Tomato, Leek, Brie Crostata

Happy Tomato Season from here in comfortable, warm unbearably hot and humid ENC. You know, that kind of weather that begs for you to stay inside, turn the air really cool, and create delicious treats like this one that I’m sharing with you here. So drop everything and dash to the local farmers’ market this very minute. Grab those vibrantly colored fresh tomatoes and get kicking! Slice it small for an appetizer, or larger for brunch. This one is a winner.

1 sheet puff pastry
12 oz mixed tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
2 leeks, white and light green parts, chopped
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
6 oz Brie, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 t fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
Whole thyme leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out dough to 9 1/2 x 11 1/2 rectangle.
Refrigerate on baking sheet 20 minutes.
Place tomato slices on paper towels.
Sprinkle with salt.
Top with paper towels to absorb excess liquid.
Score edges of pastry, creating 1/2 inch border.
Spread mustard inside border.
Top with cheese, onions, tomatoes (overlapping slightly to allow for shrinkage), and thyme.
Drizzle with oil.
Bake 15 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 375 degrees.
Continue baking until golden brown, about 25 to 30 more minutes.
Sprinkle with thyme leaves and serve warm.


Mint Julep

The 2021 Derby is over, but Bourbon and Mint Juleps live on forever!
Here’s to the Weekend. May it be a great one for everyone!

5 sprigs fresh mint
2 sugar cubes
2 oz bourbon

Crush mint and sugar in bottom of glass.
Fill glass with crushed ice.
Add bourbon.
Stir vigorously and serve.

Photography by pegHARDEE

Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Butter

Zinging into spring with a simple little midweek veggie; heck I’d serve this at a dinner party…oh that’s right, we don’t have those anymore, but SOON!! Nothing unusual about this little asparagus side dish, except its deliciousness. It’s perfect vintage southern and an ideal pairing with any protein. Try it, even if you’ve tried it before. Totally worth every little dancing taste bud that it hits sliding down the throat. Yum! Captured the below pics with the afternoon sun streaming in my westward facing kitchen windows. Perhaps it’s a bright and encouraging sign that we are turning the corner on Covid.

2 lbs thick asparagus, trimmed
1 Tbs olive oil
2 t fresh thyme leaves
3/4 t  Kosher salt, divided
4 Tbs room temperature unsalted butter, divided
1/4 t ground black pepper
4 minced garlic cloves

Place oven rack 6 inches from broiler.
Preheat oven to medium broil.
Place asparagus on rimmed baking sheet.
Pour oil, thyme, 1/2  t salt over asparagus.
Toss gently to combine.
Broil asparagus for 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove and toss asparagus to turn over.
Broil another 3 minutes, until lightly browned.
Transfer asparagus to serving platter.
Place 1 Tbs butter and garlic into skillet over medium high.
Cook until lightly golden.
Place remaining 3 Tbs butter, pepper, and remaining salt in small bowl.
Pour garlic melted butter into bowl.
Stir until combined; will make creamy sauce.
Pour sauce over asparagus and serve.
Serves 4 to 6.