Passion Fruit & Lemon Tart

Easter is fast approaching, so this week I’ll be posting some of my favorite spring-inspired dishes that are perfect for your Easter table.

Starting with my favorite topic, dessert! During the warmer months, I like to use my oven as less as possible. I love doing desserts that are quick to assemble, bright, and that incorporate fruit! One of my go-to recipe is a citrus tart. You do need to use the oven to bake your crust, but it’s only for 15 minutes, and the rest is done over stove top then chilled in the fridge until it’s all set!

Passion fruit and lemon curd tart will be the star of your table this spring. It’s tart and sweet and a perfect finish for after a heavy Easter meal! Use the leftover egg white to make a meringue to decorate the top of the tart!

 
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Ingredients 

Crust

  • 8 oz  graham crackers

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 6  tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • ½ cup  fresh passionfruit pulp

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks

  • ½ cup of lemon juice

  • Zest of 1 ½ lemons

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Recipe

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a food processor, pulse grahams until finely ground. Pour sugar and melted butter, pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.

  3. Place mixture into tart pan and press evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Blind bake the crust by placing a piece of parchment paper, or aluminum foil on top of the crust. Pour in pie weights, or dried beans.

  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes

  5. Carefully remove the parchment/aluminum foil and  the weights, or beans, and allow to cool.

Filling

  1. In a medium-size saucepan, place the sugar and eggs, and whisk until light and pale. Whisk in the zest, and juice of the lemons, and the passion fruit pulp.

  2. Place the saucepan over low-medium heat and constantly whisk until mixture has  thickened. Do not boil.

  3. Remove the saucepan from the stove, and whisk in room temperature butter.

  4. Pass the curd through a sieve, making sure  you have a smooth curd. Let cool.

  5. Once the crust and mixture is cooled, about 30 minutes. Pour the curd into the crust and refrigerate until set.

  6. Decorate with prepared meringue. Best served  cool.

Spring Salmon Pesto Pasta

I love pasta but eating it every day isn’t recommended (apparently). So my new favorite substitute is legume-based pasta, which includes lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. This past year, legume-based pasta have been having a real moment. It first began with a few new brands, but now popular brand pastas have also launched a legume-based line.

The benefits of switching include fewer carbs, more fiber and more protein than regular pasta. They are also gluten-free and contain iron.

While you may not be sold yet, the flavor and texture of the pasta are not that much different than any old regular boxed pasta. What I have noticed is that most legume-based pasta is very toothsome. Other than that, there isn’t much of a difference in terms of flavor.

GIve the delicious recipe a try and enjoy a new alternative to a week night classic!

MY Portuguese Mother // Salmon Pesto Pasta
MY Portuguese Mother // Salmon Pesto Pasta
MY Portuguese Mother // Salmon Pesto Pasta
 

Ingredients 

Pesto :

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or for raw walnuts)

  • 1 medium lemon, juiced & zested

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, more for serving

  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • Salt and pepper

Pasta :

  • 12 oz. red lentil pasta (or substitute for whole-grain)

  • Pesto

  • 1 lb. cooked salmon, roughly flaked (great for using leftover grilled or poached salmon)

Recipe

Pesto

  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse basil leaves, mint leaves, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese together. Slowly add the olive oil until pesto is smooth. Set aside.

Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Once boiling, add pasta of choice and cook according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, and drain pasta. Set aside in a large bowl.

  2. Add the pesto to the pasta and toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water if needed to loosen pesto pasta. Toss in the flaked salmon. Finish with lemon zest and mint leaves. Serve immediately.

 
 

Butternut Squash Citrus Salad

New Jersey seems to be the only place where it can be 60 degrees one day and 30 the next!

This past weekend was a real tease! I am so ready for the warmer weather, flowers blooming, and more importantly, spring produce!

For me, once the warmer weather begins I automatically feel like I want to eat healthier foods that are light, bright and packed with nutrients! Salads are one of my go-to everyday foods. For warmer weather days, I love to add refreshing raw ingredients like shaved carrots, and fresh fruit. But for days like today, it’s hard to crave a cold salad when it’s 30 degrees outside. So what I like to do is incorporate warm ingredients into my salad instead. Some of my favorite ingredients are roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes. I usually roast a big batch, so I always have them available to toss into my salad or use them as a side. The roasted squash really helps fill you up while still keeping your salad healthy and vibrant! Paired with a citrus vinaigrette, this salad will have you fall in love with salads even during the colder months!

Warm weather will be here shortly but until then, warm up with this butternut squash salad!

My Portuguese Mother // Butternut Squash Citrus Salad
My Portuguese Mother // Butternut Squash Citrus Salad

Ingredients 

  • 5 cups arugula or baby kale, loosely packed

  • 2 cara-cara oranges, segmented

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts  

  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash, cubed

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette, adjust salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

  2. Arrange the greens in a large bow. Add the roasted butternut squash, segmented oranges, and chopped walnuts. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately

 

Strawberry Mint Scones

We are a week into Spring and although the weather may have not gotten the memo yet, my kitchen sure has! Spring cooking makes me happy!

The slightly warmer weather and sunshine gives me so much inspiration and motivation to bake with light and bright ingredients.

My favorite ingredients around this time are fruit! From citrus fruit to berries, I love to incorporate them in any way I can. And for my first bake of Spring 2019, I chose scones! To tell you the truth, scones always looked very heavy and dense and I have never had the desire to eat one, not until I tried this recipe. With one bite, I was hooked! From the light and buttery dough to the strawberry and mint filling, they scream spring!

This recipe was taken and adapted from one of my absolute favorite magazines, Bake from Scratch where they use basil instead of mint. What's great about this recipe is how versatile it is, so if mint or basil aren't your favorite herbs, you can easily substitute with thyme, or rosemary, or leave it out entirely.

Bake up a batch and enjoy them with a lovely cup of coffee or tea.

my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
My Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, grated

  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • 2 large eggs, divided

  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

  • Garnish: sanding sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter, tossing to coat. Cover and freeze for 15 minutes. Stir in strawberries and mint.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and 1 egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring and folding just until moistened. Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface. Using well-floured hands, knead dough 5 to 10 times, about 1 minute. Roll dough to ¾- to 1-inch thickness. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into triangles or use 2¾-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps only once. Place on prepared pan.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and remaining 1 egg. Brush egg wash onto scones. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired.

  5. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

  6. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

    Recipe by Bake from Scratch