Tag Archives: zucchini

A SIMPLE TART, ADAPTED

Now, I know I’ve written in the space before how much I love David Tanis’ easy fruit tart. It’s a simple, clever dish from a book packed to the gills with simple, clever recipes. I recently adapted Tanis’ recipe to make an easy savory tart, topped with tiny zucchini from the market. (That it looks like a pizza was entirely unintentional, I swear!)

I rolled out the pastry, cut it into a circle, then brushed it lightly with heavy cream. To make the topping, I sprinkled a cup of finely grated gruyere, and layered baby zucchini, sliced thinly on a mandoline, and drizzled with good olive oil. After 30 minutes, the tart was finished! We ate big slices with a lemony salad of bitter greens and radishes, and the meal was just the right balance of sumptuous and lightness. In the future, though, I would cut the zucchini thicker and use even more cheese — the buttery, rich crust can handle more aggressive toppings!

MIDDAY FUEL

With a willing partner in the kitchen to help rinse and chop, this intensely flavorful lunch comes together in less than 30 minutes. Put a pot of salted water on to boil, and add a bit of olive oil to a cast iron skillet. Fry a few strips of prosciutto in the skillet until crispy, then remove, cool, and break into large chips. Don’t clean the skillet! With a mandoline, I grated a zucchini into tiny matchsticks, and then added to the hot, smoking skillet (okay, I added some butter to the skillet, too). Saute until nearly translucent, then add several cloves of chopped garlic and a few generous pinches of red chili flakes.

Add halved new potatoes to boiling water, wait 10 minutes, then add pasta, wait six minutes, then add washed and trimmed green beans. Using a ladle, spoon some of the starchy pasta-potato water into the skillet, and stir. Add the juice of half a lemon, plenty of salt, freshly grated black pepper, and more chili flakes to taste. Let the starchy water + lemon thicken into a nice sauce, and reserve more pasta water if it looks a little dry. Drain potatoes, pasta, and green beans all at once, and add to the skillet. Serve immediately, and top with grated pecorino and prosciutto chips.

The tomato salad was even easier: simply halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes, dice up a cucumber, mince some onion, and toss all together. We added some high quality olive oil, fresh oregano, dried oregano, and minced scallions. The perfect lunch.

[And Montreal friends, don't forget! A fun concert tonight.]

seven hundred little records, all rock, rhythm and jazz

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ah, summer. there are many things i love about you, but grilling is one of the best. a quick trip to wegman’s resulted in the spontaneous purchase of fresh salmon fillets, a handful of zucchini & heirloom tomatoes, two overripe avocados on sale, and a french whole wheat batard.

after a quick marinade made of limes, garlic, cilantro, red pepper flakes and olive oil, the salmon was ready for the grill (the tempeh got the same marinade treatment, too). i cooked mine about 8 minutes each side on moderate heat. the grill i used was small (and unreliable), and therefore my advice is no good for you. the zucchini was sliced lengthwise and was doused with the juice of a lemon, salt, pepper, cumin and a bit of olive oil. after throwing those on the grill, i mopped up the leftover juices with the bread, and threw that on the grill, too. the lemon gave the bread a nice tang.

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see how small the grill was? i had to cook in batches, which meant that i had eaten nearly half the plate of zucchini before the salmon was done. whoops.

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oh yeah! i made guacamole, too. from scratch, because that’s the ONLY way to enjoy guacamole. despite the slight overripeness of the avocados, this turned out spectacularly. 2 avocados + the juice of 1 lime + 1/2 finely diced red onion + red pepper flakes + 1/2 cup packed finely minced cilantro = pure, unadulterated heaven. i like my guac chunky, so all this really needed was some light mashing & mixed with a regular ol’ fork. if you like a smoother consistency, throw it in the food processor and pulse.

i could eat this stuff with a spoon, straight-up, somewhat like my gluttonous peanut butter jar tactics. the guac was excellent on the salmon, but it’s nice to let it shine on its own with some unsalted blue corn tortilla chips.

have a lovely friday, all! xo

almost everything under the sun

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even though i always look forward to the hearty stews and roasts of winter i think there’s nothing better than spring and summer cooking – light and fresh and ingredient-oriented, but still substantial and of course delicious. i pan fried chicken breasts with olive oil, oregano, lemon and lots of black and pepper. i added 1 minced shallot and 1/2 bunch of asparagus, chopped into tiny, cylindrical bites. the asparagus was so fresh it also tasted divine raw. i finished with a few cloves of garlic, red pepper flakes, a final squeeze of lemon, and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. the key is to not overcook the asparagus but rather fry it at a high temperature to caramelize the flavor. the roast is simply a few baby red potatoes and 1 zucchini, diced largely, tossed with lemon juice, olive oil & herbs de provance. 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven, and i had a plateful of paradise. so light yet hearty – the perfect spring meal.