eat in my kitchen

To cook, to bake, to eat and to treat.

Tag: chevre

Peach, Chèvre and Rosemary Tart

Peach, Chèvre and Rosemary Tarte

I allowed myself a few treats during our Mediterranean summer in Malta. I went snorkeling far more often than in the past few years, when my cookbook determined my schedule, I had a few girly shopping moments, and my man and I relaxed at the stunning – and newly renovated – Phoenicia Hotel in Valletta. We enjoyed stunning views from their infinity pool with a glass of crisp Maltese wine close at hand and indulged in lush breakfast buffets and fine French inspired cuisine on their gorgeous terrace overlooking the gardens.

Malta treated us well, the Mediterranean pace and hot climate force me to slow and calm down, something I only truly manage there. Nothing feels as heavy, as worrying or threatening as it might feel anywhere else, everything feels manageable and enjoyable. It’s not so much about duties, but about collecting and treasuring the good moments in life. This also reflects in my cooking. If I spent a couple more hours at the beach, we just cooked dinner a bit later, or kept it simple by throwing a fish on the grill and drizzling some fresh lemon juice over it. It’s pure, it’s good, and it allows me to have more time to chill and chat with a friend, to sit on the rocks a little longer and see the sun disappear into the sea’s faded evening-blue.

Another one of my lazy summer recipes is this lovely little sweet and savoury tart: ripe peaches, soft chèvre and Mediterranean rosemary spread on top of (store-bought!) puff pastry. You could also make your own, or use short crust pastry, but my lazy self just went to the supermarket and bought frozen Maltese puff pastry – the best I know.

The tart turned out even better than expected, offer it to your friends who don’t have a sweet tooth at teatime, or slice it up for a relaxed late summer dinner in the garden or on the balcony and pop open a bottle of wine. Heaven.

This recipe also works with grapes!

Peach, Chèvre and Rosemary Tarte

 

Peach, Chèvre and Rosemary Tarte

Peach, Chèvre and Rosemary Tart

Makes 1 (28cm / 11″) tart, serves 4-6

frozen puff pastry, defrosted, 320g / 11 ounces (you can also use short crust pastry)
large ripe peaches, cut into wedges, 4-5
mild soft chèvre, crumbled, about 150g / 5 ounces
fresh rosemary, finely chopped, 1 generous tablespoon
liquid honey 2 1/2 tablespoons

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F and butter a 28cm / 11″ tart pan.

Line the tart pan with the puff pastry, pushing the pastry into the pan, and put in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Spread the peaches in a circle on top of the pastry, sprinkle with the chèvre and rosemary, and drizzle with the honey. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp at the edges (mind the heat, I use a gas oven in Malta, which is not as precise as my oven in Berlin).

Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Peach, Chèvre and Rosemary Tarte

 

Peach, Chèvre and Rosemary Tarte

 

Peach, Chèvre and Rosemary Tarte

 

Peach, Chèvre and Rosemary Tarte

 

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Spinach and Chèvre Sandwich & my London book launch at the Maltese embassy

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

Malta, Berlin, London – three countries in less than 24 hours! The pace of my traveling fit the mood, vibrant and exciting, I didn’t want to rest. I arrived in England at noon, had at a scrumptious lunch at Ottolenghi Spitalfields and a chat with chef Sami Tamimi. To charge my batteries, I finished my meal with a double espresso and a luscious piece of Guinness chocolate cake with Bailey’s frosting. London looked bright and sunny as I stepped out onto the streets and I felt ready for my third book launch event, on the roof terrace of the High Commission of Malta in the English capital.

To make my travels feel even sweeter, I got to stay at the luxuriously relaxing Corinthia Hotel London. Right between St. James’s Park and the Thames, the location couldn’t have been better. I could walk to my event at the Maltese embassy and to my book signing at the Tate bookstore the next day. Before the festivities started, I had enough time to enjoy the amenities and comfort of the house, and especially the most beautiful marble bathroom I ever happened to see. It was marble heaven and I felt like a princess as I dressed up for my big night.

