Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta Dressing

It truly is summer in my garden; my kitchen counter is once again filled with beautiful heirloom tomatoes from my garden.


In working my way through the Monday Morning Cooking Club’s It’s always about the food cookbook (yes, the one my recipe is in), I came across this recipe for Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta Dressing by Michele Wise.  How perfect does that sound?! Well, about as perfect as it tastes!

I had to adapt it a little – there were only 2 of us and our avocado was bad (I am not including it here, but avocado would be great in this salad.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta Dressing

adapted from Monday Morning Cooking Club’s It’s always about the food 

3 assorted heirloom tomatoes (from the garden)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 – 2 ounces feta cheese crumbled

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup red onion, diced

Directions

Slice the larger tomatoes into thick slices and cut the smaller ones into wedges. Place them on a serving plate, alternating color and sizes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the feta, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano and onion until just combined. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To serve: Pour the dressing on top of the tomatoes. Enjoy!


Serves 2 – 4

 

 

 

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Raspberry Smoothie

We went berry picking this weekend in the New York Catskills. We came home with copious amounts of blueberries and a sizable amount of raspberries (about a quart).

I have plans for all the berries we don’t devour fresh (which we are doing a very good job of). If I have enough raspberries in a few days I will make my raspberry nutella challah.

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But today, I just wanted a sweet treat as part of my lunch, so it was rasberry smoothie time! Yummy AND healthy!

Raspberry Smoothie

1/2 cup raspberries (fresh picked)

1/2 banana

1 ounce lemon juice

2 ounces almond milk

2 ounces plain yogurt

2 tsp local honey

1 cup of ice

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process til smooth (if your blender has a smoothie function, you can use that).

Pour into a large glass and enjoy!

Serves 1

Categories: Beverage, Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Blackberry Cheesecake Galette

Earlier in the week, I went for a walk at a township park in Pennsylvania. While there, I saw a woman picking blackberries for a pie. So during my walk I scoped it out, the park was filled with blackberry bushes! So I returned with containers, and filled a quart jar.

What to do with these beautiful berries. I thought about a bread, but that seems a better use for frozen berries.  My husband wanted something more like a pie; so I chose a galette, even better, a cheesecake galette.

It’s a dessert or a breakfast, tasting very much like a cheese danish. The pistachios add a nice crunch and flavor.

 

Blackberry Cheesecake Galette

Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Pastry

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup yogurt

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Filling

1 1/2 cups blackberries (locally picked)

1/2 cup sugar, divided

Juice from 1/2 lime

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 large egg plus 1 large egg white (from Farmer Kim)

A few scrapings (from about 1/4 lime) lime zest

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Final Assembly

1 egg yolk beaten (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 teaspoon water

1 heaped teaspoon turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling

1 tablespoon chopped pistachios

Directions

Make the pastry:

Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor.  Pulse until the butter is worked in and the combination is granular. Add yogurt and  3 tablespoons water over mixture process until it forms large clumps.

Transfer clumps of dough onto a piece of plastic or waxed paper and pat into a ball. Wrap into a packet and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days, or you can hasten the firming process along in the freezer, for about 20 minutes.

Make the filling:

While the dough chills, In a small bowl, combine blackberries, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, a squeeze of lime juice and cornstarch. Stir and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with whole egg and egg white until light and fluffy. Beat in 7 tablespoons remaining sugar, zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Assemble the galette:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan (springform or standard), standard pie dish or 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

On a floured counter, roll chilled dough into a large (12- to 14-inch) circle. If  the dough is softening too quickly, stick it in the freezer for a couple minutes at any point to make it easier to work with.

Carefully drape the dough in the prepared pan, let the edges hang down the sides. Pour in cream cheese batter then spoon blackberry mixture and any juices that have puddled in the bowl over the cream cheese in dollops. Gently lift the dough’s overhang and pinch it into loose creases. Gently, loosely lay the creases down over the filling; repeat all around.

Combine egg yolk and water in a small dish and gently dab over outside of crust with a brush. Sprinkle crust with coarse sugar. Sprinkle the whole tart with chopped pistachios.

Bake galette for 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the cheesecake portion comes out batter-free.

Let cool in pan on a rack and move it right to the fridge because cheesecake is best cold. Once fully cold, if it can be un-molded and transfered it to a serving plate.

Cut into wedges and enjoy!
Serves 8

Categories: Breakfast, Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

One last dinner before our trip and we needed to use up the rest of the zucchini (until I picked more the next day, that is)

This was a surprise treat. Although my family likened it more to a lasagna than a pizza, but whatever you call it, it went over really well.

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I had planned on having leftovers to freeze for when we came home, but no, any leftovers were claimed for lunch the next day before we left.

