Honey-Roasted Carrot Tartines with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio-Carrot Top Pesto
Your favorite crusty bread
For the whipped goat cheese:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
10 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup whole milk
15 cracks black pepper
For the pesto:
3/4 (90 grams) cup roasted, salted pistachios
the juice (4-5 tablespoons) and zest of 1 large lemon
10 cracks black pepper
the tops and stems of 1 large bunch of carrots
1/2 packed cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
up to 2/3 cup olive oil
For the roasted carrots:
1 large bunch of carrots (about 2 pounds/900 grams)
about 15 fresh thyme stems
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
1 tablespoon hot honey (or, 1 tablespoon honey plus 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Whipped goat cheese:
Move all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until the goat cheese whip is light and fluffy. (This can also be accomplished in a food processor.) (The goat cheese whip can be made up to 3 days ahead, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Blanch the carrot greens for 45 seconds, and then shock them in an ice bath. (Or, run them under chilly water for 30 seconds. The idea is bring down their temperature and arrest "cooking.")
Move the pistachios, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, carrot greens, parsley, mint, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10-15 times, to break down the greens. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. As you run the machine, pour in 1/3 of the olive oil; blend for 10 seconds. (After the initial 1/3 cup, add olive oil tablespoon by tablespoon, until you have a pesto texture you're happy with-I had a lot of carrot greens, so it took 2/3 cup olive oil to achieve a "runny" pesto consistency.) Taste the pesto, and add more salt if needed. (The pesto can be made up to 1 day ahead, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Heat the oven to 400F/200C. Peel and chop the carrots into bite-sized pieces. Move the carrots to a large baking sheet and, using your hands, toss with the thyme, mint, hot honey, salt, and olive oil until evenly coated. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, until they are starting to brown on the outside, and they are tender inside. You can serve the vegetables hot, or at room temperature. (The vegetables can be made up to 2 days ahead, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature, or warm, before using.)
Putting it together:
Toast some bread. For lunch, I'd cut slices from a sourdough boule, or use whole wheat sandwich bread, or rye bread. You can halve a baguette, and make more of a sandwich. If you're preparing this recipe for a party, use crostini rounds. The type of bread you use is not that important.
Smear the bread with a generous swipe of the whipped goat cheese, and then a dollop of pesto. Pile on some vegetables. You could also top the toast with an extra drizzle of hot honey and/or a sprinkling of flake sea salt.
Cucumber, Celery, & Sweet Onion Salad with Sour Cream Dressing
3 tbsp. sour cream
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced, plus 1/4 c. celery leaves
1 small sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
Whisk together sour cream, oil, lemon juice, dill, and sugar in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add cucumber, celery and leaves, and onion and toss to combine.
Serve topped with dill.
Lemon Garlic Scape Compound Butter
1 stick salted butter, softened
1-2 garlic scapes
zest, from 1/4 of a lemon
Chop the garlic scapes into small pieces, about a quarter of an inch each. Add the pieces to the bowl of a food processor and chop until fine.
Add the butter (you may need to give it a rough chop in order for it to fit in the food processor) and the lemon zest to the garlic scapes.
Puree in the food processor until all ingredients are evenly combined
For immediate use, place the compound butter in a jar or plastic container. Store in the fridge for up to a couple weeks
For longer term storage, place the compound butter on a piece of wax paper, roll it into a log and twist the ends. See the image below. For additional protection, place the roll of butter into a plastic zipper bag. Store in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Rhubarb and Greek Yogurt Popsicles
If you have popsicle molds at home, this is an awesome healthy way to cool off on the dog days of summer!
1 jar of rhubarb jam
1 1/4 cups Greek yogurt (I used full fat)
milk or half and half or cream to thin the yogurt
Mix the yogurt with heavy cream, half and half, or milk to thin it. You want it to be thick but have a creamy consistency. There is no exact mount here, but since you are going to be spooning the yogurt into the molds, you want it a little looser.
Add a little hot water to the rhubarb jam to loosen it slightly.
Beginning with the yogurt, spoon alternate layers of yogurt and rhubarb jam into each mold until they are filled. Insert a skewer or chopstick down into each mold and stir just a bit to mix the layers and create a marblized effect.
Insert popsicle sticks in each mold, the sticks will stand up by themselves, so no need for a top or foil covering.
Freeze until firm, about 4 - 5 hours or overnight.
To un-mold the pops, fill your sink with hot water. Immerse the mold up to but not over the top edge, and hold for about 15-20 seconds. If the pops don't slide out easily, immerse for a few seconds longer.
Eat right away or store in plastic baggies in the freezer.
Swiss Chard & Broccoli Baked Manicotti
For the filling:
12 manicotti tubes, cooked according to package directions
3 C. broccoli florets, steamed or boiled until tender
1 C. chopped swiss chard, blanched and drained
1 ½ C. fresh breadcrumbs
2/3 C. heavy cream or milk
4 T. olive oil
1 C. low fat ricotta cheese
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ C. grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 large (29 oz) can of diced tomatoes
2 T. tomato paste
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried marjoram or thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pine nuts (optional)
In a blender, process the broccoli and swiss chard until smooth. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs with the cream/milk and olive oil. Stir until well combined. Add the ricotta, broccoli/chard puree, nutmeg and half of the grated cheese. Mix, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
To make the sauce, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened. Stir in the tomato paste until onions are coated. Add the diced tomatoes (juice too) and seasonings. Stir and bring to a boil for 2 or 3 minutes. Pour half of the sauce in a large greased baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Using a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a small hole cut in one corner, carefully fill the cooked manicotti tubes with the filling. It might help to stand the tubes up on a cutting board, or just pipe in filling in each end. Place filled tubes in a single layer in the baking dish with the sauce.
When all the manicotti are filled and in the dish, spoon the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Top with pine nuts if desired. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve hot.