While you can pre-order EVERYDAY DORIE now – and I hope you will – the book won’t turn up on your doorstep until October 23. Because I’m impatient and I’m assuming you might be too, I’ll be posting a few sneak-peek recipes, so that you can start enjoying the book immediately.
TOMATO AND PEACH PANZANELLA
Makes 6 servings
Like so many good traditional dishes, panzanella was born of thrift, created as a way to use stale bread. It’s an Italian salad that has toured the world and picked up ingredients and ingenious additions at every port. The basic dish is chunks of dry bread, sometimes soaked in water and sometimes not, tossed with tomatoes, vinegar (it can take a fair amount of acidity) and oil. The juices from the tomatoes, as well as the oil and vinegar, seep into the bread, saturate it and flavor it deeply. A handful of chopped herbs at the end, and that’s all you need.
While that’s all you need, it doesn’t mean that it’s all you might want. I like to add red onion, lemon zest, lemon juice and something unexpected: fruit. I love throwing peaches or nectarines into the mix, as I do here, but the salad can also take watermelon, cherries or pieces of plums. And if the grill is hot, try roasting half of the peaches or nectarines.
You can use any kind of bread you’d like — it’s what our founding mothers did. Because my husband is a bread baker, what we’ve got in the house is usually the remains of a country loaf or baguette. Even if the bread is stale, I find that the salad is better if you put a little extra time into it and oven-toast the bread with olive oil and salt — think croutons.
a word on measurements
I’ve measured everything for you, but I think you’ll enjoy the salad more if you put it together by look, feel and taste. The amount of bread is really whatever you’ve got; the oil is as much as you think you need; ditto the onions; and the vinegar is truly to taste. I like the salad sharp — especially when the tomatoes and fruit are summer-ripe — but you might want to tone it down. Taste and add as you go.
C H O I C E S : You can serve the salad as a starter; as a lunch, in which case you might want to add assertive greens, such as kale or arugula, and perhaps some shrimp; or as a side dish to something light.
1 baguette or other sturdy loaf (about 7 ounces; 198 grams), preferably stale
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
Fine sea salt or fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper
1 pound (454 grams) ripe tomatoes
2 peaches or nectarines
1⁄2 small red onion or more to taste, thinly sliced, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, or more to taste
Shredded fresh basil leaves or other herb(s)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Tear the bread into pieces just a little bigger than bite-sized, or cut it — often easier when the bread is stale. Spread the pieces out on the baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the bread once or twice, until the cubes are dry and lightly toasted.
Meanwhile, core the tomatoes and cut into chunks. Halve and pit the peaches or nectarines and cut into similar-sized chunks, catching as much of the juice as you can. Toss the tomatoes, fruit and juice into a large serving bowl.
When the bread is toasted, stir it into the bowl. Grate the zest of the lemon over, squeeze over the lemon juice and stir again. Mix in the onion. Let the salad rest for 5 to 10 minutes (or for up to 1 hour).
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the vinegar to the salad and season with salt and pepper. Let the salad sit for a couple of minutes again, then taste it for oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Scatter over the herb(s) and serve.
S T O R I N G : Even though this salad is meant to be soft, I think it’s best shortly after it’s assembled.
Makes 4 servings
We went to Giverny, France, to visit the Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s house and famous gardens, but we stayed because of these tomatoes. They were the first thing we tasted at Éric Guérin’s Le Jardin des Plumes, and they convinced us to make reservations there for dinner that night and lunch the next day.
The tomatoes were listed on the menu as confites, a term that can mean either cooked in oil or candied. In this case, they were both, and they were not only surprising but also fabulously delicious. Oh, and they were beautiful too. They arrived whole, red and glistening with olive oil. And there was something else unexpected: The core of each tomato had been removed and the hollow filled with sugar and lime zest, almost invisible, but unforgettable.
This is my go-to summer knock-out dish, for its taste and beauty and because it takes almost no effort to make. And it can be served warm, room temperature or chilled, making it the ultimate in do-ahead. Because I think these are stunning on their own, I serve them on plates or in shallow bowls with nothing more than some of the oil around them and some salt, pepper and bread on the table. However, a small salad — perhaps dressed with the basting oil and some lemon juice — is a nice accompaniment.
A WORD ON QUANTITIES
Because this is less recipe than guideline, you can easily multiply (or divide) the ingredients. If you add a tomato or even two, you probably won’t have to increase the amount of olive oil, since there’s enough oil in the recipe to generously baste the tomatoes and to have some left in the baking dish to drizzle over bread (or to dress a small salad to serve alongside the tomatoes).