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Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

4 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini (from the garden)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 pound ground beef (locally raised)

1/2 cup chopped onion

15 ounce can Italian tomato sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. Place zucchini in colander; sprinkle with salt. Let stand 10 minutes, then squeeze out moisture.

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Combine zucchini with eggs, Parmesan and half of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Press into a greased 13″x9″baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes.

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Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomato sauce and cook about 5 minutes.

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Spoon over zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes longer.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Serves 8

Freeze option: Cool baked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap casserole; reheat on a lower oven rack until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe, Zucchini | Tags: | 1 Comment

Fried Potato Straws

I have finally gotten down making thin crisp potato sticks to go with Gheimeh (Persian Split Pea Stew – with or without Beef).


The technique that seems to work best is to slice the potatoes with my mandolin. Then stack a few slices and cut them thinly lengthwise.

Two russet potatoes make a whole lot of potato sticks, but there never seem to be enough to keep my family happy. I guess that’s a good thing.

Fried Potato Straws

from Guy Fieri 

Canola oil, for frying

2 russet potatoes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 or 5 turns freshly ground black pepper

Pour canola oil into a deep cast-iron skillet to a depth of 1 1/2  to 2 inches. Heat over high heat to 350 degrees F. Line a plate with paper towels.

While the oil is heating, lightly scrub the potatoes with a firm brush under running water. Use a mandoline very thinly slice the potatoes lengthwise. Stack the slices and very thinly slice them lengthwise to make long thin straws.

Rinse the potato straws under cold running water. This rinses off the starch and makes the straws nice and crispy. Pat dry on paper towels.

Working in batches, fry the potatoes in the oil until golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes.

With a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the straws to the paper towel-lined plate.

Season with salt and pepper immediately and serve.

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Rye Zucchini Sourdough Bread

It’s that time again.

Zucchini time! Zucchini bread time! Only this time, there is a twist. I found a recipe that adds zucchini to my current obsession – sourdough bread.  This version adds in rye flour.  The result…

A fairly perfect bread – crisp outside and soft, chewy inside.

And it all starts with some microwaved and mashed zucchini from my garden.

Rye Zucchini Sourdough Bread
from Breadtopia

2 3/4 cups bread flour

1 1/4 scant cups whole grain rye flour

1 scant cup water

1 scant cup cooked and mashed zucchini; slice and microwave it and do not strain out the liquid (from the garden)

1/3 cup sourdough starter 9g (1.5 tsp) salt

Directions

Mix the flour, zucchini, and water. Cover to autolyse for about 1 hour.

Add the leaven and salt to the dough, pinching and kneading to incorporate the additions. Cover and let rest for 30-40 minutes.

After the rest, begin a series of 4-6 stretch and folds every 20-30 minutes.

Cover and let bulk ferment for a total of 6-12 hours from when you added the leaven. The time will depend on your room temperature and starter strength. My Rye Zucchini Sourdough fermented 7 hours at 76F.

Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour and stretch/press it into a rectangular shape.

Fold it in thirds and then in half.

Cover and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes while you prep a basket/tea towel with all-purpose and bran flakes.

Flip the dough and shape it into a boule. Lay it in your basket seam side up for smooth scoring, or seam side down for a rustic look.

Let the dough proof 1-3 hours at room temperature, or 6-10 hours in the refrigerator. My Rye Zucchini Sourdough proofed 2 hours at 76F. Thirty minutes before the end of the proofing stage, preheat your oven to 500 F with the baking vessel inside (I use a Le Creuset dutch oven).

Flour your hand and flip the dough out of the basket. Gently place it in the hot baking vessel.

Score the top, cover, and bake:

500 F for 30 minutes lid on

450 F for 10 minutes lid off

Or until the internal temperature is over 205 F.

Remove from baking vessel and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Make 1 loaf

Categories: Bread, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 3 Comments

Z’houg (Yemenite Green Chili Paste)

Wow, what a kick! One taste and I was immediately addicted. All I could think was, “What can I put this on? I want to put it on everything!”

What caused this reaction? Z’houg, a Yemenite green chili paste I made with jalapeno peppers and parsley from my garden combined with garlic and a bunch of spices, including black peppercorns one of my daughter’s friends brought back from India.

I waited an hour and then put some on my egg bagel for lunch. I will say it again, “wow!”

I can’t wait to see what else I can put it on!

I may need to make some Yemenite flatbread 🙂

Z’houg (Yemenite Green Chili Paste)

from The World at Table by Matthew Goodman

1 cup parsley leaves (from the garden)

3 tsp cumin seeds

4 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp caraway seeds

8 cloves

8 cardamom pods

1 tsp salt

8 garlic cloves

1/4 lb jalapeno peppers, stems cut off

3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor.

