Monday, June 29, 2009

STRAWBERRY FROZEN YOGURT


When A and I took our first taste of this frozen yogurt after churning it in the ice cream maker, we both looked at each other and said, “Strawberry Julius.” My version may be a little fresher, but it took me right back to the treat I’d always order at mall staple Orange Julius when I was a kid, my reward for behaving myself after what then seemed like an interminable session of shopping with my mother. I gather from its Web site that Orange Julius has now become just another Jamba Juice/Robek’s clone, offering a wide variety of fruit smoothies with names like “Strawberry Xtreme” and “Tropical Tango,” but back then there were just two flavors, orange and strawberry, and you could get a raw egg blended in if you wanted to. (Ah, the ’80s, when we didn’t care about food safety, didn’t wear bike helmets, and rode in the back of hatchback cars without seat belts!)

Nostalgia aside, this is another great recipe from David Lebovitz (I got it from A Perfect Scoop, but you can also find a version on his blog)—pretty similar to the blueberry fro-yo I made a couple of weeks ago, only you macerate the strawberries with the sugar and alcohol to get the juices going, and you don’t have to press the mixture through a sieve (it’s an option, but I like the little crunch of strawberry seeds). It didn’t taste quite so magically revelatory to me as the blueberry one did, but it was still insanely delicious enough to shatter all my expectations about what frozen yogurt should be, and you can’t beat that brilliant shade of pink. Also, now that we finally have hot weather like the rest of the country, I can testify that this (fairly) light frozen treat is just about the best refreshment I can think of after a stroll on a warm summer night. Considering how plentiful and beautiful Southern California strawberries are, it’s a recipe I’ll make again and again.

1 pound (450g) strawberries, rinsed and hulled
⅔ cup (130g) sugar
2 teaspoons vodka or kirsch (optional, but recommended; I used kirsch)
1 cup (240g) plain whole-milk yogurt (I recommend Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1. Slice the strawberries into small pieces. Toss in a bowl with the sugar and vodka or kirsch (if using) until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring every so often.

2. Transfer the strawberries and their juice to a blender or food processor. Add the yogurt and lemon juice. Pulse the machine until the mixture is almost smooth. If you wish, press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.

3. Chill for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Time: 3 hours 15 minutes, mostly hands-off, plus processing time
Yield: 1 quart (6-8 servings)
Leftover potential: Good

Friday, June 26, 2009

SUMMER CSA: WEEK 3

This week, the lovely Grover Cleveland will undertake the Vanna White role in showing off our CSA bounty:


My share of the box contained:
1 leek
4 carrots
½ bunch rosemary
3 Yukon Gold potatoes
4 Valencia oranges
½ bunch arugula
½ bunch spinach
½ head celery
1 cucumber (I took this in exchange for P getting the cauliflower)
1 jar honey! (I was super-excited about this, so P was generous enough to let me have the whole jar)

Grover is a particular fan of the spinach (he actually took a tiny bite right after I snapped this photo):


Beyond the honey, everything here is pretty tame and should be easy to use up. As usual, the carrots, celery, and oranges will be snacks. I plan to use the arugula in a salad with corn and bacon, the potatoes in a new pesto-potato salad, the leek in some pasta with bacon and mushrooms, and the cucumber in fattoush. The spinach will just have to be a salad or something, and I guess the rosemary gets left out again—I’ll probably throw it in the freezer. As for the honey, I can always use it in granola (I go through a lot of honey that way), but I’d like to use at least a little in something special, where you can really taste it. I’m thinking honey ice cream!


That’s right, Grover; I said “honey ice cream.”

