This might just be my new favorite summer dessert. For many reasons. Fresh strawberries and beautiful sage from the farmer’s market. A combination of sweet almond and zesty orange cookies as a base. Mascarpone cheese (’nuff said). Fluffy whipped heavy cream. And no oven required.
How can something be so good when there’s no chocolate in it?
The no baking part is especially wonderful. It’s not even that hot outside yet, but I prefer to not crank my oven up high in the summer. This tart just highlights the best of the best. My first pick of strawberries of the season and quality mascarpone cheese. I’ve been really into berry + herb combinations recently. Blueberry basil, raspberry mint, strawberry sage. Fantastic on a tart or in your cocktail. I think I’ll spend all summer exploring these combos. Adding gin, heavy cream, honey, prosecco as I’d like.
Now on to this perfect tart…
Strawberry Sage Mascarpone Tart
For the filling:
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoon sugar
- 8oz cups mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 pound strawberries, sliced thinly
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
For the crumb base:
- 7 tablespoons butter
- 10 oz almond and orange cookies
- Make the base: Melt butter. Crush cookies to a crumble in a food processor. Mix the crumbs with butter. Spoon the crumbs into a round tart pan with a removable bottom. Smooth into the corners and up the pan sides. Refrigerate until set.
- Make the filling: Separate the egg, putting the yolk in a bowl with the sugar and beating for a few seconds until mixed. Beat in mascarpone and vanilla extract. With a clean whisk, beat heavy cream until it’s whipped, and then fold it into the creamed mascarpone.
- Assemble: Spoon mascarpone filling into the cookie crust, spreading it to the edges. Arrange sliced strawberries and fresh chopped sage on top of the mascarpone. Keep cold until serving.
Ok let’s chat about dreams coming true. A little over a month ago, I spent the day with Joey Fatone filming an episode of My Family Recipe Rocks. My episode airs this Sunday 5/25 at 8:30pm on the Live Well Network. Find out where you can watch – I hope you do!
Even several weeks later, I can’t quite describe the day. It was everything. It’s JOEY. I’ve spent so many many hours of my life thinking about him. It was so strange to talk to real life Joey about NSYNC Joey. They were the same person and different person at the same time. Does that make sense?
Look! We hugged, we touched, he was on his phone which has JC’s number in it, we talked about Lance’s wedding, he kissed my cheek, we spent a whole day together! If only 12 year old Nikki could imagine this could happen one day. That she’d move on from writing NSYNC fan e-zines and starting writing a food blog that would lead her to filming a TV show with Joey. I still can’t believe it did.
There were parts of the day I remember so clearly – our conversations and his funny quirks, his movie quoting and his smile – but so much of it flew by, especially the cooking part. I probably said a lot of silly things. Honestly I don’t even remember. But looking forward to seeing how MFRR’s amazing crew pieces it all together.
I made some awesome breakfast recipes on the show which I can’t wait to share afterwards – My Grandma’s Jewish coffee cake, corn and blueberry waffles, whiskey slush mimosas, and antipasti breakfast pizzas. And because this show is about family and I couldn’t have done any of this – from the NSYNC e-zines days to our holiday feasts to my life in food today – without them, my family was part of this episode too. I’m SO glad they were. After all, Joey was a big part of their lives too.
Back to dreams coming true. They did in so many ways. For NSYNC, for Joey, for my family, for my passions, for my life. Thanks Joey.
Can’t wait to see the episode! AHHHHH (still can’t believe it!)
While between trips and traveling, I’ve been able to get back to a semi-normal routine the last two weeks. That means getting back to the farmer’s market on Sundays, stocking my fridge, and cooking again. It’s great to feel some sense of normalcy while in the kitchen. Like this is my thing. This is my home.
This Sunday pasta is basically just me being super stoked about everything new and green at the market – spinach, ramps, asparagus – and putting it together. Oh and treating myself to $10 burrata. Roasting the asparagus adds a deeper flavor to the light pasta. The creamy burrata pulls the whole dish together. I basically want to live inside this pasta when it’s spring.
Spring Cappellini with Ramps, Roasted Asparagus, Spinach, Burrata
Preheat oven to 400°. On a baking sheet, toss asparagus and garlic cloves with olive oil and sea salt. Roast for 25 min. Meanwhile, sauté ramp bulbs in lots of olive oil and butter. Add in ramp leaves and let wilt down. Add in a bunch of fresh spinach and let cook down. Remove asparagus and garlic from oven, chop, and stir into the ramps and spinach. Grate in fresh parm. Cook pasta and toss with veggies. Stir in fresh, creamy, burrata.
Yesterday I was telling you about my new camera adventures…trying new things, exploring new creative outlets, rediscovering things I love.
One of my favorite color-loving brands, Boden, sent me this perfect spring bag. It’s shiny gold and fits my camera perfectly. On the weekends I want nothing to do with the large totes that I carry my laptop around in all week. I want something light, small, and that goes with everything. This is the bag. Perfect for a weekend hopping around the city.
Love it too? Not only is the Boden Mya bag on sale but I’m giving you another 15% off + free shipping (valid through 5/24). Promise you’ll carry it as much as I do. (And it also comes in pink and leopard. How’s a girl to choose?)
Have I mentioned I’ve been busy? Ha. But really. Work is great. I’m learning and challenging myself every day. It’s a lot but I’m feeling like something big is happening and I’m ready to see where it takes me. I’m so lucky that I was able to turn the things I love already – food, design, writing – into something I love even more at Cava. It feels incredible to love what I do and who I work with every day. Remember where I was a year ago? Funny how long ago that seems and how different I feel. If I take a second to stop moving, I might even look back and realize I’m proud of myself.
Other than work, life is a little strange. I guess I haven’t figured out what it is right now and who I am. But I’ve learned to accept that’s ok. The one good thing about this though is timing. It’s spring. And allergies aside, I honestly walk out my door every day excited about the world. The fact that giant green leaves can grow back on cold trees and we can eat the most flavorful food that comes from the ground nearby. Sure, it’s cheesy, but these are some of my favorite solo moments recently. When I find a break to take a walk through the farmer’s market or read a magazine in the park (like actually read the articles too) or make a tomato sandwich with fresh ricotta. My moments.
Some big projects aside – wedding coordinating, filming a cooking show with Joey from NSYNC, redesigning my website – most of the things I’m doing outside of work aren’t very challenging I suppose. Might not have the headspace for it. (Although I totally just marathoned the entire Dawson’s Creek series again. So that’s something right?) But one thing that has been a fun challenge is learning to use my DSLR camera. I’ve been told it’s a powerful little guy and I’m slowly uncovering it’s potential. I’m learning the technical bits at work but I’m also just pushing myself to get out and use it. We all know that’s the only way I’m going to feel more comfortable with it. Make it a habit, try different lighting, actually learn what ISO means and when it has to be adjusted.
I guess one of the things I want myself to know is that even if I’m not blogging here or baking a cake regularly or keeping my apartment clean or going on several dates a week, I’m still being creative. It just doesn’t stop. It’s not a rut. It’s something new. It’s me changing and growing up and challenging myself. It’s happening at work now…with my team, with new projects, which I couldn’t be more excited about. It’s happening a little more quietly right now. On my mornings at the market and long walks around the city. As I’m learning more about ramps, morels, little gem, and growing herbs. As I slow roast garlic. As I edit photos while listening to Coasts. While helping a friend decorate her apartment. When I make a simple tomato sandwich.