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Open-Faced Watercress, Nasturtium, and Cucumber-Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Open-Faced Watercress, Nasturtium, and Cucumber-Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Open-Faced Watercress, Nasturtium, and Cucumber-Cream Cheese Sandwiches


40 unsprayed nasturtium flowers, washed and dried

1 large bunch of fresh watercress, washed, dried, and large stems removed

8 ounces cream cheese, softe3ned

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

6 slices of hearty whole-grain bread, such as rye, whole wheat, or multi-grain


Setting aside 12 nasturtium flowers for garnish, finely julienne the rest with a sharp knife. Setting aside 6 watercress sprigs for garnish, finely chop the remaining watercress. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese with the chopped flowers, chopped watercress, cucumber, salt, and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend together. Remove the cream cheese mixture from the refrigerator half an hour before serving to allow it to soften slightly. With a sharp knife, finely julienne 6 of the reserved nasturtium flowers. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the bread slices. Top each slice with some red onion slices and a sprinkling of the julienned flowers. To serve, place 1 slice of the prepared bread on each plate, and top with a whole nasturtium flower and a watercress sprig.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Marigolds and Tomatoes are great buddies in the garden.  They like similar growing conditions, and marigolds deter tomato worms in the soil.

12 Roma or cherry tomatoes, cut in half, seeds scooped out

1 small (4 oz.) package cream cheese, room temp.

1 sprig (about 4 inches long) Sweet Basil, stem removed

1/2 cup pecan halves

Petals from 2 French marigolds

In small food processor, put the pecans, marigold petals and basil and pulse-process until the material is chopped fine. Put in small bowl and combine with the cream cheese, then stuff each tomato half, rounding up like with deviled eggs. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.

Mushroom, Grape & Blue Cheese Tartines

Mushroom, Grape & Blue Cheese Tartines

Mushroom, Grape & Blue Cheese Tartines

Don’t slice the endive in advance because the cut surfaces will oxidize and discolor. Wait until the tartines are under the broiler before slicing, and toss with the vinegar right away, as the acid slightly slows discoloration.


10- to 12-ounce baguette, halved crosswise and split in half lengthwise

4 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium garlic clove, peeled and halved

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 cup small seedless red grapes

1 T. plus 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar, divided

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 ounces cream blue cheese, crumbled (½ cup)

1 medium head endive


Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the element. Pull out some of the interior crumb from each piece of baguette, slightly hollowing out the centers and creating boat shapes. Place the bread cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with 3 T. of the oil, then rub with the cut sides of the garlic clove; discard the garlic. In a medium bowl, toss together the mushrooms, grapes, the 1 T. vinegar, the remaining 1 T. oil and ½ tsp. each salt and pepper. Divide the mixture evenly among the baguettes; reserve the bowl. Broil until the edges of the bread are toasted, the grapes begin to burst and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the endive and thinly slice it on the diagonal. In the reserved bowl, toss the endive with the remaining 2 tsp. vinegar; set aside. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle the tartines with the cheese, dividing it evenly. Continue to broil until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Remove from the oven, then top with the endive.

Twice-Baked Magic Soufflés

Twice-Baked Magic Soufflés

Twice-Baked Magic Soufflés

5 T. unsalted butter

1/2 cup finely chopped leeks

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 C. whole milk, warmed

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 1/2 C. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 cup heavy cream

5 eggs, separated


Preheat the oven to 425°F and generously grease six 8-ounce ramekins. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 1 T. of the butter. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until soft but not brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Melt the remaining 4 T. of butter over medium heat in the same saucepan that you used for the leeks. When the butter stops foaming, whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, 1 1/4 C. of the cheese, and the leeks. Transfer a third of the mixture to a bowl, whisk in the cream, and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks into the remaining two-thirds, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold stiff peaks. Stir a third of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining two-thirds until no streaks of white remain. Divide the mixture among the greased ramekins, smooth the tops, then run the tip of your finger around the inner edge of each ramekin (this will help the soufflé rise higher and straighter). Arrange the ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough hot water into the baking dish to come half an inch up the side of the ramekins. Transfer to the oven and bake until puffed, deep golden brown, and set within, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the ramekins from the water bath, and let the soufflés cool (they will deflate). Run a knife around the inner edge of each ramekin, then turn the soufflés out into a gratin dish and pour the reserved cream mixture over and around the soufflés. Top each with some of the reserved Parmigiano. At this point, the soufflés can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours (I’m telling you, this recipe is magic). When you’re ready to bake the soufflés a second time, preheat the oven to 425°F. Bake until the soufflés are puffed and browned (they will puff as much as—if not more than—the first time they were baked), about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wild Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Watercress Crepes

Wild Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Watercress Crepes

Wild Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Watercress Crepes




2 eggs

1 1/4 cups low-fat milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 to 2 tablespoons melted butter




2 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)

8 ounces wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 medium shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 bunch watercress, stems removed

4 ounces herbed goat cheese


To make crepes: Place the eggs, milk, salt and flour in a blender and process until smooth. Let the batter rest at least 15 minutes (or up to 2 days) before using. Place an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Brush the pan lightly with melted butter. Pour a 1/4 cup batter into the hot pan, wait a few seconds, then tilt the pan in all directions to spread the batter into an even circle. Cook over medium heat until the top is dry, about 1 minute. Loosen the edges with the tip of a spatula, slide it underneath the crepe and carefully turn it over. Cook the other side for about 30 seconds, then slide the crepe onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the cooked crepes on the plate. To make mushrooms: Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and half the mushrooms. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are seared, golden brown and dry. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining butter and mushrooms. When all the mushrooms are cooked, return them to the pan, set the heat to medium and add the shallot. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the watercress and toss to coat. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add one crepe and spread about 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese on top. Sprinkle with warm sautéed mushrooms and cook until cheese begins to melt. Top with a small handful of watercress, fold the crepe over and slide onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling (save some of the watercress for garnish). Serve 2 crepes per person, topped with watercress.

Smashed Blackberry & Goat Cheese

Smashed Blackberry & Goat Cheese

Smashed Blackberry & Goat Cheese


1 1/2 C. blackberries

1/2 C. blueberries

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 T. sugar

3 T.s water

1 – 2 tsp. cornstarch, sifted (for thickness to your taste)

8 oz challah bread, sliced (or your bread of choice!)

