Peach and Cinnamon Tart

Peach and Cinnamon Tart

Using only five ingredients, create this easy dessert in just minutes. Layers of Phyllo dough are basted with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The top layer is covered with thinly sliced delicious fresh peaches and sprinkled with more cinnamon and sugar. Serve as is, or sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, topped with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream. Be sure to use ripe peaches for the best result.

4 large very ripe freestone peaches
12 sheets Phyllo dough
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the peaches in half and remove the pit. Slice each half into very thin slices, set aside. Lightly brush an 8 x 11 (or similar size) removable bottom tart pan with the melted butter. Set aside on a larger sheet tray.

Lay one piece of phyllo on a cutting board and brush with butter. Lay another sheet on top and brush again. Lay a third sheet on top and brush with butter then sprinkle with 1/3 of the cinnamon and sugar. Fit into the tart pan. Don’t worry about any pieces of phyllo hanging over. These will be trimmed later. Continue to do this again with three more sheets, and then fit in the pan again. Create another layer of three sheets, however, fit in the pan without sprinkling with the cinnamon and sugar. Neatly arrange the peach slices on the last layer of phyllo dough. Trim the excess phyllo off to even the edge of the tart pan and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Remove the sides, leaving the bottom part of the pan, and set on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Cut into 6 equal pieces and serve alone or topped with confectioners sugar, sweetened whipped cream, or ice cream. Serves 6.

Lettuce Pesto

Lettuce Pesto

A tasty pesto can be made with the combination of any greens and nuts plus some garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Create your own tasty combinations using your favorite greens and nuts. Lettuce leaves are another green that makes a delicious pesto. Any lettuce leaves will work including baby spinach, kale, or any small greens. The only exception is Iceberg lettuce – the water content is too high to use and it will make a watery pesto.

4 cups small lettuce leaves or larger leaves with stems removed and torn into 2” pieces
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped or pressed through a garlic press
¼ cup loosely packed parsley leaves, no stems
½ cup toasted nuts, such as pine, walnuts, or pistachios
½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ – ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Add the lettuce, garlic, herbs, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cheese to a food processor then pulse until finely chopped. With motor running, add the oil in a slow stream, using only ½ cup. If a more fluid consistency is desired, add more oil, a tablespoon at a time, and blend until incorporated and the desired consistency is achieved. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator for one week or in the freezer for 6 months. Serves 6.

Blistered Cherry Tomato Sauce

Blistered Cherry Tomato Sauce

Use this easy, versatile sauce as a topping for bread, soft cheeses, scrambled eggs, beans, or even added to a sandwich. You can also add some cream and toss with pasta and a little pasta water to make a delicious pasta dish. This sauce uses only six ingredients and comes together quickly. It’s perfect if you have a surplus of cherry tomatoes and want to make the sauce ahead for a quick dinner or even freeze.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 carton cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried
2 large cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the cherry tomatoes when the oil starts to smoke. Cook, stirring the tomatoes until they blistered on all sides. After about 5 minutes when they start to pop, crush the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium, and add the garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of red pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper to taste preference. Cook over medium until the tomatoes are very soft about 1-2 minutes longer.

To serve with Toasted Bread
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, shredded or chopped
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese to taste
Thinly sliced toasted bread

Pour the tomato sauce into a bowl. Top with the fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese and serve with toasted bread. Or spread over the bread pieces and sprinkle with the herbs and cheese. Serves 6.

To Serve as a Topping
Shredded or chopped fresh herbs
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese, if desired

Pour the sauce over soft cheeses, scrambled eggs, beans, or add to a sandwich. Top with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

 To Serve as a Pasta Sauce
2 tablespoons cream
¾ pound pasta
2 tablespoons shredded basil
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese to taste

When the tomatoes are very soft, stir in 2 tablespoons cream, and then keep warm. Bring a large pot to boil, generously season with salt. Cook the pasta per the package directions. Remove 1/2 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the cherry tomatoes. Stir and add ¼ cup of pasta water to make a sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more pasta water, one tablespoon at a time and up to 4 tablespoons, until you achieve the proper sauce consistency. Serves 6.