Arugula Salad with Peaches, Basil, Goat Cheese & Pine Nuts

I have a quite a few summer recipes to share. 🙂  I loved this simple salad so much, I had to post it first. I’ve already made it a couple of times! It is composed of many of my seasonal favorites. Bright, fresh, creamy, crunchy and absolutely perfect.

This recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by Lidey Heuck. I used half of the dressing. I made the salad with white peach slices, but it would also be wonderful with sliced nectarines or mango. The author also suggested substituting cherries, strawberries, plums, raspberries or even cherry tomatoes. Lovely.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer or side salad

  • 1/4 cup (4 T) pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 to 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 T champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • 2 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup), plus more to taste
  1. In a small sauté pan, toast the pine nuts over medium heat, tossing often, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. (I used a small cast iron skillet.) Remove from the heat.
  2. In a small liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. (I used 4 T olive oil and 2 T vinegar but used about half of the dressing on the salad and reserved the remaining dressing.)
  3. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Pour just enough dressing over the greens to moisten, and toss to coat.
  4. Add the peaches, basil, goat cheese and toasted pine nuts and toss to coat.
  5. Toss gently and serve immediately.

Whole Wheat-Bartlett Pear Crumb Cake

This cake was nutty, earthy, and really really moist. The entire house smelled absolutely incredible while it baked- much of the credit should be given to the orange zest in the batter. Even more wonderful orange flavor was added after the cake was removed from the oven when fresh orange juice was drizzled all over the top. Fabulous!

This recipe was adapted from Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan with Josh Loeb and Laurel Almerinda. I weighed whole roasted almonds and then finely ground them in a mini food processor instead of using store-bought almond flour. I used fat-free Greek yogurt instead of whole plain yogurt. I also substituted oat bran for the toasted wheat germ in the original recipe. Wheat bran or ground flaxseed would also work as substitutes. I also baked the cake in a 9-inch springform pan instead of a 10-inch cake pan.

The authors offer seasonal adaptations to this recipe by substituting blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, apricots, peaches, or figs for the pears. Yummy!

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 55 g (1/2 cup plus 2 T) almond flour
  • 20 g (1/4 cup plus 2 T) rolled oats
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 T oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) sliced almonds

For the Cake:

  • 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160 g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 55 g (3/4 cup) oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) almond flour
  • 3 T rye flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) plain yogurt (I used fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • zest of 1 orange, *fruit reserved*
  • 3 pears, peeled and thickly sliced into 6 pieces each (I used Bartlett pears)

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To Make the Topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, almond flour, oats, granulated sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt. Blend with a pastry blender until homogenous.
  2. Add sliced almonds and blend with your fingers. Refrigerate until needed.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line and grease a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and cooking spray.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well.
  4. Pause mixing and all the all-purpose flour, wheat germ, almond flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, and orange zest. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not over mix!
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and cover evenly with the pears.
  6. Top with the crumble, allowing a little fruit to poke through.
  7. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or up to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake!
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan; then squeeze the orange over the entire cake.
  9. Remove the side of the pan and gently pull the parchment paper from every nook and cranny of the cake.

Note: This cake is best served the day it is made, but it will keep, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 days at room temperature.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Raspberry-Ricotta Cake

This recipe encourages the use of frozen berries! It was very quick to put together, had a lovely presentation, and most importantly was delicious as well. 🙂 We ate this cake for dessert but it would also be an amazing coffee cake. This recipe is from Bon Appétit.

Yield: Serves 8

  • nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups ricotta
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries or blackberries, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350° (preferably on convection).
  2. Line a 9”-diameter cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray.
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended.
  5. Then fold in butter, followed by ¾ cup raspberries, taking care not to crush berries.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining ¼ cup raspberries over top.
  7. Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes on convection or up to 60 minutes in a standard oven. Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding.

Note: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

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One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Green Smoothies!

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My sweet husband gave me a Vitamix blender for Christmas even though he was a little bit scared about being served green shakes for breakfast (& possibly even lunch too!). These smoothies are “green” but contain tons of fruit so they are sweet enough to transition even the skeptics out there. A great way to start a healthy 2015!! 🙂

My preference is for room temperature concoctions- the flavors really shine. The Orange Smoothie (above) is my favorite. It is unbelievably creamy with just a hint of cinnamon. The recipe is from celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, via popsugar.com. Green and yummy!!

Orange Smoothie

Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies

  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 oranges, peeled
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until desired consistency. (I used the Smoothies setting on the Vitamix.) Enjoy immediately.

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This super creamy, fluffy, and silky smooth smoothie is my husband’s absolute favorite. It is delicious and filling. This recipe was adapted from Food 52, contributed by Gena Hamshaw.

Avocado Smoothie

Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies (4 smoothies of the size pictured above)

  • 1 banana, peeled, room temperature or frozen
  • 1/2 cup mango, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 small or medium avocado
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (almond, soy, oat, rice, or cow milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place all smoothie ingredients in your blender and blend till very smooth and creamy. Add a little more milk as needed, or a few ice cubes if you want it to be frostier. (I used the Smoothies setting on the Vitamix.) Enjoy immediately.

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In the cold weather, this pear smoothie was perfect made with a room temperature banana; I may prefer it with a frozen banana in warmer weather though. Perfect this time of year when delicious apples and pears are so readily available. So tasty! This recipe was adapted from LoveandLentils.com.

