Sunday, July 22, 2012

Peach-plum pandowdy

Today's summer treat!  Peach-plum pandowdy. 

Remember, the best way to avoid a soggy bottom crust is to not have a bottom crust.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tomato salad yesterday, gazpacho today

I made a large platter of tomato salad for my July 4th BBQ, but no one's appetite seemed particularly robust that day, as the temperatures were hovering near 100°F.

Lots of leftovers.

The tomato salad was a combination of sliced tomatoes, arranged on a bed of cucumbers, red bell peppers, and onion (which you cannot see in the photo above), then doused generously with garlic-infused olive oil, and a generous sprinkling of dried oregano (from fresh oregano harvested from my herb garden).  Plenty of salt and pepper, too.  You have all the components of gazpacho on the platter,  with perhaps the exception of stale bread, which is often a component of classic Andalusian gazpacho. 

I was going for the "red, white, and blue" 4th of July theme with the blue platter, but I'm not wholly certain that blue is the best background for many foods....

The leftover salad was augmented with a few more tomatoes (cored and quartered), and pureed with an immersion blender. 

After pureeing, I added a generous glug-glug of good olive oil, some red wine vinegar (or balsamic, or lemon juice, or sherry vinegar if you have it), and adjusted the seasoning -- it's a cold soup, and you need to be a bit more aggressive in your seasoning.   You can also add Tabasco or Sriracha if you like a bit of kick. 

Chill well.  Probably best after a couple hours chilling.

Cauliflower salad

Too damn hot to cook.

I had two small cauliflowers in the fridge.  Cleaned them up, cut them up, and blanched them in salted water for about three minutes.  (Yeah, that's cooking, but not much.)  Drained.


1/2 cup chopped Spanish olives
salt (taste the cooked cauliflower first -- if your cooking water was well salted, you might need no additional salt)
black pepper
red pepper flakes (to your taste)
half an anchovy filet, mashed
1 large clove garlic through the garlic press
1/4 c chopped parsley
1 Tbs capers
generous olive oil
red wine vinegar

Mix well.   Chill.  Or serve at room temperature (my preference).