Tag: Summer

Roasted Tomato & Pancetta Pasta

Roasted Tomato & Pancetta Pasta | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Roasted Tomato & Pancetta Pasta | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Roasted Tomato & Pancetta Pasta | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Roasted Tomato & Pancetta Pasta | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Roasted Tomato & Pancetta Pasta | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Roasted Tomato & Pancetta Pasta | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Roasted Tomato & Pancetta Pasta | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love my garden. Even this year, when it hasn’t been that productive (I blame the early heat waves and the incredibly dry summer), I love going out to check on my plants every morning. It’s hard to put into words the way my garden makes me feel, but I figure other people feel the same way. Although it happens over and over again, I am simply dumbfounded that I can put a tiny fleck of seed into the ground and get a big, productive plant that will feed me delicious fruit or vegetables. Isn’t that just amazing?

Anyway, I thought my dad was the big gardener in my family (he was an agriculture major in college, is very active in his local p-patch, and can answer my “what is this plant?” text messages about 80% of the time), but it turns out my mom is pretty great at it too. She just put in a bunch of garden beds at her house and she has nearly 20 tomato plants. She has been sending me lots of pictures of all her produce, so I feel like I’ve been watching things grow alongside her. But I am in Seattle staying with her this week and when I see how excited she gets to show me her big prize tomato or her amazing cucumbers the size of my arm, I see where I get my wide-eyed awe from.

To celebrate tomato season (and you really should, at this point, be eating as many tomatoes as you can) and the fact that you can now turn on your oven without wanting to immediately die, make this pasta. Savory, rich, and bright, it captures some of my favorite flavors of the season.

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Miso Cream Cheese Toast with Crunchy Vegetables

Miso Cream Cheese Toast with Crunchy Vegetables | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Miso Cream Cheese Toast with Crunchy Vegetables | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Miso Cream Cheese Toast with Crunchy Vegetables | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Miso Cream Cheese Toast with Crunchy Vegetables | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I was going to post a pasta dish this week – it’s really good and summery but still creamy and light – but I just couldn’t bring myself to suggest that you turn on both your oven and your stove. I don’t know about you, but we are in the middle of a heat wave. It’s another heat wave, or maybe it’s the heat wave we’ve kind of been having all summer despite a couple days last week. We have established a system of closing our windows around noon when it starts to get really hot outside, turning on the air conditioning when the inside temperature gets unbearable, and then opening the windows in the evening once the outside temperature is lower than inside or maybe if there’s a slight cool breeze blowing by.

On days like this, I can’t imagine eating anything hot. In fact, I would prefer that everything I ate was cold and crunchy, preferably also maybe juicy or with a little tang or spice to it. These toasts almost fit that bill – no juiciness really (unless you include the cucumbers that I GREW IN MY OWN GARDEN – sorry, I’m excited), but lots of crunch from the sliced vegetables and tang from the miso cream cheese. You do have to turn on your toaster, but it’s worth it, I promise.

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Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

There is that time of year when all you want to feed yourself is fresh, crunchy, cold (or maybe room temperature) food. The time when you are drinking more cold beverages than you thought possible. And when you are going to backyard gatherings or picnics in the park. That time of the year is now and all I want are things that are stuffed with fresh herbs from the garden, salty, tangy, and maybe a little spicy. Luckily, this simple salad satisfies all of those cravings.

How simple? First, throw a bunch of herbs, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar into a food processor. Toast your couscous until it is golden, then cook it with broth to give it some extra love. SautĂ© the asparagus and peas for just a few minutes, until they have just a touch of color but are mostly a vibrant green. Top all of this with crumbled feta for a touch of salty briny tang, and enjoy. Don’t worry, you’ll have sauce leftover to drizzle over any thing hot off the grill.

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Peach Pie with Rye Crust

Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Pie with Rye Crust | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Breaking your routine every once in a while is a good thing. Shake it up. I thought after returning from our journey this spring that I would want routine forever and ever. But routine has gone out the window these last months. It might have something to do with the total eclipse, or the cast of characters streaming through our guest room. Some days I love this. A touch of the unknown – What will our guests want to do today? When are they coming and going? – is mixed with feelings of comfort and pride as we show people our home, our city, our community.

One routine I have missed is baking. Granted, between the lack of air conditioning in our apartment (I’m working on it, Mom) and our big west and south facing windows, I don’t often want to turn on the oven. But something inspired me. Something big, the size of softballs. Skin the mottled colors of sunsets. A scent you could smell wafting through the air as we strolled through the farmers market one cloudy Saturday morning. How can you go a whole summer without making a peach pie? I was feeling the same pangs of guilt as last summer when I made only one strawberry-rhubarb pie. I had barely even eaten a perfect peach this summer, much less baked it in between layers of buttery crust.

Another routine that has been finding its footing again is my go-to pie dough. I used to stick with the one I had been making for years, then I switched to the one out of The New Best Recipe. But this summer has been the summer of The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, a cookbook that has been reawakening my love of pie. This is a take on their all butter crust, but I’ve subbed some of the all purpose flour with rye for a darker, earthier flavor. I would recommend trying it, but if you don’t have rye flour and don’t want to purchase some, you can just replace it with all purpose flour and still get a perfectly crumbly, wonderful crust.

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