This quick summer dish gobbled up the cilantro from my CSA share. The sauce was silky and fresh.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I reduced the oil and modified the method. Next time I may add some lemon zest and/or toasted pine nuts. Easy and delicious!
1 pound short pasta, such as shells, cavatappi, chiocciole, farfalle, ditali or wagon wheels (I used cascatelli)
about 12 ounces fresh, whole-milk ricotta (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
4 T (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 to 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
2 1/2 cups soft herbs, packed, such as cilantro, basil, chives, fennel fronds, parsley, mint, tarragon, chervil or dill (try for a combination of at least 3 kinds), coarsely chopped (I used a food processor)
lemon zest, optional
handful of toasted pine nuts, optional
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 2 cups pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
In the same pot, make the sauce: Add ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, pepper and a large pinch or two of coarse salt, and stir until well combined.
Add 1 cup pasta water to the sauce and stir until smooth.
Coarsely chop the herbs with a food processor, if desired. (I used 1 cup dill, 1 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1/4 cup basil.)
Add the cooked pasta and herbs, and continue to stir vigorously until the noodles are well coated. Add more pasta water as needed for a smooth, soupy sauce. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Incorporate lemon zest and/or pine nuts, if using.
To serve, spoon the pasta into a serving bowl or individual bowls and finish with more Parmesan, drizzle of olive oil and more pepper, as desired.
I have one more green soup to share. This bright green soup screams “springtime” to me but it can be a wonderful summertime soup because it is also delicious served chilled. It is a classic soup in my house- I have made it for years using both fresh or frozen peas.
The fresh herbs provide the bright flavor in the finished soup. I have always incorporated fresh dill but I can imagine that it would also be delicious with basil or a combination of fresh herbs.
This recipe is adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Fast, healthy, and delicious.
I have learned so much about cooking by watching Sara Moulton, particularly when she had a live cooking show many years ago. I’ve just started watching her PBS series and I’m thrilled. I have to watch a lot of episodes from previous seasons to catch up! 🙂
She cooked this dish on the show with her son who is reportedly obsessed with making it. We absolutely loved it too- it’s a wonderful weeknight dish. I made the “warm weather” version, serving it over salad dressed with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, but plan to try the “cool weather” version as well, serving it over sautéed apples and cabbage with butternut squash or sweet potato purée.
This recipe was adapted from Sara Moulton.com. I used larger pork chops, used basil, thyme and cilantro in the dressing and topping, and modified the method. I served it with roasted potatoes on the side for my starch-loving husband.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
For the Pork Chops:
four 1 inch-thick boneless pork chops
1 c buttermilk
1 t Tabasco or Chipotle Tabasco
1 large garlic clove
2 to 2 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
6 to 8 T extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
2 T fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, cilantro, and/or basil
lemon wedges, for serving, optional
Warm Weather Version: green salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, for serving (dressing recipe below)
Cool Weather Version: sautéed apples and cabbage, for serving
Cool Weather Version: butternut squash or sweet potato purée, for serving
For the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise
2 T rinsed, dried, and chopped fresh mixed herbs (tarragon, chives, parsley, thyme, basil, cilantro)
1 small garlic clove, minced or pushed through a garlic press
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To Prepare the Pork Chops:
If time permits, freeze the pork chops for 30 minutes to make them easier to cut.
Carefully cut each horizontally to make 2 thin chops for a total of 8 chops.
Place the meat on a cutting board between 2 layers of plastic wrap. (Alternatively, sprinkle a small amount of water into a large resealable plastic bag. Place a pork chop in the bag and close, leaving 1/2 inch open.) Pound with a rolling pin or meat pounder until the chop is about 1/8 inch thick; remove and set aside. Repeat with the remaining chops.
Whisk together buttermilk, Tabasco, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup; press in the garlic. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag.
Place the pounded chops in the bag with buttermilk mixture, one at a time making sure each one is coated, and marinate at room temperature, turning several times, for 30 minutes.
