by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
My selections for July:
(Not necessarily cooked in order)
Shaved Summer Vegetables
Tomato, Thyme, and Goat Cheese Tart
Pasta with Raw Tomato
Marinated Zucchini with Mozzarella
Chocolate-Beet Ice Cream
Click here to see the complete list of July's recipe options.
Marinated Zucchini with Mozzarella:
This dish consists of only a few ingredients, yet it is full of flavor.
To begin, you thinly slice your zucchini - we are talking 1/16 of an inch here. If you want beautiful wide zucchini ribbons as shown in the book, I would suggest slicing them a bit thicker, for after they are cooked and mixed with the rest of the ingredients, they pretty much shriveled up; nevertheless, I was happy with the outcome.
The instructions say to put the slices into a bowl, and using a pastry brush, coat them all lightly with oil. There was no way they would all be coated evenly if tossed into the bowl, so I took the tedious route - lined the bowl with the slices, coated with oil (just one side), then added another row of slices, oiled, and so on, until all the slices were lightly coated.
Once your zucchini is coated with oil, you sauté the slices until tender and golden. Hugh recommends about two minutes per side. However, I found some of the slices were tender and the brown spots showing through to the other side before turning, so I only cooked those on the one side.
The marinade is made up of olive oil, garlic and lemon zest, which is briefly heated in the pan to take the raw edge off the garlic, and to infuse the flavors into the oil. The marinade is then poured over the zucchini, and some salt, pepper, lemon juice, and basil are added. This is all mixed together, and left to sit at room temperature for one hour.
Just before serving, coarsely torn or sliced mozzarella is added to the zucchini. I used burrata, which if you haven't tried burrata, you are missing out on something wonderful. It looks like your typical ball of mozzarella, then you cut into it to reveal its creamy softness in the middle, which is made up of mozzarella shreds and cream. Sublime.
I wish this did not take so much time to make. This would be an elegant first course to serve to company. Cooking the slices was a bit laborious - imagine cooking like sixty pieces of bacon..
It just occurred to me, that you could speed up the cooking process by using one of those griddles that fit over the two burners of a cooktop. Wish I had thought of this before - I could have cooked more slices at one time. There just may be a next time after all.. :)
Aside from the amount of time it took, I really enjoyed this recipe, and I just may revisit it sooner than later.
Hugh suggests serving this with some good bread or warm flat breads. I served it as a side dish to our dinner of beer butt smoked chicken.
Have you ever made a beer butt chicken? I used to roll my eyes at this fad. Andy finally got around to making one. Wow! does it turn out incredibly tender and moist. He also used for the first time, the smoker box attached to the grill - a winner! We'll definitely use this technique again.
I really thought this was going to be the favorite of the month - but it has been bumped to second place. Continue reading for the winner!
Pasta with Raw Tomatoes:
How pretty is this?
I was just looking for a recipe like this a few weeks ago to use our bounty of fresh tomatoes in. The recipe calls for one and a half pounds of tomatoes - I was lucky enough to have just that amount ready (at one time!) from our tomato plant from my last picking. I have never had a tomato plant give off as many tomatoes as this one has.
For this recipe, you start by marinating the peeled and seeded (I did not do either) chopped tomatoes and their juices, with some garlic, capers, fresh red chili pepper (I used died red pepper flakes), basil, oil, salt and pepper; this then sits at a cool room temperature for about one hour, before being added to a bowl of cooked pasta, along with some additional fresh basil shreds and a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper.
Hugh mentions he sometimes uses mint in place of the basil, and suggests you may also add some chopped red onion or fennel, or replace the capers with sliced olives, even add some Parmesan or goat cheese.
I had to up the seasonings, for I found this to be rather bland; which could be the result of using a pound of pasta, whereas the recipe calls for only twelve ounces. I added extra salt and pepper, more red chili flakes, and added some feta cheese (it really is better with cheese), and I think Hugh's suggestion of red onion would be really good in this. It could have used less oil however - even using more pasta than the recipe called for, I felt it was a little too oily for my liking.
Shaved Summer Vegetables:
Eating foods in their natural state (raw) will always be more beneficial than when cooked. I was excited to try this recipe for we love the Raw Kale Coleslaw I make (often).
I had this together in no time at all. Take a variety of vegetables - I used zucchini, carrot, turnip, and radish - Hugh also suggests beets and kohlrabi, slice them as thinly as possible - using a mandoline if you have one is the best way.
The dressing is made up of canola (I used olive) oil, lemon juice, honey, English mustard (I used a sweet hot mustard - I did not need yet another type of mustard opened, sitting in my fridge), salt and pepper.
I preferred the vegetables tossed with the dressing and allowed to sit for a few minutes, rather than having the dressing just drizzled over the top as instructed. Allowing it to rest, the vegetables become softer, making it more manageable to pierce the vegetables with your fork.
I found this recipe to be just OK.
Tomato, Thyme, and Goat Cheese Tart:
I can sum this up in one word: F A B U L O U S ! ! !
The recipe calls for thirteen ounces of puff pastry to be rolled out rather thinly, and trimmed to the size of a ten by twelve rectangle.
My package was fourteen ounces, and I had the measurement in mind, and found the sheet was almost the recommended size. I completely spaced on the rather thinly part, and rolled it out to the specified size, not paying attention to the thickness of the dough. It turned out just fine, other than the edges appear to be higher than the picture in the book.
