Lemon & Artichokes | egg & dart blog
Food & Recipes

Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette | egg & dart blog

We’ve survived the heatwave.

Last week was rough. As I already bemoaned on Friday, we had several days of 100°F weather or nearly. It meant that I really had to think ahead and maximize those precious morning hours when I could have the windows open. But even so, it was just too hot to turn on the stove or the oven even in the morning some days.

Artichokes | egg & dart blog

Luckily I managed to come up with a pretty decent plan for the week and grouped all my cooking into Monday morning and just a few extras Thursday morning after the market. It really made such a difference not only to not have to risk raising the temperature when I had worked so hard to keep the heat out as much as possible, but also to have something cool and refreshing to look forward to at the end of the day.

Chilled Cucumber Soup | egg & dart blog

One meal in particular hit all the right notes for me: a chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup sprinkled with chives, Artichokes with a Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette, and toasts spread with goat cheese. What’s a soup without something to dunk after all? The soup, adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe, is simply made in the blender and the artichokes I steamed on Monday and pulled out of the fridge a while before dinner to bring them to room temperature. A glass of rosé (always rosé) and I promise the depth of the heatwave will ease just a bit around you.

Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette | egg & dart blog

Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup

adapted from Jamie Oliver Magazine

Serves 2

1 c. full-fat plain yogurt

juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cucumber, chopped

1 avocado, peeled and chopped

salt & pepper to taste

a small handful of chives, chopped

Place the first five ingredients in the blender in that order. Putting your liquids in first will help make blending easier. Blend until smooth adding a little water to thin if needed. Season to taste. Chill until needed. Serve with chives and a drizzle of olive oil over the top and toasts spread with goat cheese for dipping.


Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

Serves 2

I love using both lemon juice and zest because the zest adds even more lemon flavor but has a softer, less acidic flavor.

2 globe artichokes

zest of 1/2 a lemon

juice of 1 lemon (about 2 scant tbsp.)

1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

as small handful of basil leaves to serve

Prepare the artichokes by removing the first few layers of tough leaves, chopping off the stem to make a flat bottom, and cutting the top flat as well. Trim the tips of any leaves that still have their thorns. Quarter each artichoke and rub them all over with a half of a lemon to prevent browning. Steam until the hearts can easily be pierced with the tip of a knife, about 30 minutes. Cool, then with a teaspoon, remove the choke from the heart of each quarter. Chill until needed.

To prepare the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, arrange the artichokes in a bowl on their backs so the hearts act like little bowls to catch the dressing. Pour the vinaigrette over the artichokes and top with fresh basil leaves.

Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette | egg & dart blog

Enjoy!

Any favorite cool dinner classics of yours I should know about?

xo,

A.

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Food & Recipes

Marinated Feta and a Winter Greek Salad

Winter Lemons | egg & dart

 

I think I mentioned that I’m not always on top of the lunch game. But that tartine seems to have opened the door because I’ve been finding more and more treasures for lunchtime. If I’m being honest, I’d tell you that part of it is probably the recent taming of the fridge, also.  Amazing what wonders having a system and actually seeing what you have in the fridge will do!

 

Marinated feta with winter flavors | egg & dart

 

This salad started with leftover marinated feta cheese from the weekend’s lunches. The endless gray days of Parisian winter had us all craving sunlight and the bright flavor of lemon and citrusy zing of Sichuan peppercorns brought some to of that sun to our table. Marinating feta is really so easy and doesn’t take as much time as you would think to be effective. Even an hour or two will transform the cheese. Sometimes I forget to prepare it a day or two before, like last weekend when I remembered just after breakfast. It still had enough time to make a wonderfully flavored addition to our plates in the afternoon. Lucky me, we didn’t eat it all that Saturday.

 

Marinated feta with winter flavors | egg & dart

Winter Greek Salad with Marinated Feta | egg & dart

 

The marinated feta and its infused olive oil was the first thing to be pulled out of the fridge for my weekday lunch, then Kalamata olives. Greek salad, I thought. But it’s January and tomatoes and cucumbers are just a dream. The just barely ripe, crisp winter pear on the counter seemed the perfect substitute and I quickly chopped some celery to pair with it. Peppery rocket, sliced red onions, deep purple olives, and roughly chopped pistachios – they all came together with a dressing of cider vinegar and the infused olive oil, lemon zest, and peppercorns. A Greek salad for winter. And you know what? I think it really did bring back the sun.

 

Winter Lemons | egg & dart

winter greek salad with marinated feta | egg & dart

 

Lemon & Sichaun Peppercorn Marinated Feta

This recipe is easily adapted to any amount of feta and the amounts given here aren’t

written in stone. Feel free to just toss in small handfuls of seasoning to your own taste.

– 150 g feta cheese

– 1 lemon, organic if possible

– 1 teaspoon Sichaun peppercorns

– 1/2 c. olive oil or more

1. Peel half the lemon into wide strips with a vegetable peeler. Slice each strip length-wise into very thin strips.

2. Crumble the feta into large chunks.

3. Using a high sided bowl, arrange the feta in the bowl with the peppercorns and lemon zest distributed throughout the layers. Pour olive oil into to cover the feta. You may need more or less oil to just cover the cheese. Marinate for at least 1 hour if possible.

