After a long ankle injury induced hiatus from cooking, I’m back in the kitchen. I kicked things off with a lovely summer supper on the porch. Y’all know my kids eat pretty much anything, but this is one they both gobbled up! I loved that I had the whole thing ready before lunch and we just had to dish it up come suppertime.
Easy Gazpacho & Goat Cheese Croutons
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained
¼ seedless cucumber, unpeeled and seeds removed
1 large red onion
6 garlic cloves (if I were to change anything about this recipe, I’d scale back a little on the garlic)
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup good olive oil, plus extra for toasts and drizzling
½ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ cups tomato juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese
Cut the tomatoes, scallions, cucumber, and onion in large pieces and place them in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the garlic and pulse until the soup is coarsely puréed. Place it in a large bowl and whisk in the vinegar, olive oil, celery salt, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, tomato juice, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, preheat the broiler and place the top rack 5 to 7 inches from the heat. Cut 6 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices from the baguette. Place on a sheet pan, brush with olive oil, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes on one side. Turn the slices, spread with the goat cheese, and broil for another minute, until the cheese is warm and the bread is toasted. Serve big bowls of cold soup with a warm goat cheese crouton and a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 6.
Raspberry Crumble Bars
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
10 to 12 ounces good raspberry jam
2/3 cup good granola without dried fruit
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed just until combined. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.
Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until it almost comes together in a ball. Turn the dough out on a board. Lightly pat two-thirds of the dough evenly on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan and about ¼ inch up the sides. Spread with the jam, leaving a ¼-inch border. Mix the granola into the remaining dough with your hands. Break the dough into small bits, and distribute it on top of the jam, covering most of the surface. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake the bars for 45 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool completely and cut into 9 or 12 bars. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners’ sugar.
I’m still making my way through Ina’s Foolproof cookbook. I have yet to make something out of it that we didn’t love! The baby and I have taken to watching recordings of the Barefoot Contessa in the evenings while snuggling in my bed. Without fail, he patters into whatever room I’m in and asks “Mommy, can we watch that Ina Big Foot cook show?” He was beyond excited to help me prepare this meal and was so proud to help dish it up that night. And I can’t get over the fact that he has misinterpreted “Barefoot” as “Big Foot”. Oftentimes I don’t correct little things like this because it just makes me laugh every time I hear it.