I am betting everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day (it was so beautiful out!) and hopefully between all the sunshine and cookouts, you took a moment to thank all of those who have fought to keep us free. Memorial Day for me was always the true kick-off to Summer. Much anticipated, I love the exciting feeling that for the next three months, the weather will be amazing, the food ever so fresh and bountiful, and we basically use our grill exclusively. I'm already starting my Summer "to-do" list, preparing to soak in as much of the great outdoors this season, especially after such a harsh Winter. Do you have a Summer "to-do" yet?
Summertime is also when we probably host the most family and friend get-togethers, or attend them in equal measures. Between graduation parties, block parties, and impromptu cookouts, I always recommend having a great arsenal of ingredients so you may make some quick, fresh, & creative appetizers at a moments notice. MicroGreens are one such versatile ingredient to always have on hand. You'll wow your friends and family with how much fresh flavor these tiny greens have, plus they add some fancy flare to nearly anything. I compiled a few favorite dishes I love making in the Summer using our MicroGreens:
Open Faced Turkey and Herb Sammies w/ MicroGreens
(Lemon + Garlic Herb Cream Cheese)
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon finely minced garlic
salt & pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients together into a bowl. Delicious on sandwiches, crackers, bagels, etc. For the Open Faced Turkey & Herb Flatbread Sammies, simply spread 1 tablespoon of the Lemon & Garlic Herb Cream Cheese over 1 wasa crisp bread and top with smoked deli turkey and micro greens.
Black Pepper Gougeres with Pancetta and Tomato
(makes about 90)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Tomato relish
- 1/2 pound pancetta, crisped and broken into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup micro arugula
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter, salt, and 1 cup of the water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until combined.
Return to medium heat; cook, stirring vigorously, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer to a bowl to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well before adding the next one. Stir in cheese and black pepper.
Whisk remaining 1 egg with the 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch plain tip. Pipe dough into 1-inch rounds about 1 inch apart. Smooth with a moistened finger to ensure even rising. Brush with egg wash. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Gougeres should feel light and airy. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely. Store up to 1 week in airtight container.
To assemble, slice gougeres in half crosswise. Spoon on 1/2 teaspoon tomato relish; top with pancetta and micro arugula. Replace the top, and serve.
Roasted Beet Crostini with Goat Cheese
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced
- 2 large beets, cut into small cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz. goat cheese, near room temperature
- 1½ cup micro greens
- 2 tbsp milk or cream (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- honey for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using a medium mixing bowl, toss each cubed beet in ½ tablespoon of olive oil. If using two different colors of beets, use two bowls so the colors do not bleed.
- Spread the beets out on a prepared cookie sheet, still keeping the colors separate. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beets are tender. Once tender, remove and set them aside.
- While the beets are roasting, prepare the goat cheese. For a spreadable consistency, add a little milk or cream to the softened goat cheese (optional). Salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Once the beets have finished roasting, lower the oven heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the slices of baguette side by side on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Alternatively, you may toast the slices on an indoor grill over medium-high heat for 5 to 8 minutes.
- To assemble the crostini, top a slice of bread with a little goat cheese, micro greens and the beets. Immediately before serving, drizzle a little honey over the beets. Enjoy!