I know, I know, it’s September, but it is technically still summer. I’ve been wanting to do a summer cheese board for some time and also show the grapes we grew! We were so excited to see them grow this year since we only planted them two years ago. It’s a pretty productive vine and I have no idea what to do with so many green grapes other than cheese boards and snacks. They were a challenge to photograph, mostly hiding behind the leaves, and being on the northern fence, it was almost always bad lighting. When light did reach the grapes, it was like a giant spotlight, and when it didn’t, it was all so dark. And green. But hey, here they are. After 6+ years creating on this blog, this is the first blog post without a recipe! I’ll post a list of what I have here for fruit and cheese because the Humbolt Fog with peach on a slice of baguette is amazing! I had fun arranging the cheese board with the end of summer fruits. I know strawberries don’t produce much into the summer in some areas, but in my backyard they just keep going and going, it’s one of those every-bearing varieties. The plums and peaches are truly reaching the end of the season here, when I was buying them the clerk said get them while you can because this is it. So this is it. End of summer folks, Autumn begins September 23rd. Soups are on the horizon!
Hello tomatoes! Wow it’s been such a cool summer that it has taken a bit longer for them to ripen in the garden, but last week all four plants decided it was time. The yellow Taxi tomatoes along with the Sungold cherry tomatoes were the first on the scene, followed by Black Krim, and lastly the Brandywine. I’ve been wanting to make this Panzanella for a while, and since I had made a loaf of No-Knead bread a couple days prior it worked out great. Most recipes say to put the bread cubes in the oven, but I opted for the skillet which went pretty quick and ya know, fried bread? So good. You could serve this as a side dish or appetizer, or it makes a great vegetarian meal when you want something light.
And speaking of serving, I received sample dishes from Carthage.co Stoneware which you see here and they are just beautiful! The large white plate is the Dadasi Dinner plate in chalk and the dark bowl is the Zaghwan Soup Bowl in Old Silver. I think they both look great but especially love the Zaghwan bowl with these bright colored tomatoes. And the prices are quite reasonable for high-end ceramic dishes. You can read more about these hand-crafted ceramics here. They have a nice weight to them and they’re a pleasure to photograph. I’ll be back with more tomato and/or zucchini dishes this month. Until then I recommend this Panzanella, enjoy!
3 cups baguette or rustic bread, preferably stale, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste
3/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt, more to taste
2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, preferably a mix of varieties and colors
6 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls (or shredded chunks of fresh mozzarella)
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
In a large bowl mix together the bread cubes with olive oil and salt. Add a bit of olive oil to a large cast iron skillet and heat on medium, when warm place the cubes in a single layer, tossing as needed until crisp on all sides. When done place the bread cubes on a plate and allow to cool a bit.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the Dijon and vinegar, then whisk in the olive oil.
Cut the tomatoes into chunks and then add them to a large bowl, add the mozzarella, bread cubes and the basil leaves (but leave a few to top the dish), add some salt and pepper and stir gently. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. Top with remaining basil leaves. Serve at room temp.
I’ve been wanting to make these gourmet type crackers for a long time now, and I’m glad I did! They came out really good. I used currants and almonds since that’s what I had on hand, but you can add any kind of fruit or nut to this recipe.Read More
This recipe is so easy it seems hardly worth a blog post, but deserves it still. It goes way back for me. When I was in college in New York City (a million years ago!) I waited tables at a french restaurant called Les Tournebroches.Read More
I heard a song the other day in the car, it was so cute, if a song can be cute, that I had to pull over and Shazam it. The song was We’re Going to Be Friends by The White Stripes, a band I’ve never heard of, but it’s what I’m listening to now while I’m trying to write about olives. We had a few neighbors over for a wine and cheese get together recently, we had some olives and a neighbor brought more, and so here I am making my first olive tapenade. It turned out really delicious. So much flavor! I excluded capers and anchovies from the original recipe because, yuck. I think what really makes the flavors work here are the Oven-Dried Tomatoes that I made last year, they held up remarkably well in the freezer. I would recommend adding those to this Tapenade. We make them every summer when the tomato plants are overflowing with tomatoes.
- 1 cup black olives, pitted
- 1 cup green olives, pitted
- 1/3 cup Dried Tomatoes with Herbs
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil. Using the pulse button, process until coarsely chopped and well blended. Continue to process, slowly adding the olive oil. Refrigerate in a covered container. Use as needed. Tapenade will keep up to 1 week, refrigerated, in a covered container.
Adapted from Epicurious - Wolfgang Puck