4 oz goat cheese

fresh mint to garnish


In a medium-sized saucepan combine the blackberries, blueberries, vanilla, sugar, and water (covered) over a medium low flame. Once simmering and the fruit begins to burst (about 5 minutes) gently mash with a fork or potato masher, then whisk in the cornstarch until well incorporated. Cover once more and simmer over a low flame until needed. Meanwhile, toast the challah bread as desired — I recommend extra crispy. When ready, smear each slice of challah bread with a thick layer of goat cheese, then spoon over with the smashed blackberries. Garnish with mint, then eat!

Zucchini Pancakes with Blossoms and Basil

Zucchini Pancakes with Blossoms and Basil

Zucchini Pancakes with Blossoms and Basil

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup water

1 egg, beaten

1 cup grated green zucchini, from 1 medium zucchini (about ½ pound)

¼ cup packed fresh basil, very thinly sliced

3 tablespoons canola oil

4 zucchini blossoms


Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Add the water and egg and whisk until just combined. Add the zucchini and basil and stir together gently with a spoon.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small (8- or 9-inch) nonstick pan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add about half the batter (1 heaping cup) and spread it evenly into the pan. Cook until browned on the bottom side, 4 to 5 minutes.  While the pancake cooks, break two of the zucchini blossoms apart into distinct petals. Place the petals in a flower pattern on the raw side of the batter, then flip the pancake over with a large spatula. Cook until puffed and evenly browned, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Serve the pancakes piping hot, cut into eight pieces each. Note: You can reheat the pancakes in the microwave or on the stovetop, but they’re best fresh from the pan.

Heirloom Tomato Tartlets with Whipped Herbed Ricotta

Heirloom Tomato Tartlets with Whipped Herbed Ricotta

Heirloom Tomato Tartlets with Whipped Herbed Ricotta

2/3 cup almond flour

4 tbsp grass-fed butter, softened

1/8 tsp sea salt

1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

For Filling

1/2 cup Ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp sea salt

Fresh chopped basil for serving



Preheat oven to 350 and grease two 4 inch tartlet pans with olive oil. In a mixing bowl, combine butter and gradually stir in almond flour and sea salt. Divide dough into two balls. Press dough into prepared tartlet pans. Refrigerate. In a separate mixing bowl, combine Ricotta cheese, egg, dried basil, thyme, garlic, black pepper and sea salt. Use a spoon to whip and combine ingredients until fluffy. In a small bowl toss tomatoes in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Divide filling between tartlet pans and spread evenly. Arrange tomatoes in top gently pressing into filling. Place tartlets onto a cookie sheet and bake 25-30 minutes or until crust edges are golden brown. Let tartlets stand at room temperature 10 minutes before slicing.


Caramelized Garlic Tart

Caramelized Garlic Tart

Caramelized Garlic Tart

13 ounces puff pastry (all butter)

3 medium heads garlic (cloves separated and peeled)

1 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 C. water

3/4 tsp. caster sugar

1 tsp. rosemary (chopped)

1 tsp. thyme (chopped, plus a few whole sprigs to finish)

4 1/4 ounces goat cheese (soft and creamy)

4 1/4 ounces goat cheese (hard and mature)

2 eggs

1/2 C. heavy cream

1/2 C. crème fraîche

salt to taste

black pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 170C/350F. Roll out the puff pastry and line the tart pan with it. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Pop the tart pan into the oven with dried beans used as weights.. this is important because you don’t want the puff pastry to puff up so much that there isn’t any room for the filling. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and then cook for an additional 10 minutes until golden. Once done, set aside to cool.  Remove from the oven and leave to one side. While the tart case is cooking, place the garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a gentle simmer, cook for 3 minutes then drain through a colander or sieve. Wipe the saucepan dry then add the cloves and olive oil  and fry on a high heat for 2 minutes and no more. Add the balsamic vinegar, water and bring to the boil.  Simmer gently for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add the sugar, rosemary, chopped thyme and ¼ tsp. salt and continue  to cook on a medium heat for a further 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in a dark caramel syrup. Set aside. To assemble the tart: break both goat’s cheeses into pieces and scatter in the pastry case and spoon over the garlic and any syrup.  Whisk together the eggs, creams, ½ tsp. salt and some black pepper in a jug. Pour over the garlic and cheeses making sure that you can still see both on the surface. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little then take out of tin, lay a few sprigs of thyme on top and serve warm Serve with a crisp salad. If eating later the tart does reheat very well.

Rolled-up Baked Spinach Omelet with Creamy Filling

Rolled-up Baked Spinach Omelet with Creamy Filling

Rolled-up Baked Spinach Omelet with Creamy Filling

30 Cherry Tomatoes

Pinch Salt & Ground Pepper

1 T. fresh Oregano

2 cloves Garlic, minced

Olive Oil

14oz. cleaned Spinach

5 Eggs, separated

3 T. self-rising Flour

2/3 C. + 1 T. Greek Yogurt Cheese or Quark

Salt & Pepper

4 oz. Cream Cheese

4 oz. soft Goat Cheese

Handful fresh Herbs – such as tarragon, chervil and chives, for example


Preheat the oven to 250 F.  Halve the tomatoes and place them on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, oregano and garlic and trickle some olive oil over them.  Bake 2 ½ hours, then let them cool.  You can now use them in a recipe or preserve in a clean jar by covering with oil and storing in the fridge.

Make the omelet: Preheat the oven to 35O°F Line a 12-by-16-inch (3O-by-4O-cm) baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the spinach briefly. Use a skimmer to scoop the spinach out of the pan and drain it thoroughly in a strainer. Press the spinach firmly with the back of the skimmer.  Put the squeezed-out spinach in a food processor and add the egg yolks, flour, and 1 T. quark. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse the mixture until smooth. In a separate, very clean, large bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold in the spinach mixture. With a knife, spread the batter over the baking sheet and bake the omelet in the middle of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the egg feels firm to the touch. In the meantime, in a medium bowl, beat the remaining quark with the cream cheese and goat cheese until smooth. Finely chop all the herbs and stir them in. Place a sheet of parchment on the counter. Invert the omelet onto the parchment and gently peel the parchment from the back of the omelet. Spread the cheese mixture over the omelet and sprinkle a few handfuls of the tomatoes on top. Roll up the omelet tightly, using the bottom parchment sheet to help you. Place the roll in the fridge for at least l hour to firm up. Cut into slices with a thin, sharp knife. Serve with crisp toast.

