Savory Tomato Pie

YIELDS | 6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 45 MINS Plus cooling time 60 MINS

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This is a savory, herbaceous pie that highlights the bounty of tomatoes from summer’s end. This easy Tomato Pie is perfect for Meatless Monday. Simply omit the bacon or sub with vegan bacon. I found myself slicing slivers of it cold straight from the fridge though I did allow the family to have some too 😍

INGREDIENTS

* 3 pounds assorted medium to large heirloom tomatoes
* 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
* 6 thick-cut bacon slices, diced, or vegan bacon, optional
* 2 large shallots, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tsp.)
* 6 ounces aged extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 ½ cups)
* ½ cup mayonnaise
* ½ cup chopped fresh basil
* ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh chives
* 1 large egg
* 1-9” pie shell store bought or home made
* Fresh basil leaves
* Minced fresh chives

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Set aside enough tomato slices to cover the top of the pie, about 7 or 8 slices and place on top of paper towels to absorb the excess juice. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and set aside. 

2. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray or oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and arrange the remaining tomatoes in a single layer and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until blistered and slightly dried. Cool completely, about 1 hour.


3. Meanwhile, cook bacon, if using, in a frying pan over medium-high heat until fat is beginning to render, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chopped shallots, and cook until bacon is crisp and shallots are caramelized, about 6 to 7 more minutes. Stir in garlic; and cook for about a minute and until fragrant. Transfer bacon mixture to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Cool 20 minutes.


4. Stir together cheese, mayonnaise of choice, basil, chives and egg until combined. Sprinkle with pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Fold in the bacon and garlic. 


5. Spread a third of cheese mixture into the pie crust and then layer on half of the roasted tomato slices in an overlapping pattern then repeat this step.
6. Spread the last of the cheese mixture on top of tomato slices and then top the pie with the reserved sliced fresh tomatoes. Press the tomatoes and filling into the crust . 

7. Bake the pie until the filling is set, about 40 to 45 minutes and then transfer to the wire rack, and let cool for at least an hour before serving. Garnish with basil and chives, kosher salt to taste and freshly ground pepper to taste. 



NOTES

Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME 0 MINS

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This may be the quintessential summer soup. Served cold, it is light, refreshing and highly nutritious. This versatile soup would look beautiful on a table set for brunch, a wedding or holiday but it is easy enough to make for any weekday meal. Use cashew yogurt and veggie broth for a wonderful vegan option.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
* 1 small avocado, peeled and coarsely chopped.
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
* 1 tsp kosher salt
* 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
* 1/2 cup vegetable stock.Slices of thin cucumbers for garnish.
* 2 tablespoons shelled roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pour all ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until very smooth.
2. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
3. Pour into individual bowls, garnish with pistachios, if using, and a drizzle of olive oil.

NOTES

Tomato Bread with Smoked Olive Oil-Lemon Ricotta and Sardines

YIELDS | 4-6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 15 MINS

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My son, Adam, and I created this recipe together. It is so easy to make yet it delivers a complex layers of flavors. The smoked olive oil gives the creamy ricotta an earthy flavor and pairs perfectly with the sardines. The lemon brightens the entire dish and is a delightful compliment to the overall umami profile. This tomato bread bursts with flavor. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making it over and over again.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
* 2 Tbsps smoked olive oil plus more to taste
* 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
* 2- plump garlic cloves, peeled
* 1-2 large, fresh ripe tomatoes, halved
* 1- large loaf crusty bread, such as a French boule or baguette
* 1-tin, 3.735 oz skinless, boneless sardines, packed in olive oil
* 2 Tbsps room temperature butter or olive oil to brush onto the bread
* One small bunch chives, chopped for garnish, optional
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices. Spread each side with butter or olive oil and grill or toast in the oven until golden brown, set aside.

2. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice to a food processor or high powered blender. Turn the machine on low to medium and slowly drizzle in 2 Tbsp smoked olive oil and blend until the mixture has a silky texture. Add more smoked olive oil as needed.

3. Pour mixture into a small bowl and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside.

4. Rub the fresh garlic on to each side of the toasted bread.

5. Generously rub each side of the toasted bread with the tomato. Be sure to get the tomato into every nook and cranny.

6. Top tomato toast with the heaping Tbsp of the creamy ricotta-Lemon mixture.

7. Top each slice with 2 to 3 sardines, sprinkle with additional kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and garnish with chopped chives, optional.

NOTES

Use any leftover ricotta mixture to mix into mashed potatoes or stir into rice for a savory side dish. Top grilled chicken or fish with it and garnish with chives or another favorite herb.

