Cipollini and Blue Cheese Tart
2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
3⁄4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons ice water
1⁄2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup crème fraîche
Dash kosher salt
Dash ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup half-and-half or light cream
Dash kosher salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose fl our
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
Roasted Cipollini (see recipe below)
8 ounces Bleu de Gex or Fourme d'Ambert cheese, rind removed and cheese cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices (or use any creamy blue cheese)
2 ounces arugula or watercress
Roasted Grapes (see recipe below)
2⁄3 cup walnuts, toasted
Place 2 cups fl our and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt in food processor. Cover and process to combine. Add cubed butter and process 20 to 30 seconds or just until mixture has texture of rough meal (don’t over-process). With machine running add ice water and process just until dough starts to come together.
Transfer to fl oured work surface; form dough into ball with hands. Roll to 12-inch circle. Line 10-inch fl uted tart pan with removable bottom with dough; trim even with edge. Prick with fork and chill.
Process ricotta, egg yolk, and olive oil until smooth; transfer to bowl. Gently fold in 1⁄4 cup crème fraîche, dash salt, and black pepper; set aside.
In saucepan heat half-and-half until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat. In small bowl beat whole egg and dash salt; gradually beat in hot half-and-half. Cool slightly. In another small bowl whisk together 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon crème fraîche. Whisk flour mixture into half-and-half mixture; set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place tart shell on baking sheet.
Spread ricotta fi lling in tart shell. Layer 3⁄4 of Roasted Cipollini in tart shell over fi lling; drizzle half-and-half mixture over cipollini. Top with cheese, allowing some cipollini to peek through. Scatter remaining cipollini over tart, being careful not to cover all the cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Cover tart with foil during last 15 minutes to keep cipollini from getting too dark.
Cool on wire rack about 30 minutes. To serve, scatter greens on 12 individual plates. Remove sides of tart pan. Cut 12 wedges and set each piece on greens. Lay cluster of Roasted Grapes on each wedge and crumble walnuts over top. Serves 6 to 8 with leftovers.
1-1⁄2 pounds cipollini (or use pearl onions or 11 ⁄ 2 pounds sweet onions cut inbite-size pieces)
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons snipped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon slivered fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄ 4⁄ teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. In Dutch oven, bring water to boil. Place cipollini in boiling water for 1 minute; drain. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Cut slice from root end of each. Squeeze from other end to remove peel. Cut into quarters (or in half, if very small; if using sweet onions, peel and cut into thin wedges). In medium bowl, toss cipollini with olive oil, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spread in shallow baking pan and roast, uncovered, for 45 minutes, until they soften and color but still hold their shape.
1⁄2 pound seedless purple grapes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F. Snip grapes into 12 clusters. Toss clusters gently with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in shallow baking pan for 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is slightly crisp and starting to blister.
MAKE AHEAD: Crust may be made a day ahead and chilled. Cipollini and grapes can be roasted a day ahead. Let come to room temperature, then cover and chill until ready to use. Bring grapes to room temperature before serving.
Brining a Turkey
Brining increases flavor and helps keep meat moist and succulent. It requires a pot large enough to hold the bird plus all the fl avorenhancing ingredients. Ideally, it will be large enough so the turkey can be totally immersed in the brine. Here’s how to go about it:
For brine, coarsely crush 2 tablespoons juniper berries, 2 tablespoons allspice, and 1 tablespoon fennel seeds in blender or spice grinder; set aside. Dissolve 1⁄2 cup kosher salt and 1⁄3 cup sugar in 2 cups hot water in large, clean container. Add juniper-berry mixture, 2 whole cloves, 2 bay leaves, 2 dried chilies, 1 sliced onion, 1⁄2 bulb fennel, 1 peeled-and-sliced carrot, and 4 sprigs each of thyme, sage, rosemary, and parsley. Add 3 quarts very cold water and stir to combine. Place turkey in brine. Cover and chill for 24 to 36 hours, turning once or twice. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry inside and out with paper towels; discard brine. Let turkey stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.