Blueberry lemon curd: take our already delicious and zingy lemon curd, add blueberries, and you have yourself a shockingly colorful and brilliantly tasty fruit curd that will dazzle your breakfast table.
Don’t you hate it when your favorite site or publication has a “special takeover issue”, when they change the title and mess with the format purely for the purposes of advertising or to big up their latest feature? I didn’t like it when Whizzer and Chips did a “Chips and Whizzer” edition in 1979, and I don’t like it now. That’s the reason why we’re not temporarily changing the name of the site to “Curds with Knives” because, frankly, otherwise, that’s exactly the sort of thing we’d do. I don’t know if it’s the fact that lemon prices have dipped lately, I know it’s not because we have a glut of eggs (because out of seven chickens, only one of them is laying) but for some reason, we’re getting rather obsessed with making lemon curd and variations thereof.
If you grow your own summer squash, or belong to a CSA, the weekly glut of produce can be overwhelming. Our solution? Shred it, squeeze it, mix into a cheesy batter and fritter it away. Literally.
If you grow your own summer squash, zucchini can sometimes feel like a plot device in a horror sci-fi movie. At the beginning of the season, you carefully harvest the first zucchini, cradle it like an infant and rest it with pride on the cutting board. The next day, you have two more, and with the proud thrill of the backyard farmer, you slice and grill your summer bounty. The next day you have two more, and two more the following day. By the end of the first week of peak zucchini, you’re nervously eyeing the stack of squash that has built up on the kitchen counter, wondering how many more friends you can gift your harvest to before even they stop answering the door.
And woe betide you if you skip checking for a few days – when you return to the garden and lift up the lowest squash leaf, you’ll inevitably find one monster marrow lurking like a squat green fiend.
Note: We originally blogged zucchini fritters back in 2013, when we were all a little more fresher of face and bouncier of step. We make these fritters all the time in the summer, and we’ve adapted the recipe by adding fresh corn and cheese, so we’ve been meaning to re-blog this recipe ever since. So finally, here is the updated article.
This recipe is part of our ongoing series with Serious Eats.
We take what we love about most about nachos (crunchy chips and an unapologetic amount of cheese) and loaded them up with the best flavors of summer. Grilled corn, fresh tomatoes, avocado, pickled radishes and shredded chicken with bourbon-brown sugar BBQ sauce.
I don’t know about you, but spring was something of a damp squib. It seemed to rain pretty solidly throughout April and May (you know the old rhyme: “April showers, May even more showers, let’s just forget about June entirely”) and while the garden is now as lush as it’s been in years (“July – finally! – flowers”), we hadn’t had much of a chance before the outset of summer to get out there and enjoy it. Now, at last, the heat is on, the tees and shorts are in rotation, and we’re fully into the swing of the season.
So we wanted to celebrate with something that represented all the things we love about summer eating. The flavors of outdoor grilling and BBQ. The fresh seasonal produce like corn and tomatoes. The potential for spending an evening on the deck with friends and easily-shareable finger food. Wasps. (Just kidding, we hate wasps.) And so our mind, as it often does, turns to nachos. Now, there may be many of you for whom nachos are irrevocably twinned with cool weather sports events or movies. And that’s fair enough – you’re in front of the TV, and you want something you can make a meal of without tearing your eyes away from the action. But for us, celebrating summer means taking it outside. (Also, we’re terrible game-night dunces, and only annoy our more sporty friends with idiot questions such as “How do they choose which team has the brightest socks?”)
Note: This recipe is part of our ongoing collaboration with Serious Eats.
The building blocks of a classic Caprese salad are re-imagined in these summery toasts. First, cherry tomatoes are blistered in a skillet until bursting with juice. Then creamier burrata takes the place of the more standard mozzarella. And in place of basil leaves, a quick and easy chive oil adds an herbal accent. The result makes for a great snack or light meal.
When local tomato season begins, we could happily eat nothing else. I can’t recall a summer when we didn’t turn over our lunch almost entirely to slices of crusty peasant bread, thick slices of heirloom tomato, perfectly-ripe and bursting with flavor, a little torn mozzarella, a drizzle of good olive oil, perhaps a few snipped chives or basil leaves, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Like a scent that brings you back to childhood, a good open-faced tomato and mozz evokes a carefree summer’s day. Of course, the key is that the tomatoes have to be at their peak, and most year-round varieties, grown for their ability to be shipped cross-country, just don’t have that essential tomato-ness.
Without losing the essentials of what makes that pairing work so well, we can use the same kind of flavors to add a little sophistication to a light lunch, dinner or party snack. Instead of slicing fresh tomatoes, we toss the cherry variety in a very hot cast iron pan and char them just until they burst with juicy tomato flavor. Turn off the heat and add a little sliced garlic which cooks just enough to take the edge off; instead of mozzarella, we turn to its creamier, more indulgent cousin, burrata; and instead of chopped chives, we make our own chive oil, which gets drizzled over the whole shebang.
Note: This recipe is part of our series with Serious Eats.
Tortilla chips don’t get no respect. Most often bought in bag form and dipped into hot cheese, their potential to form part of a tasty meal is overlooked. Combine home-made chips, salsa verde, spicy chorizo and eggs, serve up with fresh radishes and vinegary pickled onions, and you have yourself a chilaquiles dish that’ll make you think twice the next time you’re tempted in the snack aisle.
Note: This recipe is part of our ongoing series with Serious Eats.
We’ve been fascinated with tomatillos ever since we first grew them in our deck herb garden a few years back. We bought two seedlings from a farm sale, and watched them grow and develop their papery husks, like hanging lanterns, eventually to get filled out by the fruit within them. Unfortunately, one plant was unceremoniously trampled by a backyard chicken, so we didn’t get quite the yield we would have liked – but fortunately, pollination had already taken place (tomatillos, unlike tomato plants, cannot self-pollinate, so you’ll need more than one to grow fruit). We had enough to make ourselves a really tasty salsa verde – the green cousin of a tomato salsa. Tomatillos share the same growing season as tomatoes, so at the beginning of summer we’re still too early for local varieties, let alone in our backyard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find them at the grocery store.
Salsa verde is packed with tomatillos, chilis, and love-it-or-hate-it cilantro (guess which way we go?), and you can add as little or as much heat as you like by varying the variety and amount of hot chili peppers. We usually opt for jalapeños, but if you want a little more fire you can look for serrano peppers. This time, we decided to use the sauce, not as a dip, but as a base for chilaquiles – a Mexican dish combining freshly-made tortilla chips with salsa and toppings – kind of like nachos, but saucier and paired with eggs.