Ham Salad with Poached Egg

Ham Salad with Poached Egg

Ham Salad with Poached Egg

Fresh Basil Leaves


Fresh tomatoes when in season, or cherry tomatoes year-round


Fresh Ground Sea Salt & Pepper (I love Himalayan Pink Sea Salt)

Wash basil leaves and pat dry with paper towel.  Arrange on your plate. Place proscuitto perfectly on your plate.  Slice tomatoes and add to your plating.  Poach your egg.  Add enough water to cover your egg to a shallow skillet.  Bring to a simmer and then stir the water with a whisk to get it swirling (think tornado-this will keep your egg from spreading out in the water).   Add your egg to the still swirling water and allow to simmer until cooked to your liking. Remove the cooked egg with a slotted spoon and place gently on top of your plate.  Season with a touch of fresh ground salt and pepper.

Sweet Pea & Ricotta Crostini {with Spring Onion Gremolata}

Sweet Pea & Ricotta Crostini {with Spring Onion Gremolata}

Sweet Pea & Ricotta Crostini {with Spring Onion Gremolata}

1 Baguette – sliced thinly on the diagonal

2 T. Olive Oil

1 (10 oz) Package Frozen Peas , thawed OR 1 ½ C. Shelled English Peas

1 Clove Roasted Garlic – roughly chopped (can substitute 1/8 tsp garlic powder)

½ Cup Ricotta Cheese

4 Chives – roughly sliced

½ Cup Romano Cheese – grated, plus more for topping (can sub parmesan)

½ tsp Lemon Juice

¼ heaping ts.p Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

Pine Nuts , to taste

Lemon Zest , to taste


2/3 Cup Spring Onions – 1/3 cup of each white and green parts, separated, thinly sliced

1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 T. Chives

¼ Cup Parsley – chopped

1 Lemon Zest

Sea Salt , to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For the Gremolata: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion whites and cook until lightly golden brown, swirling pan occasionally, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Season with a pinch of salt. In a small bowl combine remaining gremolata ingredients including green parts of spring onion. Add in crispy onion whites and gently stir to combine. Set aside. For the Crostini: Arrange the baguette slices on a large baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake in the oven until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, Make the Pea & Ricotta Puree: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment, add peas, garlic, ricotta, chives, parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Puree, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary, until mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust for seasoning.  Assemble Crostini: Arrange the crostini on a serving platter. Spread the pea-ricotta mixture on the crostini and top with gremolata. Sprinkle pine nuts, lemon zest and parmesan on top. Serve immediately.

Eggs Benedict with Asparagus on Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese Sauce

Eggs Benedict with Asparagus on Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese Sauce

Eggs Benedict with Asparagus on Portabello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese Sauce

2 medium to large Portobello mushroom caps, stems removed

1/2 a small bunch asparagus, stems trimmed and cut lengthwise if thick

3 T./45ml extra virgin olive oil (divided use)

1 small garlic clove, finely minced or grated

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 oz/156g fresh goat cheese

1 T./15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 large eggs

1 T. chopped chives for serving


To make goat cheese sauce: Combine the goat cheese, 1 T. of water, the lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. white pepper and 1 T. of olive oil in a small blender or food processor. Blend on high until smooth. (You can double the goat cheese sauce recipe if you don’t have a small blender or food processor and just save half for later use.) Set aside. To make the mushroom caps and asparagus: Heat broiler. Brush the mushroom caps and asparagus (if your asparagus spears are very thick cut them lengthwise) all over with remaining 2 T. of the oil and minced garlic and season with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet and broil stem side down for 5 minutes. Flip the mushrooms and add the asparagus spears to the sheet. Broil for an additional 3 minutes, or until tender and lightly golden. To make the poached eggs: Bring a shallow pan of salted water to a gentle simmer. Carefully crack each of the eggs into the water. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on how runny you like your yolks), then carefully remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Top each mushroom with a few asparagus spears and a poached egg. Spoon goat cheese sauce over along with an extra sprinkle of pepper and chopped chives and serve immediately.

Pea and Ricotta Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons

Pea and Ricotta Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons

Pea and Ricotta Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons

5 T.  extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle

2 spring onions, trimmed, finely chopped

2 1/2 cups  frozen peas

4 C. firm full-milk ricotta

1 cup finely grated parmesan, plus extra shaved, to serve

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 egg

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 zucchinis, peeled or shaved into ribbons

4–6 slices Prosciutto

2 tablespoons small basil leaves


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and stir for 3 minutes or until soft. Add peas and stir for a further 5 minutes or until peas are soft. Process mixture in a food processor until almost smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Cool. Add ricotta, 40g (1/2 cup) parmesan, flour and egg to pea mixture, season with salt and pepper, then stir to combine. Line a large oven tray with foil, then drizzle with oil. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Using a tablespoon, scoop a spoonful of pea mixture. Using a second spoon, scoop under the mixture and gently push the oval-shaped scoop (quenelle) into the water. Working quickly, repeat to make 10 gnocchi. Cook for 2 minutes or until gnocchi float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on tray. Repeat process 3 more times; makes 40 gnocchi.

Zucchini Noodles with Bacon, Ricotta & Peas

Zucchini Noodles with Bacon, Ricotta & Peas

Zucchini Noodles with Bacon, Ricotta & Peas

2 large zucchini, spiralized into spaghetti noodle shapes

3 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped

1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese

1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil


Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot add in the spiralized zucchini noodles, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the skillet for no more than one minute, just long enough to warm the noodles. Remove from the heat and top with the chopped bacon, peas, dollops of ricotta cheese, chopped basil, and more salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

Cherry Tomato, Basil & Balsamic Sauce French Toast

Cherry Tomato, Basil & Balsamic Sauce French Toast

Cherry Tomato, Basil & Balsamic Sauce French Toast

6 large organic eggs

1 cup (a couple of generous handfuls) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream

About 1 tbsp. freshly stripped thyme leaves

Freshly grated or ground nutmeg, about 1/8 tsp. or to taste

Salt and pepper

8 slices (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick) stale, good-quality white peasant or Italian bread

4 tbsp. butter

Preheat the oven to 200°. In a shallow bowl or dish, whisk the eggs, cheese, half-and-half, thyme and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.  Heat a large griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium. Working with 2 slices of bread at a time, soak the bread in the egg mixture, about 20 seconds on each side. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in the griddle for each batch of French toast; lift the bread from the dish and let the excess egg batter drain. Cook the toast until it is deeply golden on each side and springs back when pressed with your finger, about 2 minutes per side. Place in the oven or tent with foil to keep warm.  Add Sauce.


