Plum and Blackberry Kuchen with Rosewater
The fact that I voluntarily turned on my oven yesterday - even with the A/C blasting - should tell you how much I've been wanting to test this recipe out. A friend's BBQ made it an easy, albeit warm, excuse. My grandma Bebe's recipe for apple kuchen (German apple cake) is without question one of my favorite desserts with its heavy focus on fruit and a sweet, crunchy coconut-infused crust. Here I've swapped out the apple for seasonal summer fruit, made the crust fully from scratch and worked some rosewater into the equation for a little flowerly/herbal note...it's pretty incredible when paired with plums.
Given that there wasn't a crumb of dessert remaining last night, I think it's safe to say it's a winner. A great balance of tart and sweet and nice way to use up extra summer fruit.
Plum and Blackberry Kuchen :: with Rosewater
Serves :: 12
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar plums or black/red plums, halved or sliced
1 pint blackberries
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon rosewater
1 cup low-fat sour cream
2 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk all dry ingredients together, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Gently mix in butter, coconut and vanilla extract and form a crust. Spread crust evenly in a tart dish or 8x8 baking dish. Bake for 12 minutes.
Mix fruit, sugar, vanilla and rosewater in a medium bowl. Arrange fruit atop crust.
In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks and sour cream. Drizzle lightly over fruit. *Note: you likely will only need to use half of the egg-sour cream mixture.
Bake kuchen at 350 for 30 minutes or until topping has set.
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Frittata with Swiss Chard, Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta
Insanely hot temps outside + too many vegetables spilling out of my fridge = hiding out in the A/C and cooking like a bandit (sans oven) - which apparently can be fortitutous for certain folks in my circle. Just this morning I received an email from my gorgeous ginger-haired friend inquiring if I had any good recipes for Swiss chard. Just her luck, I made this frittata over the weekend with chard from the farm share we both belong to. What do I love most about a simple frittata? They'll take to pretty much any ol vegetable you've got lying around and you can make one and get a work week's worth of breakfasts in one fell swoop. And for my ginger-haired friend, I might even toss a piece or two of bacon into this recipe for a slight shout out to her southern roots.
So without further adieu...
Frittata :: with Swiss Chard, Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta
Serves :: 6
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bunch of Swiss chard, roughly chopped
3 baby heirloom tomatoes (or 1 large)
1 small red chili (if desired)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Whisk eggs, salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and saute shallot and garlic over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in Swiss chard and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes until it starts to wilt. Add in tomatoes and chili and saute for another 4 to 6 minutes. Spread mixture evenly in the skillet and pour eggs over top, then sprinkle feta. Increase heat to medium-high and allow eggs to cook until they starts to set at the outer edge. Lift frittata lightly with a spatula to allow egg to run underneath. Cook until frittata is set, about 7 to 8 minutes. Finish in the broiler for about 2 minutes.
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Summertime Staple :: Peanut Sesame Soba Noodles
What happens when a lone gal joins a CSA farm share for the summer? Umm....her fridge is literally crammed with vegetables each week. We're talking overflow action here. Which means I've been getting pretty creative about how to use veggies in a variety of ways, multiple per dish. I've also been having loads of friends over dinner...lukcy them. What better way to use up green AND red cabbage, scallions, carrots and a red bell pepper than with a massive batch of peanut sesame soba noodles. De-lish and great for an easy, vegetable-crammed lunch or a side dish. *FYi - soba noodles are a nice gluten-free option if you're seeking to go low on the wheat given that it's bikini/beach season.
Peanut Sesame Soba Noodles :: with Scallion and Summer Herbs
Serves :: 8 to 10
6 to 8 ounces of soba noodles
1 small red cabbage, halved and finely shredded
1/2 head of green cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots, peeled, halved and thinly julienned
1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small thai red chili, minced
1/2 cup each of mint, cilantro and thai basil roughly chopped
4 to 5 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 small garlic cloves
toasted black or white sesame seeds
toasted peanuts, crushed
Boil soba noodles 6 to 8 minutes until just tender, or according to package. Run under cold water and set aside. Place salad ingredients and noodles in a large mixing bowl.
In a blender, puree all ingredients for peanut sesame dressing. Gently toss noodles and vegetable mix with dressing. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds and crushed peanuts.