Saturday, May 26, 2012

Radish Butter Crostinis

I plant radishes every spring, but never quite know what to do with them.  As a child, they were a rite of spring, so I always plant them simply to evoke those fond memories.  I have been wanting to find a better way to enjoy them other than simply eating them sprinkled with salt, so I was thrilled not only to discover this recipe, but to LOVE it!  The butter tempers the overpowering spiciness of the radishes, resulting in a truly delightful flavor.

Check out the Martha Stewart link below for even more radish recipes!
Source: Adapted from

8 medium radishes (about 1 bunch), cleaned, roots trimmed
6 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To make crostini:
Slice baguette; brush both slides of each slice with olive oil and toast in 400 degree oven, turning once, until golden brown.

Grate radishes on the large holes of a box grater. 
Place grated radishes on paper towels; squeeze out excess liquid.
Combine radishes and butter in a small bowl; mix well.

Spread radish mixture on crostini; season with sea salt and pepper.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Roasted Chicken Salad with Fresh Peas and Mint

This is a nice salad to serve in the spring when fresh peas are in season and mint is at its best.

Source:  adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine, May 2012

1 whole roasted chicken, cooled and carved into pieces
1 head butterhead lettuce such as Bibb or Boston, trimmed and separated into leaves
1 c. shelled fresh peas (from 1 lb. in pods)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 1/2 T. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. minced shallot
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 c. chopped fresh mint leaves, plus 1/2 c. for salad

Cook peas in boiling water until just tender, 2-3 min.  Drain, and submerge in ice water to stop the cooking and retain color.

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, shallot, mustard, salt and 1/4 c. chopped mint in a small bowl. 

Arrange lettuce, whole mint leaves and peas on a large serving platter or individual plates.  Toss chicken pieces in dressing and arrange on top of salad.  Pour remaining dressing over salad.

Serves 4-5

Strawberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

This was fabulous!!

I almost went to the grocery store to buy frozen raspberries for this recipe (the original recipe calls for raspberries), but at the last minute I realized, "What are you thinking??!!  You have an abundance of strawberries in the garden, so why not substitute them?!"   My commitment to eating what I can grow saved the day!  I wasn't sure how the strawberries would work as a substitute, but they worked wonderfully.  I loved the combination of the strawberries and rhubarb with buttery crust.  The glazed topping added the perfect touch.

This was the first I had used butter in a pastry crust (had always used shortening before, but am determined to use butter or lard from now on).  I still need to perfect my pastry skills when it comes to working with butter, but I was able to get the dough rolled out into a large sheet, so I was pleased!  I can't wait to make this again when raspberries are in season.  And, I just bought a rhubarb plant, so next year when I make it, I'll be able to use rhubarb from my garden!

3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 c. butter
3/4 c. plus 1-2 T. milk
1 egg yolk
2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
5 c. fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed and drained
3 c. sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained*

Vanilla Icing:
1 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
5-6 t. milk

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in butter until crumbly.  Whisk 3/4 c. milk and egg yolk; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.  Add additional milk, 1T. at a time, if necessary.

Divide dough in half so that one portion is slightly larger than the other; wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Roll out larger portion of dough between two large sheets of lightly-floured waxed paper into an 18x13" rectangle.  Transfer to an ungreased 15x10x1" baking pan.  Press onto the bottom and up the sides of pan; trim pastry to 1/2" above edges of pan.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch.  Add raspberries and rhubarb; toss together to coat.  Spoon into pastry.

Roll out remaining dough; place over filling.  Fold bottom pastry over edge of top pastry; seal with a fork.  Prick top with a fork.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 min. or until golden brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

For icing, combine confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to achieve a drizzling consistency; drizzle over pie.  Cut pie into squares.

*Note:  If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely.  Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.