Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Galette
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Galettes are my favorite kind of pastry to make — the rustic, imperfect, throw-whatever-toppings-you-have-on-hand kind. Though sweet versions like peach and blueberry and plum are all delicious, a savory take on pastry is always a welcome one in my book. Sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes and some goat cheese are all that was needed for this version along with hefty sprigs of basil. It’s akin to pizza with the tomatoes and cheese and such, but a bit more refined with a flakey, buttery pastry crust.

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Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Galette

For the galette dough*:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting the countertop!)

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces

  • 4 tablespoons water

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • Cornmeal, for dusting the edges (optional)

*Any good pie crust recipe will do!

For the galette filling:

  • One large heirloom tomato or two small tomatoes, sliced

  • 8 oz soft goat’s cheese

  • Olive oil, for drizzling

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To make the galette dough:

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, pulsing until combined. Add the butter, pulsing just until there are small bits of butter throughout, resembling sand. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough just begins to come together. Wrap in plastic wrap and tuck away in the fridge for half an hour.

To assemble the galette:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take the dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured countertop or a large piece of parchment paper, rolling until it's about 12 inches around. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment, then spoon the cheese into the middle, leaving at least two inches around the edges. Top the cheese with the tomato slices, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the dough edges over, working clockwise and pressing them together. Using the beaten egg, brush the edges with the egg wash and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

Almond Plum Cake
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Summer is stone fruit season, which means juicy peaches and plums and nectarines make an appearance on the farmer’s market stands while the day’s heat slowly settles over Saturday shoppers schlepping around totes full of the season’s best. With a few ripening plums in the kitchen and a small victory to celebrate, this cake emerged from my oven on a sunny afternoon. I would call this the sort of casual cake you have when a friend stops by along with a splash of iced coffee or a crisp white wine, depending on the time of day. Not fussy in any way with plum slices strewn across the top, it only needs a dusting of powdered sugar and good company to share it with.

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Almond Plum Cake

makes one 8 inch cake

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup almond flour

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  • Pinch of salt

  • Pinch of nutmeg and cardamom

  • 2 small ripe plums, sliced into wedges

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan (you may add parchment paper to the bottom as well to ensure easy removal) and set aside.

Whisk together the all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cardamom. In a different bowl, whisk together the olive oil, eggs, honey, almond butter, milk, sugar, and almond extract. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Place the plum wedges on top.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before removing the cake from the pan. Serve at room temperature and dust with powdered sugar just before serving..

This cake pairs well with generous scoops of vanilla flecked ice cream, a drizzle of melted dark chocolate and a handful of slivered almonds sprinkled over each slice, or by itself with an espresso or chilled glass of bubbly.

Mixed Greens Salad with Celery, Radishes, Black Beans and Cotija with Whole Grain Mustard Cilantro Dressing
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This salad spotted with crunchy celery and peppery radishes is lovely for a light lunch or had for dinner with chicken charred on the grill, herbed salmon or juicy flank steak. It’s quick to toss together with just a minute or two of chopping and this whole grain mustard cilantro dressing is both delicious and easy to whip together.

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Mixed Greens Salad with Celery, Radishes, Black Beans and Cotija

  • Several handfuls mixed leafy greens

  • 1 celery stalk (8 ribs)

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • Four radishes

  • Cotija cheese, grated

    Slice the celery ribs at a diagonal and thinly slice the radishes. Pat dry the beans. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and add grated cotija to taste. Toss with spoonfuls of the following dressing:

Whole Grain Mustard Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or other dressing vinegar)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 sprigs of cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Whisk together the mustard, honey, and vinegar until combined. While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Stir in the chopped cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a mason jar, secure the lid, and shake until combined. You may adjust the sweetness/tartness by adding more or less honey and vinegar.

Tomato Soup
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A good dose of rain over the past few weeks blessed my little town with lush green hillsides and blooming backyard roses, spurring a craving for meals that warm you from the inside out after a day’s worth of rain boot stomping and umbrella wielding. As we’re now teetering on the edge of springtime and looking towards summer, perhaps a whopping bowl of hot soup may not be a viable option for this week’s dinner due to a sunny locality, but for the unexpected June thunderstorm and the last rainy days of spring, this makes for a comforting meal when the weather turns. Keep this recipe tucked away for when you find yourself craving soup, for now and for six months from now, whether it’s the way the clouds are rolling in or a simple pang of wanting.

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Tomato Soup

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 2 28 oz cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, with juices

  • 8 cups filtered water

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • Pinch of nutmeg

  • 2 generous teaspoons herbes de Provence

  • 1/2 cup whole milk (optional)

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot, melt the butter and add the olive oil. Add the onion, cooking over medium-low heat until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook until the mixture begins to brown on the bottom of the pot. Then, add the wine and the balsamic vinegar, scraping up any bits at the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Allow the wine to simmer for about 5 minutes or until it’s reduced a bit.

Add the San Marzano tomatoes with their juices, 8 cups of filtered water, the sugar, nutmeg, and herbes de Provence. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down and allow the soup to simmer for 1 hour, uncovered.

After the soup has simmered for 1 hour, it should be reduced by about 1/4th of its volume. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until there are no bits of tomato or onion left and it’s quite smooth. Add the milk (optional, and if you do, be sure not to allow the soup to boil after adding it), and the salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with torn pieces of toasted bread and a sprinkling of cheese on top.