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

Unfortunately, the pretty lace dress that I had bought for this festive occasion didn’t really fit London’s weather conditions – it was freezing cold as I opened the door to the terrace of the High Commission of Malta. I wrapped myself in a warm coat most of the time, which I only took off quickly for the photographers and an interview. The jump in temperature between summery Malta and England’s rather rough climate was too painful. However, the stunning view over roof tops, church spires, and The London Eye made all of us forget about the weather. We just stood there, high up under the Maltese flag, astonished by London’s beautiful sunset, dramatically framed by the darkest clouds. We were lucky, not a single drop of rain fell onto the delicious looking buffet prepared by Kitty Coles (thank you so much, my dear) or into our glasses, filled with Meridiana‘s finest wines, poured by my book tour mate and Meridiana‘s best man, Karl Chetcuti.

I have to thank a few very special people who made this unforgettable night happen: His Excellency Norman Hamilton, High Commissioner of Malta, Nerissa Sultana, Political and Communications Officer, and their fantastic team at the embassy. Thank you for sharing the High Commission’s roof terrace with us, thank you for all your help and support, for all the time to exchange ideas for this event. Thank you Emma Cook from Prestel for helping me organize this special evening.

The speeches of the High Commissioner and of Andrew Hansen, Managing Director of Prestel Publishing London, both touched my heart, and then it was my turn to welcome our guests. It was too dark and windy to follow our manuscripts, our microphone decided to stop working, but that didn’t do our celebrations any harm. It felt like a scene from Peter Pan, high up over London’s roof tops, the air filled with laughter, glasses filled with good wine, and lots of delicious food on our plates. But unlike the book or movie, we didn’t need our imagination, it was all real.

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

Before we drove back to the airport, we enjoyed a sandwich that was so good that I decided to re-create it at home and share it with you: spinach and ripe chèvre in carrozza (meaning in a carriage). This sandwich is similar to french toast, however, it’s a savoury treat, lusciously filled and hearty. The combination of winter greens and ripe cheese was fantastic. I have an in carrozza sandwich recipe in my book, which I adore, but there are so many ways to fill two slices of bread!

Thank you London! xx

At the event, I was interviewed by Rita for her Share Food with Sainsbury’s Magazine radio show, you can listen to our chat here. To see all the pictures of the event in London taken by the amazing photographer Agnese Sanvito, click here. And here are the pictures of our book signing tour at Tate, Waterstones, and Foleys.

All the pictures of the launch are by Agnese Sanvito.

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch-2

Spinach and Chèvre Sandwich

Makes 2 sandwiches

spinach leaves, a large handful, about 140g / 5 ounces
fine sea salt
ground pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
ripe chèvre, about 60g / 2 ounces
organic eggs 2 (mine were quite small)
milk 3 tablespoons
plain flour 2 to 3 tablespoons
soft white bread 4 slices
butter, about 1 tablespoon
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

In a large pot, bring salted water to the boil and blanch the spinach for 1 minute. Rinse with cold water, drain, and let cool for a few minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out most of the liquid and chop roughly. On a large plate, crumble the spinach and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.

Cut the chèvre into thin slices, leave out 4 slices for the topping, and crumble the remaining cheese over the spinach.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the flour on a flat plate.

Divide the spinach-chèvre mixture between 2 slices of bread, leaving a thin border around the edges. Top each with a second slice of bread and press the sandwiches together. Dip both sides of each sandwich in the flour until lightly coated. Carefully dip each sandwich in the egg-milk mixture, repeat until all the liquid is soaked up—mind that the filling stays inside.

In a large, heavy pan, heat the butter over medium heat and cook the sandwiches, turning and pressing down on them gently with a spatula, for a few minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Lay the remaining chèvre slices on top of the warm sandwiches and sprinkle with crushed pepper. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch-2

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

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Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

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Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

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Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

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Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

Eat In My Kitchen London Book Launch

 

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Spinach Chèvre Sandwich In Carrozza

Fig, Chèvre and Honey Focaccia with Rosemary

Fig, Chèvre and Honey Focaccia with Rosemary

I’m back in Berlin, back in my kitchen, and I’m enjoying every bit of the calm silence around me. My life here is a stark contrast to the Mediterranean craziness that I inhale from the moment I arrive until I jump back on my plane, taking me back up north. Living in Malta feels like living in a beehive, and although there are ‘only’ 420,000 people on the islands, it feels far more loud and lively than Berlin and its 3.5 million people. I love and hate this buzz at the same time, it excites me, it pushes me, and it entertains me constantly. There’s no other place in the world where I laugh as much as on our Mediterranean archipelago. But it also exhausts me. It’s hard to find a moment just for myself, the tranquil atmosphere that I need so much to get ready for my next adventure. Berlin satisfies this craving perfectly, but here, I miss my Maltese people and the sea – I guess you can’t have everything in life.

