Tag: rosemary

Potato, Chèvre and Rosemary Tart

Potato, Chèvre and Rosemary Tart

Quite a few of the recipes I have collected over time have become my culinary buddies, friends to celebrate good times just as much as giving me comfort when it gets rough. A savory tart, the wonderful French quiche, is definitely one of them. It’s as easy and comforting as pizza and I can adapt the topping to my mood and the seasons which I do with creative passion. There’s also something about the buttery base that gives me great satisfaction. An Italian pizza is a loud feast, preferably enjoyed in the company of friends. The base can be thin and crisp or oily and fluffy like a focaccia, the Italian oven classic is always comfort food at its best. A quiche however, is more intimate, it’s a sensual pleasure. The pastry has to be quite thin for my taste, crumbly and flaky. It’s more delicate which makes it perfect for a romantic rendez-vous at home or at a picnic in the countryside. All you need is the love of your life and a bottle of Bordeaux to accompany this treat and I can almost ensure you a fantastic date!

There are already quite a few quiche recipes on eat in my kitchen and I can’t stop adding more, it shows that we have it on our table at least once or twice a month. There’s one with tomatoes and mozzarella, beans and ramp, leekfennel and possibly a couple more. Today’s recipe feels like a trip to the Provence in the peak of summer. Although the potatoes give it a hearty, Northern touch, the milky chèvre and woody rosemary take it right back to the Mediterranean!

Potato, Chèvre and Rosemary Tart

 

Potato, Chèvre and Rosemary Tart

Potato, Chèvre and Rosemary Tart

For a 30cm / 12″ tart pan or baking dish you need

For the short crust base

plain flour 250g / 9 ounces
butter, cold 125g / 4 1/2 ounces
organic egg 1
salt 1 teaspoon

Combine the flour with the salt. Cut the butter with a knife into the flour until there are just little pieces of butter left. Continue with your fingers and work the butter into the flour until combined (there shouldn’t be any lumps of butter left). Add the egg and continue mixing with the hooks of your mixer until you have a crumbly mixture. Form a disc, wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F top/ bottom heat.

Roll out the dough between cling film and line your baking dish with the flat pastry. Prick it with a fork and blind-bake in the hot oven for 14 minutes or until golden.

Take your baking dish out of the oven and set the temperature down to 180°C / 355°F.

 

The tart

potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced (1/2cm / 1/4″ thick), 600g / 1 1/2 pounds
organic eggs 4
heavy cream 100ml / 3 1/2 ounces
sour cream 200g / 7 ounces
salt 1 teaspoon
pepper
nutmeg, freshly grated, a generous amount
Chèvre (or any other fresh, soft goat cheese) 100g / 3 1/2 ounces
fresh rosemary, a small handful

Whisk  the eggs with the heavy cream, sour cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Lay the sliced potatoes on top of the pre-baked pastry base and spread the chèvre in lumps on top. Season with a little salt and pepper, sprinkle with rosemary needles and pour the egg – cream mixture over it. Bake the tart in the oven for about 55 minutes or until golden brown, the top should be firm. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Potato, Chèvre and Rosemary Tart

 

Potato, Chèvre and Rosemary Tart

 

potatochevretart8

Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

This sandwich has been on my mind for weeks and it might have something to do with the fact that my kitchen has become a store room for Damson plums. I buy these fruits in big baskets, lots of them, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to end soon. As long as they are in season, I’m a loyal and dedicated fan! They give me endless inspiration for sweet and savory dishes and for new culinary experiments. I’m hooked on their strong taste, this subtle sweet and sour combination goes so well with all kinds of spices and flavours. The common round black plums are another kind that taste much sweeter but they’re lacking in depth, so I strongly recommend Damsons for my sandwich!

And here it comes, a new sausage sandwich! The last time I made one was in Malta, my sausage sandwich with rucola and coriander oil. Today, I feature this spice oil again, coriander seed infused olive oil, as it goes so well with this kind of meat. The seeds are actually one of the main ingredients of Maltese sausage which is one of the best in the world to me (and that means a lot from a German!). I sprinkle the oil and the crunchy seeds on the buns and let them soak into the soft and juicy sponginess, that’s my favourite way to start a sandwich!

