Monday, September 12, 2016

Summer Crops

Where has the time gone!
For the most part summer is short and sweet in our part of the Pacific Northwest.
August is usually the summers highlight month so, we take advantage of every minute!

You may recognize this dessert, it's one of our summer favorites...raspberries, strawberries, on brownies with a mound of chocolate mousse.

We've had 4 crops in rotation......cherries, raspberries,  blueberries and rounding out the season...tomatoes.
They yield just enough for us along with a little extra to share.
And with the pickin's comes an array of dishes.

Cream cheese pie with shortbread cookie crust is our frequent flyer...with every fresh fruit that comes into season!

This pie is truly a summer  staple.

We have quite an unusual cherry tree! 
I know that you're thinking, what could possibly make a cherry tree different from all others, 
 our  cherry tree actually has six varieties of cherries growing on one dwarf tree.
The only way to distinguish some of the darker cherries is by taste.
And then it can still be a surprise to our taste buds.
There's no real prep for cherries because we just nibble on them fresh and cold.
Sometimes we'll indulge and have a few over sweet cream  Gelato.

Honorable mention goes to our (sad) huckleberries who continue to  sprout 
pin-head size berries each year.
It takes H-O-U-R-S to pick those micro berries!  Short of using tweezers to pick a bowl full, 
they still yield a delightful flavor.
A very rare and appreciated treat is harvesting enough huckleberries for a tart. 

The real fnding enough recipes for the abundance of tomatoes!
Of all the tomato dishes I've presented...the puff pastry pizza is the most requested.
Which honestly is a joy to make because the presentation looks time consuming. But,
 (my little secret) is that this can be accomplished with a few ingredients
 and minimal baking time.

I used a full sheet of (defrosted) puff pastry.
Dock the crust thoroughly with a fork before baking, this will prevent  the crust from inflating like a balloon.
Bake puff pastry just until lightly brown.
Add the toppings and continue to bake until the cheese has melted.

The skies the limit for toppings.
We've made several Margarita pizzas in utilizing our abundant supply of 
I use a smear of olive oil mixed with an array of Italian spices as a base before adding the topping selection.

What really takes this pizza to a whole new taste level is the...
drum roll please.

Trader Joes
Balsamic Glaze.

Drizzle the balsamic glaze across your pizza and it will enhance the flavors.
This glaze marries well with several veggies.  Try it over... cucumbers, purple onions, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.

Puff pastry pizza is a any time meal. 
It's also great reheated as a snack.