Tomato tart

¼ cup (loosely packed) slivered basil

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Tart pastry (recipe follows)

1 ¼ pounds beautiful, ripe tomatoes (a mix of colors and sizes is prettiest), sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


1. Mix: Toss together basil, thyme and cheese.

2. Roll: On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 13-inch circle. Fold in quarters and unfold onto a parchment-lined baking pan.

3. Fill: Spread herb and cheese mixture over pastry, leaving a 2-inch border bare. Cover with tomatoes, overlapping the slices slightly. Drizzle tomatoes with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Shape: Fold the pastry border up and over the tomatoes, forming a 9-inch rustic tart.

5. Bake: Slide pan onto a lower rack of a 425-degree oven and bake until pastry is golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Slice and savor.

Tart pastry: Measure into food processor: 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Pulse once to mix. Drop in 1 stick unsalted butter (cut into 5 chunks) and pulse about 5 times, until lumps range in size from crumbs to beans. Dump flour mixture into a large bowl. Drizzle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, folding pastry with a flexible spatula, until pastry clumps. You’ll need about 5 tablespoons water. Pat into a disk. Dust with flour. Wrap and chill at least 1 hour. 

Chicken pot pie

Prep: 45 minutes

Bake: 25 minutes

Serves: 6


4 strips bacon, sliced thinly crosswise

8 ounces button mushrooms, halved

1 onion, quartered and sliced

3 carrots, sliced into coins

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons port

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

3 ounces sugar snap peas, thinly sliced crosswise

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 tablespoons flour

3 cups chicken broth

1 Pinch nutmeg

Herb pastry (recipe follows) or prepared puff pastry,

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, optional


1.  Sizzle: Cook bacon over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet until crisp, 10 minutes. Scoop out bacon bits with a slotted spoon; drain on a paper-towel lined plate.

2.  Brown: Scrape mushrooms, onions and carrots to the skillet with the rendered bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are beautifully browned, 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, cook 1 minute. Deglaze with port. Scrape into a large bowl. Stir in chicken and snap peas.

3.  Thicken: Melt butter over medium heat (feel free to use the same skillet, but note that cast-iron will tint the sauce an odd gray). Whisk in flour, cook 1 minute. Slowly add broth, whisking thick, 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour sauce over chicken and mix.

4.  Fill: Scrape chicken mixture into a deep 9-inch pie plate (or other oven-safe pan). Cast on bacon. Roll out pastry. Cover, crimp, vent. Brush with beaten egg (or don’t, for a more rustic look). Bake at 400 degrees until top is crisp and middle bubbles, 25 minutes. Enjoy warm.


Herb Pastry: Measure 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons fine corn meal, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme) and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt into the food processor. Buzz to mix. Add 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut up) and 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening. Pulse until mixture looks crumbly and darkens a bit. Turn out into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with up to 3 tablespoons cold water, folding with aflexible spatula until pastry clumps easily. Press into a disk, wrap in waxed paper and chill while prepping pie (at least 30 minutes).