Weeknight Cooking

Dinner Tonight: Spring Torte + Strawberry Salad

May  2, 2012

Tonight's dinner is a manifestation of a common daydream brought on by May's warming weather. Think breezy late afternoon brunch on a stone terrace. (It gets better if, in the daydream, you’re looking at a babbling brook from under the brim of a pale-yellow hat.) Now translate that into a fast, simple weeknight supper.

We dreamt up this beautiful torte -- bright from lemon zest, springy from mint and peas -- with this light, colorful salad alongside. You supply the mimosas. And the yellow hat.

The Menu

Spring Pea and Ricotta Torte with Lemon and Mint by TasteFood

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Strawberry Salad by Jestei

The Grocery List
(for 4, with leftover torte for lunch the next day)

1 pint of strawberries
3 cups market mesclun
1 celery rib
1 fennel bulb
2 cups shelled peas (or frozen, thawed)
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 cup young Pecorino cheese
Fresh mint

We’re assuming you have quite a few ingredients already on hand, but if not, they’re all pantry staples. If you don’t have the following, go ahead and stock up -- we’re guessing you’ll need them for tomorrow, or the next night: balsamic vinegar, good olive oil, “loads” of black pepper, butter, shallot, salt, nutmeg, eggs (you'll need 4), and a lemon.  

The Plan

The salad can be thrown together last minute, right before you're ready for it, so the main task is the torte, which is basically a crustless quiche.

1. Before you do anything else, get your oven working at 375 F. You can also prep a quick salad dressing with your olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper.

2. Time to focus on your torte: start in on steps 2 and 3 of the recipe; this is the most work you'll do all night. From here, the oven does the rest.

3. Compose your salad. (Read: toss ingredients into a bowl. Bonus points if your bowl is a pretty, spring-sppropriate color.) As the torte cools slightly, dress your salad, and you're done. Now, go ahead, daydream.

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Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.

1 Comment

Nozlee S. May 2, 2012
I've had my eye on that spring pea torte since the dead of winter -- so psyched to finally make it now that it's spring!