Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Cobbler

A savory cobbler....topped with some delicious biscuits. Serve it for lunch or a side dish with dinner. The only thing I'd change is next time I'd add some shallots or green onions to the tomatoes while they were on the stove. This dish can be cooked and baked in one oven-proof saute pan. (Aside from the biscuit dough.) But I poured the tomatoes with all their juices into the casserole and topped with the biscuits. It just made presentation and serving a tad prettier. 

Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Cobbler
From Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold, cubed

3 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk

5 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt

4-6 tablespoons goat cheese
Egg wash

For the biscuits: Combine both flours, the cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and with your fingers, work the mixture until the butter pieces are all pea sized. Add the buttermilk and lightly toss to distribute.

Pour the mixture on a clean surface and with the heel of your hands, toss and squeeze the dough it holds together. Do not overwork, you should still see pieces of butter. Press the dough into a disk about 3/4 inches thick. Cut out biscuits, place them in a pan and place in the freezer for two hours.

For the tomatoes: 

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, 2 sprigs of the thyme and salt in an oven proof saute pan. Cover and cook over high heat until the tomatoes begin to soften. Uncover and cook until all the tomatoes burst slightly.
Top with the frozen biscuits. Make an egg wash with an egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Brush the biscuits with it. Place in oven for 25 minutes. 
Remove from the oven and dollop the goat cheese over any exposed tomatoes. Place back in the oven, increase temperature to 475 and bake another 10 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve at room temperature with some extra sprigs of thyme.


Ina's Rack of Lamb

There are slews of recipes for rack of lamb everywhere and Ina Garten has made several versions over the years. As she is one of our favorite chefs, I invariably turn to her for ideas.
I make her Rack of Lamb Persillade which we love, but the last time my daughter was home, we tried this recipe for the first time. Daughter Tracy loves lamb....orders it often when we go out to dinner (although it's gotten sooooo pricey), so I knew she'd love this version. So simple to make and really, if you follow her guidelines, it's a no-fail recipe. I served a salad and some delicious roasted sweet potatoes with it.

Ina Garten's Mustard Rack of Lamb

From Barefoot Contessa, Episode: Anniversary Dinner 

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 racks of lamb, "frenched" (see note)

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the salt, rosemary, and garlic until they're as finely minced as possible. Add the mustard and balsamic vinegar and process for 1 minute. Place the lamb in a roasting or sheet pan with the ribs curving down, and coat the tops with the mustard mixture. Allow to stand for 1 hour at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Roast the lamb for exactly 20 minutes for rare or 25 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then cut into individual ribs and serve.

Note: "Frenching" refers to scraping the meat off the tips of the bones. Ask your butcher to leave 1/8 inch of fat on the meat.


Ottolenghi's Spiced Chickpeas & Fresh Vegetable Salad

Wonderful colors and flavors in this salad, exactly what we expect from Ottolenghi. What I think you'll really appreciate is this is a super alternative to potato salad or even a tossed salad for a picnic or pot luck. Easy to make for a crowd. The recipe says it serves 4, but I thought it went farther than that. Especially for a side salad.

Note: the chickpeas need to soak overnight.

Spiced Chickpeas & Fresh Vegetable Salad
From Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi

1/2 cup dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 small cucumbers
2 large tomatoes
8 ounces radishes
1 red pepper, seeded and ribs removed
1 small red onion, peeled
2/3 ounce cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 ounce flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (I used curly because I had some left)
6 tablespoons olive oil
grated zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tablespoons juice
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Greek yogurt (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of water with the baking soda. The next day, drain cover with water twice the volume of the chickpeas and simmer for an hour or until tender. Drain.

Dice the tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, radishes and onion. Mix in a bowl with the cilantro and parsley.

Make the vinaigrette:

Mix 5 tablespoons of the olive oil with the lemon juice, zest, vinegar, garlic and sugar and mix well to form a dressing. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the salad, tossing lightly.

Make the chickpeas:
Mix together the cardamom, cumin, allspice, some salt and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar in a bowl and toss in the chickpeas. Shake to cover well.
In a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil and fry the chickpeas for 2-4 minutes , gently shaking the pan so they cook evenly.

Divide the salad among 4 plates, spoon the chickpeas on top, keeping the edges of the salad clear. Optional: add some Greek yogurt, stir it in to make the salad creamy.


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