Be Inspired” Seasonally with Rita Calvert

  • Yummy Unique Gazpacho
  • Sandwich Share-Smoked Salmon, Cucumber on Whole Wheat Naan
  • Fresh Peach Frangipane Tart

 As we planned our annual midday poolside get together, we debated over ordering food or bringing our own. Yes, we were tired of schlepping coolers, yet, deli sandwiches can be so mundane. A grand idea was thrown out there: everyone bring one imaginative, fresh sandwich, cut it into fourths and share it with the crowd. This was a simple idea we could all relish!IMG_0021

 There were a couple of items rounding out the sandwich platter-a truly garden fresh tomato-focused gazpacho (which everyone said was the best they had ever eaten). Cucumbers aplenty mark my garden so I knew they would enhance the brined smoked salmon I make often along with some fresh sorrel for that lemony tartness. A stunning dessert fruit tart revolving around fresh peaches gave us a sweet finish. 


Gazpacho Extraordinaire

Serves 6 as a large portion

The gazpacho was first class all the way-from the fresh tomatoes, herbs, a hint of vinegar, colorful texturized toppings to the old time glass container which transported it. This unusual gazpacho comes from a 1970′s cookbook called The Vegetarian Epicure by the wonderful cook, Anna Thomas. Unlike most traditional gazpacho recipes, this version is heated before it’s chilled – the eggs set slightly and make a much thicker soup. It is also blended not once but twice, and the extra two steps really make it worthwhile.

Bernadette Zorio made this glamorous gazpacho from veggies she grows in her spectacular garden! Bernadette Zorio made this glamorous gazpacho from veggies she grows in her spectacular garden!

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1 small green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne or a dash of hot sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill weed
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Garnish:
  • Arugula, tomatoes, cucumber, coarsely chopped 
  • Homemade croutons

Puree all the vegetables in a blender with the eggs, oil, vinegar and tomato juice. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do this in two batches. Add all the remaining ingredients except the mayonnaise. Give the blender a quick pulse to incorporate. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat very slowly over medium heat, whisking constantly, no longer than 3 minutes. This step “cooks” the egg. Remove from heat and keep stirring occasionally while the soup cools. Add the mayonnaise, then transfer the soup back to the blender. Blend one more time at high speed for just a few seconds, then transfer the soup into a big bowl. Cover and chill. To serve, top each serving with arugula, vegetables and croutons. 


Sandwich Share-Smoked Salmon, Cucumber on Whole Wheat Naan

Basically this sandwich is as simple as an assembly. I cut my sandwich into 8 wedges and found that most people wanted at least two!


Ingredient list:

  • 1 large whole wheat naan bread, toasted
  • fresh sorrel leaves
  • spicy Bumpy Beer Mustard or spicy Dijon mustard
  • smoked salmon (lox are ok)
  • thinly sliced cucumbers
  • nonpareil capers

To Assemble:

You are using a full round of naan for the top and bottom. This makes the sandwich sturdier.

Place the bottom naan round on a flat work surface and spread with mustard, layer sorrel or arugula, salmon, capers and then cucumber. Spread the top naan round with mustard and add to enclose the sandwich.

If transporting, wrap snuggly in sandwich wrap and cut into wedges just before serving.


Fresh Peach Frangipane Tart

A few weeks ago I made a blueberry tart with frangipane and puff pastry. Well that frangipane recipe has been circulating and applied to some new renditions-especially this peach tart.

  • 1 prebaked tart crust of choice
  • Filling (for 9-inch tart)
  • 3 cups fresh peaches, peeled and thinly sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon


This frangipane recipe makes enough almond cream for 1 large tart or several small tartlets.

  •  1/2 cup ground almond meal (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

 Using a food processor, combine all the ingredients until a smooth, creamy paste is formed.


First make the frangipane.

In a medium bowl, gently toss the peaches, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Spread the frangipane over the prebaked tart shell. Place the peach mixture on the top, forming a pattern, if desired. Press the slices slightly into the frangipane so it will puff up a bit around the peach slices.

 Place tart in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until frangipane has puffed around peach slices and is golden. Crust will also be golden brown. Cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.

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