one thing i love about our new neighborhood is all the old-school italian grocery stores, most of whom sell the freshest mozzarella, and some of whom import delicious fresh pasta. for today’s lunch, i’m using leftover mushroom ravioli from last night’s dinner party… these were fantastic just boiled, drained, and pan-fried with a little bit of butter, salt, pepper, and thyme.
to decorate my mushroom ravioli, i made mini-mushrooms from vegetarian ham and cheese. the rest of the box has steamed broccoli, two grape tomatoes, a few pea pods, and a fruit section with clementine wedges, red grapes, and more of my crazy CSA blueberry haul.
the mini mushrooms were super easy to make: i laid a piece of veggie ham on top of cheese, and used a medium-sized circle cutter to make 5 circles. then i used the smaller of my two tear-drop-shaped cutters, upside down, to cut away the “negative space” on either side of the mushrooms’ stems. finally, i took the ham layers off the cheese layers and used a drinking straw to cut the mushrooms’ spots, then carefully replacing the ham on top of the cheese so that the yellow was visible through the holes.
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unrelatedly… remember how i said i was making blueberry crisp last night? it turned out sooooo yummy that i just had to post my recipe (adapted from 3 or 4 crisp recipes on cooks.com). this recipe will make five or six little ramekins (which i think are prettier for individual servings at a dinner party), or it will make an 8″x8″ brownie pan (or 9″x9″ with slightly less tall and crispier end results). and i know thyme is a weird ingredient for a dessert, but i really think it’s a great flavor combo — it’s just herbacious enough to taste unusual, but mild and lemon-y enough to go well with (and not overpower) the fruit.
for the filling/base (the fruit part, whatever you want to call it):
- 4 cups blueberries
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- zest from half a lemon
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from the woody stem (discard stems)
for the crispy crumbly top:
- 1 stick of COLD (i actually used semi-frozen) butter
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup quick-cook oats
- 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- in a large mixing bowl, toss the berries with the flour, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and thyme.
- butter your ramekins (or brownie pan) and gently dump the blueberries in (too many mashed berries before it starts cooking will make it too wet). if you are using ramekins, leave about a 1/2″ of room at the top — the cooked crisp will sink as the berries wilt down, but you need to have room to add the topping before baking. if you’re using a brownie pan, don’t worry, 4 cups of blueberries won’t come up anywhere close to the top of the pan, so you’ll have plenty of room for topping.
- in a food processor, add all the topping ingredients and pulse until you have a coarse mixture (e.g., until the little lumps of butter are about the size that the oats were before you started pulsing).
- with a spoon, carefully add the topping to the filled ramekins or baking pan. you want to fully cover the blueberries (although one poking out here and there is fine), but you don’t want a particularly thick layer of topping — it won’t crisp up if it’s too thick, so it’s ok to end up with extra topping (throw it in a zip-loc bag, it freezes fine and you can use it to top a single ramekin in the future).
- place your ramekins on a foil-lined baking sheet (they may bubble over a bit), or if you are using a brownie pan go ahead and put a piece of aluminum foil on the baking rack underneath the pan, and bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your altitude and oven) or until the entire crisp has sunken down, the topping is golden, and you can see blueberry goo around the edges of the pan.
- cool them down! really, i swear, they are too hot to eat right now (i learned the hard way). when the ramekins are still warm to the touch, top with vanilla ice cream and a few sprigs of thyme.