2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or grated

2 pts. (4 cups) cherry tomatoes or 2 packages (12 to 14 oz. each) cherry tomatoes on the vine, halved

Salt and black pepper or crushed red pepper

1/3 cup (a handful) fresh basil leaves, torn

1 tbsp. balsamic drizzle (buy my balsamic drizzle at or aged balsamic vinegar


In a skillet with a lid, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Melt the butter into the oil, add the garlic and swirl the skillet until the garlic is fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the tomatoes break down, 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the basil and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, 5 to 10 minutes more. Stir in the balsamic drizzle. Spoon over the Savory French Toast.

Endive Salad with Golden Beets, Apples, and Anise Hyssop

Endive Salad with Golden Beets, Apples, and Anise Hyssop

2 tsp. aged red wine vinegar
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 shallot, diced
2 tsp. chopped fresh anise hyssop leaves
2 T. walnut oil
1 T. olive oil

3 golden beets, about 1 lb. total, tops trimmed to 1/2 inch
1/2 C. walnut halves
3 or 4 endives, 3/4 to 1 lb. total, quartered and cored
2 medium Golden Delicious apples
Salt, to taste

To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt, shallot and anise hyssop leaves. Let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in the walnut oil and olive oil. In a covered steamer over boiling water, steam the beets until tender when pierced, 25 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut off the stems and slip off the skins. Cut the beets into thin wedges and toss with 1 T. the vinaigrette. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 350°F. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Cut the endives into long, thin slivers. Set an apple upright on a cutting board and cut 1/4-inch-thick slices off each of 4 sides of the apple. Cut the slices into long strips. Repeat with the remaining apple. In a bowl, toss the apples with the endives, walnuts and the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt. Divide the salad among 4 salad plates or bowls and top with the beets.

Watermelon Appetizer with Chèvre and Anise Hyssop

Watermelon Appetizer with Chèvre and Anise Hyssop

16 large anise hyssop leaves plus 1 optional tsp. the plant’s blossoming buds
4 oz. plain Chèvre (goat’s-milk cheese)
4 tsp. crème fraîche
4 slices cut 1/2-inch thick from a seedless watermelon, rind and white flesh removed
1/4 tsp. flaked sea salt, such as Maldon (may substitute coarse kosher salt)
1 tsp. organic edible flower petals (any combination of anise hyssop blossoms or culinary lavender blossoms, or other edible flowers such as viola, bee balm, borage or bachelor button. Pluck individual petals from the stem.

Cut 4 of the largest anise hyssop leaves into 1/8-inch pieces, then combine in a small bowl with the chevre and creme fraiche. Add up to 1 tsp. the plucked anise hyssop buds, if desired; mix well. Stack the trimmed watermelon slices and cut them into bite-size pieces. Lay the 24 watermelon pieces on a serving tray; use any partial pieces to taste-test the proportions of all the elements. Place a couple of flakes of sea salt on each watermelon piece and taste with some of the chevre; adjust the salt level as desired. Cut the remaining 12 anise hyssop leaves in half lengthwise and offset on each piece of watermelon so the edges will poke out once the chevre mixture is added. Scoop a tsp. the chevre mixture; use a second spoon to push it out on top of each watermelon-leaf piece. Garnish with an individual lavender blossom or other edible flower petal. Serve immediately, or cover loosely and refrigerate. Serve within 1 hour.

Zucchini and Mushroom Bread Pudding with Squash Blossoms

Zucchini and Mushroom Bread Pudding with Squash Blossoms

2-3 slices of dry bread
3 eggs
1 C. milk
1/2 C. grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar and Emmental. Feta would also be delicious, but reduce to 1/4 C. crumbled feta)
olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
2 medium zucchini, quarter lengthwise and cut into slices
8-10 small mushrooms
squash blossoms to decorate if available

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9 1/2 ” pie pan. Spread the dry bread generously with pesto and cut into 1 inch squares. Arrange the squares in the bottom and edges of the pie pan. Beat 3 eggs, add the milk, and beat to combine. Add salt and pepper to the egg mixture. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the minced garlic and shallot with salt and pepper. Cook over medium, stirring well, for 3-4 minutes. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper, and cook for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until zucchini is almost tender. Spread the cooked vegetables over the bread. Top with the grated cheese (or crumbled feta). Pour the egg mixture over the bread, vegetables, and cheese and use a spatula to press the ingredients down into the egg mixture. If you have squash blossoms, remove the stems and the stamens from inside. Carefully, tear open each blossom on one side so they open flat like a book. Place them on top of the egg mixture and gently press down into the egg mixture. Bake at 350 F degrees for 30-35 minutes. Enjoy with a salad!

Feta, Eggs, and Dandelion Greens

Feta, Eggs, and Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens are very nutritious: they are high in calcium, rich in iron, and loaded with antioxidants. They are best harvested in springtime when the young greens are still tender and their flavor is mild. But blanching them in boiling w’ater first will remove some of their bitterness. Cultivated dandelions from the store are less bitter than wild ones, but in both cases it’s best to taste test them first. If you’re foraging your own, be careful not to gather them in areas that have been sprayed with pesticide.

4 C. chopped dandelion greens, thick stems removed
2 T. ghee (or butter)
1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
4 large pasture-raised eggs
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the dandelion greens and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the greens thoroughly, patting them as dry as possible with paper towels. Melt the ghee in a 10-inch sauté pan set over medium heat. Sauté the leeks in the ghee until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the dandelion greens one handful at a time. Cook each handful until wilted, then add more. When all the greens are wilted, crack the eggs into the pan on top of the greens. Top with feta cheese and cook uncovered until the whites of the eggs are set, about 5 minutes.

French Cherry Tomato Tart with Dijon Mustard & Chevre

French Cherry Tomato Tart with Dijon Mustard & Chevre

French Cherry Tomato Tart with Dijon Mustard & Chevre

Yields one 9- or 10-inch tart


One unbaked tart dough, placed on the tart pan (see recipe, below)

Dijon or whole-grain mustard, to taste

8 ounces goat cheese, sliced into 1-ounce rounds

2 pints of cherry tomatoes (or 2-3 large tomatoes, sliced)

1/4 cup olives, pitted (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or your favorite herbs


Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spread an even layer of mustard on the bottom of the tart dough.  Place 4 rounds of goat cheese on top of the mustard.  Arrange tomatoes (and olives, if using) on top of the cheese. Place remaining 4 rounds of cheese on top of the tomatoes.  Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes, season with salt and ground pepper, and sprinkle chopped thyme.*  Bake the tart for 30 to 40 minutes, until the dough is cooked and the cheese is nicely browned.


