It’s a great thing when I can sneak in a quick trip to New York City. Despite the hustle and bustle, I feel a sense of ease and calmness there. Funny thing.
I arrived early Wednesday morning and although I knew it was going to be a day full of book meetings, I had two things on my agenda that morning; a quick stop at the Union Square farmer’s market and a little shopping next-door at ABC Home.
“I want to see all your apples!” I told the young girl at the stand. Can I tell you that every time I see a young farmer or anyone involved in supporting local agriculture makes me want to pack up my things and move to the country?
Every single time.
She told me about all the varieties on display and I bought several to snack on during my trip and some to bring back home. These lady apples and Babycakes cookies is what I brought back home for my family. The cookies were gone in a matter of minutes and the lady apples soon followed.
“We should make a creamy soup with the apples and sunchokes we got at the farmers’ market” I suggested to my mom. “Yes, and we should add some truffle oil too!”
Sunchokes are another root vegetable that we enjoy in soups. Earthy, but not overpowering, they are great with a little drizzle of truffle oil. Even after roasted with a touch of sea salt.
“And you know what else? We could add some clams on top!” I thought. I love this dynamic of creating dishes from ideas we bounce back and forth from each other.
It was early Saturday morning and the air was crisp. We had the windows open all day, which is a true luxury here in South Florida. No plans for the day. Simply cook some soup, take a walk, and if lucky, sneak in a nap.
“Making soup with the windows open. It doesn’t get much better than this” I said. Everyone agreed.
While the soup was simmering, I rolled out some hazelnut tart dough for a quick caramelized onion and golden beet galette. Steamed clams with truffled apple and sunchoke cream and a slice of galette was our menu for the day.
Not bad, right?
That afternoon we played outside. Jon and my dad rode their bikes around the neighborhood, while the rest of us stayed home. C. read to Miren. “More, more” she repeated.
He read it over and over again.
Meanwhile, I made one of the best gluten and dairy free chocolate puddings I have ever made, served with sauteed apples and raspberries. Everyone raved about it. It deserves its own post – that’s how good it is.
Lady Apple, Sunchoke, and Leek Cream with Steamed Herb Clams
Serves 4 to 6
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium leek, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
8 ounces (225 g) small lady apples or 1 large Gala apple, peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces (225 g) sunchokes, peeled and diced
2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
16 Little Neck clams, washed
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Truffle oil, optional
In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add 2 cloves of garlic and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Add the potato, lady apples, sunchokes, chicken stock, 2 sprigs of thyme, salt, and coriander. Bring liquid to a boil, cover the pot, lower heat to medium low, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and puree the soup. Adjust seasoning.
In a separate pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the clams, 1 sprig of thyme, and parsley. Cover the pot and cook for about 5 minutes or until clams open completely. Discard any clams that remain closed after cooking.
Ladle the soup into a bowl. Drizzle with truffle oil and top with steamed clams. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve immediately.
Beet and Caramelized Onion Galette
1 recipe for savory tart dough (mine has hazelnuts in it)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 medium golden beets, peeled and thinly sliced (with a mandoline)
Fresh thyme leaves
Beet greens, optional
Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and black pepper. Cook until soft and slightly caramelized, about 8 minutes. Let the onions cool completely.
Roll the tart dough into a disk that is 1/8-inch thick. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the cooled caramelized onions on the dough and top with the thinly sliced beets leaving a 2-inch border on the sides. Fold the dough over the beets. Gently tuck in the edges and pinch any cracked parts.
Chill the galette for 15 minutes. Top with fresh thyme and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve topped with beet greens.