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Melissa Pasanen

Melissa Pasanen

Contact Melissa Pasanen at mpasanen@aol.com and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TasteofVermont.

Recipe: Grilled Peach, Brie, Arugula and Prosciutto Flatbread

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Recipes

Grilled Peach, Brie, Arugula and Prosciutto Flatbread
During the summer, William Snell fires up his outdoor oven for special events, and most Sunday evenings, to bake crisp flatbreads like this winning sweet-savory combination, which might feature peaches from Champlain Orchards in Shoreham during their brief but gorgeous season.
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Ingredients
  1. Pizza dough for one large flatbread (about 8 ounces dough)
  2. 1 large head garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
  3. 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup canola oil, or other light-tasting cooking oil
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  5. 2 medium or 3 small peaches, about 3⁄4 pound
  6. Extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  8. 2 cups (about 11⁄2 ounces) loosely packed arugula
  9. 3 slices prosciutto, torn into small ribbons
  10. 1 small (4–6 ounces) wheel Brie (or other soft, bloomy-rinded cheese), thinly sliced
  11. Up to 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare pizza dough if making from scratch.
  2. Place garlic cloves and enough canola oil to cover in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer until cloves are light golden brown and soft, about 7–9 minutes.
  3. Cool in oil and then remove garlic to a food processor, reserving oil. Add 2 tablespoons of reserved oil and purée garlic until smooth, adding more oil if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Light barbecue grill for medium heat. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. (No need to peel unless skin is very tough.) Brush all but one of the halves lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with a little salt. Grill peach halves, flesh side down, until lightly charred and slightly softened but not too soft, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly and then slice into 1⁄4-inch half-moons. Dice remaining ungrilled half peach. In a small bowl, place ungrilled diced peach, arugula and prosciutto. Place garlic purée, sliced grilled peaches and sliced Brie on a tray to take out to grill.
  5. Increase grill to medium-high heat. On a well-floured surface, roll pizza dough as thin as you can, to a rough 12-inch circle. Brush one side lightly with olive oil. Grill oiled side until crisp and dark brown in spots, checking to make sure it’s not burning, although a little char can be nice. This shouldn’t take longer than 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Take flatbread off grill and place, grilled side down, on a cookie sheet or clean flat surface. Brush uncooked side with a little oil. Flip over and spread garlic purée evenly over grilled side crust. Then arrange grilled peaches and sliced Brie evenly over crust. Transfer loaded pizza back to grill and cook, with cover down, another 2 minutes or so, until bottom is browned and cheese is melted. If crust is done before cheese has melted, move pizza off direct heat, if possible, to let cheese melt without burning crust.
  7. Remove cooked flatbread to a serving board. Toss arugula, prosciutto and fresh peaches with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Use tongs to arrange arugula mixture on top of flatbread. Slice and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Serves 3–4 as a main dish, 6–8 as an appetizer.
  2. Photographed by Ken Burris.
Adapted from Chef/Co-owner William Snell, Tourterelle Restaurant, New Haven
Adapted from Chef/Co-owner William Snell, Tourterelle Restaurant, New Haven
Vermont Life Magazine http://vermontlife.com/

Uber-Local: The Summer Farmstand

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Taste of the Landscape

Photographed by Daria Bishop.

One of the joys of summer in Vermont is rounding a corner in a road and seeing up ahead a cart piled high with glossy tomatoes and cucumbers and a sign advertising fresh eggs. A part of the Vermont scene for generations, farmstands flourish here, some having become so large and well-established that you can check off everything on your grocery list. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Over 35 years ago in central Vermont, Tim and Janet Taylor bought 15 acres — but the lawyer and teacher had no plans to farm professionally. “Our big garden became a small farm,” says Tim. “Our first farmstand was a card table.” Today, Crossroad Farm in Post Mills cultivates asparagus to melons on 45 acres with a peak summer crew of about two dozen employees, five or six of whom are dedicated to the farmstand. “When we started, we used to literally run from the eld to help customers,” Janet says. The couple, both 64, is starting to think

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Recipe: Salad With Charred Onions, Seasoned Ricotta and Poached Eggs

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Recipes, Taste of the Landscape

Salad With Charred Onions, Seasoned Ricotta and Poached Eggs
Serves 4
This elegant salad features cultivated and foraged greens paired with ricotta seasoned with tart sumac and lemon zest and topped with soft-yolked eggs. Frank Pace loves to char onions and other vegetables outside on his grill, but you can achieve a similar effect by using the broil setting on your oven.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon honey
  2. ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  3. 2 large shallot lobes, peeled and halved
  4. 3 very small onions, such as spring onions or cipollini, peeled and halved
  5. 6 ramps or scallions, roots and tops trimmed
  6. 12 asparagus stalks, tough stem ends trimmed
  7. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  10. 1 cup fresh ricotta
  11. ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more to garnish
  12. ½ teaspoon ground sumac, plus more to garnish (Note: Sumac can be found in the bulk spice section of some independent food markets or in Middle Eastern specialty stores. If you don’t have it, just double the lemon zest.)
  13. 1 cup tender pea greens
  14. 2 cups microgreens or watercress
  15. 4 large eggs (Note: Fresher eggs make neater poached eggs.)
  16. Flake sea salt, such as Maldon, if desired for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine honey with cider vinegar and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, just until honey dissolves, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Set oven to broil with rack in top slot and turn on kitchen fan. Preheat a dry cast-iron pan or heavy roasting pan on rack. When oven reaches temperature, add shallots and onions to pan. Cook, turning once, until charred and softened, about 6 to 8 minutes total. Remove to a cutting board and add ramps or scallions to pan. Cook, turning once, until charred and softened, about 4 to 6 minutes total. Add to cutting board. Repeat with asparagus, but set them to cool on a plate. Roughly chop shallots, onions and ramps or scallions and place in a bowl. Dress with 2 tablespoons of honey-vinegar mixture, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full of water and add white vinegar. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. In the meantime, put ricotta in a small bowl and gently stir in lemon zest and sumac along with a pinch of salt. Taste and add salt as desired. In a medium bowl, toss together pea greens and microgreens or watercress with 2 tablespoons honey-vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set out four salad plates. Arrange 4 asparagus on each plate next to evenly divided portions of ricotta, charred onion mixture and dressed greens.
  4. When water is simmering, reduce heat to medium. Crack an egg into a large slotted spoon set over a small bowl to strain off any thin strands of white, and then gently lower egg into simmering water. Repeat with second egg immediately. Cook eggs for about 2–3 minutes for a medium-soft yolk and remove to a clean bowl with a slotted spoon. Trim any untidy white with scissors if desired. Repeat with remaining two eggs. Top each salad with an egg and sprinkle with more sumac, lemon zest, a drizzle of remaining honey-vinegar and flake sea salt. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Photo by Ken Burris.
Adapted from chef-owner Frank Pace, Pace Catering, Burlington
Adapted from chef-owner Frank Pace, Pace Catering, Burlington
Vermont Life Magazine http://vermontlife.com/

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