*Note: I usually add chopped herbs after about 20 minutes of baking time so that they don’t burn.  For this recipe, I added some additional chopped thyme to the dough for extra flavor.


Tart Dough

Yields dough for one 9- or 10-inch tart


1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 generous tablespoon chopped thyme (optional)

4 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes

1 large egg

2-3 tablespoons ice cold water


Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and chopped thyme in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter and using your hands, pastry blender, or two forks, cut the butter into the flour/thyme mixture until it resembles a crumbly, cornmeal-like consistency.  Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the beaten egg, stirring gently until the dough holds together. Add the additional tablespoon of ice water, if needed.  Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding only the minimum amount of flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and then unroll it over the tart pan with a removable bottom. “Dock” the dough by pressing the tart dough firmly with your fingertips to make a few indentations. Be careful not to press too hard to tear the dough.

Bacon, Egg & Avocado Corn Cakes

Bacon, Egg & Avocado Corn Cakes

Bacon, egg and Avocado COrn cakes1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1 tsp. baking soda
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
11⁄2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
1 cup low-fat milk
2 T. olive or canola oil
4 large eggs, for serving
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced into 12 slices
4 pieces of Bacon, cooked
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Add the corn, shallots, and garlic to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the 2 eggs and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a spoon until just combined. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Use a 1⁄3-cup measure and scoop the corn cake batter into the skillet, leaving about an inch in between each corn cake. Cook until the cakes begin to set and bubble on the top, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the corn cakes with a spatula and place on a plate or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter. Cook the 4 eggs to your liking: sunny side up, over easy, poached, scrambled, or your preferred style.  To assemble the corn cakes, add the avocado slices and tomatoes over the top, and add a slice of bacon, cut in half in a cross over them. Top each with a cooked egg.

Note: In my last few years of poaching eggs, I’ve learned that it really does work best if your eggs are fresh, your water is not boiling at all, and you are patient. These days, I can poach an egg with success almost every time. It just takes lots of practice.

Pancetta and Parmesan Tassies

Pancetta and Parmesan Tassies

8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted but737872ter
4 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 extra large egg
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice, cooked and drained
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Cayenne pepper to taste

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the flour; beating on low speed until blended. Shape the mixture into 24 balls, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour. Lightly grease the wells of a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. Place the dough balls into the cups, pressing on the bottom and up the sides to form a cup; set aside. Preheat the oven to 375º F. In a small bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, egg, and salt. Evenly sprinkle the cooked pancetta into the pastry cups; top with 1 teaspoon of parmesan. Evenly drizzle half-and-half mixture over cheese and sprinkle with chives. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Carefully remove the tassies from the muffin pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool briefly. Serve warm with cayenne pepper to taste. Cooled leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350º F oven for 5-10 minutes or until warmed through. Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Tartlet

Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Tartlet

HeirloomTomatoBlack-Pepper Crusts (recipe follows)
Pesto (recipe follows, or use your favorite)
3 cups heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (4-ounce) package goat-cheese crumbles
Garnish: fresh oregano and micro basil

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place prepared Black-Pepper Tartlet Crusts on baking sheet. Spoon about 3 T. Pesto into bottom of each crust. Fill each tartlet with tomatoes, and season evenly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese over tomatoes, and bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is slightly browned. Garnish with oregano and micro basil, if desired. Serve immediately.

Black Pepper Tartlet Crusts

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sour cream

In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and pepper; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until crumbled. Add sour cream, and pulse until mixture comes together. Remove mixture and form into a disk; wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut 6 (5-inch) rounds from dough. Place a round in bottom and up sides of each of 6 (4-inch) tartlet pans. Line tartlet crusts with parchment paper to cover bottoms and sides, and top with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Remove pie weights and parchment paper. Return to oven, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, and cool.


3 cups fresh basil leaves
3 T. fresh oregano leaves
3 T. fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup grated fresh Asiago cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

In the work bowl of a food processor, combine basil, oregano, lemon juice, garlic, cheese, and pine nuts; pulse until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add salt, pepper, and olive oil; pulse until smooth. Prepared pesto can be stored, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Avocados and Poached Eggs

Fried Green Tomatoes with Avocados and Poached Eggs

Fried Green Tomatoes with Avocados and Poached Eggs


1 large green tomato

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 large egg

1 tablespoon buttermilk

1 1/2 cups panko Japanese-style breadcrumbs

1/2 – 1 cup olive oil, for frying

For serving

1 medium avocado

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste

4 large eggs


Prep tomatoes. Trim 1/2-inch from the stem and blossom ends of the tomato and discard. Slice tomato into 1/4-inch thick slices. Season tomato slices on both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside. Prep coating. In a shallow dish or pie pan, add the flour. In a second shallow dish, whisk together the egg and buttermilk until blended. Spread the panko breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish. Coat tomatoes. Working with one tomato slice at a time, dip the tomato slices into the flour to coat evenly, shaking off the excess. Then, dip into the egg mixture, letting the excess drip back onto the dish. Then coat the tomato slices in the panko breadcrumbs, patting firmly to help the breadcrumbs adhere. Cook tomatoes. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a 10-inch non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Working in batches if necessary, carefully place tomatoes into the heated oil in a single layer. Cook until the undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the slices and fry until the other sides are browned, about 2 minutes more, adding more oil to the pan as necessary. Drain the fried tomatoes on paper towels. For serving: Prep avocado. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise around the pit. Twist the avocado halves in opposite directions and pull the halves apart. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Scoop out the avocado pulp into a medium bowl and mash it with a fork and some fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate tomatoes. Place tomato slices on plates and top with even amounts of avocado mixture. Set aside. Cook eggs. For the eggs, crack the eggs into 4 small ramekins or sauce dishes. In a 12-inch straight-sided skillet, bring 3 inches of water to a simmer. Turn down the heat so that no more bubbles form on the surface. Carefully slide the eggs into the water, evenly spreading the eggs around the pan so they don’t touch each other. Cook eggs, undisturbed, until white is just set and yolk is still runny, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to gently release eggs from the bottom of pan, if necessary. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs from water. Blot the bottom of the spoon on a paper towel to remove excess water. Gently place an egg on each tomato slice. Serve immediately.