I fried a couple thick, coarse sausages with fresh rosemary needles. The herb is great for the topping when it turns woody and crisp, but the needles also add their aroma to the frying juices which I pour on the buns before I put the meat on. And now, my fruit of the season comes in, I caramelized the plums for just a few minutes in sugary butter, I wanted them soft but not soggy. Their sour sweetness combined with the dark flavour of caramel is all a sausage sandwich could ask for! We loved it!

Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

 

Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

 Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

For 2 sandwiches you need

juicy buns, cut in half, 2
coarse sausages (like Salsiccia) 2
fresh rosemary, the needles of a small sprig
plums (preferably Damsons), cut in half and pitted, 8
butter 1 tablespoon
sugar 1 teaspoon
olive oil 3 tablespoons plus more for the sausages
coriander seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar, 1 teaspoon

In a sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the coriander seeds and let them infuse the oil on medium heat for 2 minutes.

In a heavy pan, heat a splash of olive oil and cook the sausages until golden brown on all sides. Add the rosemary needles for the last 2 minutes or until they are crisp, but not dark. Cut the sausages in half and set aside, keep the frying juices.

Melt the butter and sugar in a pan on a high temperature. When the sugar starts to turn brown, add the plums, cut side first. Cook for 2 minutes, gently turn the fruits and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat.

Brush the buns with the coriander oil, add some of the seeds and lay the plums on top. Brush the sausages with a little of the caramelized juices of the plums and put them on top of the fruits. Pour all the remaining juices of the sausages and plums over the sandwiches and sprinkle with a few of the crisp rosemary needles. Close, squeeze and enjoy!

Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

 

Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

 

Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

 

Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

 

Caramelized Plum and Sausage Sandwich with Rosemary and Coriander Oil

Focaccia with Grapes, Rosemary and Gozitan Sea Salt

Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

This is the best focaccia I ever made! One reason might be the excessive use of very good olive oil. Sometimes there’s just no way around, if you spare on oil you spare on taste and texture, it’s just that simple. The second reason is the unbelievably delicious combination of baked ripe dark grapes and rosemary! The fruits add a soft sweetness and juiciness to the bread which is better than any other flavouring I ever tasted in combination with this Italian classic.

So, the air in my kitchen was filled with the addictive smell of freshly baked bread mixed with the woody aroma of rosemary. I sat in front of the oven like a hungry cat and I couldn’t wait for the focaccia to be done, it was so tempting! I took the photos as quickly as possible as the aromas teased my nose even more after I cut the first piece off the thick and flat loaf. Then, finally, when I took the first bite, I just enjoyed the spongy softness, the oily crust which was almost flaky, the grapes which released their juices and this heavenly taste topped with roast rosemary sprigs and my Gozitan salt from the Cini family!

More focaccia inspiration:

Gruyère and Red Onion Focaccia

Herb Focaccia with Zucchini, Eggplant and Parmesan

Fig, Chèvre, and Honey Focaccia

Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

 Focaccia with Grapes, Rosemary and Gozitan Sea Salt

For a 25 x 32cm / 10 x 12.5″ focaccia you need

plain flour 500g / 17 1/2 ounces
dry yeast 1 sachet (7g / 1/4 ounce)
salt 1 teaspoon
sugar 1 heaped teaspoon
water, lukewarm, 260ml / 9 ounces
olive oil 110ml / 3 3/4 ounces, 60ml / 2 ounces for the dough and 50ml / 1 3/4 ounces for the topping
red grapes around 25
fresh rosemary needles, a small handful
flaky sea salt for the topping

In  a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water and 60ml / 2 ounces of olive oil and mix with your dough hooks for 5 minutes until well combined. Continue kneading with your hands for around 5 minutes until you have an elastic dough ball. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise in a 35°C / 95°F warm ( top / bottom heat, no fan!) oven for 40 minutes.

Take the dough out, punch it down and knead for 1 minute. Roll out the dough until it measures around 25 x 32cm / 10 x 12.5″ and put it carefully on an oiled baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise for 20 minutes in a warm place.

Set the oven to 220°C / 430°F.

Punch about 6 x 7 holes into the dough with the round bottom of a wooden spoon and put a grape into every second hole. Pour the remaining 50ml / 1 3/4 ounces of olive oil over the dough and into the holes. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt and bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top.

Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

graFocaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

Chilled Summer Sangria with Rosemary

Sangria with Rosemary

This is one of the best summer drinks, chilled summer sangria with lots of orange juice and woody rosemary. I use more juice than wine, so it’s stuffed with vitamins – you could almost call it a healthy drink! The juice of a lemon adds a bit of sourness which I don’t want to weaken with too much sugar. Only 1 tablespoon, that’s all I put in and its enough to push the fruit’s natural sweetness. A glass of brandy and a few orange slices make this Spanish classic complete. You could also chop in some peaches or strawberries, but I like to concentrate on citrus fruits. That’s how I remember it from my holidays in Ibiza and that’s how I love it. The rosemary is my personal customization, we tried it once and got hooked on it.

For 1 big bowl of sangria, I mixed 750ml / 1.5 pints of dry red wine with 900ml / 2 pints of good quality orange juice and 150ml / 5 ounces of brandy. I added the juice of a lemon, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 4 small sprigs of rosemary and the slices of 1 organic orange. The sangria is best slightly chilled and when it can sit for at least 1 hour.

Sangria with Rosemary

 

Sangria with Rosemary

 

Sangria with Rosemary

Caramelised Elderflower Rosemary Chicken with spicy Potato Wedges

Elderflower Rosemary Chicken + Potato Wedges

My Elderflower Syrup gets put to good use once again! I marinated chicken breast for a couple hours in elderflower syrup together with some fresh rosemary and was rewarded with the most aromatic, tender meat. Flowery and woody flavours wrapped the chicken, the sticky marinade caramelised the soft surface, it was absolutely delicious! I seared it first and then baked it for 8 minutes, this way it keeps its juiciness. My old method of frying the chicken until it’s done left it a lot drier.

I don’t cook chicken that often but when it finds its way to my kitchen I like to play around with strong flavours. You could replace the elderflower syrup with maple syrup or any other flowery taste, honey works of course but it’s nice to try something different. I used the rosemary as it’s great in combination with elderflower and poultry, it turned smokey which added a bit of a flame grilled touch.

This meal had a rustic feeling to it, so crisp potato wedges felt like the right company. Flavoured with maple syrup, they also got a spicy coating. Don’t worry about the long list of spices, just use what you find in your spice box and what makes sense for your taste buds, this is what I mixed together: cumin, star anise, harissa, cloves, cayenne pepper, fennel seed, sweet paprika and black pepper.

Elderflower Rosemary Chicken + Potato Wedges

 

Elderflower Rosemary Chicken + Potato Wedges

Caramelised Elderflower Rosemary Chicken with spicy Potato Wedges

If possible marinate the meat for at least 30 minutes, a few hours would be even better.

For 2 people you need

chicken breast 2 (around 400g / 14 ounces)
elderflower syrup 50ml /1.5 ounces
rosemary, chopped, 1 tablespoon + 2 little sprigs
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying

For the potato wedges
potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges, 500g / 1 pound
maple syrup 1 tablespoon
olive oil 2 tablespoons
cloves, ground in a mortar, 6
harissa powder 1/2 teaspoon
cumin 1/4 teaspoon
star anise, ground in a mortar, 1 piece
Hungarian (sweet) paprika 1/2 teaspoon
cayenne pepper, a bit more than a pinch
fennel seeds, ground in a mortar, 1/4 teaspoon
black peppercorns, ground in a mortar, 1/2 teaspoon

In a bowl, cover the chicken breast with the elderflower syrup and rosemary and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Cook the potato wedges in lots of salted water  for 8 minutes, rinse with cold water and lay on a cooling rack to dry (for at least 10 minutes to a day).

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (I use the Rotithem setting).

For the wedges, whisk the maple syrup, olive oil and spices. Spread the potatoes in a baking dish and cover with the spicy syrup. Roast in the oven for a few minutes until golden brown and crisp. You can turn on the grill for the last minute.

While the potatoes are in the oven, heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy pan and sear the chicken breasts (covered in marinate and rosemary) for a few minutes on both sides till golden brown and caramelised. Season with salt and pepper. Put the meat in a baking dish when the potatoes are done and roast in the oven for 8 minutes. Turn on the grill for the last minute. Check with a skewer, only clear juices should come out.

