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Mixed Vegetables

October 4, 2010

From age five to age nine, I lived on a cul-de-sac on a suburban island across the lake from Seattle.  It was pretty much what you would expect a cul-de-sac on a suburban island to be like.  It was safe, quiet, and there was literally a pony living in a stable near our house.  His name was Fury and it suited him because he was just about the meanest equine creature I have ever come across.  He was even meaner than Nellie Gray, the horse that bucked me off its back in camp the year I was eleven.  Fury’s meaness didn’t stop us and the neighborhood kids from feeding him our watermelon rinds each summer while trying to pet his soft nose.

There were children in almost every house and the one house that didn’t have kids had a garage sale every year where they would let each child have whatever they wanted for 25 cents.  We thought they were pretty all right.  The family next door to us had four girls which, when we moved in, I thought was the greatest thing in the world.  Four built-in best friends!  But no, it was not to be.  The oldest girl was a year older than me and, while she was nice, she was quiet and kind off in her own world.  Plus she also sometimes wore a patch to correct a lazy eye which scared me a little.  The youngest was just a baby so she didn’t interest me much and the two middle girls were shockingly mean.  Just cruel nasty girls who were not afraid to torment, tease, and hit.  One day I summoned up the courage to hit one of them back and my mom was exceedingly proud of me for standing up for myself.

Even though we were very far from being the best friends that I had hoped we would be, the neighbor girls and I spent a lot of time together.  They had a sandbox and trees that were easy to climb and we had long days where we played Grease and rode our bikes endlessly up and down the hill of the cul-de-sac.  We discussed whether Andy Gibb, Donny Osmond, or Shaun Cassidy was the cutest and which flavor of Bonnie Bell lipsmackers tasted the best.  We disagreed about whether pizza or spaghetti was our favorite food but we were in total agreement about what was our least favorite.  No doubt about it.  Mixed vegetables.

I’m not sure what constituted mixed vegetables in my eight-year-old world and I’m not sure my mom ever even made something so vague.  But it sure sounded terrible.  The neighbor girls’ mom apparently made mixed vegetables almost every night and they would tell me how truly awful it was.  They were forced to eat red and green peppers – the horror!  Of course, this is funny now because almost all of my meals involve vegetables and they are often mixed.  I can’t imagine my life without mixed vegetables.

To a mixed vegetable hater, ratatouille would pretty much be the worst dish imaginable.  Lots of vegetables, pretty mushy, and definitely mixed.  Matt and I have been trying to get our families together for a while now and we finally both had a night open on Sunday.  Because Matt often teases me for my vegetarian ways, even though his lovely wife is now vegetarian and he admittedly is happy to eat that way, I thought a large dish of mixed vegetables was in order.  I took the recipe from a book that we both admire greatly – Plenty.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to ratatouille.  Some people think you should cook each vegetable separately so that each retains its identity and the mush factor is reduced.  Some people encourage long and slow cooking.  Some people think ratatouille should contain only the more traditional vegetables – peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes.  Others think that more should be invited to the party.

The Plenty version goes along with schools of thought #2 and #4.  These mixed vegetables got a long simmer on the stove followed by some time in the oven.  The vegetables are added in a certain order but ultimately, they spend a lot of time together getting cooked way waayyy down.  Lots of other vegetables besides the traditional ones appear in this recipe and I balked at a few.  Parsnip and sweet potato?  In ratatouille?  I just couldn’t picture them in there so I left them out, but I was open-minded enough to allow potato, winter squash, and string beans.  I was very happy to have purchased every single vegetable – from the onion that is added first to the parsley that is added last – at the farmers market.   Unfortunately, I made the very bad mistake of actually over seasoning this dish but while it was salty, it was still very good.

When all was said and done, I don’t know that I would actually call this ratatouille.  It’s really more like, um, mixed vegetables.  I would make this dish again and cook it the same way but I would probably add some saffron to it, maybe along with some smoked paprika, turning it into more of a Spanish stew.  That I would serve with a big plate of white beans and roasted tomatoes instead of the polenta I served with this one.  Recipe coming tomorrow.