Our kitchen in berlin faces a very quiet backyard. I leave the windows open to hear the birds sing, and then it’s often just me, alone with my thoughts and ideas, picturing ingredients and remembering old classics or coming up with new recipes. I get the cooker or oven started and my meditation begins. I have celebrated this ritual every day since we got back, I just cook in silence. Seeing that the weather hasn’t shown the slightest hint of summer, I concentrated on rather hearty pleasures. I made cheese spaetzle (Southern German egg noodles with lots of melted cheese and golden onions), pasta with sautéed radicchio, chicken liver, and mustard butter, and we had our obligatory Sunday pizza night. I tried out a new cake recipe with the sweetest greengage plums, which was great, and I experimented with some dip variations. It was all very relaxing, calming, and it put my mind at ease.

I also pulled one glorious – and much appreciated – dish out of my oven that combined all the luscious enjoyments of summer: a spongy, oily focaccia topped with ripe figs, soft chèvre, honey, and rosemary. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack – I could even eat it at teatime with a cup of flowery Darjeeling tea.

Fig, Chèvre and Honey Focaccia with Rosemary

 

Fig, Chèvre and Honey Focaccia with Rosemary

Fig, Chèvre and Honey Focaccia with Rosemary

Makes a 25 x 32cm / 10 x 12 1/2″ focaccia

For the dough

plain flour 500g / 3 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons
fast-acting yeast 1 (7g / 1/4 ounce) envelope
fine sea salt 1 teaspoon
granulated sugar 1 heaping teaspoon
water, lukewarm, 260ml / 1 cup and 2 tablespoons
olive oil 120ml / 1/2 cup, plus 1-2 tablespoons to oil the baking sheet

For the topping

honey 2 tablespoons
ripe figs, cut in half, 6
soft chèvre, torn into pieces, 150g / 5 ounces
fresh rosemary needles, a small handful
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar (optional)

For the dough, combine the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the lukewarm water and half the olive oil (60ml / 1/4 cup) and knead on medium-high speed for a few minutes until well combined. I mix it on ‘4’ on my KitchenAid. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. Transfer the dough to a table or countertop and continue kneading and punching it down with your hands for about 4 minutes or until you have a smooth and elastic ball of dough. Place the dough back in the mixer bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place, or preferably in a 35°C / 100°F warm oven (conventional setting), for about 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Oil a 25 x 32cm / 10 x 12 1/2″ baking sheet.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, take it out of the bowl, and knead for 1 minute. Using your hands, stretch and spread the dough on the oiled baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until puffy.

Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F (convection setting). Heat the honey in a saucepan over low heat for about 1 minute or until liquid.

Using the round bottom of a wooden spoon or your finger, punch around 6 x 7 holes into the surface of the dough. Pour the remaining olive oil over the dough and into the holes. Spread the figs (cut side up) over the focaccia and push them gently into the dough. Sprinkle with the chèvre, rosemary, and a little flaky sea salt, and drizzle with the warm honey. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and light brown. Sprinkle with crushed pepper and enjoy warm or cold.

Fig, Chèvre and Honey Focaccia with Rosemary

 

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Crispy Pan-Roasted Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre and Lemon Thyme

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

Golden roasted potatoes eaten straight out of the pan are an unbeatable culinary delight. Spice it up with crushed coriander seeds, mild fresh chèvre, and aromatic lemon thyme and you’ll have an easy summer lunch (or dinner) that won’t disappoint you. It’s a rustic side for barbecued sausage, steak or ribs, you could even serve it as a cold or warm salad. But don’t forget to cook the potatoes a few hours, or preferably a day, in advance. To create crispy potatoes, they have to be cold and dry from the start.

