• Makes 4-6 servings

    Time: 1 hour

     

    Butter for pan

    1/2 c granulated sugar, plus 1 Tbs. for the baking dish

    About 1 pound plums, pitted and halved

    3 eggs

    1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

    3/4 c all purpose flour

    3/4 c cream or yogurt

    3/4 c milk

    pinch salt

    confectioners' sugar for the top

     

    • Heat oven to 375. Butter a baking dish that will hold the fruit in one layer; sprinkle it with the Tbs. of sugar, then swirl the sugar around to coat all inner surfaces. Lay the fruit in the dish, cut side down.
    • Use a whisk to beat the eggs until foamy. Add the 1/2 c sugar and beat with a whish or electric beaters untnil foamy and fairly thick. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use a small sharp knife to scrape the seeds into the eggs, discarding the pod.
    • Add the flour and continue to beat until thick and smooth. Add the cream, milk, the vanilla extract if you're using it, and the salt. Pour the batter over the fruit and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the clafouti is nicely browned on top and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
    • Sift some confectioners' sugar over it and serve warm or at room temp
    • 8 ounces green beans, rinsed and ends snapped off
    • 1 1/2 pounds Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • 2 tablespoons minced purplette onions
    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons summer savory leaves, chopped
    • Salt and fresh-ground pepper

    Preparation

    1. 1. In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until bright green and tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water until cool (or plunge in ice water); drain again.
    2. 2. In same pan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add potato slices and cook until tender when pierced, 10 to 12 minutes; drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
    3. 3. Meanwhile, in a 1-cup glass measure, combine onions and vinegar. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over medium heat, combine olive oil and summer savory. Stir occasionally until savory is limp and slightly darker and oil is fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. If oil sizzles, reduce heat slightly.
    4. 4. Pour half the oil mixture into vinegar mixture and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over warm potatoes and mix gently to coat. Top potatoes with green beans and drizzle remaining oil mixture over beans. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Borrowed from Sunset

  • White Bean and Winter Tarragon Soup with Fennel

    serves 4

     

    8 ounces Great Northern white beans

    2 Tablespoons olive oil

    1 medium onion, diced

    1 small fennel bulb, diced, about one cup

    2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    7 cups chicken stock

    1 Tablespoons fresh winter tarragon leaves, chopped*

    3 Tablespoons thinly sliced ham, julienned

    salt and pepper to taste

     

     

    Sort through the beans to remove rocks and other items. Put in a container and cover with four inches of water. Soak overnight. Drain off the water.

     

    In a stainless steel pot heat the olive oil. Saut the onion and the fennel until golden. Add the grated lemon peel and the garlic. Cook for one minute to release the flavors. Add the stock, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the beans until soft, about one hour.

     

    Stir in the tarragon, reserving 1/2 teaspoon to use for garnish. Add the ham, stirring to blend all flavors. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into decorative soup bowls and garnish with the remaining tarragon.

     

    * French tarragon can be substituted for winter tarragon.

    • 1 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
    • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    Cook beans in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water , uncovered, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. When beans are cool, drain in a colander and pat dry.
    Purée parsley, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and toss with beans.

    Adapted from epicurious.com
     

    • 5 plum tomatoes, each cut lengthwise into 4 slices
    • 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed
    • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
    • a heaping 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
    • 1 cup mixed baby salad greens or torn lettuce leaves

    Preheat oven to 450° F. and lightly grease a baking sheet.
    Arrange tomatoes in one layer on baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes in middle of oven 15 minutes, or until edges are browned, and cool.
    While tomatoes are roasting cook beans in salted boiling water 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. In a colander drain beans and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain beans and pat dry.
    In a bowl whisk together juices, zest, mustard, oil, shallot, and salt and pepper to taste.
    Arrange tomatoes, overlapping them, on 2 plates and mound mixed baby salad greens and beans on top. Drizzle salads with vinaigrette. Serves 2 as a first course or side dish.
    From epicurious.com

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 12 ounces  small slender green beans, trimmed
    • 2 oranges, all peel and white pith cut away
    • 1/2 cup small green olives (such as picholine)
    • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

    Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cook beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse, and pat dry.
    Dressing and beans can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
    Cut oranges in half, then crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices; place in large bowl. Mix in olives, parsley, beans, and dressing. Transfer to shallow dish.

