Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Good Day For Eating

As a side dish for the steaks Matt grilled, I cooked Grilled Asparagus and Melon Salad (pg 144). I think the ratio of asparagus to toppings was a little off. The recipe calls for a quarter of a canteloupe (though I used a half--quarter didn't look like it would go very far for four people), cubes of fresh mozzarella, toasted pine nuts, and prosciutto that's been baked and then crumbled. You'd never know asparagus was hiding under this mountain of fixins, which was fine with me. I mean, I like asparagus, but I like melon and prosciutto better.
I can get behind Giada's definition of "salad."
This was excellent, though much of the glory belongs to the quality of this melon--perfectly ripe, incredibly sweet. I bought it on Saturday at the farmer's market, and it probably wouldn't have lasted until tomorrow without going soft. It literally spilled juice all over my counter when I cut it in half. Best melon ever, and eating it with crispy, bacon-ish prosciutto was a nice twist on the standard melon and prosciutto appetizer that you can get in restaurants. Not in the restaurants here in Corpus Christi, but those in more civilized places.

My only complaint about this is that the pine nuts didn't contribute anything. They were impossible to pick up with a fork and were too heavy to cling to the other components. Matt thought they might have more impact if they were broken up into pieces. I'll try that next time (or maybe "next time" will just be me, a melon, and a spoon.)

Conclusion: Liked it a lot, though it wouldn't have been AS impressive with a lesser melon. 

To top off our lovely steaks and melon--oh wait, I mean asparagus--I made an Apricot-Marzipan Tart (pg 98) from my neglected long-term project of David Lebovitz's Ready For Dessert. Oh. My. God. I don't have words to describe how delicious and unique this tart was.
I overcooked the crust a bit, but it didn't detract.
The crust is standard, with the addition of almonds that are powdered in the food processor. Sliced apricots are mixed with sugar and corn starch and poured into the crust, and that is topped with a crumbly food-processed mixture of flour, brown sugar, almond paste, almonds, and butter. The topping tastes like one of those Good Humor brand Toasted Almond ice cream bars from when we were kids. Those were always my favorite, so I could have eaten a bowl of this topping by itself. I drizzled some leftover raspberry sauce from the other night on top, and it was the perfect tart complement to the sweetness of the apricots. This and a glass of Disaronno made me a happy, happy girl.

Conclusion: Love it, love it, love it.

There's a lot of seasonal fruit used in Lebovitz's desserts, so I'm going to attempt to dip into this book a little more frequently during the summer, and hopefully I don't blow up like a balloon. I feel like a balloon tonight, but a well-satisfied one.


  1. Yay! I'm glad that you're enjoying this cookbook more than the last. And, that Giada, she does love her melon. These dishes look great!

  2. Sounds like you're doing pretty good with this cookbook. And that tart from the Ready to Cook project looks positively heavenly. Mmm!