If you’re looking for some inspiring ways to utilize the abundance of fresh produce currently hitting the grocery stores and farmers’ markets, you’re in luck! Today, New York-based chef and culinary instructor Ashton Keefe is sharing four delicious and healthy recipes with us from her new cookbook, “Lemon & Salt: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Culinary Revelry.“ From a simple tomato salad to a savory one-pan chicken dish, Ashton’s beautiful meals will have you itching to spend some quality time in the kitchen!
Heirloom Tomato Salad
“It’s silly that this is even a recipe, but I can’t leave out my very favorite salad. I look forward to savoring tomatoes each summer the way I anticipate Thanksgiving fare all year!”
-3 pounds heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
-extra-virgin olive oil
-fine sea salt, to taste
-maldon salt, to taste
Lay tomato slices out on a large serving tray. Generously drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. When serving, finish with Maldon salt.
“I love this recipe. To me, the aroma of roast chicken symbolizes home, family and love. What’s even better is that you can substitute a whole slew of ingredients for the garlic, shallots and lemon. Or, make it a party and invite all the ingredients—and all your friends.”
-1–2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-2 teaspoons fine sea salt
-1 chicken (2–3 pounds); broken into 4 pieces—2 legs and 2 breasts
-4 garlic cloves, smashed
-2 shallots, thinly sliced
-1 lemon, thinly sliced
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
-1 cup dry white wine
-1 bunch chives, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season with salt. Sear chicken, skin side down, until golden brown, 4–5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Remove pan from heat.
Add garlic, shallots and lemon to the pan. Place chicken, skin side up, over shallot and lemon mixture, and add butter and wine. Place pan in the oven and cook for an additional 20–25 minutes, until the chicken’s juices run clear and its internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Garnish with chives.
In lieu of garlic, shallot and lemon, you can use:
-lime, jalapeño, peppers
-onion, butternut squash, sage
-leeks, fennel, Pernod
-carrots, parsnip, celery
-peas, corn, zucchini
Warm Herb Potato Salad
“I’m not a fan of mayo, so this is how I roll with potato salad. Perfect for a spring brunch, weekday lunch or buffet.”
-1 pound baby potatoes or fingerling potatoes
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
-1/4–1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 cup fresh herbs—thyme, tarragon, dill and chives—chopped
-2–3 tablespoons capers, drained and finely chopped
-fine sea salt, to taste
Place potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Salt the water generously and cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Remove potatoes from pot and allow them to cool slightly. (If necessary, cut potatoes into bite-size pieces.) Place potatoes in a large bowl and toss with garlic, mustard, olive oil, herbs and capers.
Drizzle with additional olive oil and season with salt to taste.
MAKES 1 LARGE PAVLOVA
“I call Pavlova a ‘big marshmallow’ because it’s light, shiny and gorgeous—just like the Russian ballerina it was named after. It’s a stunning end to dinner parties. Use any berry or fruit to make your compote.”
-6 egg whites
-1 pinch fine sea salt
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
-1 tablespoon cornstarch
-1 cup sugar
Place your oven rack in the middle of your oven. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites until they’re just frothy. Add salt, vanilla extract, cream of tartar and cornstarch. Slowly add sugar, beating until meringue is shiny, and stiff peaks begin to form.
Pour mixture onto a baking sheet. Make a slight well in the center; this is where you’ll add the berry compote of your choice. Bake until dry, about 1 hour, and remove from the oven. Cool and top with compote.
Tip: Cream of tartar and cornstarch are two stabilizers used to help create meringue. If you don’t have them on hand, don’t worry—but just be extra-careful not to overwhip the whites.