Showing posts with label David Lebovitz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Lebovitz. Show all posts

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fresh Tomato Tart #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I was thinking of making a southern tomato pie, a la Paula Dean, as our tomatoes are coming in thick and fast. But reading the recipe, a cup of mayonnaise? And all that cheese and butter and salt? Fortunately, an email came into my inbox from David Lebovitz, and he had a link to a rustic tomato tart. And then I remembered a high calorie version I'd prepared with puff pastry. I decided I could combine the three and hopefully come up with something delicious. I used David Lebovitz's tart dough (though with less salt,) which is easier than a piecrust. And the whole thing is less overwhelming than a Southern mayonnaise pie!


Two large ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly
Fresh basil, as much as you please (8-12 leaves), sliced
One shallot or a bunch of green onions, chopped
About 3/4 of a cup grated cheese (I used the end of a fresh mozzarella ball and some Swiss)
Grated fresh Parmesan for the top
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or even less)
2 teaspoons mustard of your choice (I used my favorite Kozlic's Amazing maple)
Several drops or more Tabasco

For the crust

One and a half cups flour
4 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
One large egg
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

Cut the butter into the flour. I did this using my food processor. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of water and beat together. Add this to the food processor and pulse until the batter holds together. Here's where you can add more water if you need, I did not. Roll this out between a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom and a piece of waxed paper on top. And transfer it to a baking sheet on the parchment paper and peel off the waxed paper.

Mix mayo with mustard. Spread the mayonnaise mustard mixture onto the bottom of the tart, leaving the outside edges bare. Arrange the chopped shallots over the mayo, followed by tomato slices and basil. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and fold in the edges. Bake at 385 until brown and bubbly, 30-35 minutes.

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

French Vegetable Soup with Pistou #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: This recipe is based on one from the fabulous David Lebovitz's newsletter. If you like reading about Paris and French food, I recommend you subscribe. He was a chef at Alice Water's restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, but many years ago moved to Paris and is excellent at translating French ways to Americans.

Lucy with Notre Dame Gargoyles

I remember eating a soup like this when I was a student in the 1970s in France and terribly homesick. A French family used to invite my roommate and me to Sunday dinner every week because they knew we were lonely for home--wasn't that sweet? The mom would sometimes serve this soup so making it brought back some fun memories. John says I'd choose France for every vacation if I could--he's not far off! Anyway, back to soup...

I veered quite a bit from David's recipe and you can move back to his or further away from both of ours – the recipe is very flexible. It's good for someone on a low sodium diet, because the pistou (essentially pesto without the nuts) packs a big flavor punch. I used the vegetables that I either had in the garden or saw at the weekly farmers market. But you could also add potatoes, tomatoes, celery...

Ingredients for the soup

Two medium zucchini
2 to 3 leeks, well washed
Carrots, either three large or five or six smaller
Green beans
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1 cup dried white beans (I used Navy)
1 32 ounce box low sodium chicken broth
Handful of small pasta, if you like
Chopped tomatoes if you like
2 sprigs thyme (which I forgot, darn it!

The day before you plan to make the soup, soak the white beans overnight in water. Rinse them, and then cover them with water in a large pot and simmer until soft with two bay leaves. (This could take an hour or so.) When the beans are soft, add the chicken broth to the pot and keep simmering.

Chop the leeks. Chop the green beans into bite-size pieces. Chop the zucchini likewise. Chop the garlic cloves. I used my food processor to chop the carrots, and didn't even rinse it before starting the pistou. And that explains the little flecks of orange you will see later.

In a large frying pan, heat some good olive oil and sauté the leeks, the garlic, carrots, onion, zucchini and saute until soft. Add the green beans and sautéed them a bit too. Scrape this mixture into the bean pot and simmer everything until soft, about 20-30 minutes. You may if you wish add a handful of pasta at the end, but you may have to add more liquid too.

For the pistou

One clove garlic
One small bunch basil, cleaned and leaves removed (my favorite veggie guy at the market had Thai basil so that's what I tried)
1/4 cup good olive oil
About an ounce Parmesan cheese

Chop the garlic in the food processor, then add the olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese in smaller pieces and chop that in. Finally add the basil and pulse until everything is combined.


Serve the bowls of soup with a heaping tablespoon of the basil mixture dropped in the center. Then each diner can stir his or her pistou/pesto into the soup. Or pass the pistou in a separate bowl if you have concerned eaters...

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chicken Marsala a la David Lebovitz @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE:  If you're like me, when you're having company, you'd prefer to prepare a lot of the meal ahead of time so you can visit with your guests instead of spending the night in the kitchen. I was trying to imagine such a meal when a David Lebovitz newsletter popped into my inbox with Chicken Marsala as the headline. Eureka! My photos are not as beautiful as his and I doubled the mushrooms, but other than that, I think my rendition was similar. We enjoyed both our guests and the meal!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12-16 oz mushrooms, stems trimmed and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons (total) olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons (total) unsalted butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • about 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 2/3 cup Marsala wine 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 or more tablespoons chopped parsley

One at a time, flatten the chicken breasts by placing them in a large Ziplock bag and pounding them with a rolling pin. Dredge the cutlets in flour, seasoned with salt and pepper and set aside. Melt a tablespoon of butter and one of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the first few cutlets until brown. Don’t crowd the chicken or it won’t brown—do this in batches if you don’t have a large pan. Add oil/butter as needed.


