Ricotta-Sweet Pea Toast

Image

“How luscious lies the pea within the pod.”   Emily Dickinson

This easy-peasy(pardon the pun!) ricotta-sweet pea toast is so good, you’ll forget all about avocado! Using a really good sourdough cut thick, lemony ricotta cheese is heaped on then topped with minty peas.  Classic spring flavors made fresh on a toast.  So simple, so good, you’ll want to have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Continue reading

Coconut White Chocolate Scones

Image

These scones are out of this world.  With a double dose of coconut inside the scone and sprinkled on top, they are a coconut lover’s dream come true. The white chocolate chunks are a lovely complimentary flavor and a nice surprise as you bite into one.  Moist and not too crumbly these will please even non-scone lovers.  Truly delectable!

Coconut-White Chocolate Scones

Adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking
INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold, grated
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup white chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Glaze
1/4 cup milk, coconut, almond or regular
1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup toasted coconut for topping
INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together. Add the grated cold butter to the dry mixture and gently combine with a wooden spoon until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture ressembles coarse oatmeal.
Fold the coconut into the dry mixture along with the white chocolate. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream and vanilla. Fold everything together just to incorporate. Do not overwork the dough.
Form 16 mounds out of the dough. The size can vary depending on if you want to stretch the recipe to make more or less.  I found 16 was just the right size.  Arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for 14 minutes, or until the top just barely turned golden brown.  Watch them closely as the bottom can burn where any white chocolate has settled.
Combine the milk, powdered sugar and melted butter in a small bowl and whisk until no clumps remain. Once the scones have cooled, drizzle with the glaze and  sprinkle with toasted coconut.  You can toast regular sweetened coconut in the microwave, dry skillet or on an oven sheet, stirring often, for a minute or so.

Franciso Oller, Puerto Rican Impressionist, 1833-1917, Still Life With Coconuts, Brooklyn Museum image

Spring Sweet Pea Soup

Image

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” –Harriet Ann Jacobs

Throw open your windows and doors and let those wonderful spring breezes in while you make this soup. Soup? You bet.  Spring and green peas go hand in hand and this soup showcases peas brilliantly.  Velvety smooth without a drop of added cream, the flavors are bright and fresh like a burst of sunshine.  I made it a day ahead and reheated it gently on low heat. A delicious early spring in a bowl!

Continue reading

Charlotte aux fraises

Image

“Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.” –Ellis Peters

Looking for a make-ahead, no-bake, showstopping spring dessert?  Look no further.  This strawberry charlotte is it!  The lovely pink color comes from puréed strawberries which are passed through a sieve to give the filling a luscious, velvety texture.  The lady finger cookies are dipped in a lemon simple syrup giving the cake a fresh burst of flavor.  Easy to make, the cake looks sensational and tastes, well, like a slice of heaven!

Continue reading

Burrata Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Pistachio Pesto

Image

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Sometimes going with the flow yields the most unexpectedly delicious discovery.  After attending an art show with friends recently, we decided to get some dinner on the way home.  We headed to the small town of Media in Pennsylvania and stumbled on a gastropub with the fun name Brick and Brew.  The pub was pulsing with great energy, in a hip, yet casual setting.  A burrata salad caught my eye on the menu.  Beautifully presented, I was blown away by how good this salad was.  A whole burrata nestled in a crown of heirloom tomatoes topped with a terrific pesto so good I wanted to lick the plate, this was one of the best salads I had ever enjoyed.  I asked how the pesto had been made and the chef parted with the recipe so I could try to make it at home.

Brick and Brew’s inspiration burrata salad

Two days later, I couldn’t stop thinking about this salad so we headed back to the restaurant and I ordered it again!   This time I wanted to know where to get the  lavender honey.  House made, like everything else in this restaurant,  I was told.    The burrata pairing with tomatoes is nothing new.  It was the combination of a drizzle of lavender honey and the pistachio pesto that made this dish a winner.  You can buy ready-made lavender honey or infuse regular honey with lavender.   I used all heirloom cherry tomatoes but use what you can find.  You’ll have plenty of pesto left over for more salads or to use in pasta or bruchetta. The salad is really quick and easy to throw together once you have the pesto and honey ready to go.   Make sure to scoop up some of the lavender honey with every bite of cheese.  It totally makes this salad sing!

Continue reading

Rustic Asparagus-Mushroom Galette

Image

On asparagus:  “Europeans of the Renaissance swore by it as an aphodisiac, and the church banned it from the nunneries.”

Barbara Kingsolver

Spring is in the air and tender asparagus abundant.  My cooking is at its creative best when improvising in the kitchen.  With some leftover pastry dough I combined fresh asparagus, mushrooms and shallots to create this tasty little rustic tart, literally, thrown together in the spur of the moment. It was so good, I just had to share it with you!

Continue reading

Thai Spiralized Zucchini Salad

Image

The most success I have had with spiralized salads is using zucchini.  My spiralizer is a hand held el cheapo version and does best with soft vegetables.  Good thing we love zucchini!  This version introduces Thai ingredients to the spiralized zucchini for fresh, bold flavor.  It was so good, we fought each other for every last bit of it.

 

Continue reading