I often enjoyed pan roasted potatoes with my mother when I visited her for a one-night sleep over while I still went to university. We would open a nice bottle of red wine, fry some onions and Tyrolean prosciutto, and mix in the crispiest potatoes. These were the perfect girls’ nights, just us, chatting and cooking, and enjoying the simple treats of life, which my mother mastered to perfection!

If you’re looking for more inspiration for roast potatoes, here are a few scrumptious recipes:

Fennel Potatoes

La Ratte Potatoes with Lemon Peel, Olives, and Parsley

Rosemary Potatoes with Feta

Spicy Potato Wedges

Roast Potatoes with Pear, Grapes, and Rosemary

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

 

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

Crispy Pan-Roasted Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre and Lemon Thyme

Serves 2-3 people

olive oil
waxy potatoes, peeled, boiled, and rinsed, about 700g / 1 1/2 pounds
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
quality coriander seeds (preferably organic), lightly crushed in a mortar, 2 tablespoons
fresh chèvre, crumbled, 100-150g / 3 1/2-5 ounces
fresh lemon thyme leaves (or regular thyme and a little lemon zest) 2-3 tablespoons

Let the potatoes cool and dry on a wire rack for at least 1 hour or a day and cut them into thick slices. In a large, heavy pan, heat a generous splash of olive oil and roast the potatoes on medium-high for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Cook them in batches and turn them one by one with a fork. Season with flaky sea salt and crushed pepper to taste and transfer to a plate. Cover them with a lid to keep them warm.

Heat a splash of olive oil in the pan used to roast the potatoes and cook the coriander seeds on medium heat for 1 minute (they shouldn’t get dark). Add the roasted potato slices to the pan, mix gently with the coriander, and sprinkle with crumbled chèvre and the lemon thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy warm.

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

 

Coriander Potatoes with Chèvre

 

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meet in your kitchen | Isa’s Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

On to part II of Berlin’s Hauptstadtmutti cooking session! The popular mother, fashion and lifestyle blog is run by Isa and Claudia, both such vibrant and inspiring ladies that I had to visit both of their culinary spaces. Two weeks ago, I learned how to make Claudia’s Ukrainian Pelmeni dumplings (you can read about it here) and now it’s time to cook in Isa’s kitchen.

It was cold and snowy as I made my way to meet Isa, the city was wrapped in a wintery grey and, although it was already 10 in the morning, it was quite dark when I reached the old house where the young mother lives with her little family of four. The imposing building is one of the few on the street which hasn’t been renovated, the facade crumbling between the majestic window frames which gives it quite a morbid charm, you can still see the beauty of the past. It looks a bit like an abandoned house in a fairy tale, it’s more than impressive and it sparked my fantasy when I walked up the creaking steps to knock on Isa’s wooden door. But then, when I entered her home, I was speechless, endless rooms and corridors, herringbone parquet floors, high ceilings lined with decorative stucco and large windows which let in the most dreamy light. Within seconds I fell in love with this elegant but cosy home!

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

Isa started Hauptstadtmutti in 2011 together with Claudia. In the first part of our cooking series I talked about their fascinating and complementary personalities which led to the two meet in your kitchen features. Both women share an international upbringing which confronted them with various cultures at a young age. Claudia grew up with an Eastern European background and Isa had quite an adventurous childhood, she lived in Baghdad in Iraq during the first 4 years of her life. Her father was a successful engineer who used to live in East Germany with his wife before his skills took him and his young family to the Middle East to design pump stations. Back in East Germany, he was also involved in the construction of the GDR’s first nuclear power station. Despite this experience, or perhaps because of it, the whole family turned to a more alternative lifestyle in the following years. They became politically active, focussed on natural home grown food and raised awareness for healthy living.

As a teenager, Isa joined yoga and meditation classes together with her father and mother. Today, her parents practice Tai Chi together with their friends in the family’s grand garden which is part of an old farm established by Isa’s grandfather. The family takes their well-being into their own hands, one generation after the other, and the next one is waiting in line. Isa passes her experiences on to her children and although they are still quite young they can already enjoy her delicious food. Isa’s cooking truly pleases the taste buds, she creates culinary moments of bliss without regrets, her food is healthy, with organic ingredients, and full of flavour. She made a fantastic beetroot risotto for me, it was  cooked to perfection, the rice corns and roots were al dente, just how I like it. She refined her composition with chèvre, parmesan and fresh mint – a great composition I can only recommend!

