a happy little salad {editorial}

written by Gina Weathersby
photography by Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios

This little salad was for an editorial assignment that Ilene and I worked on for Her Cincinnati magazine this month. The column speaks to balancing the cost and quality of staples in the kitchen ~ be sure to pick up an issue and read the entire article. Since we chose to feature a high quality, fruity olive oil, (and it is summer) a salad seemed like an appropriate meal to create. We used various varieties of greens gleaned from our market visit earlier in the day, and Ilene brought a healthy bouquet of fresh herbs from her greenhouse along for a flavorful vinaigrette. Pretty straight forward. All our ingredients were fresh and seasonal, but honestly, (for me) something was missing. Something fun and a little unexpected. I walked outside and looked around my garden for that something. There they were. Actually I think they sat up just a little taller so as to be seen…happy, sun-shiny nasturtiums and light, feathery chive flowers. Those simple additions elevated the entire salad both visually, and with the subtle flavors they each added to the dish. A simple, seasonal, happy, (and completely edible) with a little splash of color salad ~ from us to you.

a happy little salad
Author: Ilene Ross
  • Your choice of salad greens
  • Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1T Dijon mustard
  • 1T finely minced shallot
  • 1T finely chopped mixed fresh herbs
  • variety of edible flowers
  • 1T finely shopped capers (rinse and drained)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake to mix.
  2. Add a tablespoon of honey, if desired. (we did)
  3. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Serve over salad greens immediately.
  5. Add the edible flowers.
  6. Keeps in the refrigerator for one week.


arts and lettuce {teaser}

written by Gina Weathersby
photos by Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios

last week, i had the pleasure of documenting a dinner party by arts and lettuce…don’t you just love the name. fun atmosphere, engaging company, and the food-over the top creative, interactive, full of seasonal flavor and simply gorgeous-thanks to chef ryan santos.
you’ll have to wait until the october issue of her cincinnati magazine to see the official spread as well as read what contributing her palate editor ilene ross (and our own 513eats editor) had to say about the evening. for now, a few teasers.


Tarte de Prune

written by Gina Weathersby
photographed and styled by Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios

I miss my wonderful Belgian neighbors for so many reasons…
I will admit that Laurence’s baking was one of them.
She shared so many of her family recipes with me.
This was one.

Tarte de Prune
Recipe type: Desert
Author: Laurence W.
  • Crust
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • one stick plus 1 Tb cold butter (cut up)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 Tb cold water
  • one 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom
  • Plums
  • About 6 large plums, pit removed and sliced (skin on)
  • 1 bag of vanilla sugar (or 1/4 cup of granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh thyme
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Add all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix just until ingredients come together and form a ball.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from refrigerator and roll out to about a 10-11 inch circle on a floured surface.
  6. Lift carefully and place in tart pan.
  7. Use the back of a measuring cup and press into all corners and up the lip until all is evenly covered.
  8. Blind bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and set aside.
Plum filling
  1. Wash and thinly slice plums.
  2. Start on the outside and evenly place next to each other forming a circle within a circle until ending in the center.
  3. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the plums.
  4. Remove thyme from springs and sprinkle over plums.
  5. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until plums look caramelized.



Hot Summer Nights

written by Ilene Ross
photographed and styled by Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios

One of the most recognizable sounds of summer is the nostalgic jingle of the approaching ice cream truck. For generations, all across America, children have been lured out of a near coma-like sleep, dragged from hours in front of the television, or torn from their video games at the first tinny note emitted from that frozen dessert god on wheels.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are those evenings when the ice cream truck would visit our block. I can still hear the screen doors from houses all around slam in Pavlovian unison, and vividly remember the feeling of the cool evening lawn between my toes as my sister and I would go running barefoot to the street. All the neighborhood kids would have their money shoved in their pockets or grasped tightly in their fists. We would wait patiently by the curb for the truck, which, by the way, felt as if it would NEVER get there, so we would attempt to catch the first emerging fireflies of the evening and try to figure out which of the ice cream novelties we would order.

I loved fudge pops and ice cream sandwiches, but sometimes I would go for those cones with the nuts and chocolate on the top. Whichever sticky-sweet delight was the choice of the day, the paper was hastily peeled off, and the battle to finish the treat before the summer heat took over was on. I never won, and spent the next few minutes licking the drips and then licking my fingers.

