Peach upside-down cake with Cognac caramel

This cake is perfection when made with the kind of fragrant peaches you can only get in mid-summer from a local farm.

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Eggplant caponata

August 19, 2014

Eggplant caponata

This caponata has every element of the traditional Sicilian dish, but the way it’s cooked is a departure from the classic recipe. I must admit that I’m not fond of what happens to eggplants if you simmer them in a sauce for too long. They turn mushy, even a bit slimy, and in that process (at least to my taste buds) they lose much of their flavor.

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Tomato tart with Comté and cracked black pepper

The flavors in this elegant summer tart are straightforward: Comté (the astoundingly flavorful raw-milk cheese from Jura), tomatoes and cracked pepper… lots of cracked pepper! Ingredient-wise, this is definitely a case of “less is more”: The tart highlights the Comté’s amazing richness, the tomatoes’ natural sweetness and the black pepper’s crunchy heat – and it’s all encased in the most crumbly tart dough you can imagine. Needless to say, the tart is best made when tomatoes are at their most flavorful, from mid-summer until early fall.

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Parmesan tart dough

For the last 25 years, my food processor has been one of my most trusted and reliable kitchen tools. Attempting to cook without it is truly debilitating. This beloved kitchen whiz is great for making sauces like pesto, liquefying soups or coulis, and slicing pounds of carrots in a flash… but it’s also a magic tool for making the most perfect dough for tarts and quiches.

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Watermelon salad with pan-roasted shishito peppers and feta

Sweet, cool watermelon and salty feta is a winning combination… but add roasted shishito peppers (a Japanese heirloom pepper) to the mix, and you’ve got a positively addictive salad. Plus, the colorful salad is drizzled with a tangy lime vinaigrette that keeps all the flavors in check. It’s then garnished with tender, aromatic fennel fronds.

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