Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Zucchini and Tomato Puff Pastry Tart

There is a part of me that cringes when I step outside my front door, only to be greeted by the rain. A part of me that wants nothing more then to walk back into the warmth and comfort of my home. But there is another part of me that finds a therapeutic property to rain. This part of me wants to experience the drip, drip, drip of rain falling on every surface I see. Sometimes I think that the only time my mind is ever truly silent is when it is simply listening to the rain. If you can for even a moment stop the noise in your head you will be amazed by how comforting the sound of rain can be. To think that rain is not only nourishing your soul, but that of every living thing in the world around you is both a warm and comforting thought.

This coming from someone who often starts her posts off with a complaint about the weather! I have decided to embrace the changing season by taking some of my favorite summer vegetables and pairing them with puff pastry which is not ideal to bake in hot weather therefore making it perfect for a rainy day such as today!

I have to admit that I sort of cheated on this recipe by not making my own puff pastry. If it weren't a weekday and if I wasn't feeling under the weather I would have attempted it myself. You can manipulate this recipe to incorporate your preferred combination of vegetables and cheese. I think I am going to try a caramelized onion tart next time!

  • I pkg puff pastry
  • 4 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • fresh ground salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  2. On a floured work surface, roll out puff pastry into a rectangle 10 by 12 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. 
  3. Spread the Asiago cheese over the surface of the dough. Top with zucchini and tomato slices to within 1 inch of dough edge and finish off with feta, oregano, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until pastry turns golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer Salad

I apologize for my delayed posting. This month is proving to be a very busy one in our household. When we do have free time I am finding it hard to motivate myself to sit down long enough to organize a post. Mostly the overwhelming hot weather is to blame for this! I hope you are all equally busy with outdoor activities and of course wearing sunscreen! I think I have consumed enough watermelon and summer fruit in the past month to keep a small army out of famine.

In an attempt to keep our little cave (basement suite) nice and cool I have been taking advantage of local greens and produce by making refreshing salads. You don’t need a recipe for salad but it’s always nice to have a base for inspiration. In this instance I found inspiration in a salad from my new WhiteWater Cooks at Home cookbook. I will roughly outline the ingredients required for this recipe and I am sure you can figure out the rest!

  • mixed greens
  • diced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
  • grated beet
  • bocconcini balls, halved or crumbled feta
  • pumpkin seeds (toasted)
  • dill, chopped
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • balsamic oil
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • fresh ground salt & pepper

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Baked Tofu Parmigiana

For those of you that have been following my blog since the very beginning you will probably recognize this recipe. As I mentioned a few months ago I am working on updating and improving the pictures and recipes on my blog. So here it is again!

This recipe gets better every time I make it! It's super easy and comes very close to the much loved chicken parmigiana. I fool Mike by serving this slightly different every time I make it. For example you can use different cheeses and serve over rice, pasta or oven toasted  bread. This time around I served over orzo.

  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp dried oregano, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt, and black pepper. 
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. 
  3. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices and begin the following process, one piece at a time: coat tofu with flour then dredge in egg and finish by pressing into bread crumb mixture turning to coat all sides.
  4. Cook tofu slices in skillet until brown on both sides. Set finished pieces on plate until all the tofu has been breaded.
  5. Combine tomato sauce, basil, garlic, and remaining oregano. Place a thin layer of sauce in an rectangle baking dish. Arrange tofu slices in the pan. Spoon remaining sauce over tofu. Top with shredded mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.
  6. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta with garlic bread and a side salad.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Stacks

I hope you all had a very restful long weekend. I don't know that I can say that mine was restful but it certainly was productive. Mike and I succeeded in making three batches of jam; blueberry-apricot, raspberry-peach and strawberry-apricot. The first batch proofed to be very stressful as we didn't quite have our bearings yet but by the last batch we could be considered pros!

This is a recipe from the Whitewater cooks at home by Shelley Adams which is a new addition to my cookbook library and probably one of my new favorites. For those of you non-vegetarians you will be happy to know that this cookbook includes lots of yummy looking seafood and meat recipes.

I had the pleasure of being served these delectable treats at a dinner with friends and was so impressed by them that I decided to make them for a potluck I recently attended. Although I can not disclose the full recipe I can give you an idea of what the dish consists of. The basic idea is to stack roasted or grilled vegetables with layers of goat cheese, mozzarella and pesto. Finish off with a sprig of fresh rosemary and a drizzle of balsamic crema. You can make these a day ahead and serve warm by heating them up in a 350° oven for 20 minutes.