Recipe Roundup, adios summer


So I have had this feeling in my stomach lately resulting from blog neglect. It’s strange because this blog is mine, and I decide when to post…yet somehow when I don’t post for a week I get a little nervous! It starts to feel a little like overdue homework. I love writing, and I love having tRK- but I want you to know that sometimes a week hiatus will happen. Between work and the arrival of autumn, I am just a little distracted. That’s cool, right?

Here are some recipes from the Chef’s Table demos I did at Roanoke Vineyard on Love Lane:

tomato tart

Summer Tomato Tart

2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick

1 sheet puff pastry dough

2 Tbsp basil pesto, thinned out with 1 Tb Olive Oil

1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 sprigs thyme

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Gently roll out your puff pastry onto parchment paper and center it on a baking sheet,

Brush pesto onto dough, leaving 1/2″ border

Arrange tomatoes, slightly shingled but not layered.

Sprinkle pine nuts & thyme over tomatoes.

Dot with goat cheese crumbles.

Bake on middle rack until crusts are brown.


Pesto Croutons

The grocery store almost always has a collection of day-old bread from the bakery that they will sell to you for $1-$2. These are great for making croutons at home, which taste WORLDS better than store-bought.

The recipe is quite simple! Slice your day old bread into 1/2″ cubes and put into a big bowl. In a smaller bowl, thin out some pesto with olive oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle over bread and toss until they all got some pesto lovin’.

Arrange your bread on a sheet tray lined with parchment and bake at 350F until they are lightly browned. After they have cooled  they will be crunchy and perfect…but don’t forget to snack on a few while they’re still warm.



Watermelon on pancetta crisps 

Sliced pancetta



Balsamic Glaze

Pancetta makes an amazing crisp if you ask the butcher to slice it to “bacon thickness”. Pancetta is essentially unsmoked bacon, which gives us a salty crisp without the traditional smokiness of bacon. Line a sheet tray with parchment and arrange the slices with at least a 1/2″ between them. Broil them on Low Broil on the top rack of your oven. When the edges start to curl upwards and crisp, take the sheet out and flip them over. Return to broil untilt he whole crisp has darkened and hardened. Remove from oven and transfer to paper towels to drain a bit.

Top each crisp with a leaf of basil, a watermelon slice, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Best hors d’oeuvres ever.


Beet & Mandarin salad

(for 4 small salads)

4 generous handfuls arugula

1 jaw of Mandarin segments in light syrup, drained with 1/4 cup syrup reserved

1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

1/2 cup pistachios out of the shell

4 radishes

Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 Tbsp mustard

4 small baked beets with the juice from baking (or pre-steamed “Love Beets” which can be found in your fresh produce section. Avoid canned beets…yuck.)

(For baking the beets: wash beets thoroughly, and remove stem area. Cut into quarters and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange on parchment-lined sheet pan and broil on LOW. Move them around every 10 mins and bake until a fork easily pierces into beet.

The dressing: Emulsify 1/4 cup of the mandarin syrup with the beet juice reserves, mustard,  and 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Yes, this will make a lot more dressing than you need- save it because it is DELICIOUS and you will probably want to use it again and again.

In a big bowl, toss arugula with dressing to taste. (1 Tbsp per serving should suffice.) Arrange in bowls and distribute remaining ingredients. Beautiful.

Tomorrow, Cara is going to share with you guys some frozen dessert reviews – with focus on finding something less sinful but still delicious

xo. alicia.

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