Saturday, July 16, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Pie

This recipe uses heirloom tomatoes.  For all of those who don't know what a heirloom tomato is, it is a variety or type of tomato that has been passed down through generations without alterations. There are many reasons why heirloom tomatoes are better than the regular tomatoes we eat but the major one is that it creates genetic diversity.  Without the genetic diversity, all the tomatoes in a environment could be killed by a disease or pests.  Heirloom tomatoes  are also delicious and full of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K.   This recipe is delicious, so have fun with it and try to get the most colorful tomatoes to create an eye-pleasing and fun dish.

Heirloom Tomato Pie

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/4 pounds heirloom tomatoes
3/4 tsp. Redmond sea salt
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons ricotta
1 egg
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1.  Make the crust: Pulse the flour, cornmeal and fine salt in a food processor to combine.  Add the butter and 3 tablespoons ricotta; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter.  Drizzle in 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until the dough comes together; add 1 more tablespoon ice water if necessary. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk.  Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
  2. Put the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork.  Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350˚.
  3. Line the crust with foil then fill with dried bean. Bake till edges are golden, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue to cook until golden all over, about 10-15 more minutes. Let cool on rack.
  4.  Make the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring until golden. Let cool. Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes; toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a colander. Let drain, gently tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  5. Increase the oven temperature to 375˚.  Combine the remaining 3/4 cup ricotta, mozzarella, beaten egg, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons basil and parsley, thyme 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper, and the sauteed onion in a bowl.  Spread in the crust.  Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with pepper.  Bake until the tomatoes are browned, about 45-50 minutes. Top  with the remaining 1 tablespoon each basil and parsley.

Skillet Eggs with Squash

When looking for a recipe using zucchini, this one really popped out. The image in the magazine just looked delicious and my Mom and I were instantly hooked.  Summer squash and zucchini have finally made their show at the farmer's market this past week, so a recipe was in need.  Summer Squash has a fair amount of manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin A, and dietary fiber.   It has tons of antioxidants and a fair amount of beta carotene, which is good for your immune system.  We got our squash and zucchini from my aunts garden in Connecticut.  She created a summer vegetable and herb garden at the end of her cul-de-sac that has been dubbed "zucchini island" by her neighbors.  I hope you are having a good summer and enjoy this recipe.  

Skillet Eggs with Squash

3 pounds (6 medium) summer squash and/or zucchini
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
3 slices bacon
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
6 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup parmesan, mozzarella, and/ or cheddar; shredded
Freshly ground pepper

Skillet Eggs with Squash (Still in skillet)
  1.  Grate the squash into a colander using the large holes of a box grater.  Toss with 1 tablespoon salt. then let drain in the sink, 30 to 40 minutes. Squeeze the squash to remove as much liquid as possible.
  2. While you are waiting, preheat the oven to 375˚.  Fry up the bacon to your liking (probably not to crisp though) in large skillet. Remove bacon from the pan and add additional 1 tbl of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the shredded squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes.  Stir in the parsley, nutmeg, and pepper to taste.  Cook until mixture is slightly dry, about 1 minute. Remove form heat and let cool.
  3. Spread the squash evenly in the skillet. Make six indentations big enough for a egg in the mixture with the back of the spoon; put 1/2 teaspoon butter in each one. One at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl and pour into an indentation.  Season with pepper and your cheese.
  4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until egg whites are set and the yolks are cooked to desired doneness, 10-12 minutes. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pea Pesto

With all the pestos my family makes, this one really stood out. My family loves peas and we eat them all the time, so when I saw this recipe in the Salt Lake Tribune magazine I knew this would make it to my blog. Peas have a lot of vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. They are often overlooked in studies which means only a little research has been done on them. Peas are stuffed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. This recipe is sweet and creamy. Use it for what ever you want because it is perfect for a lot of dishes!

Pea Pesto
1 cup fresh peas (English peas are good)
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons pecans, toasted and cooled
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup olive oil

  1. Blanch your peas.  Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook for 2 minutes (this leaves them with a bit of structure).  If you want to prevent them from being overcooked, put them in an ice bath after boiling. 
  2. Drain peas then add them to the ice bath (if using) and drain again. If you haven’t used an ice bath, let your peas cool to lukewarm before making the pesto.
  3. Whirl the peas in the work bowl of a food processor with garlic, roasted pecans, 1/3 cup parmesan and salt until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. With the machine running, drizzle in olive oil.
  4. You now can use it for anything you want.
-- Great on pasta. Boil an additional cup of peas to add to your finished pasta.
--serve with homemade ricotta cheese on bruschetta.
--freeze in ice cube trays so you can have the fresh taste of summer in mid-winter!

I'm Back with a Strawberry Lassi!

I have returned from my two week Girl Scout Camp and can I say it was amazing!  I had a lot of fun and I got to do some amazing things like horseback riding, low and high ropes courses, archery, biking to Bridal Veil Falls and swimming.  It was hot up there except for the day it rained! Unlike what I had hoped would happen, our tent did not last through the downpour and we had water puddles in our tent! Everything was soaked and we had to move camp sites.  Other then that, camp was great and I am glad to be back.  Today I will be posting one my favorite ethnic recipes,  a Strawberry Lassi.   This lassi is a sweet, frothy blend of yogurt, milk, and fruit served well chilled. I rarely get these so when I saw a recipe for it I jumped up and down with excitement!  The farmers at the market last week told me they would have lots of strawberries over the next two weeks so get on down there and buy some. This a great recipe for snacks and breakfast.  I hope you enjoy it because I know I did!

Strawberry Lassi
1/2 cup ripe strawberries, rinsed (Weeks Berries of Paradise)
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup low-fat yogurt (we use homemade)
3 ice cubes

  1. In a blender, place the strawberries and sugar; blend on high speed for 30 seconds.  Pour in the milk and blend another 30 seconds.  Add the yogurt and blend on high speed for 1 minute. 
  2. To serve, place 1 ice cube in each of 3 glasses and pour in the lassi.  (Optional) Top with strawberry pieces and serve if you would like to. 
--to keep it totally local, try using honey instead of sugar. 
--use other berries as they come into season and sweeten (or not) as needed.