Set the chicken aside while you melt another teaspoon or two of butter and olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until they are well done and beginning to brown. Add the chopped garlic and cook the vegetables a few minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water or stock. Add the marsala. Combine the chicken, mushrooms and garlic in a bigger pot, add the liquids and bring to a simmer. Let this cook about ten minutes until the chicken is cooked through and sauce is thick.  (You can make the recipe ahead to this point and then heat it again.)


Five minutes before serving, stir in the vinegar and garnish the dish with chopped parsley. Taste to see if it needs salt or a bit more butter. Serve over egg noodles or good quality pasta.  And maybe something green on the side...Bon appetit!

If you crave an occasional taste of Paris, as I always do, you can read David Lebovitz's blog and sign up for his newsletter here.

Don't forget: July will be here before we know it, bringing the sixth Key West food critic mystery, FINAL RESERVATIONS. You can pre-order it here.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

French Onion and Olive Flatbread: Ooh la la!

LUCY BURDETTE: Every once in a while I succumb to a new cookbook, even though I honestly have more than I could ever use. My latest weakness was the new tome from David Liebovitz, called MY PARIS KITCHEN. 

And wouldn't you know, it was my turn to bring the hors d'oeuvres to supper club.(Why is it that everyone fights to make dessert?) So I turned to the new

cookbook and voila--found an onion flatbread that looked delicious.

Except for the anchovies (which I know I should like, but I don't)...and maybe the thyme...

With tweaks, here is my olive-onion flatbread, adapted from the recipe in My Paris Kitchen.


For the dough:
3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Prepare the dough by mixing the yeast, the water, and half a cup of flour. Stir well and let this sit until the mixture bubbles (about 15 minutes.) Then add the salt and rest of the flour, knead this until it forms a smooth ball. (If you poke your finger in the dough, the print should pop right out.) Pour the olive oil into a clean bowl, add the dough, and turn it so all sides are oiled. Let this rest, covered by a clean tea towel, until doubled in size. 

While the dough is rising, prepare the topping.

For the topping:
30 black olives (I used Kalamata but I think Nicoise would be better if you can find them and are willing to pit them)
3 Tbsp good olive oil
4 large Vidalia or other sweet onions
3 inch-long sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Peel and thinly slice the onions and put them in a large frying pan with the olive oil, over low-medium heat. Add the garlic, salt and sugar, and cook the onions until they are golden but not burnt. WARNING: this can take a looooong time. I let mine cook for almost two hours. They still weren't golden but I had to move on!

To put the flatbread together, roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper and move to a large cookie sheet. You want the dough flat, not risen like a Chicago-style pizza! Let the dough rest 15 minutes, then apply the onion topping all the way to edges. Sprinkle with olives and rosemary.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until crust is lightly browned. 

Cut into squares using a pizza cutter and serve room temperature or warm. Alongside some icy French rose??

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Almond Cake a la David Lebovitz

LUCY BURDETTE: On Monday I typed "The End" on DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, and sent the manuscript off to New York. This is definitely a time for celebration, right? But to be honest, I felt tired. I didn't have the head of steam that creating a new recipe would require.

I have had a terrible craving for almond cake lately, which I date back to the almond cloud cookies that I made last summer. And then miracle of miracles, my inbox received a recipe for almond cake from David Lebovitz--the same cake he used to make back at Chez Panisse. Perfect for a celebration!

David lives in Paris--if you are a Francophile or a pastry fanatic and haven't read his book THE SWEET LIFE IN PARIS, you are in for a treat. (I'm also waiting anxiously for his new book, MY PARIS KITCHEN.) If you are lucky enough to be going to Paris, make sure you download his pastry app, which I discovered too late for our trip last fall. 

I lay no claim to authorship of this recipe, I was only smart enough to make it. (And my guests agreed!)


1 and 1/3 cup sugar
7-8 oz almond paste (this comes in a tube--mine was 7 oz)
1 cup flour
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
6 eggs

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Butter and flour a 9- or 10-inch cake pan and then line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper. I greased this with a little butter too, just to be on the safe side. As there is no icing to disguise bumps and holes, you do not want part of the cake sticking to the pan!

In the bowl of a food processor, grind the sugar, almond paste, and 1/4 cup of flour until the almond paste the mixture resembles sand. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt, and set this aside.

Add the cubes of butter and the vanilla and almond extracts to the almond paste mixture, then process until the batter is smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Transfer this batter to a bowl and mix the dry ingredients in, half at a time. You want the dry ingredients mixed in well, without over beating.

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is deep brown and feels set when you press in the center. Mine took 55 minutes.


Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the edge, loosening the cake. Cool completely, then tap the cake onto a nice plate--the parchment should peel right off. Finally, sprinkle with powdered sugar.


The cake is delicious enough to serve alone, but I added whipped cream and strawberries. The guests swooned!

Along with celebrating DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, the almond cake goes perfectly with MURDER WITH GANACHE, in stores now!

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