Tag Archives: Tomatoes

Quick Norwegian Flatbread (and How to Make it Lunch)

You know when you wake up from a nap, and it feels so good to stretch out?

Henry knows all about that.  I call this The Morning Dance of the Cat:

It took me a little while to wake up this morning, too, but once I got my butt in gear, had a piece of peanut butter and banana toast, and drank my tea, I headed off to the gym.  Try not to be too impressed, but I ran 2.6 miles–quite an accomplishment for a real running-hater like myself.

Though I have to clarify–I hate the actual running, but it feels so good after. That’s why I keep doing it.

Anyway, once I got home, I had some lunchtime inspiration from my CSA box (no picture this week, sorry!) and the giant tub of hummus (best batch yet) that I made yesterday.  Sungold cherry tomatoes + hummus + herbs from the garden + flatbread = lunch.

Quick Norwegian Flatbread (from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads)

  • 1 1/2 C rye flour
  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 1 C buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  While you are getting the ingredients ready, I’ll give you two short cuts that I used today.  One, to bring an egg rapidly to room temperature, let it sit in a cup of hot water for a minute.  Two, if you don’t have buttermilk, just combine some milk and a little lemon juice for a quick fix.

Combine the egg and buttermilk in the mixer.  Add the melted butter and mix again to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and pour them into the liquid, mixing until a dough forms.  Knead with the dough hook for a few minutes until smooth, adding pinches of flour if necessary to make the dough pull away from the bowl.

Divide the dough into two pieces on a floured countertop, and roll out with a rolling pin until about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Traditionally, this is rolled into a circle, but I went with a more rectangular shape just ’cause it’s easier.  Transfer on a greased baking sheet and bake in the oven on the medium rack until browned on the bottom and lightly golden on top, about 15-2o minutes.

This was so delicious as is.  If you want to toss together a quick bread for dipping in soups, eating with hummus, or with jam and butter, this is a great choice.  So soft and the subtle rye taste is irresistible.

But I needed lunch.  I set one flatbread aside (in a ziplock bag), and got to work on the other.

I spread a nice layer of hummus over the top of the remaining flatbread, then sprinkled it with some lemon thyme from my herb garden.  I sliced a handful of cherry tomatoes, placing them cut-side up on top of the hummus, and sprinkled the whole thing with a bit of salt and pepper.  Just a few minutes under the broiler and voila!  Lunch is served.

Next time I’d spread the hummus all the way to the edges to keep them from browning too rapidly…and because hummus is just delicious.

These tomatoes from my CSA box are also super sweet–I can’t resist eating them whole, which is quite unusual for me, since I was never a big tomato fan.

In fact, as a child I threw up when my parents made me eat one, and they stopped making me try after that.  My feelings for raw tomatoes are definitely improving this year–but they are even better cooked.  On flatbread.  With hummus.

What else came in our CSA box this week?  Well, the size of the box is a little small this week, thanks to Miss Irene, but we still got some good stuff:

  • 2 acorn squashes (yes!!!!)
  • 1 pint of Sungold cherry tomatoes (that you’ve seen here today)
  • Red beets and their greens
  • Baby leeks
  • Bunch of cilantro
  • Several big red tomatoes
  • 1 bag of green beans

Though it was a slightly smaller box, it was full of all of my favorite veggies, so I’m pretty excited to have our kitchen restocked.  I’m still trying to plan something to do with the cilantro (Fritz is not a fan), but most of it will likely have to be frozen.

Have a good weekend!

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Filed under Breads

Grilled Summer Corn Salad

Best news ever.  I have officially completed the end of my second year of PT school.  I’m a third year!

It feels amazing.  Especially because:

  1. I don’t feel guilty about cooking and/or blogging instead of studying.
  2. I may be able to actually read a large section of a book tomorrow without falling asleep.
  3. I can go to the gym for a whole hour and a half! Maybe even two hours!
  4. The sun came out for two minutes when I walked out of school.  Coincidence?
  5. My friends are coming over tonight, and if it doesn’t start raining again, we can use the fire pit!
  6. Fritz and I are going to Boston this weekend to celebrate my younger sister’s 21st birthday (happy birthday, Kristen!)!
  7. I made grilled summer corn salad for dinner–and finally learned to turn on the grill all by myself (about time, huh?)
  8. Fritz got sworn in as an American citizen yesterday.  God bless America.