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Winter Greek Salad

Serves 2

– 75 g marinated feta

– 1/2 c. Kalamata olives

– 2 tender celery heart stalks, sliced including leaves

– 1/2 crisp pear, sliced into matchsticks

– 1 shallot or 1 small red onion sliced thinly

– 1/4 c. unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

– 2 handfuls rocket / arugula

– 2 tbsp. infused olive oil from the marinated feta

– 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1. Divide the rocket between two plates and then arrange the feta, olives, celery, pear, and onions on top. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the vinegar and olive oil and drizzle over the two salads. Be sure to include the lemon zest and peppercorns from the oil too!

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Food & Recipes, Life

Marché Photo of the Week

 

Between colds and travel and rain it feels like ages since I got to the marché on Sunday! Sometimes I can do a quick trip to another on Wednesdays on my way back from a morning appointment but it’s definitely not the same and I miss the atmosphere of our favorite Sunday spot. This week I headed out on my own as R. had some work to do and look the long way home (I spy egg & dart on that column!) with full bags of fresh goods on my back because the sun was glorious. Here’s what I came back with:

pancetta

coppa

(tart, crisp, pineapple-y) apples (!)

potimarron

pears

rustic bread

boule d’or turnips

tallegio cheese

shallots

fresh sage

fennel

parsley

leek

celery

eggplant

garlic

endives

baby salad

And here’s where some of those wonders will go:

Coppa, Apple, and Cheddar Tartines* – Autumn Panzanella – Turnip and Pancetta Ravioli with Crispy Sage –  Chard, Pear, & Gruyère Tart

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I always use the lazy weekend mornings to plan the week’s menu; I’m not good at planning on the fly every day of the week or running through the grocery store with no list. Besides not having to worry about it each evening, I love looking forward to the meal planned for the end of the day when we slow down (in theory) and find each other again at the dinner table. What are your plans for the week? I’d love to ‘peek’ in at your week’s menu!

xo,

A.

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Food & Recipes

Bursts of Living and a Roasted Vegetable and Chevre Tart with Herb Salad

I crave interesting flavor. I think I always have because I was the kid that didn’t buy lunch at school and came with a bag packed with such exotic things as tabbouleh and who loved lobster before she could walk. (Actually, that last one may be because I am a Mainer, but still.) There are days when I just need something that is complex but not fussy, something that you taste and know that you are alive. Those little bursts of flavor, of living.

Herbs do that for me. Amazing little leaves with such a wide variety of character. And I use them everywhere I can. In the herbed gnudi with parsley, dill, and chives below, in pureed soups of chervil, or tarragon, basil, and mint mixed into a quinoa, tomato, and feta salad. Mixing them in unexpected combinations makes the possibilities endless and I find that leafy herbs play nicely together and woody herbs, likewise, play nicely together. Of course, you wan always taste them before adding.

One of my go-to recipes for summer is a wonderful tart of tomatoes and goat cheese in a flaky pastry. It’s always refreshing and never disappoints. When the weather went into an end of summer hot streak, I pulled the fresh summer vegetables we had from the fridge and roasted them simply. I knew they’d be a perfect variation on that summer favorite. But I wanted it to stand out even more and served it with a lightly dressed salad of fresh herbs on top. It was perfect. Everyone can help themselves to how ever much of the salad they like, if they are adventurous and want a lot like me, or if they want a little less like R. This is exuberant summer in a tart.

Roasted Vegetable and Chevre Tart with Herb Salad

Serves 6

For the Pastry:

1 1/4 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary or chives

8 tbsp. cold butter, cut into smaller pieces

4-5 tbsp. ice water

  1. Place the butter, flour, salt, and minced herb in a bowl and cut the ingredients together with a pastry cutter or with the tips of your fingers. Work until just combined and add the ice water one tbsp at a time, mixing gently with a fork, until the mixture comes together and doesn’t crumble when you pinch a piece together between thumb and index finger. Gather gently into a ball and flatten into a disk. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

For the Filling:

1 small eggplant, washed and sliced into 1/4″ thick slices

1 small zucchini, washed and sliced into 14/” thick slices

1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded, and sliced into 6 pieces lengthwise

2 small heirloom tomatoes, washed and sliced in half lengthwise

3 tbsp. olive oil

200 g / 7 oz. fresh soft goat cheese

 sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Place the vegetables , tomatoes cut side up, on a roasting pan. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, using more if necessary but don’t drench the eggplant, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven until them are golden and soft, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Turn the oven heat down to 375°F/190°C. Remove pastry from the fridge and set onto a well floured work surface. With a rolling pin, roll pastry into a circle about 1/4″ thick. Gently fold the dough in half and lay over half of a 9″ removable bottom tart pan. Unfold the dough to cover the pan, fit the dough down into the pan, and trim off any excess around the edges. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork.
  3. Crumble the goat cheese into the tart crust, making sure to distribute it evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake the tart shell in the oven until golden, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  5. Arrange the roasted vegetables over the top of the tart shell.

For the Herb Salad:

1 1/2 c. mixed fresh herbs, such as chervil, dill, and chives, washed

1 tbsp. olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Prepare the herbs but chopping to large pieces, the size of baby lettuce leaves. Place them in a bowl and lightly dress with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, tossing gently with you fingertips to coat the herbs.
  2. Pile the salad in the center of the roasted vegetable tart and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

xo,

A.

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