Spread out the bread crumbs in a pie plate.
Remove the chops from the marinade and season them with salt.
Working with one chop at a time, toss the chop in the bread crumbs; shake off the excess crumbs.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large stainless steel, cast iron, or non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot; add half the chops. (I used a 14″ skillet over scant medium heat. Next time I will try a cast iron skillet to ease the clean up!)
Sauté them, turning once for 3 minutes per side, or until golden and just cooked through. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
Repeat with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and the remaining chops, adding more oil if necessary.
Chop the herbs for the topping. (I used cilantro and basil.)
Divide the pork chops among dinner plates, top each portion with come chopped herbs, and serve with a wedge of lemon. Alternatively, serve the pork chops over the dressed green salad.
To Make the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
Whisk together all ingredients in a measuring cup.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Chill until ready to serve.
Note: These pork chops are delicious hot, at room temperature, or even chilled.
I have made this simple and full-flavored dish a couple of times recently. It’s a crowd pleaser in my house.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. According to the article, Jean-Georges Vongerichten learned how to make this recipe from the chef Paul Bocuse, who popularized it at La Mère Brazier in Lyon, France.
I decreased the oven temperature, used shallots in the sauce and scallions as a garnish. I kept all of the drippings to make the sauce and omitted the water and butter in the finished sauce. The extra sauce was wonderful drizzled over roasted potatoes and sautéed greens.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2tablespoons olive oil
13-pound chicken, cut up for sautéing
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼cup minced shallots (about 2 large)
1cup good red-wine vinegar (preferably with 5% acidity)
1tablespoon butter, optional
fresh parsley, thyme, or tarragon for garnish
sliced scallions, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
Set a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; when it is hot, place chicken in the skillet, skin side down. Cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is nicely browned. Turn and cook 3 minutes on the other side. Season with salt and pepper.
Place skillet in the oven. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until almost done, about 165 degrees (juices will run clear, and there will be just a trace of pink near the bone). Remove chicken to an ovenproof platter. Place it in the oven and turn off the heat, and leave the door slightly ajar; alternatively place in a warming drawer tented with foil.
Place skillet over medium-high heat, and add shallots; sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes.
Add vinegar, and raise the heat to high. Cook a minute or two, or until the powerful acid smell has subsided somewhat. Add 1/2 cup water if using vinegar with >5% acidity (I omitted the water), and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring, until the mixture is slightly reduced and somewhat thickened.
Stir in butter, if desired.
Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet, and turn the chicken in the sauce. Garnish with herbs and scallions, as desired. Serve immediately.
Note: Most wine vinegar sold in the United States has an acidity level of 7%; many French vinegars are just 5% acidity. So it’s best to cut strong vinegar with some water.
This chicken pot pie was really elevated by the inclusion of fresh herbs. Even the biscuits had arugula in them. I loved it!
This was our Valentine’s Day dinner. ❤ The recipe was adapted from My Paris Kitchen, by David Lebovitz. I increased the amount of onions, garlic, peas, and chicken. I also used arugula instead of watercress in the biscuits.
I chose the “Americanized” version of his Chicken Pot Parmentier by using the biscuit topping rather than the potato topping. According to Lebovitz, the fresh tarragon in the filling still makes this dish decidedly French. Fancy comfort food. 🙂
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Chicken Filling:
4 cups (1 quart/1 liter) chicken stock (I used my homemade turkey stock)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
25 peeled pearl onions (I used frozen pearl onions, thawed)
6 T (3 oz/85 g) unsalted butter
6 T (60 g) all-purpose flour
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 T dry white wine
4 to 5 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken (I used rotisserie chicken meat)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas or shelled fava beans, thawed
2 T finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp coarse salt, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Drop Biscuit Topping:
2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp coarse salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
8 T (4 oz/115 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup packed (50 g) finely chopped arugula or watercress
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
To Make the Chicken Filling:
Heat the stock in a saucepan over medium heat with the carrots, celery, and onions. Let simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Whisk a few ladlefuls of the warm stock into the flour mixture, which will appear lumpy at first but will smooth out as you go. Gradually add all the stock, including the vegetables, stirring as you go.