Here’s how we dispatched the last CSA box:
  • Onion: Used in pizza sauce
  • Celery: Snacked upon (a little too skinny and bitter, though; would have been better in soup)
  • Spinach: Used on pizza bianca instead of arugula (which was really good!)
  • Lettuce: Used on BLTs and as salad
  • Leek: Used on pizza bianca instead of onion
  • Strawberries: Eaten straight up
  • Round zucchini: Eaten in vegetable tortilla stacks (They might have been better stuffed, after all—they were a little disappointing texture-wise, with the dry mealiness typical of zucchini that grow too large, though they tasted fine mixed up with other ingredients.)
  • Italian flat beans: Eaten with shallots and lemon (These beans were a wonderful discovery—so tender, velvety and delicious! I’ll definitely look for them at the farmers’ market in the future and hope they show up in future CSA boxes.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

DILL, RED ONION, AND CHEDDAR DROP BISCUITS


This just goes to show that sometimes you should disregard advice, even when it’s your own. Over the years, I have periodically been suckered into making drop biscuits and other savory quickbreads, lured by the promise of freshly baked bread for dinner on an ordinary weeknight. But I’ve never met one that didn’t disappoint me; in the end, no matter what seasonings were involved, they just tasted dry and baking-powdery, not like real bread. Finally, about a year and a half ago, after another unsatisfying attempt, I wrote, “Remind me to stop trying non-sweet quickbreads. I just don’t like them that much.”

Luckily, I didn’t listen to myself, and when I saw this recipe at Everybody Likes Sandwiches, it looked so good I bookmarked it and made it despite my previous pronouncement. And it was so good! I don’t know whether the strong flavors of the onion, dill, and cheese just blocked out the usual baking-powdery taste or whether the recipe was just better constructed than others I’ve tried—or did my use of real buttermilk (rather than the more convenient milk + lemon juice substitute) have something to do with it? (I am so proud of myself—between making blueberry buttermilk cake [twice!], ranch dressing, and these biscuits, I have nearly used up an entire carton of buttermilk before its expiration date, for once.) All I know is that I made the recipe as written (though I substituted fresh dill for the dried originally called for), it was very easy, and the biscuits turned out just lovely, savory and moist. I snuck a tiny bite of one off the cooling rack, just to taste-test, and ended up eating the whole thing right there, standing over the counter, without butter or anything. Then I ate two more at dinner, dipped into carrot-potato soup, which they went perfectly with. I froze the remaining biscuits to eat with the leftover soup, but I imagine these would also make great snacks or breakfasts. I assume I’ll find out, because I can tell these little gems will be something I’ll turn to again and again. Not only will they be a great boon to my menu planning, because A is much more happy to eat soup if there's something to dip into it, but they are also infinitely adaptable with different herbs, cheeses, and other add-ins—though at present I see no need to deviate from the perfect marriage of cheddar, onion, and dill.

At last, quickbread victory is mine!

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup red onions, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 1 tablespoon dried)
A hearty grind of black pepper
A large handful of grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (my mixture looked a little dry, so I may have added just a splash more)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, red onions, dill, black pepper, and cheese. Stir in the buttermilk and oil and mix lightly until combined.

3. Using a tablespoon, drop heaping blobs of dough on a parchment-covered or silicon-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Yield: The original recipe says 6–9 biscuits; I got 10.
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: OK. They’re best when fresh from the oven, but I stored one on the counter in a plastic bag and ate it the next day and it was still good (if anything, the flavors had deepened). Then I threw the rest in a freezer bag, froze them for about a week, and heated them up in the microwave; those were fine with soup, but not the same as the fresh ones.

Friday, June 19, 2009

BLUEBERRY FROZEN YOGURT

(I wish the lighting in my kitchen were better, because this frozen yogurt was the most beautiful shade of blue-purple.)

I never knew I could feel this way about blueberry frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt always seems a little sad to me, like the consolation prize of desserts—something you eat if you’re dieting or if there’s no ice cream around. Yes, I know that “real” (i.e., actually yogurt-tasting) frozen yogurt is all trendy nowadays, what with that Pinkberry all the kids are talking about, but I haven’t jumped on board. All I think of when I think of frozen yogurt is (a) the 21 Choices frozen yogurt store in Pasadena that always has a line of tourists halfway around the block while the insanely good gelato store hidden 100 yards away is usually abandoned; and (b) the bland TCBY-style soft-serve-frozen-yogurt-with-many-toppings craze of the early 1990s. And blueberry? An actual fresh blueberry may be tasty, but as a flavoring, it’s hardly on my top-five list (for fruits, I generally gravitate toward strawberry, raspberry, lemon, lime, and cherry, in case you were wondering). In other words, if presented with a menu of frozen desserts, blueberry frozen yogurt would not be the first thing I’d order.

