My friend has been sharing her beautiful homegrown tomatoes. Lucky me! They are more delicious than my CSA tomatoes. ❤
I try to use them in a special way and I love that this risotto uses fresh tomatoes in two ways- cooked and sliced as a colorful garnish. My homegrown basil and parsley were the icing on the cake.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I attempted to adapt the recipe to cook using my pressure cooker, as I usually do with risotto, but there wasn’t enough liquid for it to cook properly. Cooking this version in the traditional manner is the way to go. 🙂 By using boiling liquid, it was still a quick weeknight dish!
Yield: 4 servings
extra-virgin olive oil
1large yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
coarse salt and pepper
1 1/2cups arborio or carnaroli rice
pinch of red-pepper flakes
3 largegarlic cloves
1/2cup white wine
2cups diced ripe red tomatoes (and all juices)
3 to 4cups boiling water, chicken or vegetable broth
1/2cup grated pecorino or Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 to 4medium tomatoes, in different colors, sliced
chopped parsley, for garnish
snipped basil, for garnish
Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the onion, and season generously with salt. Add pepper to taste, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice and cook the onions, stirring, until the onions are barely brown, about 2 minutes.
Add red-pepper flakes, garlic, white wine and diced tomatoes, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes more.
Add 2 cups boiling water or stock and adjust the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring well with a wooden spoon every minute or so.
When the liquid is absorbed, add remaining 1 cup water or stock and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until the rice is cooked, but the grains are still firm. (I added an additional cup of stock.)
Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding another splash of water if necessary to loosen the mixture.
Turn off the heat, stir in the grated cheese and 2 more tablespoons olive oil. (I omitted the additional oil.)
Transfer to a low, wide serving bowl. Surround the rice with tomato slices and season them with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with parsley and basil. Pass more grated cheese at the table, as desired.
Pasta is definitely my go-to for quick weeknight dishes. Maybe too often! Vodka sauce is one of our absolute favorites, so this vegetarian, quick version was irresistible. I’ve already made it twice. 😉
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. On one occasion, I added mushrooms to mimic the amazing version served at Tony’s Di Napoli in NYC. I added more garlic and used mezzi rigatoni as well. Great.
Yield: Serves 4
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
5 oz white mushrooms, sliced, optional
4 oz Parmesan cheese, about 1/2 cup, finely grated
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 4.5-oz tube double-concentrated tomato paste
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 oz vodka
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 lb rigatoni or mezzi rigatoni
basil leaves, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. (I used a large, shallow, enameled cast iron pan.)
Add the onion and garlic, stirring constantly, just until the onion is starting to brown around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. *If incorporating the mushrooms, add after the onions have cooked for 2 minutes.*
Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes and stir to coat onion. Cook, stirring often, until paste is deep red and starting to brown and stick to the bottom of the pot, about 4 to 7 minutes.
Add vodka to deglaze the pan, scraping up browned bits; reduce the heat to low.
Using a heatproof measuring glass, scoop out about 1/4 cup boiling pasta water from the pot. Add heavy cream to the water. (This brings up the temperature of the cream so it won’t break when you add it to the pot.)
Stirring constantly, gradually pour cream mixture into the onion mixture and cook, stirring, until a smooth sauce forms. Remove from heat.
Cook pasta in the pot of boiling water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. About 1 minute before pasta is done, scoop out 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid.
Return the pot with sauce to low heat.
Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the pasta to the sauce pot.
Stir in 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid, then gradually add half of the Parmesan, stirring constantly to melt. The pasta should be coated with a smooth, glossy sauce.
Season with salt; add more pasta cooking liquid if sauce is too thick.
Top with basil and remaining Parmesan and drizzle with a little oil, as desired.
More eggplant! This dish is a great vegetarian alternative to a traditional baked ziti. A crowd-pleasing weeknight comfort-food pasta casserole. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in NYC. I used San Marzano tomatoes instead of beefsteak and modified the proportions and method. I loved that it incorporated pesto.
To make the dish more healthy, Waxman replaces the traditional béchamel sauce with eggplant. The original recipe even suggests using whole-wheat pasta, if desired. Don’t worry… it is still an indulgent baked pasta dish with butter and plenty of cheese. 😉
Yield: Serves 8
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 pound rigatoni (whole wheat pasta can be used, if desired)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium eggplants (2 pounds), cut into 3/4-inch dice
freshly ground pepper
1 medium to large yellow onion, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
4 beefsteak tomatoes (2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch dice or 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes, with juice, cut into pieces with kitchen shears
1/3 cup prepared pesto
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn or shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°, preferably on convection.
Butter a 9-by-13-inch ovenproof baking dish. (I used cooking oil spray.)
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the rigatoni until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl.
Toss the pasta with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet or sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add half of the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant to the pasta. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of olive oil and the remaining eggplant.