Cook for about 9 minutes, until thickened.
Add the garlic and wine and cook for 1 additional minute.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chicken, peas, tarragon, parsley, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Transfer the mixture to a shallow 2 1/2 to 3 quart baking dish. Set the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drippings.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
To Make the Drop Biscuit Topping:
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, pepper, baking soda, and baking powder to combine.
Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter, combine until the butter is broken into pea-size pieces.
Add the arugula, and then the buttermilk, mixing just until the dough holds together.
Using a spring-loaded cookie scoop, distribute the dough evenly over the chicken filling. (I made 3 rows of 6 biscuits.)
Bake the chicken potpie for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling and hot.
This recipe uses a combination of full-fat cottage cheese pureed with buttermilk to get its creaminess instead of using mayonnaise. It was fresh and tasty. This dressing would work well with one of my favorite quick and light summertime meals of grilled chicken sliced over a cold salad. I made it when I was receiving an exorbitant amount of lettuce varieties in my CSA share. 😉
The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by chef Eli Dahlin of Dame in Portland, Oregon. I used fresh CSA parsley instead of tarragon. I also increased the amount of minced shallots.
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cottage cheese (4% milk fat)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small shallot , minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon or parsley
freshly ground black pepper
1 medium head of red leaf lettuce, torn
2 heads of Boston lettuce, torn (or any other combination of lettuce)
sliced or cut tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, avocado, or other vegetables, for topping, as desired
crumbled feta cheese, for topping, optional
In a blender, puree the buttermilk with the cottage cheese, vinegar, Dijon and shallot until smooth.
Scrape the dressing into a small bowl or jar and stir (or shake) in the chopped herbs; season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a serving bowl, toss the lettuces with some of the dressing and assorted toppings.
What a lovely summer meal! After having sourdough baguette slices slathered with brie as an appetizer, we ate this flavorful tart and a green salad dressed with buttermilk-herb dressing for dinner. It could also be served as a special appetizer- perfect with a glass of rosé or white wine. We had fresh strawberry pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Eating pie for dinner and dessert was incredibly indulgent and fabulous… I would recommend it. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Florence Fabricant. I used a Trader Joe’s pie crust as a shortcut. I also substituted 2 lobster tails for a whole lobster and used a Vidalia onion and parsley in the filling. Delicious.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
pastry for a 9-inch tart
1tablespoon unsalted butter
½cup finely chopped sweet onion
1½ cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
1tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or parsley
¾cup whole milk
2large eggs, beaten
¼cup heavy cream
11 1/4-pound lobster boiled or steamed, shucked and diced (I used 2 lobster tails (1 pound total weight)
grated zest of 1 lemon
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection.
Roll out pastry between layers of plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch straight-sided tart pan or a pie pan.
Prick bottom, line with parchment and foil and add pastry weights.
Bake 10 minutes, until pastry starts to look dry. Remove foil and weights and bake 5 or so minutes more, until pastry is lightly colored. Remove from oven but leave oven on.
While the crust is par-baking, cook the lobster meat. I cooked the lobster tails in boiling, salted water for 8 minutes. (1 minute per ounce- each tail was about 1/2 pound.) When cool enough to handle, cut off the shell and coarsely dice the meat.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add onion and cook on low until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.
Stir in corn, tarragon or parsley and cayenne.
Stir in milk. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, beat eggs and cream together and slowly stir into the pan.
Add lobster. Stir in lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle mixture into prepared tart shell. Bake 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 20 minutes more, until top is firm to the touch and very lightly browned, and a knife inserted in the filling comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.