But of course, blueberry frozen yogurt homemade by me, with blueberries I picked with my very own hands and a recipe from the genius David Lebovitz, is another story entirely. Of the four desserts I’ve made in my ice cream maker so far, this may actually be my favorite. I can’t even tell you exactly why I love it so much. It’s tangy, but not too tangy, It’s deeply blueberry-flavored, but not too intense. Maybe it’s the little bit of kirsch, which adds a hint of almost almondy flavor (to me, cherry and almond flavors taste similar somehow, and I loooove me some almond flavor, so when I say something tastes like almonds, that’s a good thing—which is why even though I’m not much for fruity beers, I cannot resist Sam Adams Cherry Wheat beer; it’s like what drinking almond extract should be like). Whatever it is, I’m smitten. We don’t have enough blueberries left to make more of this (yes, that means we ate about 6 pounds of blueberries in a single week!), but I’m definitely making strawberry frozen yogurt ASAP, because dear god, I might like it even more than this, if such a thing is possible.

Oh, and what’s more, this was really easy to make, except for the momentary messy annoyance of pushing the blueberry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.

1½ cups plain whole-milk yogurt (I recommend Greek yogurt for extra creaminess)
¾ cup sugar
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon kirsch
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. In a blender or food processor, blend together the yogurt, sugar, and blueberries.

2. Press the mixture through a strainer into a large bowl to remove the seeds and skin.

3. Stir in the kirsch and the lemon juice and chill in the fridge for one hour.

4. Freeze in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions

Yield: 1 quart (6-8 servings)
Time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling time
Leftover potential: Good

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BLUEBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE


On Saturday morning, A and I picked over seven pounds of blueberries. Last year when I did this with my friend J, the weather was unbearably hot and sunny and the blueberries were small and relatively picked over. This year, it was cool and cloudy and the blueberries were big, ripe, and plentiful, so I was able to pick nearly a pound more in what felt like half the time—and then come home with double that amount, thanks to A lending an extra pair of intensely blueberry-loving hands. Here is what 7.25 pounds of blueberries looks like, in case you were wondering:


So we have been decadently devouring fresh blueberries by the bowlful, but of course, I wanted to make something special with our bounty. This berry-studded buttermilk cake recipe was published in Gourmet this month and has been making the food blog rounds: I first saw it, looking delectable in its original raspberries, at The Smitten Kitchen, then at Sassy Radish, and then again, with blueberries this time, at The Food Librarian. I’m not much of a cake eater or baker, but these simple single-layer no-frosting “everyday cakes” always look so cozy and charming to me, I couldn’t resist this one—and I’m so glad I didn’t. It was easy and so good—light, moist, not too sweet, with the tang of buttermilk, the irresistible (especially when paired with blueberries) zip of lemon zest, and an addictive crispy-sugared top. It’s the kind of thing you could whip up at the height of summer without breaking a sweat and bring to a picnic or barbeque.

The Food Librarian noted that all her blueberries sank to the bottom, so I dusted mine with flour before setting them gently atop the batter and they didn’t sink quite as uniformly as hers—but they still sank; I guess they were just too plump not to. This wasn’t a problem until I went to flip the cake out of the pan and of course, it wouldn’t release at first, then splatted out onto the cooling rack in a heap. I might have been too impatient, it’s true—maybe I should have let it cool in the pan just a little longer—or maybe that soft, juicy, berry-laden bottom was just destined not to hold up (though I noticed the Food Librarian’s came out just fine, darn it). So my cake was extra “rustic”-looking and I had to work hard to salvage a non-mangled slice for photographic purposes, but it tasted so good, who cares? We ate it for dessert, we ate it for breakfast, I’m going to go home and eat the rest of it right now, and I’m making it again later in the week (still at least 3 pounds of blueberries left!). I’d also love to try it with strawberries.