Kimchi Pancakes

YIELDS | Makes 4 larger or 8 smaller pancakes SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 15 MINS

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These pancakes are savory, have a nutty, chewy outside and a tender , bursting with umami flavor on the inside. They are incredibly easy to make and reheat well. Serve alone for breakfast lunch or dinner or serve alongside with an asian inspired soup or salad.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 large egg
* 1-2 Tbsp kimchi brine or more to taste
* 4 Tbsps soy sauce, divided
* 1 cup all-purpose flour, I like Bisquick
* 2 cups kimchi, coarsely chopped
* 4 scallions, trimmed, sliced thin plus extra to use as garnish
* 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, as garnish, optional
* 4 Tbsps sesame seed oil or any neutral oil, divided
* 3 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and 3 tablespoons soy sauce and set aside.
2. Crack 1 egg into a medium bowl. Add kimchi brine, to taste, add 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, and ¼ cup filtered water. Whisk until slightly fluffy.
3. Whisk in the flour and add the chopped kimchi, mix well.
4. Add the scallions to the mix but save a couple Tbsps as garnish.
5. Heat 2 Tbsps oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and drop about 1/2 cup of the batter into the hot oil. You should be able to fit 2 larger pancakes in the pan.
6. Cook pancakes for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and then carefully flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Move the pancakes to a plate and cover with a clean towel to keep warm.
7. Add the remainder of the oil to the pan and cook the remaining batter. You should have two more pancakes for a total of 4 nice sized cakes.
8. Combine 3 Tbsp. vinegar and remaining 3 Tbsp. soy sauce in a small bowl.
9. Transfer pancakes to a serving platter and garnish with remaining scallions, cilantro, if using, and drizzle the vinegar, soy sauce mixture evenly over all the pancakes and serve.

NOTES

Pasta Caponata

YIELDS | 4-6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS plus wait time 30 MINS

COOK TIME | 30 MINS

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I love the flexibility of this dish. It can be used as an appetizer-spread over crusty bread, as a dip for crackers and crudités. To make a quick dinner, simply mix with your favorite pasta and a few dollops of burrata. It’s warm, earthy, tangy and satisfying.

INGREDIENTS

* 5 tablespoons olive oil (about 1/3 cup)
* 1 medium eggplant, 1-11/2 pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 4 large garlic cloves, peeled, minced
* 1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
* 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped
* 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil and more for garnish
* 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts, optional
* 1 lb Cavatappi or thick spaghetti
* 8 oz Burrata cheese, 1 large ball ripped into 4 pieces or 4-6 smaller balls.
* Kosher salt for leaching moisture from the eggplant and to salt the pasta water
* Freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat. If roasting nuts, add them to the hot pan now. Swirl and stir for 2-4 minutes or until the nuts are golden and toasted. This step can be done in advance and the nuts stored in a container in the refrigerator.
2. Add the oil to the hot pan and heat for a few seconds, add the eggplant, onion, and garlic cloves. sauté until eggplant is soft and brown, about 15 minutes.
3. While the eggplant mixture cooks, fill a large pot with water and 2-3 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil, cook pasta according to the package directions, save 1 cup pasta water, drain and rinse the pasta and then put it back into the pot and cover to stay warm.
4. Add diced tomatoes and juice, red wine vinegar and drained capers to the pot with the eggplant mixture, stir well and cover. Simmer until eggplant and onion are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 12-15 minutes.
5. Add the Caponata and ½ cup of the pasta water to the pot with the pasta and toss, adding more pasta water as necessary to reach a silky consistency.
6. Transfer caponata and pasta to a serving bowl and mix in the chopped basil, saving some for garnish.
7. Season with fresh pepper. Additional salt is not usually necessary as there should be enough salt in the dish from the tomatoes and rinsed eggplant.
8. Sprinkle with toasted pine or walnuts, if using, and nestle in the Burrata cheese.
9. Drizzle with olive oil, additional fresh basil, and a few good cranks of black pepper and serve
 

NOTES

NOTES
Double Dusty Recipe: Double the recipe and serve it as an appetizer with drinks on a Friday or Saturday night and then over pasta with a crisp green salad for a weeknight meal.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. It tastes wonderful dolloped over fish and chicken too. Caponata can be made a few days ahead, cover and chill.

Escargot

YIELDS | 2-4 APPETIZER SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 6-10X MINS

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As a small child, I fondly remember eating snails. These weren’t any average mollusks mind you, these escargot, were drenched in a garlicky, buttery sauce and dotted with parsley and shallot. This recipe is authentically French and designed for you to experience this dish the same way the French have been making escargot for centuries. Toasted, buttery baguettes and a good white wine are a must.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
* 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened plus more to butter baguettes
* 2 teaspoons shallot, minced
* 2 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced plus more for garnish
* Freshly ground pepper
* 1 tablespoon dry sherry or white wine
* 12 snails, see notes
* 1 French baguette, sliced into thin rounds

Special Equipment
Porcelain Escargot Dishes or 12 to sterilized escargot shells

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°F.

1. Mince the garlic, shallot and parsley. Place the garlic and shallot in a medium bowl, add 1/2 the salt and mash into a paste.
2. Add the butter, parsley and remaining salt to the garlic shallot mixture and whisk together until well combined.
3. Add the wine or sherry and mix well. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, slice the baguettes into thin rounds, butter both and place onto a baking sheet. Toast in oven on top rack until golden brown, about 5 minutes but watch to be sure they do not burn, remove and cover with a clean towel to keep warm.
5. Divide the butter, garlic, parsley mixture and place a small scoop on the bottom of each of the rounds in the dish or into the snail shells.
6. Place a snail into each round of the dish or snail shell and top each with the remaining butter, garlic, parsley mixture
7. Bake snails until butter is melted and bubbly, about 4 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
8. Place the buttery, browned banquette slices on top of the snails (if using dishes), garnish with minced parsley and serve piping hot.

NOTES

I found the perfect porcelain escargot dishes. You can buy them in the Shop on this website.