Tarte Flambée with Caramelized Onions, Figs and Olives

As I’ve already mentioned, fall is my favourite season. First of all because I love all the colors that nature takes on with its beginning, the fog that lingers on the fields and the Rhine in the morning, sparkling in the light of the rising sun, the smell of molding apples and plums on the damp orchard lawns and the coziness at home when you have to turn on the lights or light candles in the evening because the days are getting shorter. But there’s also fall’s harvest, bringing so many delights for the tummy. Think of all the pumpkins, chestnuts, mushrooms, nuts, the vintage etc.
And I can’t wait to have my first Federweißer this year!

When I went to the market yesterday, I came home with a bag of ripe and sweet Turkish figs that I couldn’t not buy. I have friends who cultivate figs in their own garden (They actually also cultivate kiwis… Who would’ve thought this was possible here?), but as I don’t have my own garden, I have to stick with the Turkish ones. Figs are incredibly versatile: They can be eaten raw or be used for jams (on a slice of bread with brie…), salads, sauces, pizza or tarte flambée. Tarte flambée is a traditional dish from the Alsace and usually made with just bacon, onions, crème double and/or sour cream. Those who don’t have problems eating dairy products should definitely try the original recipe that can easily be found on the internet. The recipe below, however, is yeast-free with dairy- and gluten-free options. If you don’t like the crust, you can just as well make a normal pizza crust or use puff pastry cut into squares.

Inspiration, again: Authentic Suburban Gourmet

Tarte Flambée with Caramelized Onions, Figs and Olives

Ingredients:
(serves 4-6)

6 TS butter/vegetable margarine
5 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 ts sugar
salt and pepper
400g flour
260-300ml (soy)milk
2-3 TS olive oil
1/2 ts salt
4 ts baking powder
5 fresh figs, quartered
12 kalamata olives, thinly sliced
Fresh thyme
Pine nuts

Directions:

1. In a pot melt the butter/margarine, add the sliced onions and toss until well coated. Add the sugar, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until the onions are caramelized, lightly brown and sweet (30-40 minutes).

2. Preheat the oven to 220°C.

3. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, milk, olive oil, salt and baking powder (if the dough is too dry and crumbly, add more milk and olive oil) until well combined and smooth. Roll out the dough on a greased rimmed baking sheet.

4. Brush the dough with the egg yolk. First, spread the onions on the dough, then the olives,  the figs and finally the pine nuts. Season with fresh thyme.

5. Bake the tarte for about 15-20 minutes and serve with mâche.

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Dahlias and Lentils

Since I’ve just started participating in the Foodie Pen Pals program, I’ve decied to continue writing in English so that everyone visiting from the program can read my posts and recipes. This month’s FFP reveal date is October 1 – I’m excited!

Although it hasn’t got much colder yet, the slowly coloring leaves and the golden sunlight of the late summer make me feel autumnal. Autumn actually is my favourite season, still, in order to preserve some of the midsummer feeling that didn’t really come up this year, I picked a bouquet of dahlias in the Drachenfelser Ländchen.

Dinner eventually turned out quite autumnal though. Inspiration: Healthy Green Kitchen.

Moroccan Lentil Soup

Ingredients:
(serves 4 )

1-2 TS olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and finely minced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
70g raisins
1 ts ground cumin
2 ts ground cinnamon
1 1/2 ts ground turmeric
2 ts ground sweet paprika
2 ts ground ginger
Pepper, salt
400g canned tomatoes with juice
150-200g sieved tomatoes
480g red lentils
500ml water or vegetable broth

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a big pot and add the shallots, shortly braising them until yellow. Add the carrots, celery, raisins, garlic and spices and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the canned and the sieved tomatoes. Rinse the lentils under cold water and add to the other vegetables in the pot.

3. Add the water / vegetable broth and bring to boil. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

I had the soup with bread and diced fresh tomatoes with fresh cilantro.
The cinnamon and the raisins make this soup really special and unlike any other lentil soup!

This is nuts.

Best snack ever!
The pecan belongs to the walnut family but tastes much milder and buttery than the common walnut. In the United States, the pecan is used way more often in cakes, ice cream etc. than the walnut, whereas in Europe you have to spend a small fortune for a tiny bag of them. The pecan tree is the state tree of Texas and there even is an annual Pecan Festival celebrated in some states..
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Inspiration: Authentic Suburban Gourmet

And this just had to be mentioned…

Pecans and Cashews with Rosemary and Thyme

Ingredients:
(1 serving)

200g pecans
300g cashews
5 TS butter/vegetable margarine
3 TS raw cane sugar
2 1/2 TS coarse sea salt
1 ts cumin
1/2 ts cayenne pepper
Fresh thyme leaves
Fresh rosemary leaves

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread the pecans and cashews on parchment paper placed on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes on the middle rack until lightly brown and fragrant (be careful not to burn them – this happens quite easily).

2. Heat the butter/vegetable margarine in a medium-sized pot until lightly brown. Remove pot from the plate and add sugar, sea salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, thyme and rosemary. Stir until well combined.

3. Take the nuts out of the oven and add them to the mixture in the pot. Carefully stir until the nuts are completely coated.

4.Put the nuts back on the baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes until dry (If the nuts are still very damp from the mixture after 10-15 minutes, put them in a sieve to drain for a couple of minutes). Take the nuts out of the oven and let cool.

The nuts can be stored in a lockable box for about 2 weeks.