Is your garden overflowing with tomatoes? I always grow too many and one of my favorite ways to make them go a little farther is to oven dry them. Much like sun dried, these concentrated gems pack a powerful punch and can be used in any dish where you’d use tomatoes. Especially nice on a cheese plate with some creamy goat cheese nearby.
To preserve them I turn them into a tomato confit and keep in my ‘pantry’ refrigerator. They can’t be water bath canned because of the oil, but they will keep for about 6 months in the refrigerator, if they last that long. The refrigeration will also help to preserve the oil and keep it from going rancid quicker. Use only fresh organic herbs and make sure you wash and dry them very well, you don’t want any water going into your beautiful confit.
Place a steamer basket into a large pot, fill with water to just above steamer bed, bring to a boil while you prepare the artichokes.
Cut about 1” – 2” off the top of the artichokes with a serrated knife. Trim the stem to the desired length. Pull off any of the smaller leaves near the bottom and take a pair of kitchen shears to cut the prickly edge off the remaining leaves. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise, rub the artichoke with a cut lemon, add the lemon juice and rind to the pot of boiling water and place the artichokes in the steamer. Cook for 30 minutes, remove the artichokes and let cool. Remove the choke with a spoon and set the artichoke halves into a large bowl. Toss the artichokes with olive oil and season with a little sea salt and pepper.
Heat your grill to medium-high heat and grill artichokes until slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Serve with Walt's Wharf dipping sauce.
*Stir the flour with a table knife to lighten the flour; it becomes compacted as it rests. Dip your measuring cup into the flour and use the knife to sweep the excess flour off the top of the cup. According to King Arthur Flour it should weigh 4 ¼ ounces.
Dough recipe adapted from ‘Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day’
Sauce recipe will yield 2 cups and hold for several days. Adapted from Sunset Magazine
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
1 packet granulated yeast, 2 ¼ teaspoons
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 ¼ cups King Arthur unbleached white flour, measured with the scoop and sweep method*
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ small onion, chopped
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh tomatoes, quartered or 1 lg. can whole or crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 granulated sugar or more as needed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Sea Salt and fresh pepper, to taste
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Pizza Margherita Topping
Mozzarella, torn into pieces
Fresh basil, torn into pieces
Dough: (Make at least 1 day up to 5 days ahead of time)
The water should be warm to the touch but not more than 110°, and add the yeast to the water.
Add salt to the flour and whisk to distribute using a large bowl or a plastic food container with lid. Add the water to the flour all at once and mix with a wooden spoon or wet hands, the dough will be sticky. No kneading is necessary.
Loosely cover with lid and let stand at room temperature approximately 2 hrs. The dough can rise longer, up to 5 hours without affecting the results. The dough is easier to handle if you can make it the night before and refrigerate overnight.
Working on a lightly floured surface, pinch off a palm sized piece of dough, shape into a round, rectangular or square shape. Dough is sticky so keep some extra flour nearby, dust your hands as necessary to shape the dough. If the dough starts to snap back you should let it rest for a few minutes and then resume shaping. I use a rolling pin to thin the dough out to my desired style
Place onto parchment paper, a dusted pizza peel or the bottom of a dusted baking sheet. You can use anything you want providing the pizza can slip right off onto the rack.
If you are baking in an oven, preheat your oven to 500° or as high as it will go. Top the dough with anything you like, slid it into the hot oven and bake for 12-14 minutes.
Heat a deep saucepan big enough to hold all the ingredients, add the oil and onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and stir briefly.
Place all the ingredients along with the garlic and onions into a blender, or use an immersion blender and puree.
Ladle or spoon onto pizza dough leaving an clean edge around the outside of the dough. Sprinkle or place the cheese on top and bake on a hot pizza stone for about 6-8 minutes, checking frequently. Sprinkle with fresh basil and let rest for a minute or two before slicing. Mangia!
