Roasted Apricot Stracciatella

Roasted Apricot Stracciatella // Not Without Salt

I sit in my office doing the internet version of twiddling my thumbs; bouncing from Facebook to Instagram scrolling through the feeds until my thumb aches and my mind is overwhelmed with images and updates that leave me feeling depleted. I have only a couple more hours to work and yet I can’t focus and am losing motivation in the midst of the scrolling.

“That’s it.” I say to myself. “I need to get out of here.”

So I jump in the car with a simple plan of going to the market and seeing where that leads me. Once there I see crate after crate overflowing with stone fruit. Nearly black plums with a hint of red underneath which tells me they are perfect; mostly sweet with a good sour bite. Next to them, small Italian plums covered in a soft dust that wipes off easily to reveal a deep purple skin. And apricots the color of a late evening sun and the star of so many of my favorite summer recipes.

Immediately I grab several pounds of plums because two days before I heard a lovely story on NPR about a pastry chef who stood at her stove sobbing at the site of this German Plum Cake. It was the first time she had made it since her mom died and just the site of it; familiar like a dear friend, made her lose it in her kitchen leaving her staff a little clueless as to why chef was looking at the stove dripping tears into a plum studded cake (that’s actually a bit more tart than cake). I needed to make this.

Then I grab the Italian plums and my mind turns to stewed prunes. The resulting dish is actually much more appetizing than the name suggests. They are so good in fact that I keep my oven on for an entire day in the midst of a crazy heat wave just to dry out the plums so I can make the very best version of stewed prunes when a winter’s evening demands a taste of summer.

Roasted Apricot Stracciatella // Not Without Salt

 

Roasted Apricot Stracciatella // Not Without Salt

Finally I reach for apricots. My usual response to apricots is pie or jam but today I dust off the ice cream maker and decide to roast a batch for ice cream. I need something cold to counter  the temperature in the house after the oven has been on all day.

I roast the apricots with a bit of sugar because it’s only after roasting that apricots reveal their magic. They succumb easily to a gentle pressing with my spatula to turn into a sort of puree, intentionally left a bit rustic as I imagine the pleasure of biting into a piece of apricot on top of an ice cream cone. The puree turns the creamy base into a pinkish orange hue, enough to catch the attention of Ivy who is immediately drawn to anything pink. While it churns I melt a bit of chocolate and drizzle that in to the ice cream just as it looks like soft serve. Ivy licks the chocolate bowl clean.

The result is a sweet ice cream, softly tart and rich with speckles of bittersweet chocolate and more importantly for me, an end to my twiddling of thumbs and an awakening to the day in front of me with all its possibilities.

 

Roasted Apricot Stracciatella // Not Without Salt

Roasted Apricot Stracciatella

base recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

1 pound apricots, halved and pitted

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 + 1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2  tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped)

1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Place the apricots in a cast iron skillet or small baking dish along with 1/3 cup sugar. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Remove the apricots from the oven and gently smash them with a rubber spatula to make a craggy and rough puree.

Set aside while you prepare the base. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside.

In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture.

Fold in the apricot puree and lemon juice. Set a bowl inside of another bowl that is filled with ice water. Pour the base into the top bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very cold.

Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

While the ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate with the coconut oil (quick 15 second bursts in a microwave, stirring in between heatings, until melted) until smooth.

When the ice cream looks like soft serve, slowly drizzle in the chocolate and let the process of the churning break up the chocolate into small bits.

Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set.

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Salmon and Chickpea Salad

Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt

I didn’t intend to post two salmon recipes in a row but I did intend to tell you about this one as quickly as possible.

This is the salad that has balanced out the burgers and ice cream. It’s the one that has put me back on a healthful track when the weekend’s activity were filled with less-than-healthful things. Good things but the sort that need me to reset. And it’s the one that is getting me to eat salmon (along with the sandwich from the last post) because I live in Seattle so I feel it’s part of my duty to consume a lot of salmon.

Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt

 

Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt

I love this salad for its brightness, the briny pop from both olives and capers and the way in lingers in the fridge until the next day. Because this is the sort of season that I need food to linger in the sort of satisfying way when the work of one meal carries on to the next and then the next.

As with most of my recipes feel free to tweak this one to suit your tastes. Another green, in place of the arugula would be fine here too. I just happen to have a garden bursting with the peppery green.

Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt
 
Salmon and Chickpea Salad // Not Without Salt

Salmon and Chickpea Salad

Serves 6 (or more as a side)

 

2 salmon fillets

salt & pepper

3 teaspoons dijon

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 medium red onion, finely diced

1 cup halved kalamata olives

1/4 cup capers

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup chopped dill

1/4 cup chopped basil

3 cups arugula

 

For the Salmon:

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper then cover with the dijon. Roast on a parchment lined sheet tray for 20 minutes or until just cooked through.

 

Salad:

In a large bowl combine the garbanzo beans, red onion, olives, capers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cherry tomatoes. Toss well and taste. Adjust to your liking. This can sit for up to an hour if need be.

Just before serving add in the herbs and arugula. Add the salad to a platter and top with the room temperature or just warm salmon that has been broken into very free form pieces. Finish with a few more bits of herbs if you have them.

Serve right away.

Leftovers, however not as pretty, do keep for a couple days in the fridge. You can hide their tired look in between a couple pieces of butter toasted bread.

 

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