Crostini with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Burrata and Chive Oil

Crostini with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Burrata and Chive OilThe building blocks of a classic Caprese salad are re-imagined in these summery toasts. First, cherry tomatoes are blistered in a skillet until bursting with juice. Then creamier burrata takes the place of the more standard mozzarella. And in place of basil leaves, a quick and easy chive oil adds an herbal accent. The result makes for a great snack or light meal.

When local tomato season begins, we could happily eat nothing else. I can’t recall a summer when we didn’t turn over our lunch almost entirely to slices of crusty peasant bread, thick slices of heirloom tomato, perfectly-ripe and bursting with flavor, a little torn mozzarella, a drizzle of good olive oil, perhaps a few snipped chives or basil leaves, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Like a scent that brings you back to childhood, a good open-faced tomato and mozz evokes a carefree summer’s day. Of course, the key is that the tomatoes have to be at their peak, and most year-round varieties, grown for their ability to be shipped cross-country, just don’t have that essential tomato-ness.

Without losing the essentials of what makes that pairing work so well, we can use the same kind of flavors to add a little sophistication to a light lunch, dinner or party snack. Instead of slicing fresh tomatoes, we toss the cherry variety in a very hot cast iron pan and char them just until they burst with juicy tomato flavor. Turn off the heat and add a little sliced garlic which cooks just enough to take the edge off; instead of mozzarella, we turn to its creamier, more indulgent cousin, burrata; and instead of chopped chives, we make our own chive oil, which gets drizzled over the whole shebang.

Note: This recipe is part of our series with Serious Eats.

Read more

Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Tomato Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

Lemon-Garlic Tomato and Chicken Skewers with Basil Chimichurri
Lemon-Garlic Tomato and Chicken Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

Grilled chicken doesn’t always need a long marinade to be full of flavor. These spend just a few minutes in a lemony-garlicky mix before they’re grilled to charred perfection. The hot chicken absorbs the flavor of the fresh basil chimichurri, and the grilled cherry tomatoes bring sweetness and acid.

(This recipe appeared earlier on Serious Eats.)

We need only the slightest of excuses to cook outside in the peak of heat-wave summer. Turn the stove on? Ah, no, thank you. Making a quick-marinated chicken dish that we can throw on the grill is an ideal solution. And, if we can use the Mediterranean heroes of the summer vegetable garden—tomatoes and basil—so much the better. Not only do tomatoes and basil taste great together, they also have a symbiotic relationship in the garden; companion gardening with the two plants in proximity improves their resistance to pests.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Tomato Kebabs with Basil Chimichurri
Prepping basil and parsley for the chimichurri

Read more

Skillet Chicken with Wine, Shallots and Mustard

Skillet Chicken with Wine, Shallots and Mustard

You know how sometimes when you watch a cooking show (don’t judge me, I find them very relaxing), the host will say something like “this ____ is so simple and quick, it’s easier than ordering a pizza!” and then they proceed to use 6 different pots and pans (on their massive 8 burner stove)? Well, bollocks to that. The only thing easier than ordering a pizza is having someone else order it for you.

And even more to the point, there is nothing easy about a dinner if I have to utilize every pot I own to make it.

That’s why I’m always looking to expand my repertoire of recipes that can be made in a single pot or pan. This one was inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe, but I’ve adapted it to cook in a skillet which makes it faster and also gives the chicken deliciously crispy skin. The sauce is absolutely amazing, so make sure to have plenty of good, crusty bread to sop it up.

Nerd alert: want to see what a dog’s face looks like when you tell her that her dry, dusty kibbles are just as good as this delicious-smelling chicken dinner?

Arya the dog

I don’t think she believed me.

Read more

Summer Pasta With Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Summer Pasta With Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Is it just me or has this been a weird summer? It has, right? I feel like it took me until late June to even dig through my closet to find a pair of sandals. Then it got really hot for maybe twenty minutes, and now it’s chilly again.

Matt and I were sitting on the deck last night, the sun was setting through the trees, making the leaves shimmer and glow as though lit from inside. Soon the white wood boards on the side of the house turned a deep golden pink. It was incredibly lovely. I was tempted to grab my camera but I decided just to enjoy the moment. Just experience it, you know? So we sat there, drinking a glass of rosé, a sleepy pup* at our feet, just enjoying the quiet. Matt looked at me and I looked at him.

“I’m freezing”, I said.

“Bloody hell, me too. Let’s go inside”, he said.

So we made dinner and watched an episode of  “Utopia“, season 2 (highly recommended).

(*Here’s a picture of Arya looking longingly at a hot dog).

Summer Pasta With Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Read more

Are you excited?Your FREE Dutch Oven guide is just an email away!

Get our free guide to Dutch Ovens - Five Reasons Why the Dutch Oven is the Number One Pot in Our Kitchen!

Contains expert tips, techniques and recipes to help you make the most of your Dutch oven. Written by us, Matt and Emily. 

(We promise not to share your information.)

Want more hot dishes?Get regular recipes and articles sent straight to your inbox

We'll send you regular recipes as soon as they're published!