Sunday, August 29, 2010
It's still summertime tomato season - perfect time to make gazpacho! There are so many recipes for gazpacho out there but you can make a great one with almost anything you have on hand. I like adding fresh herbs to my gazpacho to make it even more summery - you can add as little or as much as you like. Also, I used two cucumbers - if you want a more red and tomato-y gazpacho, you can cut it back to 1 cucumber.
You can also add a Mexican twist and instead of basil, use cilantro and replace the sherry vinegar with lime juice. You could also add a little Mexican hot sauce and a little pinch of cumin if you like.
And if you have a little stale bread around, you can add that to thicken it up a little and make a gazpacho that is a little more like a salmorejo (see my recipe for salmorejo here).
Monday, August 23, 2010
Farmers market goodies - panzanella salad, basil ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms, and crostini of peaches and jamon serrano
There were lots of great summer fruits and veggies at the farmers market the other weekend - great heirloom tomatoes, juicy peaches, fragrant basil and lots of squash/zucchini blossoms.
Here's a few simple but delicious treats you can quickly put together with all that great summer produce - keep them in mind when you're strolling through the farmers market this week or weekend! Buy a good whole milk ricotta and season with a little salt, pepper, and some thinly sliced basil or a combination of chopped fresh herbs. Use it for basil ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms and a sweet and savory crostini of summer peaches, jamon serrano, and then make a panzanella salad with all the tomatoes to go alongside everything.
jamon serrano or prosciutto over basil ricotta
Use your basil or herbed ricotta and spread a layer on a few slices of crusty bread or baguette, toasted or not depending on your preference. Slice a peach and gently toss the slices in a good balsamic vinegar. Wrap a little jamon serrano or prosciutto around the peach slice and lay on top of the basil ricotta layer and serve. Or to make it vegetarian, omit the jamon serrano or prosciutto.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
It's tomato season - walking by all the tomatoes at the farmers market made me want to make a big batch of salmorejo. When we were in Spain last year, we couldn't get enough of it when we were in Sevilla and Cordoba. Salmorejo is a similar to gazpacho but the difference is that rather than adding other vegetables like cucumbers and bell peppers in a typical gazpacho, salmorejo is primarily just tomatoes pureed with stale bread, garlic, sherry vinegar and olive oil until it's very smooth and creamy. It's typically a bright orange color and is thicker than gazpacho because of all the bread. I add a little red onion and a few roasted piquillo peppers, but you can skip them if you like.
Use a mix of different types, and heirloom tomatoes if you like, or if you are tempted by buying a bushel of red tomatoes, make a batch of salmorejo and then a batch of gazpacho too!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
You know you're Vietnamese when you just got out to Cape Cod and are excited for lots of seafood and everything, and then get distracted by getting pho at the little Vietnamese place you spot driving around, which turned out to be pretty good :)
Last weekend, we rented a car and went on a little weekend getaway to explore the New England coast a bit. Loved the little towns, the seafood shacks, the fried clams, lobster rolls, everything!