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

For 2-3 people you need

small beetroot 2
risotto rice (Arborio) 250g / 9 ounces
onions 2
glove of garlic 1
honey 1 tablespoon
a shot of white wine
vegetable broth 1/2-1 l / 1-2 pints
grated parmesan cheese, a handful
butter 1 tablespoon
olive oil
salt and pepper
mint 4 small branches
fresh goat cheese (chèvre), for the topping

Peel the beetroot, garlic and onions and cut them into cubes. The larger the beetroot cubes, the more bite they’ll have. Warm up the broth in a saucepan, it should be simmering.

In a large pan, heat some olive oil and cook the onions and garlic until glassy and soft. Add the beetroot and honey to the onion and let it caramelise slightly, add the rice and let it cook for a minute. Deglaze with a splash of white wine and add a ladle of broth. When the liquid has been absorbed add more broth, a little at a time stirring in between. When the rice is al dente, take the pan off the heat. Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese and let them melt into the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with chèvre and mint to serve.

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

 

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

You spent the first three years of your life in Iraq due to your father’s work as an engineer before your family moved back to East Germany. How did this experience influence your family and how did it effect your own personality?

Concerning that I should probably explain that my parents were neither in the communist party nor in the homeland security of former East Germany so it was quite a mission for them to get to live and work outside the country. But they made it because of their skills and raised my brother and I to believe that “You can get everywhere if you really want it”. That really brought me to a lot of places and made me later want to live in other countries as well. We also have a very open minded attitude towards other cultures in our family.

Do you think traveling is important for children to get to know different cultures and mentalities? Can you give some tips for traveling with young children?

If they are very young I don’t know. They will not really remember it. We did not travel too far away with our kids yet. Switzerland, France, Denmark. It is not that stressful for them but sometimes for us, the parents. Sometimes it is more fun to spend a week at the Baltic Sea than to travel for hours and hours. It is always good to have plenty of books with you, especially Wimmelbücher (picture books).

Your parents encouraged a great awareness for natural food and a healthy lifestyle by their own way of living. How did they influence your consumption, your cooking and the food you buy?

Oh yes, my mother was very into healthy food when we were young and still is. She cooks her own jams from the fruits of her garden and we always ate fruits and vegetables from the garden. She always uses fresh and natural ingredients. The older I get, and of course with children, I try to live as healthy as I can too. I usually buy local or organic fruits and vegetables.

You went to high school in the US for one year, what fascinated you about this new culture? What are your culinary memories?

Everybody was very very friendly and I just had a very great teenage time there. Culinary memories? Donuts, cheeseburger, tacos and ice cream (smiling)!

As an au pair in Paris, you also experienced the French cuisine for one year. What did you like about the food there?

It is very pure, many vegetables and beef and lots of seafood. I liked that very much and the oysters. I learned how to eat oysters. Delicious!

Did your cooking change since you became a mother? Do you have any tips to make cooking for and eating with young children easier?

I really changed into organic and local food. Eating with young children is easy. I always cooked the baby food by myself. This is totally easy and does not take a long time. What I learned is that young children want a variety and a change of food every day. They do not like to eat the same thing every day over and over. My tip is to always try to eat the same as your kids. They copy you and will (often) try more.

What was the first dish you cooked on your own, what is your first cooking memory?

The first dish was Spaghetti Bolognese. I learned this when I was 12 when my mother was away for an allergy cure and our father taught it to my brother and I.

As a fashion observer and blogger, which are your 3 most helpful fashion tips for young mothers?

1. Always carry a large scarf for nursing in public.
2. Get a new haircut. It makes you feel good.
3. Buy at least 3 shirts or dresses which make nursing comfortable.

Where do you find creative inspiration?

In Berlin, walking around the city and on the internet reading international blogs and magazines.

What are your favourite places to buy and enjoy food in Berlin?

I love to eat at Cordobar. Great food and the largest selection of wine. And I like to buy food at Mitte Meer.

