ricotta tartines with peaches, basil, and piment d'espelette

autumn, breads, breakfast, desserts, snacks, summer, sweet, vegetarianFieldandForest2 Comments
ricotta, peach, basil, and piment d'espelette tartine

I don't know about you, but I have jumped hardcore onto the ricotta toast bandwagon. It is SO good! Why is it so good? Why can I not stop myself from eating ricotta toast? Seriously. After I took the above photo, I ate those two tartines, and then I wanted more, so I made two more. And then I ate those. And I am seriously considering toasting up some more bread and making another. Somebody come save me from myself, please! I will repay you with a tartine. And then someone else will probably have to come save you from eating tartines at some point, too, and if the cycle continues, we will have so many people at our place eating tartines, which means at that point we'll just have to have a party.

Which works out, since it's FRIDAY (yay!).

Happy weekend, all!

Ricotta Tartines with Peaches, Basil, and Piment D'Espelette
makes 4 tartines

Why call this a tartine? Tartines are often substantial, open-faced sandwiches, and are frequently eaten with knives and forks. The peaches here are cut into rather thick wedges, and the moisture from the ricotta can make the center of your toast a little soft, so these lack some of the structural integrity needed to lift the bread to your mouth (and are a little tall for you to take a bite directly out of one, anyway) and are best eaten with utensils. Hence, tartines! Shrink these down and make them with toasted baguette slices if you want something that lends itself better to finger food.

4 1/2-inch slices of crusty white bread, such as sourdough or ciabatta (do not use a soft, sandwich bread, as it will get mushy)
olive oil1/2 cup ricotta (whole or part-skim both work well)
1 ripe yellow peach, cut into 12 wedges (quarter the peach, and cut each quarter into thirds)
4 basil leaves sliced into chiffonade (ribbons)
honey, for drizzling (I used Tupelo honey, which I love as it is intensely floral and buttery, plus it never crystalizes) Piment d'Espelette, hot paprika, or a finely crushed dried red chile

Brush the bread with olive oil and toast under the broiler until browned and crispy (this happens quickly, so keep an eye on it as it toasts).

Spread about 2 tablespoons ricotta over each of the toasts. Lay three peach slices over each toast, and distribute the basil evenly among the toasts. Drizzle each tartine with about a teaspoon of honey (or more, if you prefer), and sprinkle with a small pinch of Piment d'Espelette. Serve immediately.

autumn fruit and goat cheese crostini

autumn, breakfast, snacks, vegetarianFieldandForest4 Comments

I wrote a very long post today.  It's not here (I decided to save you from reading it just yet; you're welcome!) but I think I wrote it because I'm coming up on my two year anniversary at work and I'm feeling a lot of feelings. Like "holy crap!" and "what the hell!" and "is two years a long time or a short time!" and "who can say!" and "I'm hungry!" The I'm hungry part is because I forgot my lunch today, but I'm including it as it is certainly adding to this feeling of sensory overload.

This is a day where I will get home to no leftovers and few staples, and make this crostini.  Any fruit you have on hand is appropriate in this recipe, but my favorites are figs, peaches, and pears.  I slice them thinly (you can make more crostini from a single fruit that way), and indulge my sweet tooth by drizzling them with honey or maple syrup.  I plan to make a bunch of them and eat them in the waning sun while I think my two-year-work-anniversary-thoughts and read this book.

Autumn Fruit and Goat Cheese Crostini
makes 20-24 crostini

1 baguette, cut into 20-24 1/4-inch thick slices (reserve any remaining bread for another purpose)
8 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)
2 peaches, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
5 figs, thinly sliced lengthwise or cut into wedges
1 Asian pear, thinly sliced
Honey or maple syrup

Spread the goat cheese on the baguette slices, making sure to coat any nooks and crannies where you plan to place fruit (this keeps the juices from seeping into the bread and making the crostini soggy).  Overlap thin slices of fruit on the cheese.  Place on a serving dish, and drizzle with honey or maple syrup.  Serve immediately.

Make ahead: you may slice the baguette ahead of time and store the slices in an airtight container; the cut fruit will oxidize after a while, so it is best to slice them only when you are nearly ready to serve the crostini.

heirloom tomato caprese with late-summer peaches

salads, summer, vegetarianFieldandForestComment

high uintas wilderness 1 I am having a hard time writing today.  I keep looking at this picture from our trip two weeks ago and wishing I could be outside.  I've been having this kind of mental itch at work whenever I look out the window that somehow I'm doing something wrong since I'm IN HERE and not OUT THERE.  I usually have to walk to another building whenever I have a meeting, and this morning it was all I could do not to detour to the little patch of slanted grass west of my office and take a tiny snooze in the sun.   Lucca has been scratching at the door in the mornings to go outside and lay on the deck where he'll do this twisty stretch on his back and stick his legs out in all directions and fall asleep soaking up the warmth and the light.  I am very happy that he's so happy, but it is awfully hard to walk past someone who looks like that on your way to work and not feel insanely jealous.  Even if that someone is a dog.

When did it become normal for us to sit at desks all day?  When did we start trying to build spaces for ourselves to work that shut us off from nature and light and people?  When did we create tasks for ourselves that mean everything and nothing?  How long do we go between experiencing things that are real and good and make us (really madly truly) happy?  How do we support each other and encourage each other to take a moment each day to breathe and soak in the sun?

When the voices in our heads started shouting those questions too loudly, we packed four people, two dogs, and some climbing gear into our car and drove due East into the Uintas.  It was a spur-of-the-moment trip, and we left later than we would have liked, but we needed trees and air and space.  Lucca was beside himself with happiness when we finally stopped the car and began hiking toward the crag.  He made his big toothy shark face and rolled himself around in the brush and made his drowning cat noises (which are very harsh and grating but also some of my favorite sounds in the world).  We climbed just a little, hiked a lot, camped at the end of a long, unmarked road, ate wild raspberries and burritos and campfire peach and blackberry cobbler, and fell asleep listening to the rain on our tent.


We're waiting for the next time we can escape, but in the meantime we're celebrating being at home by eating the season and eating well.  Our tomatoes have finally begun to blush purple and red, and the chickens have been so distracted by the goji berry and fat grasshoppers that we've rescued most of the tomatoes before they've been discovered.  We eat them like apples, on sandwiches, or in this salad.



1-2 pounds of mixed heirloom tomatoes 2-3 large ripe, yellow peaches 2-3 large handfuls mixed greens 1/2 pound mozzarella or burrata cheese, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices olive oil balsamic vinegar flaky salt freshly ground black pepper 8-10 fresh basil leaves, sliced into chiffonade (stack the leaves and then roll them like a cigarette and thinly slice them cross-wise into ribbons)

Have two plates ready for serving individual portions of salad.

Cut the tomatoes into a mixture of wedges and 1/2-inch thick slices and set aside.  Slice the peaches in half and remove the pits.  Cut each half into 4-6 wedges and set aside.

Distribute 1/3 of the tomato wedges and slices on each of the plates, then distribute 1/3 of the peach wedges onto the tomatoes.  Divide the greens evenly between the two plates, covering the tomatoes and peaches.  Scatter the remaining tomato wedges (reserve the tomato slices) and peach wedges over the greens.  Place a tomato slice on each of the salads, then overlap with a slice of mozzarella, repeating until all of the slices have been used.

Drizzle the salad with as much olive oil and balsamic vinegar as you like, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Top with the basil chiffonade and serve immediately.