One Year Ago: Holly B’s Peanut Butter Brownies
Two Years Ago: Fruit and Spice Granola

Ratatouille
Adapted from Plenty
Serves 3-4

I used a delicata squash in this recipe which has an edible skin so I did not peel it.

Olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small winter squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. tomato paste
Chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large and preferably oven proof pot over medium heat.  Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom and then add the onions and a large pinch of salt.  Sauté for 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic, chile, and red peppers and fry for another 5 minutes.  Add the winter squash and continue frying for another 5 minutes.

Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside in a bowl.  Add a bit more oil and then add the green beans, zucchini, and eggplant to the hot oil and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Return the contents of the bowl to the pot.  Add the potato, tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, and another large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Stir well and allow to cook for 5 minutes.  Pour in enough water to half cover the vegetables.  Cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently, lowering heat as necessary, for 30 minutes.  Taste the vegetables and add more salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  If your pot is oven-proof, remove the cover and place the pot in the oven.  If not, transfer the vegetables and their liquid to a large deep roasting pan.  Either way, bake for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Stir in the parsley and serve.



In Time for Memorial Day

May 23, 2013

There are many things that I am but I am not the food blogger who posts holiday recipes in time for holidays.  I’m just not usually that organized.  I make a Christmas-worthy cake on Christmas, not days ahead so that I can share the recipe.  Maybe I share the recipe days after and tell you to make it next year.  I realize this is not all that helpful and I’m sorry.  I do get contacted by people like the Cream Cheese Commission reminding me that National Cream Cheese Day is coming up and might I want to create a recipe and tell my readers about it!  Except I don’t.  The food I share here is food I cook for myself, my family, or for clients.  It is food I make because I want to eat it.  And I like it enough to want to share it with you.

All this to say that I happened to make a potato salad last night that I really liked and hey! what do you know?, it’s Memorial Day weekend and you might need a good potato salad.  Because of my intense love of potatoes, I really like just about any potato salad.  I like them with a mayonnaise dressing and also with an olive oil one.  I like them with pickles, hard boiled egg, scallions, celery, and without any of those things.  I have even been known to eat those gloppy yellowing mayo soaked ones that you find in plastic tubs from a grocery store.  This potato salad is nothing like that kind.  I created this one as a way to highlight the flavor of the ingredients, not drown them in dressing.  And, as usual these days, I was inspired by the produce at the markets.

Boiling potatoes, especially lovely pink hued new potatoes from the Berkeley farmers’ market, is a cruel way to treat them.  It zaps all their flavor and tends to make them mushy.  Mushy potatoes don’t work well in potato salads because when you go mix everything together, they fall apart.  Their skins tend to peel off.  Much better to roast the potatoes in the oven, with a little olive oil and plenty of salt.  Then your prime ingredient tastes good on its own so it can’t help but be delicious in the finished product.  I sautéed purple spring onions and fennel with just a bit of parsley and mixed in thinly sliced celery.  I think mustard and potatoes are great friends so I made a dressing that is nice and creamy but with a lot of bite from two kinds of mustard and some horseradish. If you hate mayonnaise, and I know there are many of you out there, I imagine you could use all yogurt or sour cream instead.  I like my potato salads lightly dressed but this recipes makes plenty of it in case you want to add more or make the salad again.  It will keep for a week in the refrigerator and would be a great sandwich spread too.

Three Years Ago:  Mushrooms with White Wine
Four Years Ago:  Individual Vegetable Tarts
Five Years Ago:  Niçoise Tartines with Peperonata

Potato Salad with Fennel and Mustardy Dressing
Dana Treat Original
Serves 6-8

Spring onions look like giant scallions.  You will want to use the bulb part only (the part that looks like an onion) and discard the greens.  You could substitute a large sweet onion (like Walla Walla or Vidalia) instead.  Be sure to buy a fennel that has some of the fronds attached (the green dill like looking top) because you will stir some of the chopped fronds into the finished salad.  Make sure to dress the salad when the potatoes are warm.  They will absorb the dressing beautifully.  Finally, potato salads, like pasta salads, taste best room temperature.  You can store the salad for a day or so in the fridge but take it out about an hour before you want to serve it.

