August24

End of Summer Replay… and Farro with Grilled Peaches and Haloumi

I've been culling a smattering of random photos, collected over the course of this long, hot summer.  No better time than now to post them up with Labor Day and fall weather quickly approaching.  Here's a look back at some highlights of the past few months and a very memorable farro recipe that will most definitely be reappearing on my table next summer. 

*heirloom tomato salad with grilled peaches and fresh mozzarella + linguine with clams, summer herbs, lemon & chili flakes
 (above)
*beet salad brunch on a summer Saturday

*The Montauk Fizz :: Hendricks gin, mint, lime, honey, fresh rhubarb compote & club soda

*an incredible taste of the South – dinner at the James Beard House with Poole’s Diner

*grilled scallops & squid with basil oil + summer corn + farro with grilled peaches & haloumi cheese
*a simple Greek salad
never gets old
*ruby red haze and Szechuan spice at Mission Chinese
*words can’t describe dinner at The Governor

*quiet and calm in the country - Bedford, NY

*more of that farro….

Farro Salad with Grilled Peaches, Mint, Basil and Haloumi

Serves :: 8

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups farro

2 peaches, halved and pitted

4 ounces haloumi cheese (or feta)

3 small yellow or red beets, boiled or roasted, peeled and diced

4-5 scallions, thinly sliced

1 small bunch purslane, roughly chopped *(leave out if desired)

1/4 cup torn mint leaves 

1/4 cup basil, chiffonade

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

sumac for sprinkling*

*sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that has a tart, lemony flavor and can be found at specialty markets or http://kalustyans.com/

*purslane is technically a weed, but is entirely edible, is high in omega-3 fats, and is commonly used in salads in Greece and Turkey

Directions

In a medium saucepan cover farro with salted water and lightly boil for about 20 minutes until tender.  Drain and allow to cool.

Brush peaches and haloumi cheese with olive oil and place on a grill or grill pan over medium heat.  Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until peaches are soft.  Dice both peaches and haloumi once cool. 

Toss farro, peaches, haloumi and all remaining ingredients together in a large serving bowl.  Sprinkle sumac over top and serve. 

 

TAGS: summer, salad, farro

posted: 08.24.12

August16

Summertime Sweetness :: Fresh Cherry Granita with Mint and Elderflower

To follow up yesterday's post (the first annual pulled pork + crab fest), I figured a few of you out there might have a hankering for the fresh cherry granita recipe that was mentioned - nothing like ice cold ice to beat out the final hazy, humid days of August.  If you've got a pile of cherries lying around, this is a great way to make use of them and it's an easy, quick and deceptively chic-looking dessert...with just a hint of sugar involved.  If cherries aren't to your liking, strawberries or blueberries or even peaches could make a tasty substitution.   

Cherry Granita with Mint and Elderflower

Serves :: 8 to 10

Ingredients

2 or so pounds fresh or frozen cherries, pitted

3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons fresh mint

3 tablespoons St. Germain elderflower liqueur 

Directions

In a small sauce pan simmer sugar and water until sugar is completely dissolved, allow to cool.  

In a blender, puree cherries and mint.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve using the back of a spoon or a spatula to extract juice.  Pour juice in a wide metal bowl or pan.  Stir in simple syrup and St. Germain.  Freeze for at least 4 hours or until completely frozen, forking ice every 1-2 hours to achieve an icy, crushed consistency.

TAGS: dessert, summer, mint

posted: 08.16.12

August15

Summer Remix :: Pulled Pork and Crab Fest

Summers in the city can drag a bit...ridiculous heat and small apartments don't help too much.  This past weekend a few friends and I decided to take matters into our own hands and bring our fondest summertime memories due north (or to my building's rooftop to be exact).  Bring on the first annual pulled pork and crab Sunday dinner extravagnza.  Pulled pork shipped straight from North Carolina with a vinegar-based bbq sauce so good you might lick the bottle dry + blue crabs swimming in Old Bay seasoning shipped straight from Maryland's Chesapeake Bay.  Pair them both with this summer's highlight (heirloom tomatoes are insanely good this year) and you've got an automatic party on a rooftop.  And as a nutritional side note, pulled pork and crab are both lean sources of protein (the pork is a lean shoulder cut) and the tomatoes, peaches and cabbage are racked with antioxidants.

Here's the full menu for your summer entertaining pleasure: 

Pulled pork (East Carolina style)
Maryland blue crabs (steamed)
Heirloom tomato and grilled peach salad with tarragon, blue cheese and white balsamic vinaigrette
Homemade slaw
Corn on the cob with salt, pepper and fresh lime
Pickled okra
Aperol spritz cocktails
Beer (an obvious choice for pulled pork and crab)
Fresh cherry granita with mint and elderflower

Heirloom Tomato and Grilled Peach Salad with Tarragon, Blue Cheese and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serves :: 8-10

Ingredients

5-6 heirloom tomatoes of various sizes, sliced

4 peaches, halved 

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

3 to 4 sprigs of tarragon

1/3 cup of blue cheese, crumbled

4 pieces of sourdough bread

Vinaigrette

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

11/2  tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons chives, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

salt and cracked pepper to taste

*2 to 3 teaspoons of extra crumbled blue cheese to whisk into dressing (if desired)

Directions

Brush the peaches and sourdough bread slices with olive oil and lightly grill for 3 minutes on each side, or until peaches are soft and grill marks appear on bread.  Allow to cool and slice peaches into quarters, cut bread slices into 1 1/2 inch cubes. 

On a serving platter, arrange tomato slices on bottom, followed by grilled peaches.  Sprinkle red onion, tarragon and blue cheese over top. And top with sourdough croutons. 

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients until well-blended.  Lightly drizzle over salad and serve. 

Photos via Nourish & Allison Beale

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TAGS: entertaining, summer, tomatoes

posted: 08.15.12

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