The Growing Season

It may be a shock to some of you to know that our growing season is actually coming to its peak. Despite some freezing temperatures earlier this month, we have had fairly mild weather that has allowed for crops to grow and flourish. Our farmers market is full of tomatoes, peppers and strawberries.

“Would you want some of our candy beets? They are ready to be harvested”, emailed my friend Lena on Friday night. “Sure!”.

I was excited to show my mom the beautiful little garden that Lena’s boys have put together this year. It was full of beets, peas, greens and squash. The tomatoes were still a bit green, but I brought home a bag full of candy beets and pea shoots.

These kids really blow me away with how they are dedicated to looking after this garden and so knowledgeable at such a young age. Impressive. It reminds me of how lucky I feel to have grown up surrounded by nature and agriculture the way I did. It has showed me so much.

Speaking of where I grew up, El sent me a link to a recent show about the Basque Country. You could take a look if you would like to know more about where I come from.

Sunday morning, my mom, M. and I headed to the farmers market where we found beautiful local ingredients that will go into recipes for the cookbook.

We arrived home hungry and anxious to eat some of the gorgeous tomatoes. I roasted them with some olive oil, thyme, chili flakes and sea salt. Made a quick pesto, toasted breadcrumbs with olive oil and garlic and tossed it all with quinoa pasta. So fresh and ready under 20 minutes. My kind of meal.

For dessert, chocolate and raspberry financiers. A good Sunday lunch indeed.

Chocolate and Raspberry Financiers

Makes 12 financiers

1/2 cup (110 grams) unsalted butter
4 egg whites
1/2 cup (105 grams) coconut palm sugar
1 cup (100 grams) almond meal
2 Tbs (15 grams) cocoa powder
4 oz (110 grams) raspberries, fresh or frozen

In a small saucepan, heat the butter until foamy and the milk solids start to brown on the bottom of the pan. It will smell like roasting nuts; about 5 minutes. Strain the brown butter into a clean bowl and cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, almond meal and cocoa powder. Add the cooled brown butter and whisk until all is incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Line a muffin pan with baking papers, place the batter in a piping bag with a round tip and pipe it into cups. Fill a little bit less than half way. Press raspberries into the batter. Bake at 350F for about 18-20 minutes.

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94 Responses to “The Growing Season”

  1. Caroline says:

    These photos are divine! I will make that pasta…looks so fresh and delicious!

  2. Sini says:

    It’s really hard to imagine how you can have growing season when we here in north Europe are freezing. I feel a bit jealous indeed – especially when I think about those little cherry tomatoes! My cherry tomatoes come from Spain… *sigh*
    Gorgeous pictures as always.

  3. Looked at the first pic and thought, “What the heck? Tomatoes?!” But then read on and felt immediately jealous that you’re enjoying summer produce. How fortunate you are!

  4. kate funk says:

    Those tomatoes are giving me hope for summer! Yum!
    velvet cupcakes

  5. Iratxe says:

    ¡Qué rica receta, qué hermosas fotos, me encantan los tomatitos cherry!. ¡Qué bien con amatxu!. Un beso.

  6. sarah says:

    oh how lovely! and all that fresh produce … wonderful.

  7. i love hearing about your days even if growing season has ended…being snowed in here breeds stir crtaziness!!…is the grass always greener (or should we split the grass 6 months a year?) xoox

  8. Strange indeed! I love tomatoes and peppers.

    Ypur pasta dish and financiers are so appetizing!



  9. M@risa says:

    These photos are amazing! Love their tones and colors!

  10. Melissa says:

    Envy. I have been dreaming about summer produce but we are only in January and have a while to go before we have fresh local tomatoes. Beautiful as always. Enjoy the precious time with you parents.

  11. sweet road says:

    Mmmmmm! Nothing is better than fresh or home grown produce! Sounds wonderful!