Process to a rough paste.

Transfer to a tightly closed jar and refrigerate until ready to use. It will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Makes about 1 cup.

 

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

BBQ Kale Chips

It’s a great year for the kale in my garden!

And that is a good thing, because two of my daughters are home, and they LOVE kale! They especially like when I make kale chips. I usually make them simply with some oil and sea salt, but decided to try a BBQ flavoring…it was such a success, that I ended up having to make 3 full batches!

BBQ Kale Chips

Adapted from Jeff Mauro

1 bunch kale, washed and dried (about 1 pound) (from the garden)

Olive oil cooking spray

BBQ Seasoning, recipe follows

BBQ Seasoning:

1 Tbsp paprika

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

1 Tbsp ancho chile powder

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat the oven 275 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the thick stem from the kale and discard. Tear the kale leaves into bite-size pieces. Lay the kale onto the prepared baking sheet and spray evenly with cooking spray.

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Bake until crispy and browned on the edges, tossing the kale halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes. If they are not fully crisped, continue cooking in 2 minute intervals.

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Sprinkle the kale with BBQ Seasoning and enjoy!

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BBQ Seasoning:

Mix the paprika, ancho chile, sugar, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl.


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Categories: Kale, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Rutabaga and Quinoa Patties

I will admit to having 2/3 of a rutabaga sitting in my fridge for a few weeks. Finding a light summer dish to make with rutabaga was no easy feat.  It is much more at home in fall/winter foods. But, not only did I find a summer-time dish, it is vegetarian for one daughter and gluten-free for another. And…it was really good!

While making the patties, I had to explain what a rutabaga was for my daughter and her friend. She was happy to learn that they are rich in iron – important for a vegetarian (as well as the family that has been eating vegetarian with her while she is home for the summer).

We had these with some BBQ kale chips – check those out, I will be posting their blog in a few days, but here’s a sneak peak.

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Rutabaga and Quinoa Patties

slightly adapted from Mealgarden.com

1 cup quinoa, cooked (1/3 cup dry)

1 cup rutabaga, grated

1/4 cup onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped

1/4 cup parsley, finely minced (from the garden)

2 eggs, lightly beaten (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper, freshly ground

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Plain Greek yogurt and fresh, minced scallions or chives for a garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, rutabaga, onion, parsley, scallions, garlic, eggs, turmeric, salt and pepper, stir to combine thoroughly.

Brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil, such as olive or coconut. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop mounds of patty mixture onto baking sheet and flatten patties with the back of a fork to a thickness of 1 inch.

Bake patties for 10 minutes, flip gently to other side, bake for another 10 minutes.

Serve plain or with a garnish of plain yogurt and fresh, minced herbs. Enjoy!

Makes 8 patties, serves 4.

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Toronto Blueberry Buns

Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits. I love their flavor, I love their color. In fact, look at the beautiful color of the filling for these buns…

The filling was so pretty and so tasty, that my husband and I devoured all the extra filling immediately. He spread it on rice cakes, I ate it with almond butter.  What a treat!

I messed up when cutting the dough, I misread the recipe and cut the dough too small and didn’t realize it until I had put the filling on. So it was pretty much a mess.  But I pulled it all together and ended up with delicious (if not beautiful) buns.

A perfect summer breakfast treat.

Toronto Blueberry Buns aka Shtritzlach

from Jewish Food: The World at Table by Matthew Goodman

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries (from Fifer Orchards)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt

For the dough:
1 package (~ 2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. vegetable shortening or butter
2 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 beaten egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water for egg wash
Sugar for sprinkling

Directions

Make the filling: Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool.

Make the dough:  In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with 1/2 tsp sugar. Let stand until mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.

Combine the flour, the rest of the sugar, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix briefly to combine. Add shortening, yeast mixture  and the eggs and beat to form a stiff dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Use the dough hook to knead for about 2 minutes. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Cover abd let rest at room temperature for about 45 minutes.

Make the blueberry buns: Set out a bowl of cold water. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a 12″ by 10″ rectangle. Cut the rectangle into quarters (one cut crosswise and one lengthwise), creating 4 pieces, each 6″ x 5″. Place a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of each piece.

Moisten the edges of the dough with the water, fold the short end over (creating a 3″ x5″ bun), and pinch the edges tightly closed.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the buns on the baking sheets and cover with a towel and let stand 30 minutes. Brush buns with egg wash and sprinkle tops with sugar.

Bake until browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack.

 

Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Makes 8 buns.

Categories: Blueberries, Bread, Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe | Leave a comment

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