Tag Archives: summer recipes

Saffron Peach Jam

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By this time of year, our shelves are well-stocked with jam.  We’ve been making it all summer: Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry.  Rhubarb, cherry, three kinds of plum.  We eat plenty of jam–on yogurt and oatmeal, in sandwiches, with fancy cheese–and still, we will make it through the winter.  We have plenty of jam.

But it’s hard to stop.  And really, can there be too much jam?  Extra jars make welcome gifts, and I never seem to find myself with much left over when summer rolls around again.So I was happy to spend a day in the kitchen with a box of organic peaches last week.  They arrived on my doorstep courtesy of the Washington State Fruit Commission (full dislosure: the peaches were given to me at no charge, but the opinion that peaches are great is entirely my own).  We ate one after another after another.  And then it was time to make more jam.

I asked you for your peach preserving ideas.  I browsed the Sweet Preservation website.  I flipped through Mes Confitures.  I couldn’t decide.  So I made some of everything.  I made a sweet, chunky peach jam with a vanilla bean scraped in.  I made a tangy peach chutney with a lot of grated fresh ginger.  And, at Hannah’s suggestion, I made this Saffron Peach Jam.

It’s based on a recipe from The Preservation Kitchen, but it’s a good deal sweeter than the version in the book.  Some people say that saffron tastes spicy, or purfumey, or that it tastes like the sea.  Here it simply provides an earthy, savory counterpoint to the sweetness of the peaches, subtle enough that my six year old loved the jam but intriguing enough that I have gone about my days plotting uses for it.  I’m going to spoon it onto rice pudding and ricotta-topped toast.  I’m going to layer it into my next frittata sandwich in place of the tomato jam.  I’m going to serve it on a cheese plate.  But meanwhile, it’s just been going straight on toast.

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Peach and Ricotta Crostini with Basil

Have you entered the Food in Jars Cookbook giveaway yet?  Do it now.  It’s not just for canning enthusiasts, although it might turn you into one.

The entire point of today’s post is to entice you to run out to the farmers market and scoop up a final case of late-September peaches.  Are you convinced?  Because this weekend we are making jam, probably for the last time this summer.  Saffron Peach Jam.  Yes, it’s as intriguing as it sounds.  Yes, you will want to cook along.  And yes, a side benefit of having peaches in the house is that you can eat them on ricotta-slathered toast for breakfast. Continue reading

Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can see some of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are June, July, and August).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, add the RSS feed to your own reader, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Are you a condiment person?  Here’s an easy test: is there a shelf of your fridge (or three or four) jammed with little bottles and jars of sauces and oils and pickles and mustards and relishes and jams and chutneys and maybe, way at the back, an unopened jar of truffle butter that came from Italy, ahem, years ago?

Or is that just me?

I love all those delicacies in little jars, so it’s no surprise that I’m a fan of Marisa McClellan’s Food in Jars website.  I bought the Food in Jars cookbook as soon as I saw it appear at Book Larder, and it has been a big part of my summer.  First off, there was that Maple-Roasted Almond Butter we all loved, and then I consulted with Marisa (I mean her book) about jams all summer long–for the record, we see eye to eye.  Marisa (I mean her book) even deserves the thanks for those candied cherries that I couldn’t bear to puree into cherry butter.  See why I like her (I mean her book) so much?And that was before I made this tomato jam.  Continue reading

Baked Pasta With Roasted Vegetables and Fresh Mozzarella

Someone taught my baby to say “stop it.”  Life with a seventeen-month-old is undignified enough, I feel, without irate admonitions issuing from the tiny person over every little thing.  Like when I try to change her diaper (“Stop it!”).  Like when I take a ballpoint pen away (“Stop it!).  Like when I insist that her carseat straps be buckled for travel (“No no no no STOP IT!”).

Imagine how she feels, though.  She’s the baby in a family of five.  We tell her to stop every time she innocently tries to tear a page from a book, or color on the table, or suck on the bottom of a delectable shoe.  We may both be saying the same words, but there are days when we’re not exactly speaking the same language.  Luckily, I can’t ever get down about it, because at the first sign of sadness this same baby rushes across the room, arms outstretched, yelling “Hug! Hug!”  Hopefully she learned that from us, too.

At times like these, comfort food is occasionally in order for the whole family.  And is there any comfort food that compares to baked pasta?  I guess roasted vegetables, maybe, so I’ve combined the two here to hedge my bets.  The children can pick out the cheesy pasta parts and I can console myself with all the eggplant that’s left in pan. Continue reading

Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums

I have been having a bit of a love affair with this salad this summer.We met casually, in a friend’s back yard.  I couldn’t stay away from it, and then I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Our friends came to the Dinner in White and I casually mentioned that they might bring this salad, you know, if they wanted.  They did.  I sat next to it at the table.

It’s been on my mind ever since. Today, by some stroke of luck, J was working from home, the baby was napping, and the older girls weren’t home yet.  We took full advantage of that rare quiet moment together.  By grilling a bunch of curly kale and having this salad for lunch.

I’m sorry I’ve kept it from you for so long, but it’s not too late.  Clear your calendar of any other rendezvous you’ve planned.  You too will fall in love with this salad this weekend. Continue reading

Your Perfect Tomato Sandwich

You know how recipes are just made up?  I mean, some people have a lot of good ideas about food, and some people have extensive experience with food, and those people are probably going to make up good recipes.  But still, they’re just playing around, asking themselves what tastes good.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to recipes, really, and on some topics there is not even the remote possibility of agreement between any two authorities.  Once such topic, I submit, is The Perfect Tomato Sandwich.I’ve tried many.   Tomatoes alone.  Tomatoes with pesto, fresh mozzarella, and vinegar.  I understand that some people like tomatoes with lettuce and bacon.  I’ve even tried this sandwich, the tomatoes opulently nestled into a double setting of mayonnaise and butter.  Perfection is a slippery thing, ephemeral and ever-changing.  Especially when it comes to tomato sandwiches.

My personal current Perfect Tomato Sandwich–which I achieved tonight, just one of many wildly varying Perfect Tomato Sandwiches I’ve had in my life–is pictured above and detailed below.  It is emphatically open-faced, with thin slices of avocado and thick slices of tomato on grainy toasted bread.  Its crowning glory (or maybe it’s a hidden glory?) is a smear of anchovy-laced mayonnaise.

What is your perfect tomato sandwich this summer? Continue reading

Basil Pesto with Whole Wheat Pasta and Tomatoes

I found this picture on the camera the other day:I asked J, “Why did you take this picture?”

J asked me, “Why did you put a glass of basil in the cupboard?”

Well, for about a million reasons, of course!  First, you all convinced me that I should keep my basil on the counter in a vase of water–and hey!  That really works!  Second, the counter was messy and I needed a little more space.  Third…well, ok, two reasons.

When there’s more basil than I have room for, it’s pesto time.  At this time of year, if you have a glut of basil yourself, consider making a big batch of pesto and freezing it in ice cube trays.  (Not because you’d limit yourself to one cube of pesto, of course–just because it defrosts more quickly than if you freeze it in a bigger block.)  And if you’re making pesto to freeze, it might as well double as dinner, right?This is, to me, the perfect pesto.  It’s saucy and flavorful with no one component overwhelming the others.  It tastes like summer, which we’ll appreciate with nostalgia soon.  But for the moment, why not enjoy it with whole wheat pasta and summer’s perfect Sungold tomatoes? Continue reading