Pan Bagnat

  • 1 baguette French bread, about 14 inches long, unsliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 6-ounce cans tuna packed in olive oil, undrained
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup pitted Nicoise olives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup basil chiffonade
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Slice bread in half lengthwise. Use your fingers to scoop out the bread form the inside of the loaf, leaving about a 3/4-inch shell. Brush the insides with olive oil.

Combine tuna, tomatoes, olives, onion, and lemon juice in medium bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the tuna mixture evenly into bottom bread shell. Spread the basil chiffonade evenly over the mixture. Cover with the top half of the baguette and wrap tightly with plastic. Place the sandwich on a baking sheet; top with another baking pan and weight with heavy cans. Let stand at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Unwrap the sandwich and cut into 1 1/2-inch slices. Serve right away.

Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta Salad

2 cups 1-inch chunks seedless watermelon
1 cup halved yellow grape tomatoes
1 cup feta crumbles
1/4 cup mint chiffonade
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Juice of 2 limes
Kosher salt

Toss the melon and tomatoes until mixed. Add the feta, mint, and
jalapeno and toss gently, then sprinkle with lime juice and salt.
Serve immediately.

Melon Salsa on Prosciutto Chips

  • I like honeydew melon in this salsa, it pairs incredibly well with the cardamom. Cantaloupe is also perfect (and the classic partner with prosciutto). I don't recommend using watermelon for this; I like it better in a salad with feta and mint... like this one. You can also use basil in place of the mint; i would leave out the cardamom in that case.

  • For the Melon Salsa:
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    2 cups seeded and finely diced melon
  • 2 tablespoons mint chiffonade
  • Kosher salt

  • For the Prosciutto Chips:
  • 8 paper-thin slices prosciutto, cut crosswise in half
  • Olive oil, as needed

In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice and cardamom. Add the melon and toss to mix. Add the mint and toss to mix. Season lightly with salt. Set aside while you make the chips.

Line a plate with paper towels. Lightly brush one side of each prosciutto slice with oil. Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 slices of the prosciutto, oiled side down. Cook until the bottom is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the prosciutto over and cook until the other side is browned, flattening with the spatula, about 1 minute longer. Using tongs, transfer prosciutto to paper towels to crisp. Repeat the with remaining prosciutto and set aside.

To serve, top each chip with about 2 tablespoons of salsa and serve right away.

Triple-Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are so fudgy and rich they're almost more like brownies than cookies. They are amazing on their own and are perfect to use for ice cream sandwiches. I like them with raspberry or strawberry ice cream; dulce de leche or coffee ice cream would be amazing too! You can also stir a little grated orange zest into the dough with the dry ingredients, or use m&ms or peanut butter chips in place of the chocolate chips.

10 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chile
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces (1 cup) white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or use sil-pat liners. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second intervals or in the top of a double boiler. Let the chocolate cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ancho powder, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the sugar and butter in another medium bowl until crumbly. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to mix on medium speed until the mixture is light, pale, and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and beat just until blended. Fold in the dry ingredients, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop the cookie dough by 1/4 cupfuls (or use a #20 ice cream scoop) onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 baking sheet at a time, until tops are evenly cracked but cookies are not yet firm to touch, about 16 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely on baking sheets before storing. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

French Potato Salad

  • This is fabulous served alongside grilled or seared tuna or halibut or pork chops. You can also add capers or olives if you like. You can also top the salad with canned tuna (I especially like the Spanish tuna packed in olive oil, which is also awesome in a Pan Bagnat).

  • For the salad:
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
    • 1 pound small red potatoes, halved
    • Kernels from 3 ears of corn (or 1 cup corn kernels)
    • 1/2 pound haricots verts, trimmed

For the vinaigrette:
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

  • Fill a bowl with cold water and ice. set aside. Put the potatoes in a medium pot and add cold water to cover. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and heat to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are just tender but not soft, about 8 minutes. While the potatoes cook, make the vinaigrette in a large bowl: Whisk together the vinegar, tarragon, and mustard. Whisk in the oil until blended. Add the tomatoes and corn to the vinaigrette and toss to mix. Drain the potatoes (reserve the cooking water if you want to use the same water for the green beans) and add them to the mixture. Toss to mix and set aside. Cook the green beans just until bright green and tender; drain and add to the ice water to stop the cooking. Remove from the ice bath and let come to room temperature. Add the beans to the salad just before serving. (Make ahead: Refrigerate the salad and beans separately up to 2 hours. Let the salad come back to room temperature before serving, adding the green beans just before serving.)



Hi all,

Can you believe it's June already? I know I can't. But here it is, and with it comes the yummy goodness of summer fruits and vegetables. Here's a few ideas for enjoying them!

Melon Salsa on Prosciutto Chips I love to use melon in savory dishes! This twist on the classic Italian antipasto of melon and prosciutto is perfect for a summer dinner party, or just a summer dinner.

French Potato Salad This is a potluck staple for me. It's great to make ahead and and assemble at the last minute. And because it doesn't have any mayonnaise, it's safe to stand at room temperature and is a little more healthy than a traditional potato salad.

Triple-Chocolate Cookies Okay, okay, I know these don't have any fruits or vegetables in them. But they are perfect for ice cream sandwiches!

June's dinner party is sold out, and I don't plan to do one in July (though that could change...) but August and September are both in the works already... stay tuned!

See you soon!