May 17, 2009

Brown Butter and Blueberry Tart

What I learned from making this tart is that I should always buy berries in Chinatown. I walked by the crowded fruit stand at the corner of Chrystie and Grand and my cursory glance revealed only strawberries, so I continued on to Whole Foods. The raspberries there were a jaw-dropping $4.99 per package, but I had my heart set on making the tart so I went ahead and bought two. Imagine my outrage when I passed by that same stand again and saw, on a box set at knee height, the exact same packages of raspberries for $2 each!

The original recipe calls for raspberries, but this time round I used blueberries. It's delicious both ways. This makes one 9-inch tart or about 8 3-inch tartlets.

Brown Butter and Blueberry Tart
adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2009

7 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
pinch of salt

1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, diced
2 6-ounce containers blueberries (raspberries, strawberries...)

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the salt and flour. Transfer dough to a 9-inch diameter tart pan and press the dough evenly onto the sides and bottom of pan.

Bake until golden, about 18 minutes. Transfer crust to rack and cool. Maintain oven temperature.

Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt, then add flour and vanilla.

In a small saucepan, cook the butter over low heat until dark brown, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Immediately pour the butter into a bowl or glass. Gradually whisk this into the sugar/egg mixture until well blended.

Arrange berries onto the bottom of the tart crust. Pour the butter mixture evenly over the berries. Bake until filling is puffed and golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

May 4, 2009

Spring Greens and Bean Soup

This is a very simple and flavorful soup. Easy to make and healthy, and what can be better than that?

I substituted cranberry beans for lima beans since they were all I had on hand. Nearly any bean would work with this soup, I think. Go crazy!

Spring Greens and Bean Soup
adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2009
serves 8

1 cup dried beans
2 bunches dandelion greens, Swiss chard, or mustard greens (1-1/2 pounds), tough stems removed, leaves cut into 2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
8 cups chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

Soak beans in water overnight.

Drain beans and place in a large pot with enough water to cover them by about two inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until beans are just tender, about 45 minutes. Add the greens and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drain.

Heat the oil in the same pot and toss in the celery, carrots, and onions. Saute them until the onions are translucent, and then add the broth, tomatoes, beans, and greens. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, then cover and let the soup rest for 15 minutes before serving.