Fattoush Salad

fattouchPita Chips

2 rounds pita bread (8- to 12-inches)

2-3 T olive oil

½ t sumac

Salt and pepper

 

Salad

2 C shredded romaine lettuce

1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled and seeded, diced small

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

5-6 radishes, sliced

½ C parsley leaves, chopped

¼ C mint leaves, chopped

5-6 scallions, chopped

 

Dressing

½ C lemon juice

½ C olive oil

1 t sumac

1/8 t cinnamon (optional)

Sea salt to taste

 

 

Toast the pita bread in your toaster oven until dried and crisp but not browned. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Break the pita into pieces and put into the heated oil. Fry briefly until browned, tossing frequently. Remove from the oil and place on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sumac.

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the salad ingredients. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss lightly. Lastly, add the pita chips and toss one more time. Serves 4-6.

 


Chilled Blueberry Soup

This sweet and creamy blueberry soup is a delightfully refreshing treat during the spring and summer months. Makes 4 servings

 

4 C fresh blueberries

1 C orange juice

½ C sugar

1/4 t ground cinnamon

1/8 t salt

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 pint half-and-half

Mint sprigs for garnish

 

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, and slightly cool. Process blueberry mixture and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

 

Stir in half-and-half just before serving. Serve in stemmed glasses. Garnish, if desired.

 

 

 

 

 


Caramelized Onion Tart “Tatin”

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For best results, bake this in a well-seasoned cast-iron pan. Let it cool slightly before flipping the pan over and easing out the tatin. Serve as a first course or as a main course with salad and cheese for a vegetarian meal. Adrienne made this in a class at Brookside Gardens in May 2016.

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1.5# boiler onions, peeled and slice in half around the middle
2 T brown sugar
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 C crumbled goat cheese
1 (8 oz.) sheet puff pastry

Preheat oven to 400°. In a 10-inch cast-iron or other oven-proof pan, melt butter with olive oil. Place onion cut-side down in hot fat and cook until onions are soft and turning brown, about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine sugar and balsamic, stir to incorporate. Add to onions and let sizzle until they caramelize, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and let the pan and onions cool about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle 3/4 of the cheese over the onions. Roll out the pastry dough gently and press over the cheese. Prick lightly with a fork. Bake 25 minutes, or until pastry is golden and filling bubbles up around the edge. Set aside for a few minutes, then invert on a plate and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


Mushroom Sour Cream Salad

mushroom

 

 

Trying to eat “light” in the lead-up to this week — three Christmas dinners on the calendar and that doesn’t include the famous Garreau tortiere, handed down to Adrienne from her late mother-in-law. That recipe may not be ready to post just yet, but this mushroom salad certainly is. It’s light yet satisfying, even — dare we say it for a salad? — comforting. The combination of the sour cream and walnuts is part of that. But, in a non-obvious way, the mushrooms themselves have both a meatiness and an almost souffle-like airiness. Use the freshest mushrooms you can find and stick with real sour cream if at all possible to get the creaminess just right. The salad needs at least a half-hour for the flavors to meld and the mushrooms to release some of their moisture into the dressing.

1/4 C chopped walnuts
2 C sliced very fresh white button mushrooms (about one 8-oz box)
1/3 C sour cream
2 T lemon juice
1/4 C minced scallions, green and white parts combined
1/4 t cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper to taste
chives for garnish

Toasting the walnuts is optional, but I like them better that way. Heat a non-stick pan on medium; add walnut pieces and toast until you get a good, nutty perfume and they are golden. Do not scorch. This will take about five minutes. Remove from heat and cool. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except the chives. Add the walnuts; toss well and set the salad aside to marinate for at least a half-hour. You can also make it up to one day ahead of time. Garnish with chives and serve. Two to three servings.


Marinated Goat Cheese with Citrus, Olive Oil and Herbs

Adapted from Chef Todd Knoll of Jordan Winery. Knoll likes to pair this with a good Chardonnay. This easy and flavorful appetizer can be adapted year-round by changing the citrus with the seasons.

