Zucchini and Feta Tart

posted in: Pies, Recipes, vegetarian | 1

Zucchini and other summer squashes are truly versatile veggies. But I rarely think of baking them—perhaps due to the scorching heat when they’re in season locally. While some baked goods seem invented to hide the stuff rather than celebrate it (zucchini “bread”?) you can really get your fill on its flavor by slicing into layers upon layers of zucchini inside this savory tart’s shell. Its texture becomes something almost like custard inside, and a crust of cheese to top it all off can’t hurt … Read More

Rhubarb Compote and Yogurt Parfait

This is something that I would eat every day if I could. But I can’t, because rhubarb is only around for such a short spell in spring. Isn’t that the law of scarcity, that you want something (only because?) there’s so little of it to go around?

Savory Mushroom Tart (with a Cool Ranch Doritos Crust)

posted in: Pies, Recipes, vegetarian | 2

Yeah, you heard right. We’re throwing out the pastry books and heading to the bodega—why? Because it was my friend Karol’s birthday last weekend. And—still—why? Because she requested specific foods for her potluck party menu, and one of them happened to be a mushroom tart. Another one was Cool Ranch Doritos.

Sour Cherry Sorbet

Sour cherries, unlike sweet, are just about the sharpest taste you can get from a stone fruit. Eaten raw, these little gems will make your mouth hurt and your face flare up with weird expressions (just try one without making a face). They’re as crimson as cranberries once crushed up. But when cooked with a little sugar, sour cherries take on a unique, classic-candy flavor, which you can’t get from sweet cherries. Not by a long shot.

Strawberry Buckwheat Shortcake

posted in: Desserts, Recipes | 4

I don’t have many photos of this one, but it’s because I was covered in strawberry sludge and whipped cream while making 80 portions of it for a country wedding upstate last weekend. Phew. I think the name of this recipe tells you everything, though: it’s strawberry season, so seize the day when you can get super-sweet, local ones in the spring. And, if you’re tasked with making dessert–particularly cake, which can have such fascinating descriptors as “yellow,” “white,” “sponge” … Read More

The Apple Pie Cake (and a few warnings on working with fondant)

posted in: Desserts, Recipes, Regrets | 1

Last weekend was Karol and Dave’s wedding. And Karol — as evidenced by numerous blog posts chronicling her bake-off victories — is a master of making apple pie. The perfect golden crusts, tall mounds of apple-y ooze, and her signature crimped, lattice-woven tops, were the delight of many parties she has treated myself and friends to throughout the years. I wanted to honor that at her wedding somehow. But a wedding must have cake.

Simple Pear Tart

Easy as tart, the saying would be better put. The elegant, refined-looking, open-faced pie — tart — is a holiday crowd-pleaser that requires about half the work. This recipe will also yield a treat that’s about half the height of an average fruit pie with a top crust, but top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and I don’t think you’ll hear any complaints. With juicy pears now in season, I’ve added just a touch of sugar to … Read More

Savory Summer Squash Tart with Almond Crust

I can never really get bored with cooking zucchini and other summer squash when they’re fresh, firm and in season. I generally grab a couple bright, cheerful varieties any given time I’m at the farmers’ market all summer, but this often leaves me with a surplus of squashes that aren’t so terribly awesome-looking later in the week. But a few age spots on the outsides doesn’t mean they’re any more austere; I went ahead and baked these ones, in a … Read More

Saffron Peach Gelato

posted in: Desserts, Ice Cream, Recipes | 1

I’m just mad about saffron. And saffron’s mad about me, lately. For the last three Saturdays, I’ve been helping out my pal Andrew Gottlieb with his new pop-up food business, Tapas Shack, which serves paella among other Spanish delights at Brooklyn Flea’s Smorgasburg. I have pinched saffron into wide, open paella pans until my hands turned a not-so-mellow yellow hue. And I’m not stopping at rice with my current saffron streak. After seeing the first, juicy orbs of peaches for … Read More

Sugarsnap Pea Ice Cream with Mint & Basil

posted in: Desserts, Ice Cream, Recipes | 3

Have you done some spring cleaning of your old recipe ideas? I mean, turn over a new leaf in the way you see ingredients and process how you might prepare them? I’m always looking to evolve from my gut instincts on what to do with a certain familiar food, for better or for worse (sometimes, the simplest, most instinctual answers are best). But spring seems especially fitting for turning that equation on its head, and coming up with a new … Read More

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