Tag Archives: Thyme

Wax Beans and Fingerlings – A Crisp Summer Side

One of my favorite vegetables is the wax bean, and I am happy to see them appearing at local farm stands and produce markets.  Last night, I prepared these lovely pale yellow string beans, along with fingerling potatoes, to accompany Provençal stuffed tomatoes.

My recipe is straightforward – simply slice off the ends and steam the beans for about three minutes (just enough for them to retain their crispness).  Then, run the beans under cold water to stop the cooking process.  Arrange the wax beans down the center of a large, flat serving dish, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Season with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.

To prepare the potatoes, slice on a bias and boil until soft enough to put a fork through; then, drain and toss with extra virgin olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.  Arrange the fingerlings along both sides of the wax beans.

For some color and enhanced flavor, I garnished the vegetables with herbs from my herb garden…chives on the potatoes and lemon thyme and a sprig of rosemary on the beans.

Serve at room temperature for a cool, refreshing side to meat or fish.

Wax beans

Still in Need of Comfort Food? Roast a Chicken.

With a chill still in the air, I was in the mood for comfort food last night. Thus, the inspiration for roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots.

For this recipe, I use a roasting chicken of about 5 pounds. Remove the giblets and stuff with half a lemon and several sprigs of fresh thyme. Slice Yukon Gold potatoes (I use three medium ones for two people) and peel and slice a small bunch of carrots.

Chicken1

Drizzle the chicken and vegetables with the juice of the other half of the lemon and extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper as well as additional sprigs of thyme. Roast in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for about 1½ hours. While the chicken is roasting, use a large spoon to move around the vegetables so that they become coated with the pan juices, and spoon the juices onto the chicken. Determine whether the chicken is cooked by cutting between the thigh and breast to see if the liquid runs clear.

Chicken Thigh

My husband and I typically eat the thighs and legs and a small amount of white meat for dinner, leaving most of the white meat for lunches. To use the remaining chicken for a salad, pick the meat from the bones and pull it apart into chunks. Squeeze some balsamic glaze on the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Also, mix in some pecans for a little crunch. Store in the refrigerator until ready to toss with some arugula for a light lunch.

Enjoy your roasted chicken for dinner and beyond!

 

 

Tarte à l’Oignon

While several Thanksgiving dishes call for onion – stuffing, for example – the onion is certainly not the star.  So, four sweet onions remaining in the refrigerator after the holiday called out to be featured in one of this weekend’s dinners.  As I was not yet ready for a decadent onion soup, I decided on an onion tart.  Below is my recipe for this savory tart.

For the crust:

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ stick chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons iced water

For the filling:

  •  4 sweet onions, sliced
  • Dijon mustard (I recommend Edmond Fallot mustards from Burgundy)
  • Gruyère and/or Emmentaler cheese
  • Fresh thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

To prepare the crust, mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  With a sharp knife, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.  Rub the pieces of butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is broken into tiny pieces.  Add the egg and mix it into the dry ingredients with a fork.  Then drizzle in the iced water.  Begin to knead the dough quickly into a ball.  Add more iced water until the dough is just wet enough to form a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.

When you are ready to start putting the tart together, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat.  When the butter is melted, add the onion and sauté until the onion softens, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and add flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface.  Roll the dough until it is about ¼ inch in thickness and large enough to cover the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch tart pan.  Prick the crust with a fork in several places to prevent the bottom from bubbling.  Pre-bake the crust in the middle level of the oven for 10 minutes.

Crust

Rolling out the crust with a French rolling pin

Remove the crust from the oven and turn down to 400 degrees.  Spread a thin layer of mustard on the bottom of the tart shell.  Then place slices of the cheese on top of the mustard.  Top with the onion mixture and some fresh thyme.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and slice into wedges.

Onion Tart

Just out of the oven

Enjoy the tart alongside a salad of fresh greens and pomegranate seeds for a colorful dish.

Slice of Tart

Slice of onion tart served with fresh greens