  12. tam says:

    I would like a serving of each please x x

  13. Anna says:

    Que delicioso menú y que preciosas fotos. besos desde Madrid

  14. S☀S says:

    This looks like such a delicious, simple meal and your photographs are all stunning!! I can’t wait for your cookbook <3

  15. oh my goodness– those tomatoes look like heaven! We’ve been going to the Stuart market but I’ve been itching to go down south– looks like they have some good stuff!!!

    Beautiful shots, as always!


  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know where you live. Is it on this hemisphere? It’s minus 40C today. I don’t see anything growing, but I’ll file your recipes away for August.

  17. Anonymous says:

    the dishes you make look great! I loved seeing the tomatoes….also curious about the white pan that the tomatoes are cooked in……where can I get that type of pan?
    looking forward to seeing your cookbook, and as always I admire your photographs……hope you include some info on the equipment you use to do your photography in your cookbook….
    as always thank you for sharing your dishes and your lovely photographs

  18. Kim says:

    We really don’t live in the same place… Here it’s minus 20… And the veggies will be ready in june or july… Your financiers looks quite good!

  19. Shelby says:

    I’m a fan of any recipe that involves roasting as I’ve read it’s one of the best ways to cook ingredients while maintaining their nutrients. I look forward to giving your roasted tomatoes and thyme a try! Not to mention those financiers! What mouthwatering pictures…thank you for sharing!

  20. I am so jealous. Boston is supposed to get another snow storm tomorrow. I could kill for some candied beets (or a decent tomato) right about now. ;)

  21. Every time I visit chez vous, I get so hungry!!!! Gorgeous!

  22. Carrian says:

    your pictures are so beautiful!

  23. I can’t wait to see what you do with the candy beats. Your garden is producing beautiful things.

  24. As usual, your photos are fantastic!
    Congratulations for your blog.
    I´m following you.
    Would you like to visit me?

  25. As always, your blog leaves me drooling. Those financiers sound great.

  26. s.calder says:

    Oh my! That pasta looks delicous. I am very much looking forward to spring. May I ask where you found the beautiful blue fabric in your photos? That is just the perfect fabric for my new apartment! Thanks, as always :)

  27. anonymous- i live in florida. i assume you live in the northern hemisphere as well?

    mary- my mom brought that pan from europe for me!

    a plum by any other name- sometimes i do miss the snow believe it or not!

    eric- the garden is not mine. i got these from a friend’s garden and the farmers market. i wish!

    s. calder- i found that at a local fabric shop actually. not sure what the name of the maker is. that’s mostly where i get my fabrics.

    thank you everyone!

  28. Svet says:

    Oh my godness! Your post makes me dream of sping…
    The tomatoes look so delicious and fresh that I will probably make the same for lunch tomorrow.
    Thank you for the inspiration!


  29. Can you share some of that sunshine and bounty? It is freezing up here and it has been months since I had a good tomato! But I do have some frozen raspberries and I think they might work in your lovely financiers. We will see!

  30. El says:

    I’m so glad you liked the video. It was such a great overview of the region-which is spectacular by the way. I now understand what you’re talking about when you say that you’re homesick. I can see why. And the food…it’s looks sensational.

    Beautiful post. You’re so lucky to be warm and have fresh food. Thank you for the mention too!

  31. Anja says:

    You take the most beautiful photos! And it all looks so delicious!

  32. I know where I’m coming for Sunday lunch! :)

  33. I really admire the bokeh in your photos. The teal, and white, with a hint of red, look wonderful in contrast. Cherry Tomats… so dreamy, eps roasted.

    Everything looks perfect = )

  34. Such incredible food. The produce used in cooking is so important. Unfortunately my tomatoes and cucumbers have been killed by pests

  35. I’m jealous of those yummy and sweet looking tomatoes here in maine!

    I can see why you’re homesick, though. when living in spain for a while (granada) i traveled to the basque country — so peaceful and welcoming there.

  36. I just bought coconut sugar for the first time … how do you find it behaves in baking for you?

  37. Amanda- I use it the same exact way as cane sugar and I love it. Great texture and flavor.

    Lauren- yes indeed and so glad you thought so.

    Thank you all!

  38. I love anything with almond meal. These financiers with cocoa are seriously tempting me especially that I have both cocoa and almond meal in the pantry.

