Sunday, May 17, 2009

Springtime - Ricotta Gnocchi and Asparagus

This is the opening challenge for Daring Cooks and as promised -- it looked simple but proved a little more difficult to form the gnocchi. The master gnocchi recipe was taken from the cookbook by Judy Rodgers, named after her restaurant, The Zuni Café Cookbook. I made the gnocchi for the 14th but only finished the recipe today. I took my inspiration for my final recipe from a Babbo recipe for asparagus and ricotta ravioli. I blanched and chilled the asparagus and added it to the pan with melted butter. When the gnocchi cooked, I added it to the sauce along with some pasta water. I garnished it with shaved reggiano parmesan. It was delicious!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWD - Tartest Lemon Tart

Okay, I love this recipe but couldn't really believe that it called for whole lemons! I wonder how common this is? Yesterday David Lebovitz posted a lemon tart recipe in which he used only lemon zest and lemon juice -- His recipe made a point of using unsprayed lemons. I can hardly believe that any fruit is brought to market without being sprayed with all the creepy crawlers and insects in the warm climates where they grow. I used my supermarket lemons and scrubbed them with warm soapy water and a good brush -- making sure to remove the green Sunkist ink!

This was the last recipe I made during my marathon baking day for my friend's wake last week -- Tiramisu cake, peanut butter cookies and then this tart. The fact that tart crust was pressed in rather than rolled out, saved a ton of time and anguish. I finished off the tart with powdered sugar rather than creme fraiche. The recipe can be found at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

RIP - Dear Friend, Kate

Today was the funeral for my friend Kate O'Connell, who passed last week. She was a poet, photographer, philospher and wonderful friend. Over the past few summers we had memorable jaunts to Tanglewood and the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown. I will miss her.

Following her funeral, there was a reception for friends and family. This week's TWD Tiramisu cake (and next week's Lemon Tart) were part of my contribution. The recipe for the Tiramisu cake can be found on Megan's blog My Baking Adventures.