CitrusMarinatedCheese

1/4 pound aged goat cheese (Cypress Grove Midnight Moon or a Manchego may be substituted)
4 broadly peeled rind pieces of one blood orange, pith removed (any seasonal citrus)
4 broadly peeled rind pieces of one Meyer lemon, pith removed
10 whole black peppercorns
5 whole white peppercorns
1 C candied kumquats, halved (2 Tbsp of English marmalade may be substituted)
1 blood orange, peeled and divided into segments (any seasonal citrus with minimal seeds may be substituted)
6 sprigs thyme
2-4 bay leaves, whole
¼ C olive oil
Coarse or flaky sea salt, to taste

Slice cheese into 1⁄8-inch thick triangles. Use a vegetable peeler to broadly peel citrus rinds (approximate length: 2-3 inches). In a nonreactive bowl, combine sliced cheese with orange and lemon rinds, black and white peppercorns, marmalade or kumquats, 8 blood orange segments, 4 thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add olive oil and gently toss.

Cover and set aside to marinate at room temperature for eight hours or in a refrigerator a minimum of 24 hours (or up to three days).

To serve, bring the cheese marinade up to room and toss gently again in same bowl to refresh ingredients. Arrange the cheese slices and marinade naturally on a platter. Top with a few more citrus rinds that have not been marinated. Drizzle with additional olive oil. Garnish with a few fresh thyme sprigs and salt to taste. Serves 6 -8.

 


Sweet Potato Rounds with Cilantro Pesto

Use fairly skinny sweet potatoes that are pretty even to avoid rounds of different dimensions and to keep the appetizers bite-sized. This recipe comes from the farmer’s market at St. Stephen’s Church in Richmond VA.  If you’re ever in the area on a Saturday morning, it’s well worth stopping in and checking it out. Adrienne demoed tghe recipe for our Holiday Buffet extravaganza at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton MD December 2015.

2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 T olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:
2 bunches cilantro
¾ C unsweetened shredded coconut
¾ C shelled pistachios
4 cloves garlic
1 hot pepper, such as jalapeño or Thai, optional
1 lemon, juiced
¼ C olive oil
Salt to taste

Heat the oven to 450°F. Slice the sweet potatoes in rounds about 1/2-inch thick. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 10 minutes, flip and roast five more minutes until just tender and slightly browned.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the pesto. Roughly chop the cilantro and blend both leaves and stems with the coconut, pistachios, garlic, hot pepper (if using), and lemon juice. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and blend until smooth. Add the rest, if desired. Taste and add salt (or more garlic, or more acid) until satisfied. If desired, thin the pesto with water to make it spreadable.


Pear Gorgonzola Triangles

gorgonzola-pear-turnovers-inside

 

You can assemble these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer or refrigerator until you need them. Bake a few to serve with our Hungarian Mushroom Soup for a hearty and delicious pick-up lunch – make the soup ahead of time too. We baked them up for our holiday buffet at Brookside in December 2015. Adapted from the blog out of Vancouver called Baking Obsession.

1 # homemade puff pastry or good quality store-bought
2 large pears, peeled, cored, finely chopped
2 t lemon juice
1/3 C raw sugar
1/3 C dry cranberries
1/3 C finely chopped hazelnuts
3 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 t finely chopped fresh thyme
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water for egg wash
Coarse raw sugar for sprinkling

Center the oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Line two large baking sheets with silicone mats or non-stick aluminum. In a small bowl, combine all filling ingredients. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the puff pastry (keep another half refrigerated) into a square about 11×11-inches. Trim the edges to get a perfect 10×10-inches square. Using a pizza wheel, make two vertical and two horizontal cuts through the equal intervals to get 9 smaller squares. Spoon about a tablespoon of filling in the center of each square, brush two edges with a little bit of egg wash and fold the pastry over to make a triangle. Press the edges well to seal. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Chill for about 20 minutes before baking. Meanwhile, work on the other half of puff pastry. Once chilled, brush the triangles with the egg wash being careful not to drip any excess onto the baking sheet (it will prevent proper rising), sprinkle with some coarse sugar, make small holes on the top of each turnover for steam to escape, and bake for about 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Cool on a rack until warm and serve.