Ricotta Toast with Figs and Seeded Honey

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Say hello to my new favorite breakfast. It’s super simple, so the dish really rests on the quality and seasonality of the ingredients. The figs? Local. The ricotta? Local. The honey? Definitely local. Insufferable, but delicious.

Ricotta toast with figs and seeded honey

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 loaf rustic bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 fresh ricotta
6 figs, sliced

1. In a medium bowl, combine the seeds and honey and mix.

2. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Cut the bread into 4 thick slices and brush with oil. Toast bread on skillet until warmed through and lightly toasted, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

3. Spread the ricotta onto the toasted bread and arrange figs on the ricotta. Drizzle the honey-seed mixture over the top and serve.

Heirloom Tomato Galette

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Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe, this garlicky, flaky tomato galette is one of my favorite ways to capture our summer produce. The puff pastry was made by hand here, but if you’re short on time feel free to use store-bought. Just make sure to salt the tomatoes thoroughly; otherwise, you’ll end up with a soggy galette. And nobody likes a soggy galette, amirite?

Heirloom tomato galette

Ingredients:

2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 ounces firm cheese (such as Asiago, cheddar, or Gouda), grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 egg, beaten
Pepper
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1. Pulse flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

2. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; drizzle with vinegar and 1/4 cup ice water. Mix with a fork, adding more ice water by the tablespoonful as needed, until a shaggy dough comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and lightly knead until no dry spots remain (be careful not to overwork). Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Toss tomatoes, garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Let sit 10 minutes (tomatoes will start releasing some liquid). Drain tomato mixture and transfer to paper towels.

4. Unwrap dough and roll out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to a 14″ round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer on parchment to a baking sheet. Scatter cheese over dough, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border. Arrange tomatoes and garlic over cheese. Bring edges of dough up and over filling, overlapping as needed to create about a 1 1/2 inch border; brush dough with egg. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Chill in freezer 10 minutes.

5. Bake galette, rotating once, until crust is golden brown and cooked through, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly on baking sheet. Finely grate zest from lemon over galette; sprinkle with chives.

Fava Bean Fritatta (Kuku-ye Baghali)

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Kuku refers to an Iranian fritatta, of which there are many styles. Kuku sabzi (herb fritatta) and kuku sibzamini (potato fritatta) are the most popular, but fava bean kuku is my most favorite of them all. Seasoned with dill, onions, and garlic, this makes for a perfect brunch or picnic food.

Every year I eagerly await springtime, when fava beans are in season. Last year I came up on more than 15 pounds of favas from Imwalle Gardens in Santa Rosa — no complaints here.

Kuku-ye baghali

Ingredients:

1 pound fava beans, shelled and peeled
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
4 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon yogurt
1 cup chopped fresh or 1/2 cup dried dill

1. Remove the second skin from fava beans and place the beans in a saucepan with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Boil for 10 minutes over medium heat. Drain and set aside to cool.

2. In a skillet, brown onions and garlic in 3 teaspoons oil. Add beans and stir. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. Break eggs into a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, and yogurt. Beat lightly with a fork. Add chopped dill and fava beans and mix.

4. Heat remaining 3 teaspoons oil in a nonstick skillet, pour in the egg mixture, and cook, covered, over low heat until it has set, about 15 minutes. Cook the second side by cutting into wedges and carefully turning each wedge over one by one. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, cover, and cook for 15 minutes longer. Serve kuku with flatbread and yogurt.

Maple-Turkey Bacon Popovers

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Looking for a carby, sweet-and-savory side dish for your holiday meal this year? I got you. These popovers are easier to make than they look, and they taste oh-so-decadent: airy and eggy and glazed with a healthy brushing of maple syrup (our household is, after all, partly Canadian).

You can use regular bacon here but I love turkey bacon. Really. Don’t @ me.

Maple-Turkey Bacon Popovers

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped turkey bacon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more for brushing
4 eggs, at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high and cook chopped bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Allow drippings to cool in skillet; pour into a small heatproof bowl.

2. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter to drippings; stir to combine. Spoon 1 teaspoon drippings mixture into each cup of a 12-cup large muffin pan. Place pan in oven to heat, being careful not to let the drippings burn.

3. Stir together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together milk, maple syrup, eggs, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large bowl. Gradually whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until nearly smooth; fold in bacon. Transfer batter to a large spouted measuring cup.

4. Carefully remove hot muffin pan from oven. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full. Bake in preheated oven until popovers are puffed and golden brown, about 18 minutes. Lightly brush tops with additional maple syrup. Remove from pan and serve.

Crepes with Caramelized Bananas, Whiskey, and Walnuts

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These sweet and sticky bananas are begging to be piled atop fresh crepes for a decadent weekend brunch. Fortified with whiskey and walnuts, this dish is a pinch to make, especially if you cook the crepes ahead of time.

Crepes with caramelized bananas, whiskey, and walnuts

Ingredients:

One quantity crepes from this crepe recipe (minus the dark chocolate sauce)
2 tablespoons avocado or other neutral oil
5 bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup whiskey (bourbon works well here)
1/2 cup walnuts

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bananas, cut side down, and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top. Cook bananas until heated through and sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. Add whiskey and flip bananas over. Add the walnuts and cook until the bananas are caramelized and the whiskey has reduced to a syrup. Serve over crepes.