Smoked Salmon in Herbed Pancakes

Smoked Salmon in Herbed Pancakes

For the pancakes:

1 cup multigrain pancake mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup finely chopped herbs (any combination of parsley, thyme and basil)

For the filling:

1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 small onion, minced
Pinch salt and pepper
5 ounces sliced smoked salmon, shredded
1/3 cup micro greens

Make pancake batter per box instructions. Stir in herbs. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk yogurt, lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until used. Using herbed batter, cook 4 pancakes per instructions on the box. Lay pancakes on a plate. Top with salmon, add yogurt mix and then top with micro greens. Roll pancake. Secure with toothpick or kitchen twine.

Yield: 4 servings
Calories: 267
Fat: 9g
Fiber: 3g

Caprese Benedict with Basil Hollandaise

Caprese Benedict with Basil Hollandaise

basilholl4 English muffin halves

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly

1 large heirloom tomato

8 large fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon white vinegar

4 large eggs

Black pepper and kosher salt


1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 large basil leaves

¼ cup melted butter

kosher salt

black pepper


Put a shallow pot of water over medium heat to simmer and add the vinegar. While the water is simmering, make the Basil Hollandaise Sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in the blender and puree until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. Toast the English muffins until crispy and top them with the mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Poach the eggs by swirling the simmering water hard with a spoon and then gently crack an egg into the center of the swirling water. Cook until the egg is half cooked through, but still runny in the center, about 3 minutes. Drain gently and top the benedict with the egg. Spoon the Basil Hollandaise over the egg. Serve hot.


Parmesan-Rosemary Crackers

Parmesan-Rosemary Crackers

crackersstacked**Notes: Plan Ahead! The cracker dough should chill in the fridge ideally for 24 hours — my dough basically just chilled overnight, but the recipe suggests 24 hours. If you forget to make this ahead of time, try popping the dough in the freezer for two to three hours. Also: Bake these the day you serve them. They don’t keep well.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Pinch of white pepper

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra sprigs for garnish

3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup finely grated (2 1/2 ounces) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

5 tablespoons sour cream

1 large egg white, lightly beaten (optional — this is if you want to do the pretty rosemary garnish)

Combine flour, salt, pepper, and rosemary in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese; pulse until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of the sour cream at a time, pulsing each time to combine. (Note: I added the sour cream in 2 batches…not patient enough to do 1 T. at a time.) Process until dough comes together and is well combined. Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape dough into a 2-inch-wide log. Wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. (Note: I chilled mine for about 18 hours. If you are pinched for time, try chilling the dough in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours.) Heat oven to 325 degrees. Slice chilled log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer slices to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dip a sprig of rosemary into egg white, and place in center of a cracker slice; repeat with remaining rosemary and crackers. (Note: The rosemary garnish is optional – it’s purely for decorative purposes.) Bake immediately, rotating sheet once, until crackers are golden brown and firm in the center, 25 to 35 minutes. (My crackers took 25 minutes.) Transfer to a rack to cool.

Corn and Dried Tomato Soufflé with Shrimp-Onion Relish

Corn and Dried Tomato Soufflé with Shrimp-Onion Relish

Add cream of tartar to the whites while beating; the acid stiffens and coagulates the egg-white protein, strengthening the walls of the bubbles.

Use a wire whisk attachment to introduce air into the whites evenly, creating tiny, strong bubbles.

Beat the whites just until stiff but moist-looking peaks form. If the whites are overbeaten, the walls of the air bubbles will be stretched out; they may burst when heated, collapsing the soufflé.

Fold the white sauce gently but thoroughly into the beaten egg whites, using a flexible spatula. Overmixing, or folding with a heavy hand, may collapse the egg-white bubbles, leaving your soufflé less than ethereal.

Bake the soufflé in the right dish size for the best results. Classic soufflé dishes aren’t necessary; you can also use deep casseroles or ovenproof bowls, though soufflés baked in bowls with sloping sides won’t rise as high as those in straight-sided dishes. Measure your dish’s capacity with water to determine its volume.

Notes: Use dried tomatoes that are moist, soft, and pliable; if they aren’t, soak them in hot water until soft, 5 to 15 minutes, then squeeze out water. Or use oil-packed tomatoes and squeeze out the oil. You can prepare the dishes (step 1), make the sauce (step 2), and separate the eggs up to 4 hours ahead; cover sauce and eggs separately and chill. Stir the chilled white sauce over low heat until hot before proceeding with step 3.


tomato-souffle-su-600637-x1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups milk

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels

1/3 cup finely chopped dried tomatoes

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

8 large eggs, separated

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Shrimp-Onion Relish


Generously butter a 2 1/2- to 3-quart soufflé dish or six 1 1/2- to 2-cup soufflé dishes. If using small dishes, set them about 2 inches apart in a 10- by 15-inch baking pan. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir until mixture is smooth and bubbling. Stir in milk, tarragon, and salt, and continue stirring until sauce boils and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add corn and dried tomatoes and stir until hot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add egg yolks and stir until mixture is blended and smooth. In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat egg whites (use whisk attachment if available) with cream of tartar until short, stiff, moist peaks form. With a flexible spatula, fold a third of the cheese sauce into whites until well blended. Add remaining sauce and gently fold in just until blended. Scrape batter into prepared soufflé dish (or dishes). If higher than 3/4 full, use a foil collar (see “Crowning Glory” below). If desired, draw a circle on the surface of the soufflé batter with the tip of a knife, about 1 inch in from rim, to help an attractive crown form during baking. Bake large soufflé in a 350° regular or 325° convection oven until top is golden to deep brown and cracks look fairly dry, 35 to 40 minutes. Bake small soufflés in a 375° regular or convection oven, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately, scooping portions from single soufflé with a large spoon. Pass the shrimp-onion relish to spoon over each serving as desired.

Soufflés look most impressive when they rise dramatically over the rim of the dish. To create a beautiful crown on your soufflé, fill the dish about 3/4 full. If it’s less full, the soufflé may not rise over the rim. If it’s more full, the soufflé may spill over unless you wrap the dish with a foil collar. Here’s how to make one.

Cut a 15-inch-wide sheet of foil 4 inches longer than circumference of dish; fold lengthwise in thirds. Coat one side of the foil strip generously with melted butter, using a pastry brush. Wrap the foil around outside of dish so that at least 2 inches of foil extend above the rim. Fold the ends of the buttered foil strip over several times until snug against dish.

