Come August, I love to pull out our antique wine table and park it under the old willow, layering on a beautiful farm-to-table-inspired meal. The scene is like a perfect daydream. So here we go, trailing out of the house and into the garden with a bottle of bubbly under the arm, holding homemade veggie tarts and white peach pies. Let’s soak up those summer days for as long as we can.
First Stop — the Kirkland Farmers Market
The best summer gatherings always include zigzagging around the Kirkland Farmers Market and filling my basket with delicious eye candy like farm-fresh lavender for my lavender sugar, syrups, honey, and fragrant sweet peas!
Dreamy Garden Table
This gorgeous garden tablescape starts with a swish of a simple white cloth — like wind in a sail. Once spread, it immediately invites a small summer banquet. The tablecloth is weighed down with mismatched vintage tableware and a vintage French farm crate. The raw wood crate is divine for displaying the delicious menu ingredients, like a bowl of ripe peaches and golden raspberries. Add a pewter pitcher of dreamy dahlias and radish-tied linens, and this tablescape is still-life worthy.
White Peach Lavender Pie
Tart and Pie Crust:
21/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to ½ cup ice water
Place all ingredients (except the water) in a food processor, and pulse until just combined. With the machine running, add the water — a little at a time — until the dough forms a ball. Divide the dough into three equal parts, pat into disks, and wrap each disk in parchment paper and chill in the fridge for an hour or overnight. Lightly butter a 9-inch tart tin with a removable bottom.
Working quickly, roll out one of the chilled disks on a well-floured surface and create a circle, slightly larger than the tart tin. Place the dough into the tart tin, and lightly press up the sides. Trim any excess dough. Prick the dough with a fork in several places.
Line tin with a round of parchment. Bake in a 350-degree oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is just barely golden. Remove parchment, cool, and set tart crust aside.
Peach and Lavender Filling:
7 white peaches, cut and unpeeled
1/4 cup lavender sugar (see No. 1)
Juice and zest of half a lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
To make the lavender sugar, add 1 teaspoon of organic lavender to 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Press the lavender into the sugar, then strain out the lavender.
Gently toss the cut peaches with the rest of the ingredients until combined. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Spoon the peach filling into the bottom crust and top with second crust, crimping the edges to seal and pricking the top with the tines of a fork. Place pie on a baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
After cooling and slicing, drizzle with lavender-infused honey. To make it, warm a cup of honey with 1 teaspoon of lavender in a stovetop pan, then cool, strain, and jar.
This quick and colorful salad is perfect alongside the veggie tart. Just slice grape tomatoes and small, fresh mozzarella balls in half. I like a 2:1 ratio for this. Toss the tomatoes and mozzarella along with torn fresh garden basil in olive oil and fresh lemon juice vinaigrette. Top with lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
Spiral Veggie Tart with Parsley Pesto
4 small zucchini
4 small yellow squash
Parsley Pesto Tart Filling:
1 small garlic clove
11/2 cups Italian parsley
1/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Make the tart and pie crust (recipe on previous page).
Place first four filling ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until combined. With the machine running, add approximately 1/4 cup olive oil, until the mixtures forms a thick paste. Salt and pepper to taste.
Generously slather the cooled crust with pesto, and sprinkle with additional grated cheese.
Using a mandoline kitchen slicer, carefully slice four small zucchini and four small yellow squash into thin lengthwise strips. In a separate round tart dish, begin forming the veggie spiral. Start in the center of the dish and create concentric circles, alternating between the yellow and the green strips. Keep working your way around until you create a 9-inch spiral. Use small bamboo cocktail picks to hold the spiral together.
Place the veggie spiral on the pesto crust. Remove picks. Brush top and sides with olive oil, and scatter with freshly chopped herbs of your choice and a bit more cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, until the veggies are tender but still slightly firm.
This tart is a showstopper, but it doesn’t have to take up your whole weekend. The tart can be prepped in the morning and baked at the last minute. I also doubled down on pie crust — the dough recipe from the pie made both this 9-inch veggie tart and the 8-inch peach pie crust. For chopping herbs, I swear by a mandoline kitchen slicer — it’s a real time saver!
Grapefruit and Campari Granita
I love a good granita in between courses and this one is a bit tipsy!
1. In a stovetop pan place the juice of two grapefruits plus 1/2 cup sugar and several fresh basil leaves. Simmer until sugar dissolves.
2. Pull from the heat, cool and remove basil. Whisk in 1/4 cup Campari liqueur.
3. Pour mixture into a freezer safe dish. Freeze overnight. Remove from freezer just before serving. Scrape the frozen mixture with a fork to create shaved ice. Garnish with a basil leaf.
Chilled champagne is served in grandma Nettie’s vintage champagne coupes with a fresh berry topper. Cheers!
Espresso with Baileys and Lavender
Round out the meal with old school, stovetop espresso! I pull out the Bialetti pot and brew up a swig of espresso, topped with creamy Baileys and a splash of homemade lavender simple syrup. (1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon organic lavender, simmered on the stove top, cool, and strain).
Credits: Vintage French farm crate and market tote, Dreamy Whites Lifestyle. Vintage dishes, Oscar & Co. Ingredients from Kirkland Farmers Market, Metropolitan Market, Kirkland. Mandoline from Sur la Table, Kirkland.