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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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A Recipe for Fall Happiness: Ratatouille

A Recipe for Fall Happiness: Ratatouille

Ratatouille is one of those recipes that I’ve been making for years. I used to make it all the time in grad school, fairly often when I lived in California, and still make a pot every so often now. And one of my favorite times of year to make ratatouille is fall. Sure, you’ll probably need to used canned (or tetra-pak) tomatoes, but who really wants to simmer vegetables on the stove top for an hour in summer anyway (not me!)? Plus, in fall, a big bowl of vegetable stew is exactly what a person wants – especially when you have discovered the best possible ratatouille recipe, which this is!

Another plus to making a big pot of this is everything you can do with the leftovers (if you have any) — I recently slathered ratatouille on a piece of what pita bread, topped it with some smoked mozzarella, and gave it a few minutes in the toaster oven for a delicious pizza-for-one kind of meal.

Another idea? Take your ratatouille and poach some eggs on top of the simmering stew – completely out of this world. That’s one you don’t . . . → Read More: A Recipe for Fall Happiness: Ratatouille

Almond Gazpacho (Ajo Blanco) with Mango & Crispy Prosciutto

Almond Gazpacho (Ajo Blanco)

Wow, I can’t ever remember a summer in Portland being so humid. Because of that (and also just because I love — LOVE– fall), I seriously can’t wait for the weather to get colder. Until then, there’s gazpacho. Yes, it’s usually made with tomatoes, cucumber, and peppers, and while that version is completely delicious, there’s something to be aid about the version with bread, almonds, and garlic. And that something is, Mmmmm.

You can use plain old white bread, but if you live by a Trader Joe’s you may want to get a loaf of the round, small rosemary bread and use that. Or just add some rosemary leaves while blending. While not exactly traditional, the flavor of that herb is really good in this gazpacho.

Green grapes are the typical garnish, but I found diced mango or grilled fig halves to be just as tasty. Also, some crumbled, crisp prosciutto, using this recipe.

The gazpacho recipe is from one of my most favorite cookbooks of all time — The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen. If you don’t have it, I highly recommend it. I have made so many amazing recipes from . . . → Read More: Almond Gazpacho (Ajo Blanco) with Mango & Crispy Prosciutto

A Late Summer Dinner at 3 Doors Down Café (or: Yes, August is a Perfect Time for Pasta!)

Dinner at 3 Doors Down, Portland, OR

3 Doors Down Café
1429 SE 37th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97214

We actually live close enough to 3 Doors Down to walk there, the problem is, we tend to forget about going there most of the time. Why? I have no idea — every meal we’ve had there has been wonderful. Maybe it’s just because over the last couple of years, when we think walkable dinner, we are always concentrating on SE Division Street.

But, this fall and winter, I am definitely remembering to throw 3 Doors Down into the mix for dinner. Every time we go we get the scallops to start and they are always amazing. Amazing. The recent summer version with seared peaches and basil cream sauce is no exception.

And it’s funny, but every other time we’ve gone there in the past, I’d never gotten pasta as my main course. I always chose the chicken, or pork, or whatever. Not this time! Apparently, summer is pasta weather because I decided to get the rustichella ceppo with ground chicken, rapini, mushrooms, and pancetta — it was so good and creamy. And pancetta-y. jwa got the pasta special and he was . . . → Read More: A Late Summer Dinner at 3 Doors Down Café (or: Yes, August is a Perfect Time for Pasta!)

Rosemary Lemon Meringue Tart

Rosemary Lemon Meringue Tart

Well, it’s like a regular tart extravaganza around here. This one was a test of a pie crust recipe (it was very good) and really, an excuse to make a lemon meringue tart.

I have a memory of making one years ago and not liking it much. This one, however, I loved! We both did.

Some deviations from a regular lemon meringue tart –

1. I added finely chopped rosemary to both the lemon curd and a little to the tart crust;
2. I replaced a little granulated sugar in the curd with honey;
3. I added vanilla extract to the meringue.

You can either use your favorite pie/tart dough recipe or even buy pre-made dough if you like (the Trader Joe’s pie crust dough is not too bad). Whatever dough you use, if you make it, add a little chopped rosemary to it, roll it out, and fit it in your pan.

Bake it unfilled all the way (you’ll want to use pie beads, beans, or dock the crust) and then fill with the curd. Let chill, then top with the meringue, and bake briefly. Done! Ours kept easily in the fridge for about four days. Will . . . → Read More: Rosemary Lemon Meringue Tart

Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Smoked Mozzarella and Basil

Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Smoked Mozzarella and Basil

Hello summer! This is one of the best savory tarts I have ever made. That may be because all of the cherry tomatoes were from our garden or it may be because tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, and basil is a winning combination – probably a bit of both! If you don’t have your own garden supply of tomatoes, multicolored, heirloom cherry tomatoes would look amazing in this recipe.

Our tomatoes were so ripe that some actually split while they were picked. I think this led to me having an abundance of liquid after baking. This really wasn’t a problem because after cooling for about an hour with some sprinkled Parmesan on top it seemed that the cheese had soaked up some liquid. Perfect!

For this recipe, you can use any crust you like but I highly recommend Chocolate and Zucchini’s Easy Olive Oil Tart Crust, which is seriously my go-to savory pie/tart/quiche crust of choice. This time I used a mix of light spelt flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and white flour to great success!

I’m also not ashamed to admit that two of us polished this off for dinner one . . . → Read More: Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Smoked Mozzarella and Basil