Perfect for spring – ricotta pancakes. They are lighter than traditional pancakes – delicious and airy alone, but pair them with lemon curd and blueberry sauce (recipe below) for a special plate. This recipe is from Martha Stewart and is easily doubled.
RICOTTA PANCAKES – makes 8 pancakes
(recipe from October 1994, Martha Stewart Living Magazine)
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- In a large bowl, use an immersion blender or food processor to combine egg yolks and ricotta until smooth. Add milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Process until completely blended.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold eggs whites into batter.
- Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Pour batter into skillet and cook until pancakes start to bubble, then turn, and cook for about 3 more minutes, until pancakes are golden.
- Serve with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or lemon curd.
Berry sauce: Combine fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries in a small pan with sugar to taste, lemon zest, and a tablespoon of water. Simmer, stirring frequently, until ingredients come together, 3-4 minutes.
Lemon curd is a fruit spread that really bursts with flavor. It’s a treat to have waiting in the fridge to use on pancakes or toast, with fresh fruit and fruit tarts, and just straight out of the jar. Try it paired with ricotta pancakes and fresh blueberries for a special morning.
This is a great recipe for lemon curd – out of the ordinary because it uses the entire egg, and as a result, yields a lighter curd. This lemon curd recipe is from Dorie Greenspan, from her book Baking Chez Moi, an excellent source for useful and mouthwatering recipes for anyone that likes to bake.
I modified the recipe slightly: We like a very tart lemon curd, so I reduced the amount of sugar to 1 cup.
We had an interesting dinner with friends that was all about foods (and wine!) of France. In researching recipes, I came across this delicious ratatouille tart I made a few years ago. This is not a traditional ratatouille, as all the vegetables are roasted together, but it is easy to make, and combines beautifully with the goat cheese and mint in the form of a tart. Serve it as an appetizer, or light meal with a salad. It is a great make-ahead meal.
You can use your favorite pate brisee recipe, or one ready-made. I use Martha Stewart’s pate brisee tart dough recipe.
Roasted ratatouille tart recipe
Butternut Lune – Homemade pasta filled with roasted butternut squash, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.
The Bouchon Bakery cookbook has an excellent recipe for shortbread cookies. The recipe calls for dusting the cookies with granulated sugar, which adds a wonderful crunch to the cookie. As with all shortbread cookies, you can also dip them in chocolate.
Olive herb bread from BirchTree Bread Company
Crostata dough is so versatile and works with lots of different fillings. This one is filled with ricotta, egg, sugar to taste, pine nuts, lemon juice, lemon rind, and topped with fresh fig. It works equally well as dessert or breakfast!
At this point in summer, basil and parsley are growing like crazy, which makes it a great time to put together some fresh pesto. This recipe uses pistachios instead of the traditional pine nuts, but walnuts also make a delicious pesto. Use pesto with pasta, on scrambled eggs, in sandwiches, and as a complement to grilled meat.
Basil pistachio pesto
- 3 cups freshly picked basil leaves, rinsed, stems removed
- 2 cups freshly picked parsley leaves, rinsed, stems removed
- 1 cup pistachio nuts, toasted
- 4 cloves garlic, toasted in olive oil*
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Method: 1. In a food processor, combine basil, parsley, pistachio nuts, garlic cloves, and a few tablespoons of the olive oil. 2. Process until ingredients start to turn into a paste. 3. Add the rest of the olive oil in a steady stream, and mix until pesto reaches a fairly smooth consistency. Process until the pesto is the consistency you like. 4. Add salt and pepper to taste. 5. Store in a sealed glass jar in refrigerator, with a thin film of olive oil on on the surface to prevent browning. * To toast garlic cloves, toss in a small skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil until lightly browned. Keep a close eye on it as it will brown quickly.
Cacio e pepe, a specialty of Rome, is a simple pasta that makes a delicious, quick meal. It’s very satisfying to watch the sauce become creamy without the addition of milk or cream – just cheese and pasta water.
For this recipe, I made few changes. I’ve noticed many recipes, like this one, instruct you to combine the cooked pasta, cheese, and pasta water, whisking all along to make the sauce. It’s not easy to whisk pasta! It is easier to combine just the cheese and hot pasta water, whisking them together to create a creamy sauce, then add the pasta and toss together. Cacio e pepe pairs perfectly with arugula and seasonal greens.
It’s been cool and rainy here, just the kind of weather for roasted chicken with herbs. Roasted Chicken Provencal from NYT Cooking was just what I was looking for. Simple and warming, with lemon, garlic, shallots, and herbes de provence. It was especially good because I had chicken from Spring Ridge Farm, in Boylston, which was really moist and flavorful. I served it with roasted broccoli and grilled tomato bruschetta.