I’m including the weights for all the ingredients because, thanks to my cute little kitchen scale, I actually used them this time! Precision!

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
⅔ cup (146 grams) plus 1½ tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large (57 grams) egg
½ cup well-shaken buttermilk (you can substitute 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice stirred into it, but really, if the word “buttermilk” is in the title of the recipe, don’t you think you should spring for the real stuff?)
1 cup fresh blueberries (about 5 oz) (dust them with a pinch of flour if you’re worried about them sinking)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and ⅔ cup (146 grams) sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes, then beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Add egg and beat well.

3. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just combined. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter blueberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1½ tablespoons (22 grams) sugar.

4. Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

Yield: 1 9-inch cake
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: High, assuming you don’t eat it all in one sitting. I kept it in a covered container in the fridge and found that I really liked eating it slightly chilled. It stayed moist for days.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

SUMMER CSA: WEEK 2

This week’s haul:
1 onion
1 bunch celery (mine in exchange for P taking the head of cauliflower, a vegetable I haven’t yet learned to appreciate)
½ bunch spinach
1 head lettuce
1 leek
1 pint strawberries
3 round (“eight-ball”) zucchini
10 Italian flat (Romano) beans

The “entirely new to me” award goes to the Italian flat beans. I was suspicious of them at first sight, so huge and tough-looking, but the Internet assures me they are just like green beans but even more delicious and actually more tender. I think I’ll try them with shallots and lemon this weekend.

Aren’t those little zucchini adorable? I’m stumped on what to do with them, though. The normal treatment for round zucchini seems to be to stuff them, but I haven’t been a huge fan of stuffed zucchini recipes I’ve tried in the past, and besides, these are so wee, they would end up like canap├ęs. I do have some stray leftover ricotta nearing its expiration date in the fridge, though, so maybe a snack-sized version of this recipe would be just the thing. Otherwise, of course, I can just use them like normal zucchini. We’ll see how next week’s menu plays out.

I’m not sure how I’ll use the leek, spinach, or onion yet, but they shouldn’t be too hard to dispatch. The lettuce will go for salads and the celery for snacks, and I’m actually eating the strawberries right now.

Here’s a quick rundown of what ended up happening with the last CSA box:
  • Lettuce: Used in BLTs, tacos, and salad
  • Carrots: Eaten as snacks
  • Rosemary: After some Internet research, I actually ended up freezing it for later!
  • Onions: One used in Shrimp Boil, the other in Pasta Ascuitta
  • Oranges: Two eaten as snacks, three still in my fridge
  • Strawberries: Eaten as a snack
  • Avocados: Two used in Guacamole My Way, one used in Pasta With Tomato, Avocado, and Oregano (and the fourth one, as I mentioned, bartered to Carpool J, which I now regret slightly, considering how good they were)
Everything was delicious, but on a par with what I usually get from the farmers' market. The avocados stood out as the most remarkable, or maybe it was just my triumphant improvised guacamole that impressed me so much. Runners-up were the oranges, which were consistently sweet and juicy, if not as sexy as the blood oranges we'd gotten the week before.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

ROASTED BANANA ICE CREAM


I’m not a big fan of raw bananas (in fact, overly ripe ones kind of gross me out), but they can be really good in cooked desserts—particularly when any sort of caramelization is involved. So when I opened up The Perfect Scoop for the first time and saw this recipe, I immediately knew it had to be one the first I tried. Bananas cooked with brown sugar and butter? Yes please! The smell of them baking was amazing, and if they hadn’t been as hot as molten lava when I pulled them out of the oven, I would have been powerless to resist cramming them into my mouth right then and there instead of throwing them into the blender with the rest of the ingredients. I’m not sure the resulting ice cream is quite as delectable to me as those caramelized bananas seemed, but it’s unique and plenty delicious, with a concentrated banana flavor that seems almost more banana-y than real bananas. A little of it goes a long way for me; I nearly couldn’t finish the two-scoop bowl pictured above and have found that the ice cream actually tastes best when you sneak just a spoonful or two straight from the container. It lasts all week that way, too!