    Adapted from epicurious.com
     

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 2 cups diced tomatoes
    • 2 pounds winter squash, peeled and chopped
    • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 15- to 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
    • 1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño chili
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender and golden, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices; bring to boil. Stir in squash and green beans. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are almost tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in black beans and jalapeño. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
    Adapted from epicurious.com

  • Makes 6 servings
     
    2 lbs. small new potatoes
    1 1/4 lbs fresh beans
    1/2 cup vinaigrette-style salad dressing
    ground black pepper to taste
     
    1.  Wash new potatoes.  Trim beans.
    2.  Add potatoes and bean to pot of boiling water; boil gently until just tender. 10-15 minutes.  Take care not to overcook.  Drain.
    3.  Place beans and potatoes in bowl.  Add salad dressing and pepper to taste.  Toss gently.  Serve hot, cold or at room temp.

  • Kale and White Bean Soup

    yield: Makes 6 main-course servings
    active time: 1 hr
    total time: 3 hr

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
    • 2 onions or leeks, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 5 cups chicken or veggie broth
    • 2 qt water
    • 1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
    • 8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

    Preparation
    Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
    Cook onions/leeks in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.
    While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
    Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.
    Cooks'notes: •Soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.

  • This is a somewhat-involved soup, made entirely from scratch, but it relies on all your current veggies, plus a few that are still to come.

    Vegetable broth

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 large carrots, peeled, sliced
    • 2 medium onions, sliced
    • 1 medium fresh fennel bulb, sliced
    • 1 medium celery root (celeriac), peeled, sliced
    • 1/2 head of garlic, crushed (with peel)
    • 6 large fresh Italian parsley sprigs
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
    • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 16 cups water

    Garlic croutons

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 cups 1/2-inch cubes baguette or rustic country-style bread

    Vegetable soup

    • 1 cup dried cranberry beans or cannellini (white kidney beans)
    • 4 small carrots, peeled, sliced
    • 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 medium white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    • 1 cup sliced trimmed Italian pole beans or green beans (about 5 ounces)
    • 1 cup 1/2-inch cubes peeled celery root (celeriac)
    • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    • 4 kale leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
    • 2 1/2-pints red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • Freshly shaved parmesan or asiaggo cheese

     
    Preparation
    For vegetable broth:
    Heat oil in very large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots and next 7 ingredients. Sauté until vegetables are golden and begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato paste; stir to blend. Add 16 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 2 1/2 hours.
    Strain vegetable mixture, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids in strainer. Measure 13 cups broth and pour into large bowl (reserve remaining broth for another use). Season broth with salt. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.
    for garlic croutons:
    Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add bread cubes; stir until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
    For vegetable soup:
    Place cranberry beans in medium bowl; add enough cold water to cover beans by 2 inches. Let stand at room temperature overnight. Drain. Place beans in large saucepan; add enough cold water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Drain beans; set aside.
    Bring 13 cups vegetable broth to simmer in large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots and next 7 ingredients to broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Soup and beans can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill beans. Cool soup slightly, then chill until cold. Cover and keep chilled. Rewarm soup over medium heat before continuing.
    Add cranberry beans and kale and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cherry tomatoes and parsley; simmer just until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.
    Ladle vegetable soup into bowls. Garnish with garlic croutons and shaved cheese and serve.

    • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
    • 1 pound medium shallots
    • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
    • Optional: 1/2 pound bacon

     

    Preparation
    Cook green beans in boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well. Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in several layers of paper towels. Seal in plastic bag and chill.
     
    Cut off and discard ends from shallots. Cut shallots lengthwise in half, then remove peel with paring knife. Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; sauté until shallots are browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover loosely with foil and let stand at room temperature.
     
    If adding bacon, cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy and well-done. Drain fat and set aside to cool. Once cool, crumble or chop bacon into bite-size pieces.
     
