I always have them handy in my freezer for the slew of scone lovers in my life. You can make these plain or with berries which adds a wonderful fruity bite to them. You can use fresh or frozen berries. Just bake them a minute or two longer if using frozen.
I love eating my scones with clotted cream (if possible) and jam. My nephews bury their scones in whipped cream. Do what you will with these scones – they are truly a favourite in our household.
The menu offers many seasonal dishes of which one I just could not get enough of. It was their “roasted kabocha squash toast w/ fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar”. The flavors and textures of this creation were simply divine. Thoughtfully layered with crunchy bread, salty cheese, sweet and earthy squash, topped with chili and mint – it was divinity in each bite.
I recreated this dish in my kitchen using Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s recipe and though I could not get it to taste exactly the same but it was still par excellence.
You must use good quality bread and you can use any cheese from ricotta, goat cheese – I even tried it with a herbed cream cheese and it tasted so good. I would try it with butternut squash the next time around.
This makes for a wonderful snack, appetizer or even a lunch dish!
This is a great summer dish when you can get your hands on really great quality tomatoes. My mother in law Atsuko used to make this simple tomato pasta salad really often which was really refreshing and a hit with kids and adults alike.
The better the quality of your tomatoes – the better this dish will taste. You will have to adjust the quantity of tomatoes according to the type you use. I usually use heirlooms or new jersey tomatoes but you can also use super sweet cherry tomatoes, plum or Roma.
You can choose any kind of pasta though I prefer the the shorter tubular ones, farfalle or fusilli. Always use a good quality EVOO – I personally love Brightland.
It’s ramp season and I went a little crazy at Union Square Market last week buying bunches of them. I’ve been experimenting a lot with them, adding them to this and that. I made a really nice pesto with ramps and pistachios and have been making gorgeous layered breakfast tartines with it.
I found a really good recipe by Kim Severson for a ramp pesto which can be used in several dishes.
It’s really easy to make a layered tartine – at the very least you could just do pesto, avocado and some greens on top. There are so many variations you could do – mine really depends on what I have in my fridge. I keep things like hummus, babganoush, labne, ricotta on hand and when in doubt just top any tartine with a fried egg. Use your imagination, tomatoes, cucumbers, mint – just about anything can make this even more really delicious. Also, the better the quality of bread – the better your tartine will be.
This one is with fresh ricotta, avocado, a beet puree, ramp pesto and some microgreens.
For the beet puree, I just roast or boil the beets till cooked, add some salt, pepper and olive oil to it and puree in a food processor until the desired texture is reached.
I looked in my fridge and found I had eggs, kale, mushrooms and potatoes and was in the mood to make something really yummy on a weekend morning. Viola – my very first Spanish Tortilla!
When we were in Spain a few years ago, this dish was a tapas favorite and I loved the comfort of it! The great thing about this dish is that it can be eaten hot or at room temperature – so you can make it ahead of time. I didn’t have fresh thyme so just used the dried version. I’m sure you can substitute it with any other herb. I found a really easy recipe by Florence Fabricant in the NYT, one that I will be using over and over again. The tricky part of this dish is flipping it over and making sure nothing sticks to the pan – using a nonstick pan will help with that!
Asparagus is abundant in spring time and here is a yummy way to use it.
I love working with puff pastry because it is so forgiving that you can pretty much put anything on it and it tastes so good. I try and stock up on my puff pastry whenever Trader Joes has it (usually around thanksgiving time). Their puff pastry is affordable and doesn’t have all the extra fillers that some of the more popular brands have. I do love Dufour though – they are really pricey but are the best.
My tart has onions, mushrooms and asparagus. I had some ricotta lying in the fridge and used it as a thin layer on the base but this is really not necessary as the caramelized onions makes for a nice creamy bottom. You can however add any kind of cheese to this tart – goat cheese, Boursin , ricotta etc. if you wish. I will say that it was a bit of a struggle cutting the tart once cooked with the long spears of asparagus – so the next time around I might just chop it down into 1” pieces and sprinkle on top – it just won’t look as pretty!
The warm weather is finally here and I love this shrimp salad recipe which is great for any meal. This is another one of those recipes that you can improvise on with whatever you have in your fridge. You definitely need cucumbers and onions and if you have nothing beyond that it’s perfectly fine. Add anything such as carrots, jicama, radish etc. – anything with a nice crunchy texture. You could also throw in snap peas, asparagus etc. though you would have to par boil and chop them.
I used my mandolin to slice the cucumbers and onions nice and thin but you could also just cut them into thin matchsticks.
An added flavor bonus is if you have Ikari Oil Free Perilla Dressing or any kind of Perilla (shiso) dressing – add a little bit to this salad – it really enhances the taste.
I like to serve this salad on a nice slice of bread on top of a layer of sliced avocado. You could even serve with crispy lettuce if you want to skip the bread.
I love Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook called Plenty. He celebrates the vibrancy of vegetables in multiple ways in his recipes.
This is a wonderful eggplant dip recipe – basically a baba ganoush that is really easy to make. It can be served with anything from raw vegetables to pita chips. I bake the eggplants in my oven at 350 F for about 1/2 an hour until its softened and then peel the skin and set aside. It’s just too messy doing it stove top but that does give you the best flavor. I also cant always get my hands on fresh pomegranate but that makes such a difference to this dish. Roasted pine nuts serve as a fine substitute.
My favorite chocolate cake is my mothers but that recipe has its own story and will be saved for another post. This is one of the few other chocolate cakes I make – it has beets in it which makes it super moist and healthy – right?
Chili cheese toast is a beloved breakfast/ snack item in India. It’s really easy – you can make the cheese mixture ahead of time and keep it in the fridge to use at will. It’s better to use breads that area little denser as those wonderful holey, light and airy breads will have the cheese seeping right through when you toast them up. You can use any cheese – I use mozzarella or a Mexican blend but in India we use Amul cheese grated and that works fine too.
My favorite sauce to eat with cheese toasts with is Maggi Hot and Sweet Tomato Chili Sauce (can be found in any Indian grocery store) but regular ketchup or tabasco works really well too.