This very quick fall pear treat, unless you call using a toaster cooking, could just as easily be eaten for breakfast, lunch or a snack. It’s just so good and uses very little energy. You will no doubt come up with your own variations using other fruit without breaking a sweat.
A loaf of good crusty bread, sliced and toasted. Topped with a smear of ricotta cheese or mascarpone and thin pear slices, a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of sea salt or sugar and almonds are all you need.
I am crazy about okra when it roasted in this manner. Simple and easy. Freshly picked okra pods, olive oil, sea salt and hand-ground black pepper and a very generous scattering of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano.
As a young person I was not a particularly picky eater, but I was pretty horrified by bowls of slimy okra on the dinner table. I just could not eat it. No way. My reaction was met with a cross look by my Mother while mumbling once again about the starving children somewhere. For many years I avoided okra. Only in various Cajun dishes did it make edible sense to me.
Roasted or grilled? By the platefuls…handfuls…delicious. Crisp on the outside, moist on the inside. Summer okra.
I am always cooking. Almost every day. I, at times, have a love-hate relationship with cooking. Some days I chose not to cook, but we still have to eat…no? Yes. This is what we might have on those days. I realize there are at least one million, at least, Pinterest Boards dedicated to avocados and toast…I haven’t counted but I’m pretty sure this is somewhat true. Avocado on toasted bread is de regueur for all modern minded folks from coast to coast.
There is no recipe, but desire. There is no one way to make it except the way you like it with a just right-ripe avocado and the best bread you can get your hands on. It takes 5 minutes at most.
A sprinkling of thinly sliced Spring/French Garden radishes from the Nashville Farmer’s Market for a bit of crunch topped off lightly with sea salt. You’re good to go.
Eat Well…eat healthy.
Desirable Avocado Toast with French Breakfast Radishes
Ingredients for this “not real” recipe:
very good crusty loaf of bread…homemade or store-bought
just ripe avocados that are “smush-able
french breakfast radishes or other locally grown radishes or from grocery
“An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.” Albert Einstein
Eating well takes a bit of time and thought. Usually, for me, more thought than time. These “Orange, Garlic and Thyme Roasted Turkey Breasts” are easy and quick to prepare and cook. Lots of juicy oranges full of vitamin c, plump garlic cloves, a bit of olive oil, thyme leaves and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper…basics that I keep on hand all the time…made this dish all the more easy.
These are organic turkey breasts which are a bit more expensive, but there is definitely enough for leftovers for lunch sandwiches or a pot of soup the next day. Two meals out of one.
I thinly sliced garlic cloves, rubbed the skin with olive oil and added a generous dusting of dried thyme leave to both sides all nestled into a roasting pan with freshly squeezed orange halves left in the pan for more flavor.
Roasted and sliced orange roasted turkey breasts, along with a salad and crusty baguette (from Dozens Bakery if you live in Nashville) and a glass of your favorite wine is a good dinner to ease into fall. This could be good for Thanksgiving Dinner for a small gathering of family and friends. Just double or triple the recipe.
Serve sliced with all the juices and cooked oranges.
Although originally from Belgium, Thomas Jefferson was thought to have first served this American favorite in 1802 at the White House. He called them, “Potatoes in the French manner”.
Recently for a photo shoot at my house French Fries were the subject, but I decided there was no way I was actually going to “fry” them. I don’t like to fry in my house…the smell lingers and I always seem to splatter myself with hot oil. Baking is friendlier and healthier. It’s so easy to cut up a few Russet potatoes into long, thin sticks. A few sheet pans of hand cut potatoes tossed in olive oil and dusted with sea salt and a very generous grinding of cracked black pepper and eating them hot out of the oven, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is a pleasure.
Listen to this wake-up classic version of “Star Spangled Banner” while you work, Jimmy Hendrix playing “Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock, https://vimeo.com/90907436
No peeling necessary…..
…lined up side-by-side ready for the oven. After they are baked, turn off the oven and leave them in to keep warm unless you are eating immediately, which I recommend.
Try dipping then in ketchup and mayo all smeared together on a platter. This is how we do it. Wouter likes mayo, I like both.
All-American Baked French Fries with Sea Salt and Black Pepper
I found these images among so many others I had forgotten about the other day. They are from our last trip to Amsterdam to visit Wouter’s mother together. Soon after this visit Elizabeth died. but I saw these photos and remembered going to the market and returning to her house overlooking a beautiful canal right in the city with a bag of great cheeses, bread and these fresh, crisp radishes.
The three of us ate them as they are best eaten….very cold with a dusting of sea salt. Biting into a salted radish is a delight to the palate. Crunchy, a bit peppery and salty, they are the perfect, simple appetizer to serve on a warm early summer day with a glass of cold wine or beer. A good aged Gouda and bread round it all out.
It is funny how food can be such a memorable part of our personal histories. Recalling what you eat, with whom, where you enjoyed it and when is a fine thing indeed. So these salted radish images reminded me of this and what a fine early summer afternoon Wouter, Elizabeth and I had just sitting and talking, sipping our drinks and enjoying each others company laughing and telling stories while every so often biting into a radish.