Elderflower Rosemary Chicken + Potato Wedges

Grilled Peach and Camembert Sandwich with Rosemary

Grilled Peach + Camembert Sandwich

It’s cheese and fruit again! My last sandwich which combined these two flavours lies more than a month back. I had paired a creamy Gorgonzola with some of the first strawberries of the year, it was mild and milky but spiced up with a few pink peppercorns. Today’s sandwich is more intense, I used a ripe Roucoulons camembert from the Franche-Comté region in the East on France. Normally this cheese is quite mild but mine was already beyond that state. It was very ripe, so spicy and sharp that my boyfriend refused to eat it so I decided to put it under the grill. I went for white-fleshed galaxy (or donut) peaches, we call them vineyard peaches in Germany. They are so sweet and juicy, exactly what I needed as the peach season has just begun here and most of the other types aren’t rich in flavour yet (and wouldn’t have managed the combination with my intense camembert). I sprinkled some crushed black peppercorns on top to add some spiciness and a little fresh rosemary which became a bit smoky under the grill, it was good!

For 6 open sandwiches I used half a loaf of spelt ciabatta cut into thick slices, topped with 2 ripe peaches (sliced) and 125g / 4.5 ounces of Roucoulons camembert. I sprinkled each of them with a couple rosemary needles and put them under the grill for 1 minute until the cheese became a bit runny. We added the crushed pepper afterwards so that each of us could adjust the spiciness.

Grilled Peach + Camembert Sandwich

 

Grilled Peach + Camembert Sandwich

 

Grilled Peach + Camembert Sandwich

 

Grilled Peach + Camembert Sandwich

 

Grilled Peach + Camembert Sandwich

Baked Aubergine Mousse with Rosemary and golden Polenta Slices

Roast Aubergine Mousse with Rosemary + Polenta

This pale aubergine mousse isn’t a beauty but its taste and smooth texture make up for it! Something changes in the purple fruit’s  flavour when it has been cooking in the oven. If you fry it in a pan or cook it in a stew it’s nice but only oven baking manages to extract the aubergine’s finer qualities. Sliced, grilled and filled like my aubergine rolls or baked in foil which turns the aubergine into a soft mousse. Both recipes leave no doubt as to why aubergines are so popular in Mediterranean cooking!

Baking aubergines al Cartoccio together with spices and herbs allows them to become infused with lots of different flavours. The spongey flesh, its soft texture is perfect to absorb tasty liquids and aromatic steam which is why they are also know to soak up so much olive oil! Rosemary was my herb of choice this time which I also used for the golden fried polenta slices. I’m a big fan of this yellow corn, either turned into a thick purée and mixed with gravy and meat or fried, buttery and crisp.

Roast Aubergine Mousse with Rosemary + Polenta

 Baked Aubergine Mousse with Rosemary and golden Polenta Slices

For 2-3 people you need

aubergine, cut in half, 1
garlic,  4 cloves in their skin
rosemary, the needles of 3-4 sprigs
olive oil 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F.

Place the aubergine on a big piece of aluminum foil, sprinkle with olive oil and some rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Turn the fruit’s cut side down, add some more rosemary and the garlic and close the pouch. Bake on a baking sheet for about 40 minutes till soft. Check if the flesh is soft and scrape it out with a spoon. Mix in a bowl together with the soft roasted garlic, some of the roasted rosemary and season with salt and pepper, mash with a fork.

 

For the polenta

polenta 120g / 4 ounces
water 250ml / 8.5 ounces plus around 100ml / 3.5 ounces for cooking
milk 250ml / 8.5 ounces
salt 1 teaspoon
olive oil 2 tablespoons plus more to grease the baking dish
butter for frying 3-5 tablespoons
rosemary, the needles of 2 sprigs

In a sauce pan, heat the water and milk, add the salt and bring to a boil. Take the pan off the heat, add the olive oil and polenta and whisk. Turn down the heat to the lowest temperature and put the pan back on. Cook the polenta for 10 minutes mixing and adding more water once in a while.