For the dressing:
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. whole grain mustard
2 tbsp. horseradish
Juice of ½ a lemon
Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
2½ pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large bite-size chunks
Olive oil
3 spring onions, bulb part only, chopped
1 large fennel, inner core removed, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
4 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. chopped fennel fronds

Make the dressing:
Mix together the first six ingredients in a bowl.  Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

Make the salad:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Lay the potato chunks on a large baking sheet and drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Shower with salt and a few grinds of pepper.  (Potatoes need salt!)  Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes without disturbing them.  A paring knife should easily pierce them.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, place a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom, then add the onions and fennel and a large pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, then add the parsley.  Continue to cook until the vegetables are very soft and brown in places, about 10 more minutes.  Scrape the contents of the pan into a large bowl.

Transfer the still quite warm potatoes to the bowl along with the celery.  Spoon out about five tablespoons of the dressing into the bowl and, using a spatula, mix together gently.  Add the fennel fronds and mix again.  Taste for salt and pepper and additional dressing if desired.

 



Why Mess with Perfection?

October 10, 2012

In the 28 months that I have been making what I consider to be the best chocolate chip cookie in the universe, I have rarely considered making another.  Recipes come my way all the time, via books and the internet, and the only time I was tempted to stray was for this recipe.  We liked that one very much too.  But after they cleared out of the cookie jar, I went back to my favorite.  I make a lot of cookies and I have many that I like, but Ashley’s are my the tippy top favorite.

So why stray?  Why mess with perfection?  I am a recent subscriber to Saveur and it only comes out 10 times a year so it feels like a pleasant surprise when it arrives in my mailbox.  The most recent issue is terrific, 101 Classic Recipes.  Of course there is a chocolate chip cookie.  I would have just turned the page, chuckling that they got their recipe so wrong.  But when I saw how different it is from any other I have made, I decided to give it a try.  Unlike Ashley’s there is only one kind of sugar and unlike the New York Times (another very good cookie), there is only one kind of flour.  But there are four egg yolks and a completely different method for shaping the cookies.  Rather than scooping the dough out of the bowl and onto cookie sheets, you essentially roll out three sheets of dough, sprinkling chocolate in between them, and then use a biscuit or cookie cutter to cut them out.  Revolutionary or ridiculous?

I’m on the fence.  I found the method to be a royal pain in the butt.  I don’t like rolling out cookie dough.  The only cookie dough I roll out on a regular basis is for holiday cookies and that is because there would be a coup in my house if I didn’t make them.  There is a lot of chocolate and not a lot of dough in this recipe which means they make for lovely eating but are a little difficult to manhandle while you are stamping them out.  I like a cookie with some height and those three layers of dough work wonders for the height of the cookie.  They are soft in the middle and crisp around the edges and if I had remembered to sprinkle sea salt on top of each one, I might have been tempted to introduce this cookie into our family permanently.  Why don’t you bake up a batch of Ashley’s and a batch of these and bring them both over for an official taste test.

And at the end of this post, I have to say one thing.  As I was sitting here, writing about dough and cookies and the quest for the best, I pulled away to get inspiration.  It is something I often do when I get stuck.  I go to my favorite blogs to check in.  See what they are cooking, photographing, and writing about.  I read this post and I laughed and sobbed in the space of a few paragraphs.  And I came back here, feeling silly that I was writing about cookies.  My kids are growing so fast – why am I writing about cookies??  But in the end, cookies are important, especially to my little guys who love them so deeply.

One Year Ago:  Corn Chowder with Coconut Milk, Cocoa Nib Brownies
Two Years Ago:  Savory Rugelach, Ratatouille, Mushroom and Herb Polenta, Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie
Three Years Ago:  Smoky Chard over Grilled Bread, Asian Coconut Noodle Soup, Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Arugula, Almond Praline Scones
Four Years Ago:  Five Lentil and Chard Soup, Quick Olive and Cheese Bread

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Saveur
Makes about 2 dozen

The recipe suggests you use a hand mixer, I used my stand mixer.  It also suggests you roll the dough into the desired shape, I thought it was easier to smoosh (technical term) and pat it into shape.  I kept patting the scraps out over and over again to maximize the number of cookies and they lost their height but not their taste.