These past few weeks have been unsettling. There is hardly an hour of any day that goes by that there is not another story of worldwide familial sadness confronting us. The Syrian diaspora alone is mind and heart wrenching. The details grim and unnerving.
While following these international events my mind always turns to practical matters. Food and water. Very simple and practical. I ponder the overabundance that is so unevenly distributed. I ponder how much I have and wonder how much I need. These are turbulent times and times for questionings…personal assessments of what is good for the most and how my actions affect everything else I come into contact with.
I received an invitation recently to an upcoming food event where for $500 I can have the privilege of hobnobbing with well-known chefs and food glitterati. I also received another invitation a few days later to make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank to take action against hunger in Middle Tennessee. I have made my choice…I will not be hobnobbing, not that I am against it if that is your thing, but will at the same time encourage you to perhaps hobnob one day and consider Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for another. If you choose here is where to make a donation.
My recipe offering is a simple serving using three ingredients, locally grown okra, sea salt & olive oil. Roasted Okra Pods can be cooked in an oven, in a heavy stove-top cast iron skillet or on the grill. When roasted the okra becomes a bit crisp and has none of the so-called sliminess that is often associated with okra cooked by other methods.
Put dry okra pods on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Drizzle somewhat generously with olive oil. Toss to coat with your hands. Spread okra out on sheet pan in a single layer. Scatter sea salt over okra.
Roast okra for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven to cool a few minutes and serve.
The best meals are the most simple. They are effortless & comforting in both their preparation and presentation. Root vegetables…potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic…all roasted along side a small plump chicken…scented with fresh thyme leaves…salted & peppered…cooked in one dish so that all the juices intermingle is one of my favorite meals of this season.
A couple of things of note….Hello October my favortite month and right after my printable recipes I am now adding a section for “sources”…where to find some of the fun things you might see here at Food on Fifth from props to kitchen tools. Let me know what you think.
After lightly browning on both sides in some olive oil on top of the stove, I sprinkle lots of chopped garlic over the top, snuggle the potatoes, onions & carrots around the chicken, add a generous grinding of black pepper, fresh thyme leaves and sea salt and it is ready for the oven.
An hour or so later, golden brown crispy skin, just right softened vegetables & more thyme and our dinner is ready. A glass of wine and some good crusty bread for sopping the juices…Bring it on October! Make every meal count.
Not your Mother’s saltines! Not that I am not a fan of those familiar square rather salty stacks wrapped in waxed paper. I grew up on them and whenever I am feeling a bit under the weather a few saltines with a bowl of hot soup just makes everything better.
Here is my all-grown-up version of the saltine…”Crispy Almond Sea Salt Crackers” that make a fine gift for any lover of cheese & wine on your list.
Made with almond meal they are equally delectable with cheeses both soft & smeary or thinly sliced & hard. Get busy…these are good!
One recipe makes about 4-5 dozen cookies which can be stored for up to one month in airtight containers. Once the dough is made & chilled it is just a matter of rolling & cutting out, baking & packaging….ready to give & share. It is as “easy as that”.
1 cup almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 stick butter, cut into small pieces
2-4 tbsp ice water
Optional: 1 tbsp orange or lemon zest
1 egg yolk with 1 tbsp water beaten together
Crunchy, Flakey Sea Salt such as Maldon or a Black Hawaiian
It is as “easy as this”:
1. In a food processor pulse together the almond meal, white whole wheat flour, brown sugar & salt just until blended. Add in the butter & pulse just until mixture is grainy looking. (this is when you would add the citrus zest if desired)
2. With the processor running drizzle in the ice water by tablespoons until a dough forms.
3. Turn dough out onto a work surface & shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic & chill at least 30 minutes before rolling out. When ready to bake the crackers preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Remove dough from the refrigerator, place on a lightly floured board & knead a few times to soften somewhat before rolling out.
5. Roll dough out thinly to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters.. Gather up dough scraps & re-roll out thinly, cutting out more crackers until all the dough is used. Place cut out dough on parchment lined baking sheets.
6. Use a fork to press holes in the center of each shape. There really is a reason for this other than aesthetics. The holes allow steam to escape from the dough while baking. This makes for a flat cracker crispy cracker. Brush each lightly with the egg-water glaze & sprinkle sea salt lightly over all. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown & crispy.
7. Let crackers cool completely before storing.
For gift giving stack in decorative boxes or tins, label & add a ribbon. Simple, melt in your mouth buttery deliciousness & as easy as that!
The Container Store, Target, Michael’s & JoAnn’s all have airtight tins and sturdy boxes made just for edible gifts as well as tons of sites on-line. I also often use brown lunch bags as I like the way they look. Use store-bought or homemade labels. I make mine using card stock & my printer or rubber stamps. Twine, ribbon, old silk fabric cut into strips all make beautiful ribbons. Just look around your kitchen….cereal boxes covered with paper….coffee tins painted or wrapped with pages from old cooking magazines…so many ways to make a gift special.