Salad Nicose; Classic Summer Supper Salad

This dish is a family favorite in those steamy summer months of ripe tomatoes and hot days which lead to evenings that feel too warm for a big heavy meal. This salad is composed of several vegetables cooked until just barely done, bathed in a simple EVOL vinaigrette and topped with oil packed tuna. Fresh, satisfying and very healthy in that trendy Mediterranean way I keep reading about. This salad is my daughter’s favorite from her teen years; she is 30; I have been making it for decades! My mother loved it too. My guy enjoys it as well. I don’t make it except in summer as the fresh produce is critical to the flavor especially the tomatoes.

First, you start with fresh ripe summer tomatoes, crisp bell peppers, tender zucchini and high-quality small potatoes, preferably red organic ones and the oil packed tuna of your choice. Do not make it with water canned pallid tuna, a total waste of time in my opinion. You can lay it on a bed of romaine leaves or leave off the lettuce, great either way. I use fancy olives sometimes, but inexpensive small canned pitted ones work really well. Please do make the homemade vinaigrette; it is very simple and very effective in creating the perfect flavor of the salad. If you hate one of the ingredients; leave it out. I do want to mention that many recipes use wedges of hard boiled eggs but my version doesn’t usually have that. Feel free to add them in!

Before I add the tuna….

Angie’s Salad Nicose

Ingredients

2 lbs of small red potatoes

2 medium peppers; one red, one green, cut into vertical strips and halved across the middle.

1 medium zucchini sliced in 1/2 inch half rounds

1/2-2/3 lb fresh green beans, tips removed, if long cut in half

2/3 of a 14 oz can of small pitted olives, drained

1 large ripe tomato cut into chunks

2 cans oil packed tuna fillet

Vinaigrette
I used one of those good Seasons vinaigrette jars to mix my dressing in; I know….terribly old fashioned but they do work well!

Fill jar with red wine vinegar to the water line (second line from bottom) (abut 1/4 cup)

Fill rest of way to oil line with EVOL (I often do half EVOL and half mild olive oil) (bout 2/3 cup)

Then add the following:

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp. French Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp sea salt; rounded

ground black pepper to taste – cap it and mix it up well

Salad directions

Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and boil on high until just tender. Whie, they cook chop the individual veggies. Steam each kind individually in a pot with 1/2-inch water until just tender (3-5 min) Taste one to be sure., do not overcook them! Carefully drain each cooked veggie and dump gently into a big bowl. On top of each other. Make the vinaigrette as you do the cooking so it can stand 5-10 minutes. When the potatoes are done drain them and set on your cutting board to cool; not touching each other. Peel them and slice thickly. If they are oval, I sometimes just cut into two thin halves, cutting along the long side. Put them in the bowl you will serve the salad in. When all hot potatoes are peeled pour 1/3 of the vinaigrette over them and carefully turn with a big spoon to coat well. They should still be quite warm when you do this step. The dressing soaks into the warm potatoes; doing it warm is very important to the flavor. Put the cooked and drained veggies in there on top. Add the tomato chunks, tuna and olives. add another third of dressing and gently turn the salad to mix well. Adjust the salt/pepper and dressing amount. Serve on a plate or shallow bowl on a bed of torn up crisp romaine leaves. Enjoy!

Delicious GF Tiramisu

There is this lovely Italian dessert that I haven’t had in a decade, it was my favorite back when I didn’t have to worry about gluten. Sure do miss it…. Well, while we were on vacation in Delaware we discovered Schar gf ladyfingers in a grocery store. Immediately my brain thought tiramisu! So, we snagged that package and brought it back to my kitchen.

I understand there are various ways to make tiramisu; this is the way I did mine; with fresh real whipped cream, some folks use beaten egg whites. Maybe next time. Just know that my tiramisu was just so creamy and rich…. It was addictive in all ways possible.  You could make your own ladyfingers but it was easier to use store made. ones.

Notes: I used a single use coffee bag and about 2/3 cup boiling water; let it stand 10 minutes and it was ½ cup which is what I needed. Easy! Or make some expresso and go full Italian! And one last important tip: do not warmup the mascarpone cheese at all before using; it will turn to butter in the blink of an eye! Trust me!

Kinda drab looking in the pan but it is a delightful treat for dessert!

GF Tiramisu; makes 9 medium sized servings

Ingredients

1 package gf ladyfingers

2 egg yolks

3 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp marsala for the egg mixture

1 cup mascarpone cheese

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¾ cup COLD heavy whipping cream

½ tsp. vanilla

————

½ cup strong coffee cooled to room temp- could use up to 2/3 of a cup should be cold

1 Tbsp. marsala for the coffee mixture

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

Instructions:  Make the coffee and let it cool. Put the sugar and egg yolks in the top of a double boiler. Do not let the water in the bottom half reach the top pan. Stir constantly with a whisk until the sugar is totally dissolved in the egg yolk 4-5 minutes on low heat. It should be a pale yellow, silky smooth when done Add the marsala and whisk. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.