Despite its intense flavor, this ice cream is actually relatively light, made with whole milk instead of eggs and cream (or even half-and-half, like the first two ice creams I tried). But the bananas lend it a deceptive creaminess and heft, as the peanut butter did for my first ice cream (whereas my second ice cream, the lemon one, turned out fluffier and grainier). It doesn’t matter much to me one way or the other—taste is more important to me than texture in this context, and I’m still just so amazed that I can create anything resembling ice cream in my own kitchen that I’m not concerned with attaining that “real” ultra-creamy ice-cream texture; if I were, I’d switch to custard-based recipes—but it’s interesting to see how different ingredients affect the outcome. Kitchen chemistry!

Like the others I’ve tried, this non-custard-based recipe is ridiculously easy to make, especially considering all the deliciousness it yields—just bake, blend, churn, freeze, and eat. Better still, it cost next to nothing to make: I rescued the ripe bananas from being consigned to the trash in my office kitchen on Friday (the company provides us with fresh fruit and there are always leftovers at the end of the week), the whole milk was 99 cents at Trader Joe’s, and I already had the sugars and a lemon. With its rich flavor and use of an always-available fruit, this will make an especially nice wintertime ice cream (perhaps with a tablespoon of rum added to the mix?). I’d also be interested to try it with chocolate chips or chocolate sauce to cut/complement the banananess.

I now have my very own copy of A Perfect Scoop in my hot little hands (it's on sale on Amazon, ahem), so expect my ice cream experiments to continue until the weather gets too hot for our freezer to keep ice cream frozen!

3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar (I used dark, because that’s what I had)
1 tablespooon butter, salted or unsalted, cut into small pieces
1½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons granualted sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon coarse salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice the bananas into ½-inch-thick pieces and toss them with the brown sugar and butter in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring just once halfway through, until bananas are browned and cooked through.

3. Scrape all the contents of the baking dish (the bananas and the thick syrup) into a blender or food processor. Add the milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt and puree until smooth (be sure you close the lid tightly first!).

4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If the mixture has thickened during chilling, just give it a little stir to thin it back out before pouring it into the ice cream maker.)

Yield: About 1 quart (6–8 servings)
Time: 50 minutes, plus chilling and processing time
Leftover potential: Good

GUACAMOLE MY WAY


Our favorite guacamole comes from a vendor at our farmers’ market, but lately it’s been getting too expensive to justify buying. Over $6 for a small container is pretty exorbitant, especially in a city where avocados literally grow on trees (my friend Editor A has one in her backyard). So, last time we had steak tacos for dinner, I decided to make my own guac, using a recipe from my files I hadn’t tried in years. A few of the details gave me pause (lemon juice instead of lime juice? tomatoes? cumin?), but I forged ahead and discovered that apparently my tastes have changed, because the resulting guacamole was...not very good. I mean, we ate it and it didn’t taste bad or anything, but it didn’t hold a candle to the pricy farmers’-market guacamole I’d had fantasies of effortlessly surpassing with my homemade version. FAIL.

