Roasted Tomatoes in a Sharp Cheddar Crust
Adapted from www.notwithoutsalt.com.
This rustic tart is made with a beautifully tender cheddar crust filled with thyme-scented roasted tomatoes.
- 4 oz. melted butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 3/4 lb. tomatoes, small to medium, quartered
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
- black pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and flour. Stir in the cheese and the salt to combine, until there are no clumps of cheddar. Press the dough evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Combine the shallot, tomatoes, olive oil, thyme, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Scoop the tomato mixture into the tart pan. Bake for 1 hour, until the crust is deeply golden. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the tart rim. Serve at room temperature. 6 servings.
Star Recommends: Piccini Chianti
A bit restrained when first opened and needs a bit oftime for the aromas to open up. When they do you’ll find plenty of delicious fruit, mostly berry, with a bit of sage and other baking spices. Tasting the wine reveals lots more fruit, again mostly berry, but quite tart. The wine features silky, dusty tannins and comes off as a bit rough around the edges but that is exactly what you want in a Chianti.
Adapted from www.nutritionstripped.com.
This raw tart, filled with fragrant, juicy, and sweet peaches, is perfect for the summer months, when lighter food is welcome.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbs. lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 lb. peaches, ripe, pitted and thinly sliced
- 3 Tbs. lemon juice
Directions: Pulse all the nuts in a food processor or a high-powered blender until finely chopped. Add the dates, cinnamon, lemon zest, and salt, and process until well combined, and sticks together. If the mixture seems too wet, add more ground nuts.
Transfer the dough to a 10-12” tart pan, and press firmly into an even layer on the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Place in the freezer for 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.
Arrange the sliced peaches in concentric circles in the crust. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Slice, and serve.
Star Recommends: Alvear Pedro Ximenez de Anada 2011
An amazing effort that looks like molasses. Notes of macerated figs, chocolate and caramelized tropical fruits emerge from this full-bodied, unctuously-textured wine. While sweet, it has enough acidity to balance out its richness.
Golden Tomato Soup with Fennel
Adapted from Russ Parson’s recipe in the Los Angeles Times.
This summer soup is cool and refreshing, lightly sweet with a spicy and smoky punch from the paprika. Try serving in chilled soup bowls.
- 2 cups of cubed bread, crusts removed
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbs. chopped red onion
- 2 lbs. yellow tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, sliced in half, one half chopped, one half minced, divided
- 1 lemon
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- dash of smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
- 1 cup ice water
Directions: Place the bread in a large bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 30 minutes to soften. Squeeze dry, and transfer to a blender. Add the garlic, onion, tomatoes, and chopped fennel. Blend until smooth. Add the juice of half of the lemon, the red wine vinegar, smoked paprika, cumin, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Blend to incorporate. While the motor is running, slowly add the 1/4 cup of olive oil and the ice water. Transfer to the refrigerator until well chilled. Place the minced fennel in a small bowl and stir in the last teaspoon of oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a little salt. Set aside. If you want a very silky-smooth soup, strain through a fine mesh strainer. If not, give the soup a stir, taste and adjust the salt if needed, and pour into bowls. Garnish with the minced fennel mixture, and serve. 4large servings.
Star Recommends: Le Jade Viognie
Le Jade Viognier is a fresh and aromatic wine, offering exotic fruit notes with a hint of peach nectar. It offers up notes of lychee nuts, peach marmalade and honeysuckle as well as a medium-bodied texture, an authentic Viognier flavor profile and a crisp finish.
Melon with Lime-Chile Syrup
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com
Honeydew or cantaloupe would both be great in this dessert, sweet and cool with a bit of unexpected heat.
- 2 limes
- 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced lengthwise in half, seeded, minced, divided
- 4 Tbs. sugar
- 4 Tbs. water
- 1 melon, ripe, about 3lbs., halved, seeded, and sliced into wedges
- 1 Tbs. fresh mint, minced
Directions: Zest the limes, then slice in half and juice them. Set the lime zest aside. Combine the lime juice, sugar, water, and half of the minced jalapeño in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain the syrup and discard the solids.
Arrange the melon wedges on plates. Drizzle with the cooled syrup, and sprinkle with the reserved lime zest and the fresh mint.
Star Recommends: Selbach-Oster Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese
What fruit! The best Selbach wine from this vineyard, almost astonishing, and meets Schildknecht’s definition of “perfect:” better than which can not at this moment be magined. Spice and a firm lushness, ungodly celestial apple and slate-honey on the finish.
Grilled Shrimp Panzanella with Basil
Adapted from www.realsimple.com.
This meal-sized salad is summer on a plate.
- 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided, plus more for the grill
- 1 1/2 lbs. peeled and deveined large shrimp, raw
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- 8 oz. bread (small baguette), sliced lengthwise
- 2 1/2 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cored, sliced into wedges
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
Directions: Heat a grill to medium-high. When hot, clean grate with a grill brush. Just before you’re ready to grill, oil the grate. Place the shrimp in a large bowl. Toss with lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Brush the cut sides of the baguette with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Grill the shrimp uncovered until opaque throughout, 2-3 minutes per side. Grill the baguette until golden and crisp, 1 minute per side. Slice the baguette into bite-sized pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, last 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. In a large, separate serving bowl, combine the shrimp, baguette pieces, tomatoes, and basil. Drizzle with the lemon and oil dressing, and toss to coat. Enjoy! Note: For a vegetarian take on this salad, omit the shrimp, and use small balls of fresh mozzarella cut in half, and thinly sliced red onion. Serves 4.