AND A WORD ON THE OIL
To add a little more citrus flavor to the dish, I’ve taken to mixing a few drops of lemon or lime oil (or extract) into the olive oil. If you have a fine-quality lemon-flavored olive oil, you might want to use it in place of half of the recipe’s olive oil.
4 large ripe but firm round tomatoes
2 limes (you’ll need just the zest)
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon lemon or lime oil or pure extract
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, or half extra-virgin and half lemon olive oil
Fleur de sel or flake salt, such as Maldon
Freshly ground pepper
You can peel and core the tomatoes a few hours ahead and keep them tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 170 degrees F, or as close to that as your oven gets. The lowest tempera- ture on many ovens is 200 degrees F, and that’s fine. If yours is at that temperature, your tomatoes will probably be perfect at the 2-hour mark — check them. Have a baking dish that can comfortably hold the tomatoes at hand; a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate works well.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Cut a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato and, one tomato at a time, drop them into the boiling water; count 15 to 20 seconds and then transfer to the bowl of water. Drain the tomatoes, peel them (save the peels if you want to candy them) and remove the cores, creating a V-shaped hollow an inch or so deep in each one. (At this point, the tomatoes can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated for a few hours.) Place the tomatoes in the baking dish.
Finely grate the lime zest over the sugar and then, using your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until the sugar is moist, fragrant and green. Spoon an equal amount of sugar into the hollow of each tomato. If you’re using lemon or lime oil (or extract), mix it into the olive oil, then spoon the olive oil over the tomatoes, allowing just a few drops of oil to go into the hollow of each one.
Bake for 2 to 3 hours, basting the tomatoes three or four times, until they are soft all the way through — poke them with a bamboo skewer or the tip of a thin knife
to test. Remove the dish from the oven and season the tomatoes — avoiding the hollows — with sea salt and pep- per and decide if you’d like to serve the tomatoes warm, at room temperature or chilled. Spoon some oil from the baking dish over each one just before serving.
S T O R I N G : The tomatoes are best the day they’re made, but they’ll keep for up to a day longer covered in the refrigerator.
CANDIED TOMATO PEEL
Since you’re going to have the oven on low for a long time, you can candy the peels you just pulled from the Giverny Tomatoes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat or put a rack over a lined baking sheet. Lay the tomato peels out on the sheet or rack and brush lightly with simple syrup. (To make a simple syrup, stir together 1⁄4 cup sugar and 1⁄4 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then cool.) Bake the peels for 1 hour. Turn them over, brush with more syrup and bake for 1 hour more, or until they are dry. Let cool. (The peels can be kept lightly covered at room temperature for a day or so as long as the room is dry.) Use the peels to add a flourish to a green salad, a fish dish or, yes, the Giverny Tomatoes.
Makes about 4 servings
The season for corn is too short not to make the most of it, and this chowder makes the most of corn down to the cobs. The kernels are cut from the ears and then the cobs are used to flavor the soup, which is built on a base of aromatic vegetables and herbs. When the vegetables are cooked through, the soup is pureed and more fresh vegetables are added, so that you get something smooth and something chunky in each spoonful. I like to add a little half-and-half to the soup at the end, but that’s optional, as is a last scattering of herbs. Or, see Playing Around. And if you want to make a meal of the soup, add seafood.
4 large ears corn, husked
2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, finely chopped, rinsed and patted dry
1 to 2 garlic cloves, germ removed, and minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 slender stalk fennel with fronds (optional)
5 cups (1200 ml) water
1 tablespoon chicken or vegetable bouillon base, or 1 bouillon cube
3⁄4 pound (340 grams) potatoes, peeled, quartered if large, halved if smaller
4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons white wine
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) half-and-half (optional)
Minced fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley and/or basil (optional)
Set two large bowls on the counter. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and put half of the corn in each bowl; reserve the cobs. Divide the celery, onion and garlic between the bowls; cover the second bowl and set aside. (Separating the vegetables and then later dividing the potatoes is a bit fussy, but you’ll get a soup with great textures.)
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. When it’s warm, add the vegetables from the first bowl, season with salt and pepper, lower the heat and cook, stirring, just until they soften, about 10 minutes. Toss in the herbs, fennel, if using, and the reserved cobs, pour in the water, add the bouillon base or cube and drop in the
potatoes. Turn the heat up, bring the liquid to a boil and season with more salt and pepper, then lower the heat, partially cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Test the potato. If it’s tender, the soup is ready. If not, cover the pot completely and cook until a potato can be pierced easily with the tip of knife. Remove from the heat.