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What’s better than fresh hot bread straight from the oven? (Well besides some delicious fresh butter on it!) What’s better is that this is a NO KNEAD recipe, couldn’t be easier. The dough will keep in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks after mixing and there is nothing to do except pinch off a big piece, let it come to room temperature and bake it. The dough makes wonderful pizza, focaccia and flatbread as well. The authors, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, use Gold Medal Flour for their bread but I am a die hard King Arthur Flour fan. Read about flour and how to measure and then decide for yourself which to use. I use this dough for bread, flatbread, pizza and rolls, check the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day for other recipes. This is a book you must have on your shelf. Buy it now from Amazon, click here.
I like baking my bread in a Le Crueset Dutch oven and I give directions for that procedure, the Artisan Bread website will guide you in other methods. If you like using a starter for your bread, the authors also give you instructions on how to incorporate that method into your bread making.
If you learn to weigh your flour you’ll have much better results in the end product. Actually weighing ingredients for recipes is really much easier and the recipe comes together much quicker and more efficient.
1 Tb. chopped fresh thyme, add thyme to flour and stir well
½ pound fontina cheese, grated (or more-to your taste)
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into ¼” pieces
1 tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°. Pre-bake the shell according to directions in Pate Brisée recipe. Let cool to room temperature or cool overnight. Sprinkle with the cooled crust with fontina cheese. Arrange the asparagus pieces around the bottom of the shell, season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs. Serve room temperature or slightly warmed. Can be served along with a light salad tossed with vinaigrette dressing.
If you wanted to turn this into a quiche mix together 4 eggs & one cup of cream, half and half or milk. Pour it over the cheese and asparagus and bake approximately 40 minutes. You may have to cover the edge of the crust with foil to prevent it from burning.
Adapted from 'What's In Your Pantry' by Debbi Dubbs
1 tablespoon sugar (for Pâte Sucrée, sweet pie dough)
Add flour and salt (sugar also if making Pâte Sucrée) into the bowl of a food processor; pulse a few times to incorporate all the ingredients.
Add the butter and process until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is pea size.
Place the mixture into a wide bowl and add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together. Don’t overwork the dough or it will be tough, not flaky. Once the dough comes together in a ball, divide it into two pieces, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Dough can be wrapped well at this point and frozen for up to three months. Let the dough defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Roll one chilled disk out on a floured counter or rolling mat, lifting and moving the dough every few rolls to help prevent sticking. Add only enough flour to the counter to keep the dough from sticking.
Place your pan on top of the dough to make sure it is the correct size, it should be slightly larger than the pan, then roll the dough onto your rolling pin and unroll over your pan. Gently lift and lay the dough to fit the pan, never pull the dough to stretch it. Lightly press the dough into the pan, roll your rolling pin over the top edge of the tart or pie pan and remove excess pastry.
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 400°.
To blind bake:
Blind baking is baking the dough without filling.
Prick the bottom and sides of the dough; cut a piece of foil large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the dough, butter the dull side and lay the buttered side on the bottom of the dough and press into the sides. Line with pie weights or dried beans and bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the weights and foil and let cool before filling
½ cup Pomegranate vinegar, another light vinegar could be used as well
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, approximately
6 cups baby greens, washed and dried well
2 small Persian cucumbers, sliced
2 cups croutons
1 container each of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries (strawberries sliced)
2 avocados, diced, optional
In a small bowl mix together the shallot, Dijon mustard and vinegar. Add a pinch of sea salt and a little grind of pepper. While whisking slowly pour the oil in until the dressing starts to thicken a little and emulsify. Stop and taste the dressing before adding the remaining oil. You may not need all of the oil depending on the flavor of the vinegar. Add more as necessary.
In a large salad bowl toss together the lettuce, cucumbers and croutons with a little of the dressing. Just until the greens have a shimmer of dressing on them. Season with sea salt and pepper, toss again, taste and adjust dressing and seasonings. Add berries and avocados and drizzle with a little of the dressing.
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