When the egg mixture and the coffee are both cooled you can put it together. I used a 7 inch square pan; I think an 8 inch will work too; will be thinner. Spray the pan lightly with cooking spray. Put the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl, beat briefly to make it smooth. Add the whipping cream and beat until stiff peaks form; 3-4 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix in briefly. Fold in the egg/sugar mixture until smooth; do not beat any more than necessary

Put the coffee in a low wide bowl; mix in the marsala. Doing one ladyfinger at a time dunk in the coffee briefly and lay in the pan to cover the bottom. Pour half the pudding mixture on top of the ladyfingers and smooth the top. Repeat the ladyfinger layer and top with the rest of the pudding. Put in fridge for 6-10 hours before serving. Sift cocoa on top with a sieve before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

A less than stellar photo but we were eager to taste this treat!

Zucchini and Tomato Quiche in a Potato Crust

Sometimes you just don’t feel like making a traditional crust. This was one of those times. I had a homegrown zucchini, some cherry tomatoes, cheese, eggs, and 2 potatoes. Quiche for supper! This is a different filling recipe than my usual one; it is more eggs, half and half instead of milk and no cottage cheese; cubed mozzarella cheese. It was a delicious change of pace especially with the julienned fresh basil leaves sprinkled all over the top. You could use other veggies; I went with what I had. The garden’s bounty and it didn’t fail me.

Just baked, still pretty hot.

Angie’s Zucchini and Tomato Quiche

Ingredients

2 large russet potatoes, washed well and sliced very thin: about 1/8 inch thick.

cooking spray

5 large eggs

1/3 cup half and half

about 4-5 ounces cubed mozzarellla cheese

about 1/3 cup sliced onion; I used one small onion

2 Tsp EVOL

approximately 1 to 1-1/2 cups sliced zucchini

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup or so cherry tomatoes, halved

6-7 large basil leaves Jullianned

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 8.5-9 inch metal pie pan with olive oil cooking spray. Line it with potato slues on the bottom and half way up the sides. Spray again all over with the olive oil cooking spray. Bake 20 min; don’t let it get really brown. Turn oven down to 350 after removing pie shell.

Mix eggs and half and half in blender; 10 seconds or so.

Sautee the onion rings in some EVOL; maybe 2 tsp of it. Add squash after 2-3 minutes. Cook until softening; maybe 5 minutes. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Pour into warm potato crust. Sprinkle with tomato halves and cheese cubes. Pour egg mixture gently over it Sprinkle with basil leaves.

Bake in 350 degree oven 30-35 minutes; if it looks like it is browning too much turn heat back to 335 degrees.

Cool to lukewarm before cutting. Enjoy!

Blueberry Rhubarb Custard Pie

Surprisingly blueberries and rhubarb really do go together so well. Blueberries are uncooked: with milk or cream or baked in a cobbler or a fruity crisp. Rhubarb is called the pie plant for good reason; it makes a lovely pie from a humble plant stem. But this, this is my current obsession, the two together in a custard pie. Not just any old custard but one made with Greek yogurt and eggs. Easy to throw together, creamy, never runny textured and a lusciously fruity flavor that may make you have to eat a second slice! The blueberries do tend to take over the rhubarb flavor of this pie. Of course, there are more than twice as many blueberries by volume and they are just a stronger flavor than rhubarb which gives a bit of a tart under taste to this pie. You could play with the proportions of the two fruits; this is the amounts which I used. This pie will be tasty to even the biggest rhubarb dissenter. Really!

WARNING: This pie goes soft in 2 humid days so plan to gobble it down within that time frame or face the soggy crust syndrome. Inevitable with gf crust and a custard filling in hot/humid weather.

I don’t recommend frozen or canned fruit for this pie, simply not good enough and you must use plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt in the filling, plain yogurt is too runny. And no, it can’t be made without the eggs it just wouldn’t work as a custard if there are no eggs. The version with peaches uses 3 yolks in there. I tried it with two whole eggs beaten up: success! And one last warning; applicable to 100 percent of my recipes: Please don’t try it with Measure for Measure gf flour; this is calibrated for using King Arthur’s Basic GF Blend.

I hope you give it a try; super easy and super delicious. Best pie of the summer hands down! Make one Saturday morning…we couldn’t wait for a slice still faintly warm……. I thought I took a picture of a slice; no luck there and it is all gone. Next time! It does look pretty much like the blueberry peach custard pie I posted last summer.