Grease a 28 x 20cm / 11 x 8″ baking dish with olive oil. Pour the polenta into the baking dish, let it cool for around 10 minutes. When the polenta is cold and a bit hard, flip the baking dish gently around, either on cling film or directly on your working surface, mine is made of marble and it worked fine. Cut the polenta into diamond shapes and fry in hot butter together with the rosemary on both sides, just for a couple minutes till golden.

Roast Aubergine Mousse with Rosemary + Polenta

 

Roast Aubergine Mousse with Rosemary + Polenta

Pizza Bianca with Moroccan Lemons, Chèvre and Rosemary

Pizza Bianco with Lemon, Chevre +Rosemary

When I wrote about my Moroccan Preserved Lemons about a month ago, Kelly from My Soulfull Home got in touch. I met Kelly through a blog tour in February which she had organised. She asked me to join the tour together with 15 other bloggers, it was carnival and I  shared my family’s  Berliner experience. A few weeks ago she told me about a delicious pizza bianca with lemons and rosemary which one of her friend’s makes and she told me that I should give it a try as soon as my lemons were ready. Here they are, sour, soft and juicy!

When I had the first piece of my own preserved lemons in my mouth, I felt a bit excited! My aunt was with me in my kitchen, she was the one who inspired me to preserve lemons in the first place. The first bite was intense, a bit salty as I forgot to rinse the slice of lemon, too much excitement! When I let some water rinse off a bit of the saltiness (for 2-3 seconds), they were perfect! The preserving liquid, concentrated juices of all the lemons, tastes as good and is great for strong sauces and stews.

For my pizza bianca, I decided to add some chèvre to mix its smooth milkiness with the lemon’s sourness and the woody rosemary. Ricotta would have worked too, but I wanted the strong aroma of this soft goat cheese. I sprinkled some olive oil on top which gave it a bit of a focaccia feeling, some sea salt and pepper and enjoyed this absolutely delicious summery snack. Thank you Kelly!

If you like pizza as much as I do, you can also try my Aubergine and Pecorino Pizza or my Spinach and Ricotta Pizza.

Pizza Bianco with Lemon, Chevre +Rosemary

Pizza Bianca with Moroccan Lemons, Chevre and Rosemary

I always start to prepare the dough 2 hours before I bake it to give it enough time to rise. I bake my pizza on a hot baking sheet which has a similar effect to a pizza stone.

For 1 big pizza (size of 1 baking sheet) you need

For the topping

chèvre or ricotta, 200g / 7 ounces
preserved lemon, rinsed and thinly sliced, 1
(you could also use lemon zest)
rosemary, the needles of 5 sprigs
olive oil 4-6 tablespoons
salt and black pepper

 

For the dough

plain flour 350g / 12.5 ounces plus more for mixing
dry yeast 1 package for 500g / 1 pound of flour
water, lukewarm,  190ml
olive oil 3 tablespoons
salt 1 teaspoon

Combine the flour with the yeast and salt, add the lukewarm water (you might not need all of it) and olive oil. Mix with your dough hooks for a few minutes. The dough shouldn’t be moist and sticky at all, more on the dry side. Continue kneading and punching with your hands until you have an elastic dough ball, not too hard, not sticky. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and let it rise in the warm oven (35°C / 95°F) for 40 minutes. This works really well but make sure that your oven is set to top/ bottom heat and not to fan.

When the dough is well risen, roll it out on a very well floured working surface (this is very important or you’ll have problems taking it off again). It should be a bit smaller than the size of your baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise for another 10-15 minutes.

 

The pizza

Set your oven to 260°C / 500°F. My oven has a special pizza setting but you can use top / bottom heat as well. Put the baking sheet on the bottom of your oven to heat it (for around 10 minutes).

Take the hot baking sheet out of the oven, turn it around and place it carefully on two stable wooden boards or mats as it will be very hot. Place your risen dough carefully but quickly (best done by two people) on the baking sheet, push it gently into place if necessary. Sprinkle with the slices of lemon, rosemary and olive oil and dollop the chèvre with a tea spoon on top.

Put the baking sheet back into the oven, on the bottom again, and bake for a few minutes until the pizza is golden, season with salt and pepper.

Pizza Bianco with Lemon, Chevre +Rosemary

 

Pizza Bianco with Lemon, Chevre +Rosemary

 

Pizza Bianco with Lemon, Chevre +Rosemary