2¼ cups flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.  Combine butter, both sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat on medium-high speed with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add yolks two at a time, beating after each addition; add dry ingredients; beat on low speed until just combined.  Transfer dough to a work surface; divide into 3 equal pieces.  Flatten each into a 4″ x 6″ rectangle; wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Place one dough rectangle on flour work surface; sprinkle with half the chocolate.  Top with another rectangle, sprinkle with remaining chocolate, and cover with last rectangle.  Using a floured rolling pin, flatten rectangles into a 9″ x 6″ x 1½” rectangle.  Using a 2″ round cutter, cut out cookies; transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced 3″ apart.  Gather scraps, reroll into a 1½” thick disk; cut out more cookies.  (See headnote.)  Bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through cooking, until lightly browned and set, about 15 minutes.



Fennel Freak

July 24, 2012

Tell me if this happens to you.  You taste something delicious and then suddenly, your homing device is set to that thing.  I had burrata for the first time several years ago at Pizzeria Mozza while visiting a friend in L.A. and when I got back, I scoured my cookbooks for recipes using burrata.

On Sunday night, I went to a wine tasting, featuring Walla Walla wines, at Tom Douglas’ amazing space Palace Ballroom.  They had platters of food set out so we could make sure there was a cushion for the 13 (!) wines we were slated to taste.  One of those platters held roasted vegetables and I may have scoffed.  So imaginative!  Roasted vegetables as a vegetarian option!  But they were roasted in a wood-fired oven and they had fennel included in the mix and I could have eaten an entire plate of that roasted fennel.  I included a roasted fennel dish in one of my classes last winter – fennel, red peppers, grapes, and herbes de Provence – so I knew how good that vegetable is blasted at high heat.  But this was something else.

(Pre-baking.)

So, off I went in search of fennel recipes.  I did not have to look far.  I just got a new cookbook (surprise!) called The Fresh & Green Table.  It is a lovely book with so many a very nice variety of mostly vegetarian recipes.  Baked Penne with Silky Fennel in Hot Pink Sauce – how could you not want to make that?

I’m no stranger to baked pasta recipes (like this onethis one, and this one).  They are one of my favorite things to make on a cold day and I also love making them for large groups.  You can scale up easily.  I understand that it is actually summertime and many of the people in this country might not want to turn their oven on to 425º and then eat hot pasta.  So save this recipe for another time.  But make it and you won’t be sorry.  I sort of expected this to taste like other tomato based baked pasta dishes I’ve made but no.  No no no no.  I give full credit to the fennel (browned in a pan first – almost a little smoky) and the bread crumbs (crunch!).  I made a lot of changes, some of them intentional – lightening up the dish with less cheese, less oil, and no butter, and some of them unintentional – making about 100 mistakes in the process of getting it in the oven.  The recipe below reflects what I did.

One Year Ago:  Chesapeake Bay Snack Mix, Vegetable Enchiladas
Two Years Ago:  Mini Pissaladière, Lavender Honey Ice Cream
Three Years Ago:  Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Baked Penne with Silky Fennel in Hot Pink Sauce
Adapted (liberally) from The Fresh & Green Table
Serves 4

I sometimes have a hard time finding 14-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes.  They seem to always come in the 28-ounce size.  I just stick my immersion blender directly into a 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes and crush them that way.  You could just use a blender.  Please, by all means, make your own breadcrumbs for this dish.  If you don’t have stale bread on hand, throw a few slices of good bread in the oven until crisp and then grind it up (tearing into small pieces first) in the food processor.

¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
Olive oil
3 tbsp. chopped parsley
Kosher or sea salt
3 medium fennel bulbs
1 tbsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. vodka
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
½ pound penne rigate
½ cup heavy cream
4 ounces diced fresh mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, 2 tsp. of olive oil, the parsley, and a large pinch of salt.  Set aside.