So when I was presented with a mess of beautiful avocados from the CSA last week, I was a little worried about doing right by them. I promptly scrapped the old recipe and searched for a better one, but after scrolling through the comments of numerous blog posts and Epicurious entries, I realized that everyone’s guacamole ideal is different—garlic or no garlic (or garlic powder), onions or no onions, cilantro or no cilantro, tomatoes or no tomatoes, lemon or lime or orange juice, peppers or Tabasco sauce or cayenne or no spice at all, not to mention all the other crazy things people confess to adding, including sour cream, cream cheese, and Miracle Whip! In the end, I decided simplest was best. I chose the ingredients I considered to be indispensible—avocado, lots of lime juice, a little garlic (some people find raw garlic too overpowering, but I like it while I’m eating it; admittedly, however, when my mouth tastes like garlic hours later even after I’ve brushed my teeth, I have some regrets), cilantro, and plenty of salt—and concocted my own version. And cripes, it was one of the most delicious guacamoles I have ever eaten, rivaled only by the ur-guacamole I ate on my first trip to Mexico that got me liking guacamole in the first place. We ate the entire bowl for dinner, with just some corn chips for dipping and some corn fritters on the side. And I’m crossing my fingers for more avocados in the CSA box this week, because I can’t wait to make this again.

2 medium, ripe avocados
1 medium clove garlic
Coarse kosher salt to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1 handful minced fresh cilantro (maybe 2 heaping tablespoons?)

1. Peel, seed, and dice the avocados and place them in a medium glass bowl (preferably one that has a lid), but don’t mash them yet.

2. Mince the clove of garlic and sprinkle the garlic with a pinch of coarse salt. Let it sit for a minute or two, then mash it well with a fork until it makes a paste. Scatter the paste over the avocados in the bowl.

3. Add lime juice, cilantro, and coarse salt to taste to the bowl. (At Andy’s behest, I added a few drops of Tabasco sauce—most people use green Tabasco for guacamole, but I only had the red—but I’m not sure it really added anything, and I didn’t miss the spiciness.) Toss everything well, then mash with a fork to desired consistency. Taste for seasonings, adjust as necessary, and mix well.

4. Cover surface of guacamole with plastic wrap to prevent browning (some people, including me, perhaps superstitiously, also put one of the avocado pits in there), cover the bowl with a lid, and refrigerate for at least a few hours so the flavors can blend. I like to take it back out of the fridge about 15–20 minutes before eating, though, so it’s not ice-cold.

Serves: 2 or more
Time: 15 minutes
Leftover potential: Unknown

Monday, June 01, 2009

SUPER LEMON ICE CREAM


Another fantastic recipe from The Perfect Scoop, which I shall be buying immediately (or as soon as I’ve maxed out my library renewals, anyway). It’s ridiculously easy to make (throw stuff in blender, blend, chill, churn in ice cream maker) and, as promised, super-lemony—so refreshing on a summer day. And, conveniently, it used up the other half of the carton of half-and-half I bought for last weekend’s chocolate-peanut butter ice cream!

This ice cream turned out much lighter, so fluffy that I got nearly double the yield of my last attempt, and the texture is less creamy, almost crumbly when scooped and more akin to sorbet in the mouth. I thought maybe I messed something up (Did I overchurn it? I was also busy making BLTs and corn at the time), but since neither my KitchenAid instruction booklet nor Lebovitz’s book mention this as a potential ice-cream-making problem, I’m chalking it up to simply the lower fat content in this particular recipe—not only is it made with half-and-half rather than eggs or cream, but it doesn’t have the extra heft peanut butter provided last time around. Regardless, it’s delicious, so I’m not worried. I’ll definitely be making this again. I’ve seen variations online using limes instead of lemons, which would be excellent to try as well. I’d also like to figure out a way to incorporate strawberries into the ice cream for a strawberry-lemonade flavor (in the meantime, though, I’ll just serve it with strawberries on top).

2–3 lemons (the original recipe calls for 3, but mine were so juicy that two sufficed), preferably organic/unsprayed
½ cup sugar
2 cups half-and-half
1 pinch salt

1. Zest 2 lemons directly into a food processor or blender. Add the sugar and process until the zest is finely ground.

2. Juice the lemons you just zested, plus another lemon if necessary, to yield ½ cup juice. Add to the blender and blend until the sugar dissolves.

3. Add half-and-half and salt and blend.

4. Chill mixture for 1 hour, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

Yield: 1 quart (for us, about 8 servings)
Time: 15 minutes, plus chilling and freezing time
Leftover potential: Good.