  39. Gosia says:

    Lovely beyond words. Your immense talent shines beautifully through these shots. It still doesn’t make it any better to know that we have good two more months of winter to go to get where you’re today. Enjoy.

  40. Green is not a good color on me. I am envious of the fresh produce you have available. The food looks delicious. You are a talented cook and photog.

  41. Val says:

    I really can’t wait for your cookbook. Breathtaking photos as always. Keep up the great work!

  42. Beautiful photos and nice, simple recipe. Fresh summery meal in the winter never hurt anyone!

  43. Mary says:

    These photos are amazing

  44. ChichaJo says:

    Such lovely photos as usual…I come here to be inspired and I always am! Congratulations on the cookbook!

  45. Such a great post with stunning photography. The tomatoes look so delicious!

  46. Your pictures are gorgeous!!!!
    Everything look so delicious!

  47. I wish we had nearly ready tomatoes here in England, but it is a bit further away I think.

    Your photos are amazing, I wish I could style like you!

  48. I bet those little chocolate tartlets are so rich and dense! Especially lovely with raspberries!!

  49. Duane says:

    This looks amazing. Are we allowed to feature your recipe on our site? Of course giving credit to you and your site. I think our members would enjoy your recipes.

  50. Coco says:

    Oh Aran, Im so jealous! Our garden is so pitiful right now and our erratic NW weather just stunted everything! How blessed you are to be amidst fresh peas and tomatoes! enjoy :)

  51. a. maren says:

    you lucky folks living in the tropics! i had a chance to move to florida this past year, but chose oregon instead and i only regret it when i read about this sort of thing! enjoy your lovely vegetables, you use them so well.

  52. Your photos are just scrumptious!! I’d say more, but I need to go get a scack! I’m suddenly hungry!!!

  53. Anna Lisa says:

    Hi! Your blog is really interesting and the photos are fantastic! I do not understand where to subscribe to become your follower.
    I am coeliac too, I would really be glad if you should happen to visit me in my virtual kitchen :)

  54. I found quinoa pasta for the first time in Provence this year. It was a garlic, parsley and quinoa pasta, I definitely loved it!
    I made it with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese, but reading your recipe I’m already looking forward this evening, when I’ll grab the leftover pasta and try this out!

  55. I miss the warm weather of Florida! I remember when I was living there going to the beach in winter.
    Tus post son fantásticos, felicidades! Un abrazo:)

  56. Chris says:

    Love these little toms, so much flavour!

  57. Somehow the thought of a financier with chocolate and raspberries is a heck of a lot more exciting than the traditional ones!

  58. pasta and chocolate!…my two favorites!…I don´t need anything else!…thank for the recipe, lovely as always!…kisses from argentina

  59. Snows says:

    Do you have tomatoes? lucky you!! I’m waiting for the summer in Barcelona!
    Lovely photos from the Basque Country! Agur!!

  60. Snows- hola! si, la temporada de tomates y fresas en florida es ahora mismo ya que en verano hace demasiado calor. Es el mundo al reves!

    Thanks everyone!

  61. I am so in love with your photograpy… Longing to cook with tomatos SOON! Looking forward for the season here in Germany- but it’s still so long… ;-)

  62. cornel says:

    Looks deliciously good. Beautiful pics as always…

  63. que bonito post!!!!
    me gusta mucho tu blog!!!! =D
    besazos cielo

  64. Priyanka says:

    Hi…..Please visit my blog an award is waiting for you ….. :)

  65. Lara says:

    ¡Hola Aran!
    ¡Que ganas de leer tu libro! Zorionak! Qué buena noticia saber que vamos a tener la oportunidad de guardar un fragmento de tu trabajo. Yo ya le he buscado un rinconcito. Un abrazo enorme, mucha suerte y te mando un pedacito virtual de pastel de San Blas (que es lo que toca hoy)
    Un abrazo

  66. bikim says:


  67. The pasta looks absolute scrumptious! The pics of tomatoes on the vine are making me long for summer. I could just about imagine the smell of the tomato plant – divine.