Grilled Corn Summer Salad (original recipe here)

  • 3 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned
  • 1 small eggplant, cut in half lengthwise OR 1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2-3 T chive blossom vinegar or other vinegar of choice
  • 2 T minced parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Turn on the grill to high, oil it, and let it heat up for about ten minutes.  Lay the corn and eggplant (or squash) directly on the grill, turning a few times, for about 20 minutes, until slightly charred and cooked.

Slice the eggplant/squash into cubes.  I used eggplant, but I really think I would have liked the taste and texture of the squash better–brighter and a little less…eggplanty.  Next, cut the corn kernels off the cob.

I love corn on the cob, and charred?  Even better.  I could have eaten all three ears for dinner, but I thought Fritz might appreciate an actual meal for once.  Add the diced tomato, parsley, olive oil, and vinegar.  Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remember that chive blossom vinegar?  Here it is, in the most gorgeous bright pink ever found in nature.  This is seriously only colored by the chive blossoms!  I let it sit for a week, and when I tasted it today I decided a week was enough–nice, strong chive taste (but not too strong).

I was only about 90% thrilled with this salad, but I think it would have been 100% with the switch from eggplant to summer squash.  The corn added a really nice touch of sweetness to the salad that was quite enjoyable.  Also, I love corn.  Have I said that?

It’s delicious.

Now if it would just stay nice outside!

I also got to pick some of our flowers from the garden for the first time this year, and they dress up the house instantly:

Amusing fact: I took out a cut crystal vase we received as a wedding gift to hold the flowers, laughed hysterically (so not me), and immediately put them into a washed out chutney bottle.  Ahhh.  Much better.

This is also Fritz’s first full day as an American!  Look at how cute he was getting all dressed up to go be sworn in:

I think that tomorrow some friends and I are getting together to make some yummy frozen treats, and then we are headed off to Boston for the weekend!

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Herbs–Garden Edition

I planted my baby tomato plants today in a last-ditch effort to save ’em after I accidentally left them outside in direct hot burning sunlight for a full day.  They got sunburned.  Badly.  After a week of TLC, they seemed to recover somewhat, so I figured it was time for them to graduate.

Luckily it was a gray, drizzly day outside, so they weren’t subjected to more intense UV rays while they settled in their new home.

Since the rest of my herb garden is springing up tremendously well, I thought I’d give you a look-see.  We planted this herb garden all from seed last year (and basil and tomatoes from seed again this year), and the ease with which it grew has really astounded me.  Why doesn’t every cook have a garden?  I know from now on I will always have these herbs in my garden–it’s so convenient and cheap!

Maybe I did inherit some of my mom’s green thumb!

We planted some catnip in the back to fuel Henry’s hysterical addiction–it hasn’t been growing well (too sandy?) and I almost gave up hope, but today I found this:

In our herb garden, our littlest baby, basil (can’t wait for some fresh pesto!):

‘Course there’s the chives, which you’ve recently witnessed starring in a vinegar recipe (which has since turned a beautiful pink color!):

Next up, lavender!  Best use of lavender so far has been in this pork chop dry rub–different, and perfect.  I’m excited because this year the lavender is much more plentiful than last year, and up way earlier, so I’m hoping for a lot more flowers.

Can’t have an herb garden without parsley–how else is a girl to garnish everything, or make pasta puttanesca?

We have a large amount of sage, which I’ve used to great success in this garlic and sage bread or in this chicken breakfast sausage:

Of course I have one of my most-used herbs, thyme, which is perfect for any and all soups, including this corn chowder, one of my first recipes on this blog! (Please don’t laugh at the quality of that post!  I was just learning!):

I didn’t plant cilantro this year, and I was kind of sad because I’ve seen a couple of recipes lately that I wanted to try that call for it.  Imagine my joy and surprise today when I discovered some seeds from last year must have regenerated!  I was weeding and just knew I smelled cilantro. Yes!  Hello, open-faced tacos!

And mint.  Ah, mint.  I planted this solely so I could make copious amounts of mojitos all summer long.  But if plenty of fresh alcoholic drinks aren’t your thing, how about some fresh minty green iced tea (recipe coming soon to a blog near you!):

Last but not least, my precious tomatoes.  I hope you live.  I really want to eat you in chili form (pumpkin bowl or not)!

In other garden news, look who bloomed today!  First one of the year!  These irises (iris? irisi?) traveled all the way from my parent’s house two years ago:

Judging by the looks of things around the house, I think it’s rapidly approaching bedtime.  Even Henry’s tuckered out:

(Thanks Mom for the box and its pre-cat contents today!)

Another full day of studying tomorrow–and some procrastinating, I’m sure.  Speaking of which, how do you like the new blog design?  I wanted something bright and summery!

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Filed under Non-food things I like