No Recipe Required

Spring’s first edible gems are so delicious that recipes are not required. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
May began with a week of firsts for Twice as Tasty. I had my first experience baking in a real woodfired pizza oven during a Grilled Sourdough Pizza workshop, and I taught my first Fine Dining: Front Country workshop for Outsiety. In both classes, I was able to share first cuttings freshly snipped from the garden. This week, I also baked the first stalks of rhubarb into a dessert to share with friends.

My first cuttings are almost always from perennials pushing up through the ground year after year. You probably think little of these plants when you see them in a produce section: they’re not showy, or colorful, or supersized. But when they’re the first edibles to pop through your garden soil, on their own time and with no effort on your part, they’re gems. And my favorite ways to eat them are so simple that you don’t even need a recipe.
Read more about simple spring meals

Advertisements

Mozzarella

Mozzarella was the first cheese I learned to make and use. Get cheese-making recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Mozzarella may seem like the epitome of soft cheeses, but as I’ve mentioned previously, it was the first cheese I learned to make. I have to thank the Cheese Queen, Ricki Carroll, for this: her books, kits, and company are the reason most people, including me and my young niece, started making cheese at home. Most of the recipes you’ll find today for quick mozzarella are nearly identical to her original kit instructions, including mine. But after years of making mozzarella at home, I’ve learned enough techniques and tips that I’m posting my own version, along with a recipe that will use the first harvest from your garden.
Learn to make Quick Homemade Mozzarella and Spring Pasta and Fresh Mozzarella Salad

Paneer

My freezer holds all sorts of vegetables ready to mix with homemade paneer for Paneer Tikka Masala. Learn to make cheese at TwiceasTasty.com.
Every April, I’m focused on two things: what I’m going to grow in my garden this year, and how I’m going to eat up everything I saved from last year’s harvest. Last week’s post used up not just the whey leftover from making yogurt but also the potatoes starting to sprout in my storage bins. This week, I dug deeply into my freezer and found all sorts of vegetables for an Indian dinner: cherry tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and cilantro pesto. Flavor them with my dwindling supply of home-smoked chilies and homemade curry powder, toss in some freshly made paneer, and the flavors explode.

There are several other fabulous things about this week’s recipes. If you already make Lemon Cheese, you don’t need to learn to make paneer: you just need to learn how to press your cheese. If you don’t yet make this cheese, which also goes by queso blanco, whole-milk ricotta, and farm cheese, you have another reason to learn how.
Learn to make Fresh Paneer and Paneer Tikka Masala

Gnocchi

Gnocchi is easier to make than you might think: you just need some basic ingredients, a few tricks, and time. Get gnocchi recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Italy ruined gnocchi for me, much in the way Morocco ruined couscous: After tasting the real thing, I’m no longer impressed with the convenience-food versions that dominate in America. Although potato dumplings and steamed semolina seem vastly different, they have a surprising number of things in common. Both have reputations as difficult yet delicious delicacies. This has led companies to manufacture replacements you can grab off a shelf in a box. Neither vacuum-packed gnocchi nor instant couscous comes close to its freshly made counterpart.

Fortunately, both are easier to make from scratch than you might think. They take time, and some special tools help give the best results, but you really only need some basic ingredients and a few tricks to create the real deal.
Learn to make Homemade Potato Gnocchi and Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi