Sunday, August 15, 2010

Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

I couldn't resist the beautiful colors of these organic heirloom tomatoes. I didn't have much luck growing them the last few years because because the trees have grown and shaded my vegetable boxes, so I've had to rely on the wonderful growers that bring them to my local farmers' market.

Today I prepared a Caprese salad using freshly picked basil from my garden, and fresh mozarella cheese, sliced. I like a semi-generous amount of EV olive oil and a little splash of fine balsamic vinegar and then sprinkled with fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper.

All of the flavors work so well in bringing out the flavors of the fresh tomatoes and it's so easy to prepare. I've got to hand it to the Italians for coming up with such simple yet flavorful dishes such as the Caprese salad.

The colors and patterns of the tomatoes are spectacular. On the one hand they look too beautiful to eat but it's the beauty that makes them look so appetizing that one can easily eat several tomatoes in one sitting.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Biscotti with Lemon Curd and Fresh Blueberries

Hubby and I went for a long hike up in the hills this morning so we were able to justify dessert. We had a sweet tooth (rather we have a sweet tooth - every day) but nothing interesting in the house.

There was some biscotti in the pantry but knowing they had been there for about a month I perceived them to be stale and tasteless, even though I knew biscotti has a decent shelf life.

I was just about to inform my husband that we had nothing in the house and suggest to him that we travel to our favorite pastry shop, Fleur de Cocoa in Los Gatos, CA (not far from our house). However, as soon as I thought about one of our favorite desserts at Fleur de Cocoa, the lemon & blueberry tart, I was inspired! I had fresh blueberries and some wonderful English lemon curd in the fridge... why not make my own version of that lemon & blueberry tart?

I spread the lemon curd on the biscotti, topped it with the fresh blueberries and voila! We suddenly had a tasty dessert to enjoy with our coffee without having to make the little trek to Los Gatos. Though it wasn't quite the same as Fleur de Cocoa's spectacular tart, I was happy to save the time and money today.