Heirloom Tomato Crostata with Honey-Thyme Glaze

This crostata was worth every bit of effort. The crust was perfectly flaky. The sweetness of the tomatoes was enhanced by the honey-thyme-vinegar glaze. The garlic oil, gruyere, and thyme added layers of wonderful flavor. Delicious!

I made this pretty crostata to share with some special girlfriends whom I don’t get to see nearly often enough. We enjoyed a lovely lunch while all of our kids played together. One friend brought a yummy caesar salad to serve on the side. Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes from What Jessica Baked Next for dessert. It was a great time for all. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used a combination of my CSA and colorful heirloom tomatoes, used gruyere instead of cheddar, and reduced the baking time for a convection oven.

I am sharing this special dish with my friends at Fiesta Friday #84 this week hosted by Steffi @ Ginger and Bread and Effie @ Food Daydreaming. Enjoy!!

Yield: 6 servings

For the Crust:

  • 125 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup), more for rolling out dough
  • 75 grams fine cornmeal (about 1/2 cup)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons), cut into small cubes
  • 35 grams grated Gruyere or extra-sharp Cheddar (about 1/2 cup)

For the Filling:

  • 1 ½ pounds different-colored tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick (or halved if cherry or grape tomatoes), preferably heirloom
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt, plus a pinch
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 65 grams Gruyere or extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • flaky sea salt, like Maldon

To Make the Crust:

  1. In a food processor, briefly pulse together flour, cornmeal and salt.
  2. Add butter and cheese and pulse until mixture forms chickpea-size pieces (3 to 5 one-second pulses).
  3. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 6 tablespoons, pulsing occasionally until mixture is just moist enough to hold together.
  4. Form dough into a ball, wrap with plastic and flatten into a disk. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. (I refrigerated it overnight.)

To Make the Filling:

  1. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Spread out tomato slices in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and let sit for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, combine vinegar, honey and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer; let simmer 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Wipe out skillet, then add olive oil and garlic. Cook garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, or until garlic is golden and caramelized.
  4. Remove garlic and finely chop. Reserve garlic oil.

To Finish the Crostata:

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. (*Alternatively, roll out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper large enough to line a rimmed baking sheet.*) Gently roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, dusting with flour if dough is sticking. Transfer dough to baking sheet and return to fridge for another 20 minutes. (longer than 20 minutes is okay)
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pat tomatoes dry with paper towels. Brush tomatoes with honey mixture.
  3. Leaving a 3-inch border, distribute the garlic, then the cheese, followed by half the chopped thyme leaves on center of crust.
  4. Add black pepper to taste, then layer tomatoes in an overlapping pattern, maintaining the 3-inch border.
  5. Drizzle garlic oil over tomatoes, sprinkle with remaining thyme leaves.
  6. Gently fold crust up around tomatoes, making a 2-inch border.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk egg and 1 teaspoon water. Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash over crust and sprinkle top of crostata with flaky salt.
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes on convection, or up to 35 minutes in a standard oven, until pastry is deeply golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Warm Corn Chowder Salad with Bacon

My kids and I brought this tasty side dish when we went to visit my friend and her family during their vacation at Hither Hills State Park in Montauk, New York. (It’s an annual tradition for us!) She and her husband invite friends and cook TONS of food… even though it’s their vacation. 🙂 This year, we actually spent the night in a tent on their camp site! What an adventure! 🙂

This recipe is from Food and Wine, contributed by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell. It is best served warm or at room-temperature. The delicious fresh corn flavor really shines in this dish. Great!

Yield: 10 side-dish servings

  • 4 to 5 thick slices of bacon (4 ounces), cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 8 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • coarse salt
  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately low heat, stirring a few times, until it is crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels and let drain.
  2. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the potatoes and cook over moderate heat until they start to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes longer, until almost tender.
  3. Add the diced red peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and peppers are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and stir in the onion, cider vinegar, crushed red pepper and bacon.
  6. Season the salad with salt and serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

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I can’t believe it, but I am tired of pulled pork. What is even more surprising is that my husband is in agreement! This was a nice variation and the sauce was tasty with a subtle spicy kick; I omitted the liquid smoke as I am not partial to smoky flavor. The chicken was really moist even after five hours in the slow-cooker too.

This recipe was adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine, via cookingwithauntjuju.com and talkingonmagazines.com. Perfect to feed a crowd. Perfect for guests because it can be made ahead of time and reheated in the slow-cooker prior to serving.

We ate it with Provencal Tomatoes and corn on the cob but it may have needed coleslaw and potato salad (too?!?). Next time… 🙂 Nice!

Yield: Serves 10 to 12

  • 4 (10-12 oz) bone-in split chicken breasts
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 tsp chili powder
  • 2-3 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) tomato paste
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 T brown mustard
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce, plus more for serving, if desired
  • 3/4 tsp liquid smoke, if desired
  • 12 sandwich rolls (I prefer potato rolls)
  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Generously season with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine onion, oil, garlic, chili powders, cayenne, and tomato paste in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the onion softens slightly, about 3 minutes.
  3. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow-cooker and stir in the ketchup, molasses, mustard, and cider vinegar.
  4. Add the chicken to the slow-cooker and toss to combine with sauce. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until chicken shreds easily with a fork.
  5. Transfer cooked chicken to a cutting board or rimmed baking sheet and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Using a ladle or large spoon, skim the fat off the surface of the sauce. Discard.
  7. Stir the hot sauce and liquid smoke (if using) into the sauce. Cover to keep warm.
  8. Remove and discard chicken breast skin and bones. Coarsely shred the breast meat using 2 forks. Roughly chop the thigh meat into 1/2-inch chunks.
  9. Return the meat to the slow-cooker and combine with sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve on sandwich rolls with hot sauce to pass at the table, if desired.

IMG_9715

One Year Ago:

Pull-Apart Irish Soda Bread

IMG_7914
When I saw a photo of this bread in Martha Stewart Living, I had to make soda bread this way! Because the pieces are smaller, the baking time is much shorter than traditional soda bread and the result is much more moist and tender bread. This recipe is also loaded with raisins and wonderful flavor and texture from caraway seeds. Great! Perfect for our annual St. Patrick’s Day soda bread breakfast. 🙂 (and week before St. Patrick’s Day soda bread breakfasts…) This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living. Happy Fiesta Friday #7 at the Novice Gardener!!
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup caraway seeds
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) raisins
  • Salted butter, preferably Irish, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add bran, caraway seeds, and raisins; stir to distribute.
  4. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky.
  5. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf.
  6. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and, with floured hands, roll each into a ball. Transfer the balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet in 4 rows of 4, making sure each dough ball is touching the ones around it. With the tip of a paring knife, cut a 1/4-inch-deep X on each ball.
  7. Bake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes (on convection). Let cool on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature before serving with plenty of salted Irish butter.

IMG_7910

One Year Ago:

Perfect Coleslaw

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I can’t believe that I bought cabbage! I got so much cabbage in my CSA box last year that I started making all sorts of new things outside of the “coleslaw box”. 🙂 But, my husband wanted coleslaw to go with his Father’s Day pulled pork sandwiches…. This is the perfect recipe. We love it. It is adapted from my gold standard vegetarian cookbook- the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. Quick to make with a food processor too.

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (about 1/2 of a head)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 medium-sized tart apples, such as Granny Smith, grated
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 2 T honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup fat-free greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup cashews, optional
  • handful of raisins, optional

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled.

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