    Add green beans to shallots (and bacon, if using) in skillet and stir over medium-high heat until heated through, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

  • Crust

    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon cold water
    • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

    * Note, if you don't want to make your own crust, you can buy a pre-made crust.
     

    Filling

    • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/3 cup chopped shallots (about 2 medium)
    • 1/2 pound mushrooms or any other veggie, cut into slices
    • 5 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
    • 1 cup whipping cream or milk
    • 4 large eggs
    • Pinch of salt
    • Pinch of ground black pepper
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese

     

    Preparation
    For crust:
    Blend flour, salt, and sugar in processor. Add butter; using on/off turns, process until coarse meal forms. Whisk 1 egg and 1 teaspoon cold water in small bowl; add to flour mixture. Using on/off turns, process just until moist clumps form. Transfer to work surface and knead gently until dough comes together, about 4 turns. Form into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour. Dough can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
    Butter 9 1/2-inch round fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer dough to pan, pressing onto bottom and up sides of pan; trim any excess dough. Chill 1 hour.
    Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter large square of foil and press, butter side down, onto crust. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Using fork, pierce bottom of crust all over (about 10 times). Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Brush lightly with egg white. Cool. Do ahead Can be baked 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
    For filling:
    Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and/or other veggies; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat to high and sauté until liquid is absorbed and mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with 2 1/2 teaspoons thyme and cook 1 minute. Transfer mixture to plate. Cool mushrooms completely.
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cooled crust in pan on baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons thyme. Mound cheese on crust. Drain mushrooms, if needed. Scatter mushrooms over thyme & cheese. Whisk cream, eggs, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Pour egg mixture over mushrooms & cheese.
    Bake quiche until custard is set, about 25 - 40 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • Salad Niçoise (pronounced nee-suaz) is essentially a French composed salad, much like our American Cobb Salad but with tuna, green beans, and potatoes, instead of chicken, bacon, and avocado. Salad Niçoise hails from Nice, on the Mediterranean Sea, though like so many foods we enjoy here of French origin, has changed a bit to adapt to our tastes. Like its American Cobb salad cousin, the Salad Nicoise takes some time to prepare, given all of the ingredients. This is one dish where setting up your mise en place (all ingredients chopped and ready to go) will help the salad come together smoothly.
     

     
    Vinaigrette
    Rounded 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste, mashed with 1 clove of garlic
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 small leek, minced
    1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
    2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
    2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
     
    Salad
    2 grilled or otherwise cooked tuna steaks* (8 oz each) or 2-3 cans of tuna
    6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and either halved or quartered
    1.5 pounds new potatoes, each potato scrubbed and diced into 1" cubes
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 medium heads butterhead lettuce or other leaf lettuce, leaves washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
    3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
    1 small red onion, sliced very thin
    1 sweet pepper, sliced into long, thin strips
    3/4 lb. green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise
    1/4 cup niçoise olives
    2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and/or several anchovies (optional)

     
     
    *Marinate tuna steaks in a little olive oil for an hour. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat, or place on a hot grill. Cook the steaks 2 to 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.
    1 Whisk lemon juice, oil, shallot, thyme, basil, oregano, and mustard in medium bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
    2 Bring potatoes and 4 quarts cold water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and cook until potatoes are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon (do not discard boiling water). Toss warm potatoes with 1/4 cup vinaigrette; set aside.
    3 While potatoes are cooking, toss lettuce with 1/4 cup vinaigrette in large bowl until coated. Arrange bed of lettuce on a serving platter (I used two serving platters, shown in the photos). Cut tuna into 1/2-inch thick slices, coat with vinaigrette. Mound tuna in center of lettuce. Toss tomatoes, red onion, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste in bowl; arrange tomato-onion mixture on the lettuce bed. Arrange reserved potatoes in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.
    4 Return water to boil; add 1 tablespoon salt and green beans. Cook until tender but crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain beans, transfer to reserved ice water, and let stand until just cool, about 30 seconds; dry beans well. Toss beans, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste; arrange in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.
    5 Arrange hard boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies (if using) in mounds on the lettuce bed. Drizzle eggs with remaining 2 tablespoons dressing, sprinkle entire salad with capers (if using), and serve immediately.