My plan was to have a picture showing only a third of the tomatoes layered, so you can see the fresh minced garlic sprinkled over the dough, under the tomatoes - however, the doorbell rang and when I returned I went into automatic mode and finished placing the tomatoes on top. Oh well.
This was incredibly easy to throw together, and made for a delicious weeknight meal served with a simple green salad.
All you do is - roll out the pastry, cut off about half an inch from the edges, brush them with some beaten egg and place on top of the rectangle - this will give it a rimmed edge when baked. Sprinkle on some minced garlic, layer tomatoes on top, season with salt and pepper, and give it a drizzle of olive oil, and bake for fifteen minutes before adding the cheese and thyme leaves, continue baking until golden and bubbly (mine never bubbled).
This is one you will want to make for company or bring to a potluck; it comes together quickly and can even sit for an hour before serving, as Hugh prefers it that way. I wouldn't know how it holds up - Andy and I polished this off in no time, straight out of the oven. Yep, the whole thing (cover your
If not, one word: Puff Pastry. OK two. What doesn't taste great when made with puff pastry?
This, was by far the favorite of the month. :)
Whenever a recipe calls for puff pastry, I have always reached for Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry. Then this box caught my eye - I will a lot of the time, choose my books and wine this way - by the label. :)
I was however, curious as to why this brand was twice the price for less product.
USDA GRADE AA BUTTER, UNBLEACHED FLOUR, WATER, SALT, LEMON JUICE
UNBLEACHED ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR [FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID], WATER, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE SHORTENING (SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OILS COLORED WITH BETA CAROTENE) CONTAINS 2 PERCENT OR LESS OF: SALT, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WHEAT GLUTEN, DISTILLED MONOGLYCERIDES (FROM HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL) AND SOY LECITHIN. - (source)
Well there you go, it's safe to say I didn't mind paying the extra money.
Chocolate-Beet Ice Cream:
I have a tendency to lean toward the unusual - and ice cream is no exception. I had never really been into ice cream, until I started making my own. My first flavor was coffee, and boy was it good. Then I ventured out and made strawberry-basil - d e l i s h! I also have made orange- Szechwan peppercorn, and cinnamon, both of which were darn tasty too.
First, melted chocolate is stirred into a custard mixture which is made from whole milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks. Next, puréed roasted beets that have been mixed with some of the milk is added, the mixture is then strained into a bowl and left to cool, then chilled.
After the mixture is chilled completely, it is processed in an ice cream machine until it is soft-set, then transferred to a freezable container and frozen until firm.
The beets give the ice cream a beautiful, bright, deep-pink hue. It tricks the brain into thinking you are about to indulge in a sweet, tart, berry flavored ice cream.
This really should be called Beet-Chocolate Ice Cream - not the other way around. All I could taste was beet; the chocolate wasn't discernible at all.
At first bite, my brain said definitely not - not liking this - it tastes like... beets.
With each consecutive bite, it does start to grow on you. But you have to like beets. Though the ice cream is soft, and seems creamy at first, it has a sort of rough texture to it - imagine running your tongue along a piece of suede (not that I have..) - soft, but not smooth.
I would have liked a stronger chocolate flavor with a slight beet undertone; this is what I was expecting with chocolate being first in the name.
I'm still undecided about this one. Like I said, it starts to grow on you.
No... no, I'm not. You either like it, or not. I wanted to like it. I really did. It's barely OK, definitely not worth the fat and calories; and the texture is weird.
They say you can't win them all. Excited for my next (and last) recipe - panzanella!
(Update: My sister was over for dinner, and just before she had to leave, [I completely forgot about wanting to serve the ice cream!] I asked her to try the new ice cream flavor I made. I did not tell her what it was made from. When she saw it, she thought it was going to be raspberry flavor. I gave her a small taste, and her first reaction... I taste chocolate! Gave her another taste - grass! Ha ha ha. Grass. Beets. Close enough. She actually liked it.)
Every time I came across a recipe for panzanella, I would say to myself, I want to make that.. and never did. So I was excited that it was a chosen recipe for this month!
I had panzanella once before, long ago; I think it was my sister-in-law, Darc, that made it, and I do remember liking it - a lot. Why it has taken me so long? Who knows..
Panzanella. A good recipe to use up some stale bread. As much as we love bread, a whole loaf of French bread is just too much for us to consume in one sitting; we could - it's just not a good thing.
I had a whole loaf of French bread in the freezer that needed using up (next time - I'll use a better quality of bread than the store brand), and it was Saturday - farmer's market day! Tomato season!
This lovely salad is made up of stale bread, tomato juice (crushing & straining fresh tomatoes), olive oil, cider vinegar, salt, pepper, Kalamata olives, cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes, capers and basil.
I stayed true to the recipe, with one exception - I added two cloves of garlic to the dressing; I so wanted to use my favorite Cabernet vinegar, but refrained, and used the cider vinegar that was called for in the recipe.
This was a wonderful salad, aside from my not so great bread. The bread was, I think, a bit too airy for this dish. I think a more dense bread would work better here.
I'm going to make this again with a different style bread; maybe cube it, toss it with some olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast it until it is dry. I think it will be even better this way.
(Update: We ordered a panzanella salad at dinner from a fancy restaurant when we went out; I was curious to see the difference; even with the less than stellar bread I used - Hugh's recipe was way better! It rocked!)
To see what recipes the other members chose for this month, head over to the LYL post for July on the CCC website, by clicking here.
We have been asked not to publish the recipes here on our blogs. We encourage you to go out and purchase the book and join us on this fun and healthy adventure!