Saturday, August 21, 2010


In last week's community supported agriculture (CSA) box, I was thrilled to find the following:  a seedless watermelon, three large peaches, eight yellow plums, a bunch of what I'm calling fingerling tomatoes (exact shape as the potato of the same name), a head of lettuce, green beans, an eggplant in the prettiest shade of light purple, and a cucumber.  What a score.

To celebrate our bounty, I prepared a BLT salad with chunks of cheddar cheese tossed in, and a sliced, hard-boiled egg on top.  I scattered a handful of chopped parsley over the top and arrived at a very colorful and delicious meal.  All I did was place torn pieces of red-leaf lettuce in a bowl and add chopped tomatoes (the fingerlings!), a little chopped, red onion, crisp bits of bacon, as well as small cubes of cheddar.  Last but definitely not least, I tossed in several handfuls of homemade croutons.  To make, simply toast slices of baguette, rub with a clove of garlic, cut into small pieces, and saute in olive oil until light golden brown.  Voila, the perfect easy summer dinner.  

For dessert, I put the yellow plums to good use.  I prepared a simple pie crust dough and laid it in a tart pan. To that I added a batch of creme amandine mix that I picked up in France.  You simply add an egg and some milk to the mix, stir well, and pour into the pie crust.  I then halved and pitted the plums and evenly distributed the fruit over the tart, pressing it down a little into the creamy filling.  

If you haven't had it, creme amandine is an almond flavored pastry cream.  It's lightly sweet and the absolute perfect complement to fruit.  

When I served it after the salad, I asked Alan if he knew how I made the tart.  That is, with what special ingredient.  He wasn't sure so I grabbed the empty pouch of creme amandine filling and showed him.  While he ate multiple slices and raved about it, seeing the package spawned quite the discussion. Turns out, for something with such a lovely name, it contains some not so wonderful ingredients; such as things that start with the letter E and end with three digit numbers.  I guess it pays to read labels on French products, too.  Next time, I will find my own recipe (now that I stocked up on plenty of almond flour in France), so I don't have to worry about chemical additives polluting my family's food.

That sounds a little preachy because really, we ate every last bite of that delicious tart; but in general, like most people I know, I avoid anything with preservatives and other chemicals.

What made me most happy about the dessert is how some of the plums browned on top during baking and the way that it contributed to the overall beauty of the dessert.


  1. Thanks, Ottawa Foodie! I know, aren't CSA's the best?!