Author: Tara Roberts

Custardy Apple Squares

I am a newbie to the Dorie Greenspan cult, but I can see why she has built up such a following.  She writes clear recipes that are easily reproducible.  Believe me when I say, as a recipe junkie, when you find a consistent author, you stick with them, because there are so many poorly written recipes.  It happens all of the time, you see a beautiful picture and read what looks to be fairly straight forward instructions and then try to make it and realize the reason there are only 5 steps is that the other 20 are either written in invisible ink or were lost somewhere in editing.  I have had no such issue with Ms Greenspan’s recipes, which is why I bring you this one today.  No, I have not made it yet, but have every confidence that it will turn out well.  Plus, since apples are in season, but we seem to be experiencing some dog days of summer, it feels like a fall treat that is not too heavy.  I will not be able to partake until November, since I will be away most of October, so post some pictures in the comments when you guys try it out.  As a side note; since I will be away, no recipe posts until I return in November.  Happy Halloween!!

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Summer Spaghetti with Uncooked Tomato Sauce

By the calendar we have reached fall, but the temperatures still feel pretty summer-y, so I decided to take advantage of late season tomatoes and make this dish last night.  It was so easy and delicious that I wanted to share it with you guys even though it came from a cookbook (Melissa Clark’s Dinner: Changing the Game) and I was unable to find a link to share online.  First, grating the tomatoes is a brilliant idea!  I have made other uncooked sauces that diced the tomatoes, but the grating makes it so much easier to mix everything up.  Second, ricotta salata is pressed, salted dried and aged, so taste as you go to make sure that you keep the salt level where you like it.  The cheese should be easy to find at most larger grocery stores in the fancier cheese case.  Also, make sure you serve with that dollop of fresh ricotta, it takes this dish to creamy heaven!

Note:The picture is not of this recipe, but of a similar one from Smitten Kitchen.

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Fresh Tomato Soup with Basil and Farro

Well, we are getting our first taste of fall; up here in east TN, it has been in the 40’s the last couple of mornings and with Irma barreling towards us, most of the south should see some rain.  That makes me feel like snuggling up under a blanket, reading, and having some soup…but there are still fresh tomatoes you say, no problem with this one pot, stick to your ribs, fresh tomato soup.  Even with the farro, I envision serving this with a big hunk of crusty bread, maybe with a little garlic and olive oil rubbed and drizzled on.  If you cannot find the farro, you could always substitute soaked wheat or spelt berries.  Two notes: As I was reading this an announcement came that the Tuesday markets would be cancelled this week, due to Irma, so get to your local Saturday market and stock up before she heads our way.  Also, I will be away next week, so no recipe post next Friday.  Be safe!

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Southern Tomato Pie

If you follow my personal Instagram or Facebook pages, you will realize that when it is tomato season, I make tomato pies and tarts.  I have a tried and true recipe that hints more at Italy than the southern United States, but I also like to tweak that recipe as well as try completely new and different recipes.  This is the “new and different” one that I will make this week.  I like that this recipe uses a combo of roasted and fresh tomatoes, plus it uses a lot of tomatoes.  I am also interested to see how the caramelized onions and fontina cheese pair with them.  One tweak that I will make: I will use the food processor for the dough.  I have more experience with this method and it will go much quicker; also by pulsing, you have better control with less likelihood of over-mixing.  It is a somewhat time consuming recipe, although not that much hands on, but I have high hopes and will report back via FB when I have done mine.

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Pasta Salad with Pesto

Last week was one of those weeks…one of those weeks that I knew I had to prepare ahead of time or risk eating cereal for lunch and dinner.  One of the meals that I prepared was this pasta salad and boy am I glad that I did.  Truth time: a lot of pasta salad can be big bowls of flavorless oil or worse, cooked pasta with mayonnaise dumped on-yes I said it.  Neither is true for this one.  Both mayo and oil are in the recipe, but used in such a way that you do not feel like you are eating a mouthful of grease, plus, the pesto brings a wealth of flavor, and the tomatoes add a bright freshness.  In case you cannot tell, I really liked this.  Best of all, it made a big bowl that I portioned out for lunch and dinner a few days in this busy, busy week.

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