Pear-Spinach Smoothie

Yield: 1 large (giant!) or 2 small/medium smoothies

  • 1 cup milk (almond, soy, oat, rice, or cow milk)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 forelle pear (or any small pear will do) (I used half of a large d’Anjou pear)
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen but preferably frozen
  • 1/2 a small apple (I used a pink lady)
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  1. Add all of the ingredients into your blender and blend at high speed until smooth. (I used the Smoothies setting on the Vitamix.) Enjoy immediately.

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This smoothie is tangy and loaded with raspberries. My son even approved! It is less creamy than the others but very fresh and frosty. This recipe is from Vitamix.

Ruby Emerald Smoothie

Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 cup (150 g) red grapes
  • 1 medium apple (5 1/2 oz/156 g), quartered, seeded
  • 1 cup (65 g) coarsely chopped fresh kale, spine and stem removed
  • 1 cup (140 g) frozen unsweetened raspberries
  1. Place all ingredients into the blender (or Vitamix) in the order listed. Process on high speed or on the Smoothies setting. Enjoy immediately.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Raspberry Custard Tart

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I chose to make this lovely tart with my precious hand-picked raspberry harvest. The filling was warm, silky, and tasty – the crust crisp and lemony. I did have difficulty with the caramel sauce; it didn’t include any cream and only had minimal butter to keep it from firming up when cool. After adding cream, the sauce was more successful. Honestly, this simple tart would be perfect even without the sauce! This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Nancy Silverton, the pastry chef of La Brea Bakery and Campanile in Los Angeles.

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

For the Pastry:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For the Filling:

  • 1 pint raspberries, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  1. Prepare the sauce: Puree the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Strain the puree through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl and discard the solids. In a small heavy saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, without stirring, until a medium-amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and carefully stir in the raspberry puree until smooth. Stir in the butter and cream, then remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Let the raspberry sauce cool completely.
  2. Make the Crust: In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and add to the flour; pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolk, lemon juice and zest. Add to the flour mixture and process just until large clumps of dough form. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 1/8 inch thick and fit in a 9- or 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze 15 minutes, or until firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the dough with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for 5 minutes longer, or until the pastry is lightly browned on the bottom. Cover the shell loosely with foil if the sides begin to brown too quickly. Let cool completely on a rack.
  5. Make the Custard Filling: Arrange the raspberries in concentric circles over the bottom of the tart shell. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolks, sugar and scraped vanilla seeds. Pour the custard into the tart shell. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 55 minutes, or until the custard is set. Let the tart cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Serve with fresh raspberries and the raspberry-caramel sauce, if desired.

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One Year Ago:

Blackberry-Raspberry Hand Pies

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There are pie crust lovers and pie filling lovers. This one is for the crust lovers- like my husband. 🙂 They are cute and pop-tartesque but I prefer lots of filling. I did love their presentation! I changed my dinner-party dessert plans at the last minute and used store-bought crust, but included the crust recipe below. (for next time…) This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living. We ate the leftovers – warm- for breakfast. 🙂

Yield: Makes 8

For the Crust:

  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if necessary
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Filling:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

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  1. To Make the Crust: Whisk together sour cream, lemon juice, and ice water in a bowl. Mix together flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in a large bowl. Add butter and beat with a mixer on medium-low until mixture resembles coarse meal with some blueberry-size clumps remaining. Gradually beat in sour-cream mixture until just combined but still crumbly. (Squeeze a small amount of dough to see if it holds together. Beat in more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary.) Divide dough in half, gather into 2 flat rectangles, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until just firm, 45 minutes.
  2. Roll out each rectangle of dough into a 7-by-14-inch rectangle on a piece of floured parchment with a floured rolling pin. (Dough will be very thin.) Transfer rectangles on parchment to 2 baking sheets and refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Stir together berries, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
  4. Slide 1 dough rectangle, still on parchment, onto a work surface. With a long side facing you, cut dough crosswise into four 3 1/2-by-7-inch strips.
  5. Mound 2 tablespoons berry mixture in center of bottom half of each strip. Brush edges with egg wash and fold top half over fruit to enclose. Press firmly (I used a fork) to seal and trim bottom edge, leaving folded top edge uncut. Cut vents in each pie and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with fresh parchment. Transfer to freezer. Repeat with remaining dough and berry mixture. Freeze hand pies until very firm, at least 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lightly brush pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake, rotating sheets and switching racks halfway through, until pies are golden brown, 28 to 30 minutes on convection or up to 40 minutes in a standard oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

One Year Ago:

Buttermilk Cake with Raspberries

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I am upset that the summer is coming to an end for many reasons- one of which is the end of fresh berry desserts! This cake is very moist with a fabulous crispy sugar top. It can be made with either blackberries or raspberries and is quick to make. It is a dessert but we ate it for breakfast without the whipped cream. Isn’t a coffee cake really a dessert? 🙂 It was a treat for the last day of summer vacation. The tartness of the berries have a nice balance with the sweetness of the cake. Delicious! This recipe is from Food and Wine, contributed by Amelia O’Reilly and Nico Monday.

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups blackberries OR raspberries, plus more for serving
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving, if desired
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with 2/3 cup of the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the buttermilk and dry ingredients in 3 alternating batches, ending with the dry ingredients; do not overbeat. Gently fold the batter just until blended, then scrape into the pan; smooth the top.
  3. Scatter the 1 1/4 cups of berries over the batter; lightly press them in. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar over the cake. Bake for about 20 minutes (on convection), or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out the cake and remove the paper. Turn the cake right side up and let cool completely. Serve the buttermilk cake with whipped cream and more berries, if desired. (We ate it warm, without whipped cream, and it was great.)

If you like this you may also like: Strawberry Summer Cake

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