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I got my recipe originally from the book Everybody Eats Well in Belgium. If you know Emanuelle's method for making fresh cheese and have the time, it's a great start. I generally use ricotta. It can be a dip for vegetables or spread on crackers or bread.

1 cup ricotta cheese
2 Tablespoons of fresh thyme chopped
2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped
2 scallions or 1 shallot or 1 larger green onion
1 Tablespoon of vinegar (champagne, white wine, or thyme)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped radish
Chopped carrot

Mix it all together at least three hours before serving. Add a teaspoon of hazelnut or walnut oil, if you like the flavor.

Substitute buttermilk for the vinegar
Substitute lemon or lime juice for the vinegar and use lemon or lime zest instead of thyme.
Substitute dill for both the parsley and the thyme
Use truffle oil for the optional oil.
fabrisse: (Default)
I like Jenny Baker's cookbooks. This comes from Simple French Cuisine: From Provence and Languedoc.

Whole Orange

For every pound of carrots add an equal amount of honey and one whole orange which should be stabbed with a knife before adding it. Put in twice as much water as carrots (in other words, 32 ounces of water for 16 ounces of carrots and 16 ounces of honey.).

Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for at least half an hour, but you can keep cooking for as long as you like. According to the original recipe, after about hour 5 it will turn into jam. I don't know. I've never cooked it that long.

What I do know is that people who claim they hate cooked carrots, carrots in general, or carrot shaped objects will sharpen their elbows and run over the other guests in order to get plenty of this dish.

It's terrific cold which makes this an easy, if sticky, picnic dish.
fabrisse: (Default)
Also a picnic food.

Prepare asparagus (sorry [livejournal.com profile] gileswench) by taking one end of the spear in each hand and gently bending it. It will snap at a natural spot. Either discard the thick end or, if you do this, save it for making vegetable broth.

Line the asparagus in a single row on a broiler pan. Liberally douse the spears with olive oil. Salt and fresh ground pepper should be applied. Put them under the broiler for three minutes if they're the very skinny Italian spears, five to seven minutes for the standard green spears, and seven to twelve minutes if they're very thick.

Set them on a platter and squeeze blood orange wedges over them. If you don't have blood oranges, squeeze any standard orange over them. If all you can find are navel oranges, mix the juice with a little lemon juice.

This was the first recipe I ever tried to redact.
fabrisse: (Default)
In honor of DC heat, I've decided to do picnic foods.

This can be a side salad or a main course depending on how many people you spread it around. I believe the original for this recipe came out of a Seventeen magazine circa 1981. But I could be wrong.

The original recipe called for farfalle (bow ties). I like gemelli for this, but I haven't found them in whole wheat yet. If I use whole wheat pasta, it's rotini. Spaghetti and angel hair also work, if it's a main course. Don't use shells because you can't get the flavoring to pasta ratio right on the fork.

1 pound of tomatoes. More if you are trying to get rid of some or really love tomatoes. If you use whole tomatoes, skin them and chop them. Seed them if you don't like the seeds. I use the water I'm boiling for the pasta for the skinning and add the pasta afterward. If you use grape or cherry tomatoes, cut them in half. Life is too short to peel cherry tomatoes. Put it all in a large bowl. I prefer glass or pyrex. Anything except metal is fine. (I've mixed cherry tomatoes and large, peeled tomatoes in this recipe. It's very forgiving.)

1 large bunch (2/3 of a cup of leaves. More if you like) of Basil. Chop or chiffonade (roll the leaves into a long cigar and slice through them) the basil and add to the tomatoes.

2 Tablespoons of good olive oil. Add it to the tomatoes and basil.

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Add to the bowl.

At this point you can stop and refrigerate the ingredients. I usually do that for about an hour and then pull them out of the refrigerator just as I start the water for the pasta. It isn't necessary, though.

1 pound of pasta. Prepare according to the directions on the box.

1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese.

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.

Drain the pasta. Add some to the bowl with about a third of the mozzarella and nuts. Stir lightly and add more pasta, cheese, and nuts. The cheese should get a little stringy.

You can either serve it immediately or let it cool and chill it for awhile. I would use it within 24 hours, but I've known it to keep longer if well covered.

Substitute sundried tomatoes for some or all of the fresh tomato.
Use pine nuts, pistachios, or slivered almonds in place of the walnuts. Pecans and cashews are too bland.
Try another fresh herb -- dill is good -- in place of the basil. I would keep it to ONE herb, not many.
If you really love spicy food, a seeded hot pepper cut into rings is a good addition. Warn your guests because the acid in the tomatoes seems to enhance the burn of the pepper.


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