in a pot, boil it for 10 minutes, and the cooking water becomes the sauce - cool!
Unfortunately, the first time I made this I followed another blogger's recommendation and used vegetable stock instead of water for extra flavor. Big mistake. The stock I used was darkly colored and had a very strong flavor. The end result ended up tasting like pasta with gravy - gross. The soupy flavor totally overwhelmed the tomato and basil, and it was really just not good.
But it seemed like such a good idea that I wanted to give it another try. Water, not stock, this time; and no red pepper flakes (too spicy for me).
This time it worked great! The starchy pasta water cooks down and clings to the pasta like a sauce, and the tomato basil flavor is nice. I still prefer a traditional Pomodoro, but this is great if you don't have a lot of time and only want to use one pot. Some things to keep in mind - stir frequently or it will stick to the bottom; make sure to cut the onion really super thin because it doesn't cook for very long; fresh roma tomatoes will give you the best flavor; and don't break your pasta to make it fit into the pot, after the water starts to boil the ends will become soft enough for you to fold the pasta down.
I really love authentic Italian pizza. The kind with the thin crust that gets blistered and charred in the wood oven. My favorite place to get it around here is Pizzeria Orso, but I have been trying to make it at home. Step one is to get a pizza stone. I leave mine on the bottom rack of the oven. As long you are heating it with the oven (not sticking a cold stone into a hot oven) it will be totally fine to leave it in there all the time. In fact, heating it frequently will help keep it clean by burning any spills to dust. I've even left it in there on the self clean mode - totally fine and now very clean! It will take longer for your oven to preheat with the stone in it, but it will help keep the temperature even and constant. You will also need a pizza peel to transfer the pizza to the stone.
Step 2 for great pizza - great dough. I have tried many doughs, including whole wheat ones. For authentic pizza - this Jim Lahey dough is the best. It takes a long time to make though, so be prepared. The idea behind this dough is that the tenderness and pocketed texture come from fermenting the dough (for 18 hours, I told you it takes time!), and then handling it as little as possible. That means no kneading!
After letting the dough ferment (like sourdough starter), you carefully remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Then you separate it into four parts and gently fold (not roll, or knead) the parts into balls. Use them quickly or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. This dough is only good for a couple of days so plan to make a lot of pizza!
When you are ready to make the pizza (the oven and stone should be preheated at this point), carefully and gently stretch the dough. Either in the air on your knuckles, or on a floured surface. For some technique tips - check out this video. See those bubbles in the dough, there? That's what you are trying to achieve. Those will blister up and make your pizza awesome. Here's another handy trick - I always have trouble getting my pizza off the peel, no matter how much cornmeal I put on there. So I have started putting the pizza onto parchment paper and sliding that onto the stone. Then after about 2 minutes (you will smell it starting to char), I slide the parchment out from under the partially set dough - easy!
So for the past few weeks I have pretty much been living off of fresh summer produce and cheese piled onto whole grain seed bread. It's pretty much all I want to eat. EVER. The French call these open-faced sandwiches "tartines". I like that, it makes them sound fancy (when really they are super simple).
The farmers' market has been bursting with huge, gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. This beautiful yellow, green, and red tomato made it onto pizza (which I will post about soon) AND some lovely tartines. I wanted to eat some of this super sweet and juicy tomato raw so I toasted some bread and topped it with creamy homemade ricotta, basil from my garden, slices of tomato, high quality EVOO, high quality sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Super simple and sooooooo delicious.
Next up I paired some fresh figs with more of that homemade ricotta, black pepper, and honey. Whether for lunch, dessert, or a snack - this tartine is awesome.
Lastly, I wanted to experiment with warm tartines and broiled tomatoes, so I placed sliced mozzarella and tomatoes on seedy whole grain bread, drizzled them with olive oil, and broiled them. Then I topped them with fresh basil, salt, and pepper - yum! Definitely very satisfying.
What are some of your favorite tartine ideas? Leave them in the comments!
Here's a fun summer dish for camping, grilling, or even using the oven (which is what I did). It's easy, fast, filling, and healthy.
Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray (I used coconut oil) and raw shrimp, couscous, and a big handful of spinach. Cook using your method of choice for about 10 minutes - steam will fill the foil packet and cook all the ingredients.
Open up the packets and add in a fresh salsa made with avocado, mango, tomato, red onion, and lime juice. You can eat straight out of the packets, or transfer to a bowl. Either way, this fresh dish is sure to please the whole family!
This stunning dish comes to you from my weekly vegetarian lunches with Melissa from Smells Like Brownies. Consisting of just vegetables with a little feta, this is about as healthy as you can get! It's also super filling and surprisingly delicious. I say surprisingly because let's be honest, most people don't go around graving a pile of veggies. But this is so good that even my veggie hating husband liked it! Served warm with a variety of textures and flavors, vibrant basil, and salty cheese - it really leaves you feeling satisfied.
Great on it's own as a lunch, served as a side to chicken or steak (which is what I did with leftovers), or even stuffed into a pita pocket - this is a super healthy AND yummy Summer dish. It can also become vegan quite easily. So how about it? Let's get some veggies into our lives!
Everybody knows that peaches and cream go well together, so it makes sense to think that peaches would also pair perfectly with creme fraiche. I recently discovered that you can make creme friache at home with just heavy cream and buttermilk - which is way cheaper than buying it! I used the thick, creamy, and tart product in not one, not two, not three, but FOUR peach recipes. So let's dig in!
First up is a pie that I have blogged about before, but am bringing up again because it is just so freaking good. Peaches, creme fraiche, and streusel - layered into tender, flaky pie crust. Definitely one of my favorite pies ever.
Next up we have muffins made moist with the help of creme fraiche, packed with chunks of juicy peach, and with a little kick from both fresh and candied ginger. My husband LOVED these - we went through all 24 muffins in 2 weeks!
What is better in the summer than a lovely bowl of ice cream? This peach sherbet gets it's tart creaminess from (you guessed it!) homemade creme fraiche.
It's pretty easy to make, too, as far as ice cream goes. You do have to cook the peaches first, and then chill them. But after that it is just blend and freeze!
Last, but not least, is a white peach and lemon thyme galette served with sweetened creme fraiche. I, foolishly, did not notice that my peaches weren't ripe before I peeled them and had to get a bit creative, poaching them in honey, lemon thyme, and white wine in order to soften them before baking.
There are many recipes to choose from here, all of them delicious. Enjoy those peaches while they last!
I find it hard to come up with dinner ideas in the summer, I don't know if anyone else has this problem. All I want to do is snack on fruit, salads, or fresh tomatoes with cheese. And I definitely don't want to hang out in the kitchen for too long. But this? I would seriously make this every week if my husband would let me. This is the BEST summer dish ever. Gnocchi, summer squash, and fresh sweet corn sauteed in butter and topped with goat cheese, basil, chives, and a splash of lemon juice - perfection. Plus (other than boiling the water), it takes less than 10 minutes to put together!
Just look at it, you know you want it. Warm and filling, but not heavy, with bright pops of veg and fresh herbs, it's the goat cheese that sends it over the edge into awesome territory. If you crumble the cheese on top and don't stir it in, then you get a little bit of melted creaminess but also bits of cold that really compliment the gnocchi. Also, I used goat butter - cuz I'm FANCY... and it's delicious.
I served it as a side dish with salmon, but it would go well with chicken and it's perfect on it's own, as well. Swing by your local farmer's market, snag some fresh produce, and let's get cooking!