Star Recommends: The Royal Chenin Blanc
Packed with upfront melon fruit, the nose charms with an abundance of guava and gooseberries as well as the signature hint of honey. The palate follows through with fruit flavors balanced by a crisp acid to ensure a fresh and fruity style of wine.
Spiced Chicken and Tomato Kebabs
Adapted from www.saveur.com.
A marinade of yogurt, orange, cumin, and saffron flavor these juicy chicken kebabs. Served with lime wedges and lavash or pita, it’s a special but deceptively easy meal.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup lime juice, preferably fresh
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. orange zest
- 1Tbs. ground cumin
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 Tbs. ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. crushed saffron
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, large, sliced
- 2 lb. chicken thighs, boneless, skinless (see note)
- 12 plum tomatoes, large, cored
- ground sumac
- 2 limes, halved
- Pita or lavash
Directions: In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, lime juice, olive oil, orange zest, cumin, salt, pepper, saffron, coriander, garlic, and onions. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, heat a gas grill to medium-high, or heat broiler to high. Skewer the chicken on 4 metal skewers, and skewer the tomatoes lengthwise on 3 metal skewers. Grill the chicken, turning frequently, until cooed through and lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Grill the tomatoes, turning frequently, for about 7 minutes, until soft and charred. Sprinkle the chicken and tomatoes with sumac, and serve with limes and lavash or pita.
Note: This recipe is excellent with tofu in lieu of chicken. Slice 2 lbs. of firm tofu into 8 slabs and pat dry. Coat in marinade, refrigerating it for 4 hours before proceeding with recipe.
Star Recommends: Gambellara I Basalti Soave
The color is a brilliant straw yellow with a fresh fruit perfumes, especially apple and pear, and floral notes such as elder and bloom. The taste is very fresh and light, with a very interesting acidity. There is an important presence of mineral salts due to the volcanic origin of the soil.
Quinoa-Crusted Baked Onion Rings
Adapted from www.cookingquinoa.net.
- 3/4 cup quinoa flour
- 3/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 2 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, divided
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne
- 1 Tbs. salt
- 1 3/4 cup buttermilk*
- 2 eggs or flax eggs (2 Tbs. ground flaxseed + 6 Tbs. warm water)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
- olive oil spray
- 2 Walla Walla onions, large (or other sweet onions), sliced into thick rounds
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream
- 1 Tbs. ketchup
- 2 Tbs. horseradish
- 1 Tbs. minced chives, fresh
Directions: Preheat oven to 420˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats. In a wide, shallow dish, combine the quinoa flour, arrowroot powder, paprika, cayenne, and salt. In a second wide, shallow dish, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Place the quinoa and quinoa flakes in a blender or food processor, and pulse until crumbly. Transfer to a third shallow dish. Dredge the onion rings into the quinoa flour-arrowroot mixture, then dip into the buttermilk mixture. Gently shake off excess batter, then dredge in quinoa-quinoa flakes mixture. Set on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer. Generously spray onion rings with olive oil. Bake 20-25 minutes, flipping midway through cooking and spraying again with olive oil, until golden brown. In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream, ketchup, horseradish, chives, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne. Stir in a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve the onion rings hot out of the oven, with the dipping sauce on the side. Makes 8 servings.
Star Recommends: Chateau Roland-La-Garde Bordeaux
Inky dark in color with a mild nose of red berries oak and some earthy notes. On the mid-palate, the wine displays some smooth rich dark berries. Like most Bordeaux this wine lives in the finish. And so it does. It’s got some lovely velvety tannins, some oak along with some mild acidity. The wine coats the mouth nicely and leaves a flavor of dark berries that lives on in a long finish. This is indeed a very nice wine.
Adapted from www.smittenkitchen.com.
With a buttery and crisp topping this delicious dessert.
- 4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup raw sugar (turbinado)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 Tbs. cold butter, unsalted, cubed
- crème fraîche or whipped cream, optional
Directions: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place the peaches cut side up in a basking dish. Place the almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until coarsely ground. Add the oats, cinnamon, salt, and butter, and pulse a few times, just until incorporated. Scoop the almond mixture into the center of each peach, then press the topping flat. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the peaches are easily pierced with a fork, and the topping is crisp and golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature, plain, or with crème fraîche or whipped cream on top.
Star Recommends: Grand Jauga Sauterne
Extremely fine, dried apricots, figs, tangerines, honey, notes of wood barely noticeable. An olfactory symphony that prepares royal mouth. The balance between sweetness and freshness is perfect. A vortex of evanescent fruity flavors, honey, light vanilla tones and a faint bitter note harmoniously completes the whole.