Naked pie! About to go in and bake for 25 minutes and then the crumbs go on top.
Just out of the oven….cooling…a molten mass of fruit and custard and sugary crumbs!

Angie’s Blueberry and Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie

CRUST:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbps cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 or 10 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

2-3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb cut in half inch slices (2 cups if 9 inch pie, 3 cups for 10 inch pie)

4 cups blueberries; rinsed

2/3 cup sugar, sweeter if you like it that way or if peaches are not fully ripe

2 Tbsp. tapioca starch

Mix in a medium bowl the following ingredients:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt, I prefer whole milk, and let it warm up a bit

2 whole large eggs or 3 egg yolks, close to room temp.

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tbsp. brown rice mixture flour (King Arthur Basic GF blend)

Crumb topping

¾ c brown rice flour mix (King Arthur Basic GF Blend)

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Put all five ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Directions: Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Put the oven rack on the closest to the bottom shelf position. Once the crust is chilled some but not hard, Roll it out and fit into the pie shell. Trim off excess crust. I like to chill those crumbs of crust and roll out to make a jam filled hand pie. Anyway, put the sliced rhubarb and blueberries in a bowl and add the sugar and tapioca. Let stand 5 minutes. Then pour into the pie shell in a fairly even layer, as the filling and crumbs will hide it there is no need for a pretty design. Then pour the filling that you just mixed up over it , tap the pie on the counter sharply 2-3 times to settle in the filling and bake for 25-30 minutes. I turned down my oven to 375 after 15 to 20 minutes. While it bakes those 25-30 minutes make the crumbs. When your timer goes off, carefully remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle the top of the pie with crumb mix;  I used about 3/4 of it but you could use a bit less if you don’t want a thick crumb layer or all of it for a really heavy crumb. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until crumbs are lightly browned. Let stand at least 1 to 11/2 hours before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie – Long Name – Yummy Pie

This is a variation on my favorite rhubarb custard pie which is my go-to recipe for a great spring dessert. I added strawberries to please my guy who isn’t a huge rhubarb fan. The strawberries add their special flavor and he really enjoyed this pie this past weekend. So did I! Our new favorite pie…

This is an easy pie even though it has several steps.  It is different from the usual rhubarb pie because the texture is a bit closer to a crumb cake, no wet (aka slimy texture) and no ultra-sour flavor.  I think this new strawberried version is great for those who doubt the power of rhubarb!  This GF crust will work for any pie with a traditional dough and the GF crumb topping is a great choice for any crumb pie topper.  This is my mixture of three recipes with some modifications which come together to create one of my favorite GF pie recipes.  I know it has several steps but each one is easy and you can use these crust and crumb techniques for other pies.

I like it because it has a great texture and the flavor is complex but subtly rhubarby.  It isn’t really soft or all that custardy (if I didn’t say the word custard you would never know) but has a more cake-like texture. It is a game changer of a pie. I promise you that!

Fruit in the unbaked pie shell.

Angie’s GF Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 1 tbsp brown rice flour mix (recipe for blend at bottom of pie recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

——————

Spray a 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour. I must confess I forget this step a lot of the time and it doesn’t seem to matter much….

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice. Do not leave out the juice; it is critical to the crust texture and structure!  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape the sticky mess into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you chop the rhubarb into ½ inch chunks.

This pie is ready to bake!

My sister Karen bought me one of those pie crust plastic bag thingies; has a zipper around the edge.  By OXO: I love it; it works better than wax paper which can get soft and tear as you roll out the crust.  King Arthur Flour sells an inexpensive one on line. I highly recommend you get the OXO version for making scratch pie crust.  Or maybe improvise with a sheet of heavy duty plastic! Strong enough to work with the rolling pin and better than wax paper.pie crust bag

Filling:

4-5 cups cut up fresh rhubarb – place in medium bowl

1 1/2-2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Mix with dry mix made of

2/3 – 1 c sugar (depends on how sweet you like your pie) I go with 2/3 cup

¼ c brown rice flour mix (see below recipe)

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Sprinkle cinnamon

Roll out pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with dry rhubarb mix.  Pour the following wet mix evenly over this mixture:

Liquid mix: 3 large eggs beaten lightly with 1/3 c milk (not skim), and ¼ tsp almond extract.

Crumb topping

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Sprinkle the top of the pie with the crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I like about 2/3 of the mixture.  Up to your personal taste… It sinks into the rhubarb and wet mixture to create an almost cake like texture and the crumb crust adds lots of sweetness and eye appeal.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 55-60 minutes until bubbly and the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 3 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.

The pie is just out of the oven, hot and smells wonderful!

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur’s Basic GF Blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Afternoon snack; still faintly warm. Delicious!