Add the onion, garlic and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have broken down and thickened to a sauce consistency, 7 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the 4 tablespoons of butter.
Add the tomato sauce to the pasta and eggplant along with the pesto and ricotta; season with salt and pepper and toss well.
Transfer the rigatoni to the prepared baking dish. Top with the mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake for about 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden on top.
Let the pasta stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Lucky me- I recently received several beautiful homegrown tomatoes from friends. 🙂 This quick and easy tart was a great way to showcase them.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit. I modified the method and proportions and added parmesan in lieu of creme fraiche. The punch of lemon surprised my son but I thought that it added bright and fresh flavor.
We ate this tart for dinner with a green salad. It would also be lovely served as an appetizer. A dollop of ricotta cheese may also be nice, so I included it as an option for next time.
Yield: 4 servings
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-ounce package or half of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
all-purpose flour, for dusting
2 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced into 1/8-inch rounds on a mandoline, seeds removed (5-6 slices)
This phyllo-crusted savory pie is packed with caramelized summer zucchini. It is a wonderful way to gobble up an abundance of fresh squash from the garden or your CSA share. 🙂 I loved that it was baked in a cast iron skillet too.
The recipe was adapted from thekitchn.com, contributed by Grace Elkus. We ate it for dinner with a green salad but it could also be served for a special brunch or lunch- an amazing summer meal.
One of my friends frequently serves these tarts when entertaining with rave reviews. She describes them as “flavor bombs!” 🙂 I loved them so much, I have also served them on more than one occasion myself.
The tarts can be formed into rectangles on sheet pans, or into rounds on pizza tins. Square pieces are perfect appetizer portions. As they are a bit time consuming to prepare, the tarts can be assembled a day prior to baking and serving. To limit the amount of moisture on the crust, it is important to not to incorporate too many tomatoes.
The recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, via Food Network.com, contributed by Ina Garten. I doubled the recipe, modified the proportions, and made large tarts rather than individual tarts.
8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (about 3 large onions)
6 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons dry white wine
4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
6 to 8 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (I used Trader Joe’s herb-goat cheese)
1 pound Campari or small “on-the-vine” tomatoes (about 3 per tart), or 2 large tomatoes, cut into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
6 tablespoons julienned basil leaves, divided
Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 12 by 12-inch square. Fold the corners in to form a circle. Repeat with the second pastry sheet. (Alternatively, the pastry can be kept in a rectangle, lightly rolled until smooth.)
Place the pastry circles on 2 pizza pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use. (If using rectangles, place the pastry on 2 rimmed sheet pans lined with parchment paper.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, preferably on convection.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet.
Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry.
Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
Place 1/2 of the onion mixture on each tart, again staying within the scored edge.
On each tart, crumble 3 to 4 ounces of goat cheese on top of the onions.
Place tomato slices over each tart. Brush the tomatoes lightly with olive oil and sprinkle each with 2 T basil, salt, and pepper.
Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.
Bake for 25 minutes on convection, or until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven.
After removing from the oven, garnish each tart with the remaining tablespoon of basil and more grated Parmesan.
This soup is described as “a lot more interesting than your average vegetable purée” because the broccoli is caramelized before being incorporated in the soup, adding a greater depth of flavor. By only caramelizing one side of each floret, leaving the other side bright green, the broccoli’s sweetness is preserved. It was quite delicious.
This recipe was adapted from Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark. The soup was inspired by one served by Andrew Feinberg at his former restaurant, Franny’s in Brooklyn. Next time I will make 1 1/2 to 2 times the recipe to have more leftovers! 🙂
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
8 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 heads of broccoli (about 2 pounds), separated into small florets, stems peeled and diced
2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 T unsalted butter
1 large Spanish onion, diced
5 to 10 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
8 to 10 oz potatoes, thinly sliced (peeled, if desired)(I used unpeeled Dutch yellow baby potatoes)
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 a lemon, plus more to taste
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
flaky sea salt, for serving
In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high to high heat. (I used a large enameled cast iron pot.)
Add about 1/3 of the broccoli, just enough so that it covers the bottom of the pan in a single layer without crowding. Cook the broccoli without touching it- until it is dark brown on one side (leave one side bright green), 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl, and repeat with the remaining broccoli, adding another 2 tablespoons oil for each batch. When all of the broccoli has been browned, season it with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Reduce the heat under the soup pot to medium-low. Add the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
When the butter has melted, add the onions garlic, pepper, chile flakes, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook the onion-garlic mixture until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add the potatoes, 4 cups of water, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the broccoli, cover again, and cook until it is tender, another 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir the lemon zest into the soup.
Using an immersion blender (or working in batches in a blender or food processor), coarsely purée the soup, leaving some small chunks for texture, if desired. (I puréed the soup until smooth.)
Stir in the lemon juice.
When serving, finish with grated cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of black pepper and flaky sea salt.