An ode to late summer, food style

As summer never really materialized in the UK this year (it was the coldest and rainiest ‘summer’ since 1993) I decided to take matters into my own hands and at least taste summer. My mom makes a mean tomato cheddar pie. Honestly, that thing is one of the best things I have ever eaten. Unfortunately, it is super time consuming (hello pie crust) and not the most healthy thing in the world (mayo and cheddar cheese) so I decided to go a different route. Enter the tomato tart.

I was inspired by David Lebovitz’s French Tomato Tart but being me (and my mother’s daughter) I altered it a bit. I didn’t make my own pastry crust as I had some leftover puff pastry that I had to use so that decided that mine would be a free-form tart – that and the fact that I don’t own a tart pan. I had also roasted a boat load of peppers and had a bunch left in the fridge. I also had some zucchini that were threatening to go off so they got thrown in the mix as well.

I was kinda shocked at how good it was. It was totally better than the sum of it’s parts. It screamed of sunshine and warmth even though it was chucking down buckets outside. Gavin, the meat lover even went back for seconds!

So here’s what I did:

Free-form tomato tart
One sheet of puff pastry, or a smallish block, rolled out real thin (1/4″)
Dijon or whole grain mustard (I used whole grain)
2-3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 roasted peppers, sliced in biggish chunks
olive oil
fresh thyme
soft goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to about 400F/200C
2. Roll out pastry and start spread with mustard. Let dry for a few minutes
3. Layer the veggies on top. I alternated tomatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes, etc. until the whole pastry is covered, leaving room around the edges (about 1″).
4. Sprinkle with thyme and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
5. Slice goat cheese and lay over top.
6. Fold the edges up and pinch the corners to seal.
7. Bake that bad boy until the pastry is cooked and golden and the cheese is browned, about 30 minutes.

Here is mine, just after I layered the veg and sprinkled with thyme. I thought it was just so pretty I had to take a photo!

And after baking.. excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard!

“Clean-out-the-fridge” pasta dinner

This week I have just been so tired, I can’t even be bothered to cook.. Plus I have taken up embroidering (yeah, I’m cool). Tonight, I was wondering what on earth I was going to cook, when I decided that I was going to: a) use up the massive bag of baby spinach as well as the lone zucchini in the fridge, and b.) not buy anything as I can’t afford to (payday is tomorrow, thank goodness). I settled on spinach and zucchini pesto. It was super easy and it is pretty tasty to boot! The color was phenomenal! Like totally neon green. I mean look at that!

The pesto is more of a paste as I don’t have a food processor… I know, but they are ridiculously expensive here and I have no disposable income..

And this is it mixed with spaghetti… mmmm…

So good… I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow to eat it again!

Edible crayons!

This would be so great for kids, or me. I think I would have a lot of fun with these. These are crayons that actually draw and are completely edible (and healthy). Restaurants could start doing supplying these for kids to draw with and then the parents would able to take them home and use them as a snack the next day! These would have been really fun at school as well.. I just wonder how they taste because Luxaire (who makes them) are talking about the process, they say that the foods were chose for their color, not for their taste.

via Luxaire

100 Layer lasagne

This is just crazy! Chef Mark Ladner from Del Postro in New York made this monster of a lasagne as part of the $500 menu but it has since been available for less.. This thing is seriously a beast – it takes a special spatula to serve it, requires multiple kitchen stations to put it together and requires skewers to hold it in place as it sets… He talks all about it in an interview with New York Magazine.
Sounds intense. Intensely good. Mom, are you taking notes? Here it is in all it’s glory:

via the kitchn via New York Magazine

Mmmm… spring

This recipe from Design*Sponge looks absolutely amazing. It has basically everything I love all in one tasty little package – pasta, bacon and asparagus! It’s pasta “risotto-style” so there is no draining of the pasta and the starchy water ends up coating the pasta so you don’t need a sauce. I can’t wait to try this! But not yet as Gavin and I just went to the farmer’s market right up the street and bought a bunch of new goodies for the week! I am cooking my first Sunday roast – chicken and potatoes and carrots. I am quite excited! I tried a carrot and it was so good so I think the free-range chicken will be quite tasty! It comes with the legs on though… I really hope there aren’t feet still! We also bought some rhubarb and strawberries (for a crumble thing) and pheasant burgers and pierogi. I think it’s going to be a good week, food-wise :) Tonight it’s off for a little double-date with a friend and his girlfriend – boat up the Thames and then Robin Hood in the cinema! Life is good.