Using a slotted spoon, scoop half of the potatoes out of the soup and onto a cutting board, and cut them into small cubes. Set them aside for now. Remove and discard the corn cobs, the bay leaf and any stringy or woody herbs you can see. (You can make the soup up to this point a day ahead and refrigerate it.)
Working in batches if necessary, puree the soup in a blender or a food processor, or use a handheld (immersion) blender. Whatever you use, try to get the soup as smooth as possible. I like my chowder super-smooth, but if you like it chunky, don’t be as thorough. Rinse out the pot if there’s anything stuck to the bottom, then pour in the puree, cover and bring to a simmer over low heat; keep at a gentle simmer while you cook the bacon and the remaining vegetables.
Place the bacon strips in a heavy skillet and cook slowly until crisp, turning as needed. Transfer the bacon to a double thickness of paper towels and cover with more paper towels to remove excess fat (leave the fat in the skillet). Cut the bacon into 1⁄2-inch pieces.
Put the skillet over medium heat and, when the fat is warm, add the vegetables from the second bowl (not the cubed potatoes). Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for about 6 minutes, until barely tender. Pour in the wine, raise the heat and cook until it almost evaporates.
Add the skillet vegetables, bacon and potato cubes to the soup and cook at a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until everything is piping hot. Taste for salt and pepper.
Ladle the chowder into bowls and, if you’d like, drizzle with half-and-half and scatter over fresh herbs.
Leftover soup can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for about 10 minutes before serving. Because of the potatoes, the soup will thicken when chilled; if you’d like it thinner after reheating, add water.
The soup lends itself to lots of add-ins and swaps. If you don’t want bacon, sauté the reserved vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil. If you opt out of the half-and-half but still want something extra, try a drizzle of chive or even chili oil, a little pesto or some grated Parmesan. As for add-ins, consider small cubes of ham (nice if you’re not using the bacon), chunks of cooked shrimp or lobster or even thinly sliced raw scallops — the heat of the soup will cook them perfectly.
Makes about 2 cups
Take a peek in my fridge, and you’ll find the usual staples — milk, butter, eggs and yogurt, and my favorite plus-one: “ricotta spoonable.” I started making it years ago and I’ve probably never made it the same way twice. It’s a mix of ricotta, lots of chopped herbs, freshly grated lemon zest, olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. It’s simple but special.
I prepare this year-round, changing the herbs according to what I have at hand, but I make it most often in summer, when I’m apt to fill the table with small plates of good stuff, things that don’t need to be eaten in any order and that lend themselves to mixing and matching. Put the spoonable into the mix, and it will match with beet salad*, frittata*, onion galette*, charred peppers* and so many other dishes. (* refers to recipes in Everyday Dorie)
A WORD ON RICOTTA
If there’s liquid in the container, it’s best to drain the cheese. Line a strainer with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth, place it over a bowl, spoon in the ricotta, pull the cheesecloth around the cheese and weight it with a plate or a can of something. Put it in the refrigerator and let it drain for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.
Alternatively, you can make the spoonable, scrape it into a cheesecloth-lied strainer and refrigerate until needed. Do this, and when you turn out the ricotta, the cheesecloth’s mesh pattern will be visible — it’s pretty.
2 cups (492 grams) whole-milk ricotta, drained if there’s liquid (see headnote)
1 large lemon, or more to taste
3 tablespoons minced shallots, rinsed and patted dry
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
About 1⁄2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1⁄3 cup (13 grams) minced mixed fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, tarragon, thyme, cilantro and/or basil
Put the ricotta in a medium bowl. Finely grate the zest of the lemon over it, then halve and squeeze the lemon and blend in the juice. Stir in the shallots, scallions, olive oil, salt and a healthy pinch of pepper. Taste for salt and pepper, then stir in the herbs. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before adjusting for salt, pepper and lemon juice and serving.
CHOICES: A dollop of this on a cracker or sliced baguette makes a good appetizer; more of it on dark bread with roasted tomatoes, charred lemons or sliced cucumbers makes a tartine; and a lot of it stirred into pasta makes a dinner.
STORING: The spoonable is best the day it is made, but you can keep it for up to 2 days tightly covered in the refrigerator. Stir well before using.