Trim the stalks from the fennel.  Trim any brown spots from the outside of the fennel and halve the bulbs.  Cut most of the core from both halves, leaving a bit of it to hold some of the wedges together (some will fall naturally apart into slices).  Cut the fennel lengthwise (rotating your knife as you go, so that you are cutting on a radial angle always toward the center) into ¼-inch thick slices.  Place a large pot over medium-high heat.  Drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add the fennel slices.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is very tender and well browned, 12 to 14 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the vodka and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot while it simmers down (this will take just a few seconds).  Add the crushed tomatoes and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot, until well mixed, about 30 seconds.  Turn the heat down to low.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until just shy of al dente (the pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so be sure to not overcook it).  Pour the cream into a 2 cup measuring cup and keep it by the stove.  When the pasta is ready, ladle out ¾ cup of the cooking liquid and add it to the cream.  Drain the pasta and add it to the tomato fennel mixture.  Pour in the cream mixture and stir well to combine.  Stir in the mozzarella cheese and the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan.  Season to taste with salt.

Turn the mixture out into a 8×12-inch casserole dish.  Using a spatula, press down on the top.  Scatter the breadcrumbs over the top.  Bake, uncovered, until the top is browned and crusty and the casserole is bubbling vigorously, about 25 minutes.  Let it sit for a few minutes while the bubbling subsides, then serve right away.

(Make ahead tips:  You can make the sauce part (brown the fennel all the way through adding tomatoes) several hours ahead.  Just leave the pot on the stove and warm it up before you proceed with the recipe.  As with most casseroles, this can be made early in the day that you plan to serve it.  Cover the whole thing with foil and store it in your refrigerator.  You will need to add about 10 minutes to your cooking time.)



Tartines and a Bialetti Pan Giveaway

March 8, 2012

Up until the age of 20, one of my favorite things to eat in the world was a tuna fish sandwich.  That was my go-to lunch whether eating out or at home.  There was a deli in my college town that put an absurd amount of tuna salad on a large soft roll and I would talk friends with cars into taking me to get one.  At home, I mixed my albacore with plenty of celery, a little mayo, and a dollop of mustard.  I piled it high on rye bread and topped it with tomatoes, pickles, lettuce.  Then, four years after I stopped eating meat, I stopped eating fish.  I contemplated having a special disclaimer for tuna fish sandwiches but ultimately decided that tuna fish is still, you know, fish.  So I said goodbye to my beloved sandwich.

Since then, sandwiches and I have not really gotten along, especially when eating out.  My experience of vegetarian sandwiches in restaurants go a little something like this:

  • Dried out rye bread smeared with too much mayonnaise and topped with a slice of Swiss cheese that has started to go crusty around the edges, a not-quite-red tomato, and a hunk of iceberg lettuce.
  • Massive slices of oily greasy foccacia slathered with oily greasy sun-dried tomato hummus on one half and oily greasy tapenade on the other, topped with oily greasy roasted vegetables.
  • Very earnest whole wheat bread, smeared with cream cheese and topped with every vegetable under the sun including an entire garden’s worth of sprouts.

 

At home, it’s better.  Grilled cheese when dunked into amazing tomato soup is nice.  And I’m a total sucker for a tofu Bahn Mi.  But really, I prefer a wrap or a salad.  Or noodles.  Or really anything else.  I’m just not a sandwich gal.

This is not a sandwich.  It’s a tartine.  Verrrrrry different.  French.  Open faced.  One piece of really good bread.  Interesting and varied toppings.  Think crostini or bruschetta but bigger pieces of bread.  More like, um, a sandwich.  I like these very much.  They are terrific when you want to make something for lunch or dinner but don’t want to shop.  They are also terrific if you have a soup or salad that you are excited about and you just wanted something yummy to round out your meal.