What did you choose to share on eat in my kitchen?

Beetroot risotto.

If you could choose one person to cook a meal for you, who and what would it be?

Janine (a friend), roasted root vegetables.

You’re going to have ten friends over for a spontaneous dinner, what will be on the table?

Risotto!

What was your childhood’s culinary favourite and what is it now?

Spaghetti Bolognese and now it is fish, especially Sushi.

Do you prefer to cook on your own or together with others?

Together with others.

Which meals do you prefer, improvised or planned?

Planned.

Which meal would you never cook again?

Octopus.

Thank you Isa!

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

 

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

 

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

 

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

 

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre and Mint

Red Onion and Plum Tart Tatin with Chèvre

Red Onion and Plum Tart Tatin with Chèvre

My Tart Tatin goes savory! Caramelized red onions, sweet and sour plums, aromatic thyme and chèvre replace the apples which I usually choose for this tart, and it’s great. This is the taste of late summer!

At the moment I can’t get enough of the combination of sweet, fruity and savory flavours. I’ve always been a big fan of it but I’m a bit obsessed with it right now (so much that my boyfriend already asked for a break). I mix mirabelles, plums, peaches, grapes or figs with saltimbocca, coarse sausages and chicken and I barely eat my cheese without one of my plum, rhubarb or apple chutneys (I will share my plum chutney recipe soon).

I love August and September in northern Europe, the transition to autumn. The light is magical and it’s the time to harvest all those wonderful fruits, to cook them and turn them into delicious dishes and colourful jams and chutneys for the colder months. That makes it so much easier to let go of summer!

Red Onion and Plum Tart Tatin with Chèvre

 

Red Onion and Plum Tart Tatin with Chèvre

Red Onion and Plum Tart Tatin with Chèvre

For the tarte you need a 21cm / 8″ Tarte Tatin dish or frying pan which is ovenproof.

mild and soft chèvre 150g / 5.5 ounces

medium sized red onions, cut into 8 wedges each, 4
plums, quartered, 4-6
butter 2 tablespoons
olive oil 1 tablespoon
sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons
Balsamico vinegar 1 tablespoon
thyme sprigs 6
salt and pepper

For the shortcrust

plain flour 130g / 4.5 ounces
butter, cold, 75g / 3 ounces
egg yolk 1
salt 1/8 teaspoon
cold water 1 1/2 tablespoons

For the shortcrust, combine the flour and salt. Cut the butter with a knife into the flour until there are just little pieces of butter left. Continue with your fingers and quickly work the butter into the flour until combined. Add the egg yolk and the water, 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.

In a pan (or Tarte Tatin dish), heat the butter with the sugar and oil until it starts to caramelize. Add the onions, arrange them in a circle and cook them for 7 minutes on medium heat. Turn them gently and cook them for another 7 minutes. Mind that they don’t burn, they should become golden brown. Tuck the plum wedges in between the onions and cook for 2 minutes.  Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme.

Roll out the dough, big enough to cover the pan and lay it on top of the onions tucking the edges down the sides. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown. When the tarte is done, place a large heat resistant plate on top and turn the pan carefully upside down, keep in mind that it’s very hot!

Serve the Tart Tatin with a big slice of chèvre.

Red Onion and Plum Tart Tatin with Chèvre

 

Red Onion and Plum Tart Tatin with Chèvre

 

Red Onion and Plum Tart Tatin with Chèvre

 

Red Onion and Plum Tart Tatin with Chèvre

Sainte-Maure Chèvre, Rosemary Oil and Olive Sandwich

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

When I picked up another amazing sourdough bread from Malin’s kitchen of The Bread Exchange  –  this time with fragrant rosemary –  I had a clear scene in my head. Imagine a relaxed evening in late August, the air is already a little bit crisp and damp as autumn is nearing and you’re sitting outside in your garden or close to the open kitchen window. The sky is glowing in all shades of purple and pink, you’re cosy, wrapped in a cardigan, thinking about all your wonderful holiday memories. You have a glass of wine in front of you on the table and a pretty little snack which reminds you of all the wonderful flavours of summer. Think of a sandwich made with woody rosemary, fragrant olive oil, black olives and aromatic French goat cheese, like the fine Sainte-Maure de Touraine Chèvre, and some sweet cherry tomatoes on the side! It’s so easy to feel good with the right food and the right mood and it’s so easy to create this kind of treat, all you need are excellent ingredients!

