I love the rustic look of a galette, which is a pie without the pie pan. It’s almost like pizza, but the buttery crust makes it more decadent. Of course, the best time to make this tomato galette is the end of summer when tomatoes are boldly delicious and juicy. But, I admit to making this all year when I can get delicious cherry tomatoes at the market. Either way, this is a great snack or main course served with a salad.
One of my favorite pastry cookbooks is Flour by Joanne Chang. Her recipes are easy to understand, and flawless. Her chocolate cream pie uses no starch in the filling, and the first time I made it I thought there was no way it would set up. I was wrong. I’ve made a few changes to the recipe to make it a bit simpler, but it is still the best chocolate cream pie I’ve ever eaten. Vanilla paste is one of my “secret” ingredients, and adding to both the filling and topping puts this pie on a whole new level! Also, be sure to use good quality chocolate.
I never became a big fan of Kale until I had a chopped kale salad in Dallas. It was so good, I went home and created my own version with a dressing flavored with sesame oil. The key to making this salad perfect is to really chop up that kale!
One of my favorite Disney movie characters is Remy, the rat who aspired to become a chef in the movie Ratatouille. That film brought recognition to the dish ratatouille, other than France where it originates. It’s simply a stew made from vegetables and seasonings. It is delicious on its own, but can also be tossed into soups, cooked with eggs, and stuffed into sandwiches. This is an easy recipe that can be varied according to what vegetables you have on hand. When you make it, give a little salute to Remy!
If I’ve made a favorite recipe among my peers this year it would be this salad! I had a similar version in a high-end restaurant in Tel Aviv, and I could not wait to make my own version. The spice mixture za’atar is a middle eastern spice that is not easy to find, so you can substitute with dried oregano and sesame seeds. I prefer to use ricotta and yogurt from my farmers market because it tastes so fresh. I use metal rings to assemble this salad for parties, and the layering is so much easier and a beautiful presentation.
My first trip to Australia was during their summer, and I had brunch in breezy little cafe near the beach. I ate corn fritters stacked with salad, creamy cheese, and a fried egg. I could not get that taste out of my mind, and had to make it myself when I got home.