Learning about food, photography, and writing. Sharing what I find.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Using up the Rhubarb

Around this time, that is often the dilemma. "Well, we've made one delicious dessert with as much of this rhubarb as we could fit in a pie pan. What do we do with the other 5 stalks?" Compote, that's what.

I'll be honest, I thought compote sounded a little too much like rotting food refuse in the back corner of the yard, but it's really quite pleasantly different from comPOST. So, just before the rhubarb made its way to "too limp to consume," I stumbled across a recipe for Rustic Rhubarb Tarts.

They were like nothing I've had, but they were certainly delicious. The recipe is kind of specialized, but I'm learning that any real baker just has to have loads of flour types on hand — spelt and all (come back soon to see my next post, which will detail my adventures in spelt flour).

The recipe for the tarts above came about when I read this post, but I have modified it a bit.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Upping the Salad Ante

This is a total cop-out post for me, but an absolutely vital post nonetheless.

To me, a salad is best when:
  • Its base is made up of fresh greens—preferably a mixture of green leaf, red leaf, and baby spinach.
  • There are no less than three and no more than four toppings, usually a combination of the following:
    • A crumble-able cheese
    • A variety of nut
    • A single fresh vegetable or fruit
    • A variety of protein (other than the nut, i.e. a meat)
  • The dressing is handmade by:
    • Me
    • My grandmother
    • Anyone else who shares my love of aged balsamic and copious amounts of olive oil
  • It is sprinkled with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Most recently, I have come to know the joys of homemade roasted nuts. It's nice and cheap(er) to buy raw nuts at your local grocery store, and it's embarrassingly easy to make them into something delicious.

Here's my latest creation (so easy it's, like I said, embarrassing):

Sweet & Savory Walnuts:

All you will need is:

To assemble, stir in enough honey to coat the desired amount of nuts and sprinkle moderately with Kosher salt. Dump it all onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in a 350ยบ oven for 4-6 minutes (until the nuts on the edge go slightly golden and you can smell the sweetness wafting from the kitchen).

Remove and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack until the nuts reach room temperature. They will be crunchy, salty, and sweet, guaranteed to pump up the salad volume. I put them on a baby spinach salad with Gorgonzola and sliced pear. Of course, the Menzies Family Vinaigrette was the icing on the cake . . . or the dressing on the salad, really. I could eat this every day . . .