  68. Hanna says:

    Hi there!
    I just got the Stylish Blogger Award and wanted to pass it on. I love your blog – it’s so fresh, has lovely photos and delicious recipes so I’ve decided to give the award to you. :)

  69. Kip says:

    I cannot even begin to voice my jealousy over the tomatoes. I maintain one of the best things about britain is the summer tomato crop, but it’s way too short a season for my liking. I wish I could see the start of the season in February!

  70. auri says:

    Aintzaldun daigun Agate Deuna
    bihar da ba Deun Agate
    etxe honetan zorion hutsa
    betiko euko al dabe.

    Deun Agatena batzeko gatoz
    aurten be igazko berberak
    igaz lez hartu gagizun eta
    zabaldu zuen sakela.

    Orain bagoaz alde egitera
    agur dautsugu gogotik
    Agate Deuna bitarte dala
    ez eizu izan dongerik… EUP!!

  71. Ana- ieup!!! amaiitari esan bideo halan edo halan bialtzeko!!!

  72. spr says:

    Such a brilliant idea to not have OVER FLOOOOWING cupcakes, these are so much more delicate and inviting. Thanks for sharing the idea!

  73. The financiers look delightful, and the photo at the top of the pasta dish looks delicious. I am in Southern California, so it is always some sort of growing season :)

  74. So wonderful and fresh, I’m envious ! Here in Canada we have a fairly short growing season : (
    As well I’d like to add that you are truly an inspiration; I have just started my own and so I’ve been browsing for inspiration, and this one is truly my favourite! The lighting and styling in each photograph is so effortlessly perfect and you always try such interesting flavour and colour combinations ! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful creations and recipes ! : ))

  75. Jess says:

    Ou! The dessert looks delicious!!
    Jess : )

  76. Sigh, this all looks so wonderful.

  77. SS says:

    Hi! I love your blog, especially the pictures. I just started my own blog, and I hope someday it looks just as beautiful and polished as yours. Also, I love how the raspberry chocolate financiers look….I want to go buy muffin pan just to make them.

  78. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as quinoa pasta. I’ll keep my eyes open for that-one.
    Your dishes look as stunning and delicate as always. Yum!

  79. Gregory says:

    those tomatoes look delicious. wish I could have used them in this recipe Seriously though those, pictures make me want to start a garden. And the pasta sounds great!

  80. Hi,

    WOW! These cute tomatoes look like fresh red currants. I had to go over the picture a couple of times in order to finalize that they are not. Your photos are just unreal. Could I ask what camera/lens you use?


    Georgette G

  81. Georgette- those were taken with a canon 5d mark ii and the 100mm macro. Thank you!

  82. Again I love your photography! Just the simplicity of the cherry tomatoes in the bowl is just beautiful.

  83. Junglefrog says:

    Ah.. your photos are just blowing a little bit of spring and warmer weather this way… Soooo lovely!

  84. I am so jealous of your seasons!I wish I could be growing things right now but there’s a foot of snow……so no option of that.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Are you related to Bea Peltre?

  86. Anonymous- no, but she is a friend of mine!


  87. Chocolate and raspberry are my two absolute favorites! Now, if I can make these in cookie form I’ll literally be in heaven.

  88. Allyn says:

    I am in need of a little advice, si vous plaît. I am translating a recipe for raspberry marmalade and cannot come up with anything satisfactory for “de brisure de framboise.” I don’t want to say seeds… but this implies raspberry pieces that aren’t cut? I just cannot seem to find the right english for this (and I’m American!). If you have any ideas I would greatly appreciate it.

  89. Allyn- my french is rather rusty (I’m Basque from the Spanish side so I speak Spanish and Basque), but I believe that brisure de framboise means crushed raspberries.


  90. inga says:

    everything looks so good in here! very nice blog! :)

  91. Thank you for the roasted tomatoes alongside pesto idea. What beautiful twirls of pasta you have there :) Yes indeed a lovely Sunday lunch!
    Heidi xo

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