Last week, I planned to make a salad that I was excited about and I had a new pan I was excited about and so tartines it was.  I made one with a labneh (kind of like a yogurt cheese), roasted tomato, and cilantro.  I made the other with a frittata made with shallots, cilantro pesto, harissa.  Except I was out of harissa so I used sambal oelek (a chile sauce).  Nothing super fancy but both were so much better than the sum of their parts.

So how about that pan?  One of the most common questions I get in classes is about what kind of pans I use.  I am lucky to have a decent arsenal of high quality stainless steel pans (All-Clad), a few Le Crueset pots, a beautiful copper double boiler (that is too pretty to use), and a few other assorted others. I rarely use use non-stick pans.  There are a few reasons for this.  It is nearly impossible to get a good brown on an onion (or a steak for that matter – not that I would know) with a non-stick pan.  Until recently, the coating on most non-stick pans would emit dangerous chemicals into your kitchen if left on high heat.  And really, I am just in the habit of using stainless or cast-iron for most things.

Except eggs.  And pancakes.  And grilled cheese sandwiches.  There is no substitute for non-stick in those situations, in my opinion.  I have a huge All-Clad non-stick pan that I use for very large frittatas but it isn’t the best for smaller quantities.  So when the Bialetti people offered to send me a new brightly colored perfectly sized pan, I jumped at the chance to say yes.

What can I say, this is a great little pan.  It is lightweight, has a handle that stays cool, a white bottom so you can easily see your food (why has no one else thought of this?), and is super SUPER non-stick.  I love it.  And I know you would too.  Want one?  Just tell me about your favorite pan in your kitchen and what you like to make with it.  I will randomly choose a winner on Tuesday, March 13th.  This contest closes at noon (PDT) on that day.  UPDATE:  This contest is now closed.  A winner has been chosen.

One Year Ago:  Sweet Potato Tian
Two Years Ago:  Tofu Cauliflower Kahri
Three Years Ago:  Goat Cheese Ravioli with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Tartine with Labneh, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, and Cilantro
Inspired by Dianna Henry’s Plenty
Serves 4

The labneh needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator overnight, so plan accordingly.  If you are going to go through the trouble of slow roasting tomatoes, you might as well do a larger batch.  Lay the leftovers in layers drizzled with olive oil in the refrigerator.

1½ cups 2% Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, put through a press or very finely minced
Kosher or sea salt
8 plum tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
4 thick slices sourdough bread

Place the yogurt, garlic, and a pinch of salt into a bowl and stir well.  Line a sieve with cheese cloth and scrape the yogurt mixture into the sieve.  Place a bowl under the sieve and put the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300ºF.  Place the tomato halves on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and roast until very soft and kind of shriveled, turning half way through the baking process, about 1 hour.  Set aside.

While the tomatoes are roasting, place the bread on another baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake until just a tiny bit crispy on top, but still soft, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Smear a bit of the labneh on each slice of bread (you might have have some left over).  Lay down two tomato halves and scatter cilantro leaves over the top.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tartine with Shallot Frittata and Cilantro Pesto
Dana Treat Original
Serves 4

1½ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large shallot, finely diced
3 large eggs, beaten
4 thick slices sourdough bread
Harissa, or other hot sauce

Preheat oven to 325ºF.  Place the cilantro and walnuts in a food processor.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Process until a coarse paste forms.  Pour in the olive oil and pulse until you have a relative smooth pesto.  Set aside.

Place the bread on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake until just a tiny bit crispy on top, but still soft, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Place a non-stick pan over medium-low heat.  Drizzle in a bit of olive oil and then add the shallots and a pinch of salt.  Sauté until very soft and starting to brown, about 4 minutes.  Pour in the eggs and swirl the pan around so that egg covers the surface of the pan.  Keep lifting the edges of the eggs up so the uncooked top layer can get a chance at the heat.  If you are very dextrous, you can flip the whole frittata over.  If not, just make sure the top of the frittata is cooked, then remove from the heat.

Slice the frittata into quarters.  Lay a quarter on each slice of bread and spoon a bit of the cilantro pesto over top.  Add just about a teaspoon of chile sauce to each tartine.

 

 



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