Tag Archives: West County Sonoma

Organic Blueberry Brown Butter Tarts

19 Jul

I absolutely love fresh berries in the peak of summer and when I see a local farm stand selling them, I can’t resist stocking up! In the winter time, the location of the Sonoma Swamp Blues Organic Blueberry farm stand is under water from the Laguna de Santa Rosa, but in the summer, Blueberries are grown here. We bought a pound of them and when I got home, I started thinking about what kind of dessert I could make with them.

One of the simplest ideas is to make a Compote, which is so versatile and can be stored in the refrigerator for about up to a week. Compotes can be made out of many types of fruit, such as Berries, Apples, Pears, Apricots, and various others.

For breakfast, I especially like to put warm Compote on Pancakes or cold Compote on Yoghurt, with my homemade Granola sprinkled on top (I’ll share that recipe another time).  For a no-fuss dessert, it’s a great topping on Vanilla Ice Cream.

Since I was on vacation when we bought these, I decided to do something a bit more fancy and baked up some Brown Butter Tarts. The Tart Shell recipe is from Paule Caillat. I love it because it doesn’t involve any rolling of the dough. You press it into the Tart pan with your fingers and poke the bottom all over with a fork before baking them until golden brown (see before and after baking photos below). I didn’t have the suggested size Tart pan, so I used four 4.75 inch individual tart pans, which are particularly convenient for individuals or couples, since you can add the filling right before you are ready to eat dessert. The Tart Shells store well in an airtight container for at least a week.

To make the Blueberry Compote, over low heat, cook the Blueberries in a medium pot on top of the stove with a 1/4 cup of water and 1-2 Tablespoons of Sugar (or to taste, depending on the fruit’s sweetness). You could use Agave or Maple Syrup if you prefer. I like to add the zest of 1/2 Lemon or Orange, and a Teaspoon of Cinnamon or Garam Masala spice blend. It’s a good idea to keep your eyes on the pot since it will bubble over and make a mess if you’re not careful.

I spooned approximately a 1/3 cup of the Compote in the Tart Shell, and garnished with a sprig of Mint. Of course, there are many other options for filling the Tarts, like Lemon Curd, sliced Peaches or Plums on a layer of Pastry Cream, or fresh Raspberries on top of a thin layer of melted Chocolate, but this couldn’t have been easier!

A Seasonal Vegetarian Antipasti Platter

11 Mar

Whenever I think of an Antipasti platter, I think of various cured meats, such as Prosciutto, Salami, Sopresatta, and Bresaola. The one pictured here, from Peter Lowell’s Restaurant in Sebastopol (West County Sonoma) was all Vegetarian and I didn’t miss the meat one bit! I’m definitely going to be ordering it again.

This one included Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar (I think it was White Balsamic), a head of Roasted Garlic, a small slice of Frittata, Roasted Potato sprinkled with some Parmesan, Roasted Beets, Bosc Pear slices, a Mustard Greens Pesto (delicious!) and Kalamata Tapenade with Kumquat (a very nice creative twist!), Olives (including Castelvestrano which are one of my favorites), Caperberries and a couple of Pickled Red Chiles, Brie, Crostini, a bit of fresh, lightly dressed Kale, Curly Endive and Watermelon Radish.

I recommend trying to put together your own Vegetarian Antipasti–I think you’ll love it!

And of course, if you’re in the area, visit Peter Lowell’s…it’s one of the best places in town (open 7 days a weeks for breakfast, lunch and dinner).