So, while I’m grown up now, my tastes haven’t really changed all that much. I still desire a cool, sweet treat on a hot summer evening. But some things HAVE changed. I’ll always love ice cream, but sometimes I need something a bit lighter, with a sophisticated shape for entertaining, like these gorgeous, cloud-like meringues with Yagoot frozen yogurt. They’re light, creamy, delicious, and perfect for a dinner party. Best of all, there’s no waiting for a truck. There is, however, a bit of finger licking, as I would never want to miss a single bite.

Yagoot and Raspberry puree on meringue islands
Recipe type: Desert
Author: Adapted from Joy of Baking and Wolfgang Puck
  • Meringues (joyofbaking.com)
  • 3 large egg whites (3 ounces or 90 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine or caster sugar (if you don’t have superfine sugar simply take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30-60 seconds in a food processor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Raspberry Puree (wolfgangpuck.com)
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 large lemon (zest and juice)
  • Topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
Meringue Shells
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. You can form the cookies with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain tip.
  4. In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy.
  5. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks.
  6. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks.
  7. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  8. Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.
  9. Note: Before placing the cookies on the cookie sheet, place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding.
  10. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) tip.
  11. Pipe 3 1/2-4 inch rounds of meringue in rows on the prepared baking sheet.
  12. Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure even baking.
  13. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp. (The meringues will release easily from the parchment paper.)
  14. Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours or overnight.
  15. The meringues can be covered between sheets of parchment paper and stored at room temperature in an airtight container for several days.
  16. Makes about 8 – 3 1/2-4 inch meringues.
Raspberry Puree
  1. In a nonreactive saucepan, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries have given up their juices.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil and continue cooking until the mixture has thickened but is still fairly liquid.
  4. Transfer to a covered nonreactive container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. The puree will keep well for several days.
  1. In individual serving plates (or bowls), pour about 2 Tb raspberry puree on bottom of dish.
  2. Add a meringue shell on top of puree.
  3. Scoop desired amounts of Yagoot into each meringue shell. I used a melon baller.
  4. Top with chopped pistachios.


Rustic heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart {on a rosemary crust}

words by Gina Weathersby
photography and styling by Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios

My tomato plants are happily growing and full of baby heirloom tomatoes…but none quite ready for us to pick yet. Simple fix, a leisurely trip to the farmer’s market over the weekend took care of that.
I may have overdone it a bit, but no worries, I can always think of something to do with sweet, summer tomatoes.

I came across this recipe last week on a wonderful food blog called bella eats (and is now happily pinned to my pinterest foodies board.) I think I wrote…must try this.
Today was the day.

No surprise, I tweaked the recipe a bit. I added basil as a topping and instead of spreading the goat cheese over the entire bottom, I sliced and arranged it alongside the tomatoes. Either way, goodness awaits.


rustic heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart {on a rosemary infused crust}
Author: from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, by Jack Bishop
  • Crust Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 4-5 tbsp ice water
  • Tart Filling
  • 6 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1-1/3 cups)
  • 3 medium, delicious tomatoes, cored, sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick, and blotted dry between paper towels*
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt + freshly ground black pepper
  1. First, make the crust dough (about 1 hour before you’re ready to assemble the tart). Place the flour, salt, and rosemary in a food processor and pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses. Add the water, 1 tbsp at a time, and pulse briefly after each addition. After 4 tbsp of water have been added, process the dough for several seconds to see if it will come together. If not, add the remaining 1 tbsp water. Process just until the dough comes together in a rough ball. Do not overprocess or the dough will not be flakey. Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and knead briefly to for a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a 5-inch disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Note: My dough was very sticky with just 4 tbsp of water, so I wound up adding some flour to help it to come together. The final dough should be smooth and supple before refrigerating. Also, if you don’t have a food processor, you can still make the dough by using forks or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture, then add your water.
  2. Move an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 375°.
  3. Unwrap the chilled dough and roll it into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Lay the dough over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, fitting the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to trim the excess dough. Prick the bottom of the tart shell all over with a fork.
  4. Finally, fill and bake the tart. Scatter the goat cheese evenly across the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange the tomatoes over the cheese in two rings, one around the outside edge of the tart pan and another in the center, overlapping them slightly. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bake until the edges of the crust pull away from the sides of the pan and are golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool the tart on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Cut the tart into wedges and serve. Also, it is really good at room temperature so feel free to make this ahead and let it cool for several hours.

* To dry tomatoes, lay 3 layers of paper towels on a flat surface. Place your tomato slices on the paper towels, and then cover with 3 more layers of towels. Gently press your hands over the tomatoes to extract as much liquid as you can without crushing the tomatoes. When you lift the slices from the towels, many of the seeds should stay behind. This will keep your tart crust from becoming soggy.



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