Coconut Cream Fruit Dip

Coconut Cream Fruit Dip

coconut cream fruit dip4 oz. cream cheese

1/2 (15oz.) can Cream of Coconut (Not coconut milk! Find this in the aisle with the margarita mix & other mixers.)

1/2 (8oz.) tub Cool Whip


Whip the cream cheese with the cream of coconut with paddle attachment in a stand mixer until all lumps are gone. Remove paddle, & fold in cool whip. Serve with fruit or graham crackers. *Some readers have found beating the cream cheese first, then adding the cream of coconut helps to keep the lumps out. You can also try softening the cream cheese, using the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer if lumps become a problem.



Savory Goat Cheese Tart with Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes & Jalapeño Honey Drizzle

Savory Goat Cheese Tart with Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes & Jalapeño Honey Drizzle


1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust (or homemade)

1 lb. Goat Cheese

1/2 cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream

1/4 cup Egg Whites

4 – 6 Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes – approx.

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp. Oregano

1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt & Coarse Black Peppercorn – approx.

Crisco to grease



8 oz. Honey

2 T. Diced Jalapeño (drained, no juices)

2 tsp. White Vinegar

1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


Thaw pie crust as directed before molding to well-greased pie dish.  Pierce crust with a fork on the bottom (4 – 6 indents) and along the sides (another 4-6 indents) to prevent bubbling, then bake crust @400F for 10 minutes until just beginning to brown.  Remove from oven and set aside – Keep oven heated. In food processor combine goat cheese, sour cream, and egg whites, pulsing for several minutes until a thick, whipped consistency is formed.  Next, evenly spread mixture into cooled pie crust.  Slice heirloom tomatoes and coat each slice with EVOO.  Layer tomatoes on top of goat cheese in a style of your choosing, then season entire tart with oregano, rosemary, and salt & pepper.  Return to oven @400F for another 35 – 40 minutes until crust has completely browned and the tomatoes have roasted.  While tart bakes, add diced jalapeno, white vinegar, and crushed red pepper flakes to honey and combine vigorously.  Set aside. When tart is ready, allow to cool slightly before drizzling with honey to plate & serve.  Pair with additional honey on the side, if desired. >> Jalapeño Honey mixture might separate slightly after resting – reshake before drizzling!

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Tart

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Tart

1/2 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

3 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

3 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/2 C. olive oil, divided

1 T. chopped fresh thyme

1 T. kosher salt

2 tsp. cracked black pepper

1/2 C. soft goat cheese

2 C. mâche or baby greens

1 T. chopped fresh parsley

1 T. chopped fresh chives

1 T. chopped fresh tarragon

2 T. light balsamic vinaigrette

1/4 C. balsamic vinegar

1/3 C. pitted and chopped brined olives


Lay puff pastry out on a work surface. Cut 8, 2 1/2-inch-round disks out of the pastry. Place disks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place a second sheet of parchment on pastry, and top with another baking sheet to weigh down pastry. Bake at 375° for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside and cool. Brush tomato slices and wedges with 1/4 C. olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with thyme, salt, and pepper, and place tomatoes on baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until tomatoes are soft; cool slightly. Spread pastry rounds evenly with goat cheese. Using a spatula, carefully stack tomato slices evenly on pastry rounds, and top with tomato wedges. Toss greens and next 3 ingredients with vinaigrette in a small bowl. Top each tomato tart evenly with salad. Place tarts on individual serving plates, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and remaining 1/4 C. olive oil. Sprinkle plates with olives.


Garden Phyllo Quiches

Garden Phyllo Quiches

db655050-ef78-47d3-ab38-1f3a4573b6b42 packages (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain

2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms (6 oz.)

2 C. milk

1 tsp. ground mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

4 eggs

8 frozen (thawed) phyllo sheets (18 x 14 inches)

4 tsp. butter or margarine, melted

1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz.)


Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray 10- or 12-inch skillet with cooking spray. Cook spinach and mushrooms in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted and mushrooms are tender; remove from heat.   Mix milk, mustard, salt, nutmeg and eggs; set aside.   Spray eight 6-oz. custard cups with cooking spray. Place 1 phyllo sheet on flat surface; lightly brush with butter. Top with 3 phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter. Cut phyllo into fourths. Place 1 phyllo section in each custard cups. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets. Trim overhanging edge of phyllo 1 inch from rim of cups.   Drain spinach mixture; divide evenly among cups. Pour about 1/3 C. egg mixture into each C.. Fold edges of phyllo toward center.   Arrange custard cups in jelly roll pan, 15 1/2×10 1/2×1 inch. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until egg mixture is set. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.   Serve these festive quiches on a drizzle of roasted red pepper puree, or accompany with chutney.



Purslane Panzanella

Purslane Panzanella

Purslane11 lb. ripe Tomatoes


2 ½ C. Purslane, succulent leaves removed from the stems

1 Red Onion, halved and finely slived

4 T. Red Wine Vinegar, divided

1 lb. stale White Bread Loaf

4 T. flat leaf Parsley, chopped

1 handful Sweet Basil Leaves, torn

½ C + 1 T. EVOO


Cut tomatoes into small chunks and place in a colander set in the sink. Toss with a little salt and allow to rest at least 10 minutes for the juices to be drawn out. Wash and dry the purslane; set aside. Place onion slivers in a bowl of cold water with a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Break the bread into large chunks and place in a large bowl just *just* enough water to cover; set aside for 10 minutes. Drain bread and using your hands, squeeze all excess water from the bread. It needs to be well squeezed, or you will have a very soggy salad! Crumble bread into a large serving bowl. Drain the onions well. Mix the purslane, tomatoes, parsley and basil into the onions. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining vinegar and the oil; season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the vegetables and toss well; add to bread in serving bowl and toss again until well mixed.

Corn Cakes with Tomato Avocado Relish

Corn Cakes with Tomato Avocado Relish

corn cakes3 large ears of corn, shucked
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. buttermilk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
For the relish:
1 large tomato, cored and chopped
1 scallion, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of half a lime
1½ tsp. olive oil
1½ tsp. white wine vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
Ranch dressing, for serving (optional)

Cut the corn kernels off of the cobs and place in a large bowl. Place 2 cups of the corn kernels in the food processor and pulse several times, until the corn is slightly pureed but still chunky. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the remaining corn kernels. Add the flour, cornmeal, onion, basil, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix well. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and butter, and stir just to combine.
To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients except the avocado in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 days. Just before serving, mix in the avocado. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan and heat until sizzling hot. Scoop the batter into the skillet a heaping tablespoon at a time, cooking the cakes in batches of 4 or 5 so that they are not touching. Fry 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer the cooked cakes to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately topped with the relish and drizzled with ranch dressing, if desired.