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

When we started our eat in my kitchen x The Bread Exchange sandwich series last month, I mentioned how extraordinarily good Malin’s bread is, its taste, texture and smell offers all you could possibly ask for in a sourdough bread. For my last sandwich creation I got a turmeric loaf from her, this time she pulled an aromatic rosemary bread out of her oven. It was so tempting, I stood in her kitchen together with Simone, another trader (I mentioned that Malin doesn’t sell her bread, you have to trade with her) and I had this warm bread in my hands. The air was filled with the woody smell of rosemary and I couldn’t have a single bite of it, I had to wait to make my Wednesday sandwich first. I had to go home, prepare everything and take the pictures, I had to be patient and I didn’t feel like waiting at all! I think Simone felt sorry for me, she pulled out her loaf of bread from its brown paper bag and offered me a slice. Simone loves good food, design and photography and shares it with the world on her beautiful Instagram account (instagram.com/fraeuleinsonntag)!

If you would like to trade with Malin, just leave a comment here and she will get in touch with you! You can pre-order a signed special edition of Malin’s beautiful and inspiring book The Bread Exchange here (release date is the 1st November 2014)!

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

Sainte-Maure Chèvre, Rosemary Oil  and Olive Sandwich

For 4 sandwiches you need

the best loaf of sourdough bread you can get, cut into thick slices
Sainte-Maure de Touraine Chèvre (or another soft, aromatic goat cheese), around 120g / 4.5 ounces
olive oil 2 tablespoons
rosemary, finely chopped, 2 tablespoons
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar
black olives (preferably Kalamata olives), pitted and thinly sliced, 10

Mix the olive oil, rosemary, salt and sugar. Spread slices of goat cheese on the bread and sprinkle with rosemary oil and olives – enjoy!

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

Juicy Zucchini Steaks with Dried Tomatoes, Sage and Chèvre

 Zucchini, Dried Tomatoes + Chèvre

When I went to the market on Saturday I bought one of my favourite goat cheeses from a tiny stand run by a sweet lady who produces her own cheese. She just uses goat milk for her products and her display offers delicious soft chèvre rolls and creamy cheese balls coated in spices and herbs, with chili, herbes de provence, rosemary and basil. These soft cheeses are her absolute speciality, mild and milky with a soft hint of goat milk.

I planned to buy a plain cheese roll but a beautiful white chèvre covered in parsley leaves and pansy flowers caught my attention. The lady explained to me that it’s filled with dried tomatoes, I was currious and forgot about my plain cheese immediately. I tried it, liked it and bought it! My plans for dinner involved golden sautéed zucchini cut into thick round steaks, juicy inside but far away from soft and soggy, topped with fresh goat cheese and sage. My find at the market inspired me to add some dried tomatoes, it was a good choice, the Mediterranean flavours were great together with the mild goat milk!

 Zucchini, Dried Tomatoes + Chèvre

 Zucchini Steaks with Dried Tomatoes, Sage and Chèvre

For 2 people you need

zucchini, cut into 1,5cm / 1/2″ steaks, 300g / 10.5 ounces
garlic, thinly sliced, 1 clove
chèvre/ soft goat cheese, thickly sliced, 70g / 2.5 ounces
dried tomatoes, cooked in a little boiling water for 1 min, rinsed, dried and chopped, 1 1/2 -2
sage leaves, thinly sliced, 5
olive oil for frying
salt and pepper

In a large pan, heat a splash of olive oil together with the garlic and fry the zucchini on high-medium temperature for a few minutes until golden brown on each side. Add the cooked dried tomatoes and sage, season with salt and pepper and fry for 1 minute. On a plate, pile the zucchini steaks on top of each other and let them sit for 1 minute, that makes them a bit softer and juicy. Spread them on a big plate and place the chèvre on top of the warm zucchini and sprinkle with the dried tomatoes and sage from the pan.

 Zucchini, Dried Tomatoes + Chèvre

 

 Zucchini, Dried Tomatoes + Chèvre

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