Onion & Gouda Tart with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Onion & Gouda Tart with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Pastry for Tart Shell

1 Egg White, lightly Beaten

2 T. Butter

1 1/2 lb. Yellow Onion, thinly sliced

1 T. minced Tarragon

1 tsp. minced Thyme

4 Sun-Dried Tomatoes, softened in boiling water, drained and minced

4 large Eggs, beaten

1 Egg Yolk, beaten

1 1/2 C. Milk

1 C. Heavy Cream

1/2 tsp. Pepper

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

6oz. aged Gouda, shredded (about 1 1/2 C.)

2 T. Dry Bread Crumbs

2 T. Parmesan Cheese


Prepare tart shell by fitting to pan and baking.  When cool, lightly brush shell with beaten egg white to seal bottom and prevent it from getting soggy.  Preheat oven to 400.  In nonstick skillet, melt butter over low heat.  Add onions and herbs and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and cook 2 minutes more.  Scoop into strainer and drain until ready to use.  In mixing bowl combine eggs, yolk, milk, cream, pepper and nutmeg.  Stir in gouda.  Spread onions over bottom of tart shell.  Pour in egg mixture.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and grated parmesan.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until top is lightly browned and filling is set.  Let cool on a rack for a few minutes before serving.  Serve hot.








Corn Avocado Soup with Cheese Toasts

Corn Avocado Soup with Cheese Toasts

l_R1802114 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 jalapeno chile, seeded
4 avocados, halved and peeled
Grated peel of 1 lime and juice of 3 limes
3/4 C. cilantro leaves
salt and pepper
3 C. chicken broth
2 C. fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears) or one 10oz box of frozen corn, thawed and patted dry
1/2 baguette, sliced on an angle and toasted
4oz feta or queso fresco cheese, sliced

Using a food processor, finely chop 2 cloves garlic and the jalapeno. Add the avocados, lime peel, lime juice and 1/2 cup cilantro leaves; season to taste with salt and pepper. Process until just combined. With the machine on, slowly pour in the chicken broth until smooth. If the soup is too thick, slowly add up to 1 cup water. In a small nonstick skillet, toast the corn kernels over medium heat, stirring, until lightly browned. Season with salt and let cool. Stir 1 1/2 cups corn kernels into the soup. Preheat the broiler. Rub 1 side of each toast with the remaining 2 cloves garlic and top with a slice of cheese. Broil the toasts until the cheese is softened. Top the soup with the remaining 1/2 cup corn kernels and the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Serve with the toasts.

Tomato Tartlets

Tomato Tartlets

Tomato Tartlets

All-purpose flour, for rolling

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 1/2 ounces grated sharp white cheddar (2/3 cup packed)

3 medium tomatoes, cut into ten 1/4-inch-thick slices

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Ground pepper

1/3 cup small basil leaves, for serving


Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in upper and middle thirds. Lightly flour a rolling pin and work surface and roll out puff pastry to a 14-by-16-inch rectangle. With a 4-inch cookie cutter, cut out 10 rounds and transfer to two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets; with a fork, prick each round all over. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese on each, leaving a 1/4-inch border, and top with 1 tomato slice. Brush with oil and season with pepper. Bake until pastry is deep golden at edges, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let tartlets cool completely on a wire rack. To serve, top with basil.

Delmonico’s Smoked Salmon and Brie Crepes with Herbsaint Butter Sauce and Crispy Spinach

Delmonico’s Smoked Salmon and Brie Crepes with Herbsaint Butter Sauce and Crispy Spinach

1/4 C. minced shallots

1 C. Herbsaint liqueur

1/4 C. heavy cream


Cayenne pepper

1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into pieces

1/4 tsp. hot sauce

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 pounds smoked salmon, thinly sliced

1 pound Brie, thinly sliced

12 medium crepes

2 C. fresh spinach leaves, washed and patted dry


In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the shallots and Herbsaint. Season with salt and cayenne. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture reduces by half. Add the cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of pieces at a time. Season with the hot sauce and Worcestershire. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and keep hot. Place a couple of slices each of the salmon and cheese over the bottom of each crepe. Roll each crepe up tightly. Place in a buttered casserole dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt. Fry the spinach until crispy, about 1 minute. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt. To serve, spoon the sauce in the center of each plate. Lay a couple of the crepes in the center of sauce. Garnish with some of the fried spinach.








Lobster Salad Napoleons

Lobster Salad Napoleons

lobster-salad-su-640914-l1 spiny or rock lobster tail (about 1 lb.), thawed if frozen

Lemon dressing

Filo-parmesan pastry (recipe follows)

2 firm-ripe tomatoes (4 to 5 oz. each), rinsed, cored, and thinly sliced

4 cups arugula leaves (about 4 oz.), rinsed and crisped



In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add lobster and cook until meat is opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 10 to 12 minutes. Drain lobster; immerse in ice water until cool, 1 to 2 minutes, then drain again. Cut shell open and pull out meat from lobster tail. Coarsely chop lobster, put in a bowl, and mix with 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon dressing. Lay a filo pastry rectangle on each of four dinner plates. Arrange half the lobster mixture, tomatoes, and then arugula equally on filo. Cover each stack with another rectangle and top equally with remaining lobster, tomatoes, and arugula. Set another pastry, cheese side up, on each stack. Offer more dressing and salt to add to taste.


Filo-parmesan pastry: You will need 6 sheets of filo dough (about 12 by 18 in.), about 3 tablespoons melted butter, and 6 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese. Lay 1 filo sheet flat (cover remaining with plastic wrap to prevent drying) and brush lightly with butter, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Cover with another filo sheet, brush lightly with more butter, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Continue until all the filo is stacked using the last of the butter and cheese on the top layer. Cut into 12 equal rectangles and transfer to two lightly buttered 10- by 15-inch pans, arranging slightly apart. Bake in a 375° regular or convection oven until golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Use warm or cool.


Lemon Dressing:  In a bowl, mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel, 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon, and 1 1/2 tablespoons each tarragon wine vinegar and minced shallots. Add pepper to taste.