BUCKWHEAT OAT BARS WITH SPICED CRANBERRY-APPLE COMPOTE

There’s nothing more healing than holiday baking.  When the weather starts to drop & the christmas lights come up -  It’s my favorite time of year.  These oat bars are my new favorite holiday treat, easily eaten for breakfast, dessert or anything in between.  The cranberries make this extra festive for Winter weather and holidays, but you can use any kind of fruit compote (or preserve!).  For your Christmas morning, holiday gatherings and beyond…

buckwheat oat bars with spiced cranberry apple compote (gluten-free) makes 16-18 bars

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Cranberry Apple Compote:

  • 12 oz. cranberries
  • 1 green apple, peeled and diced
  • 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 vanilla bean, de-seeded
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make cranberry compote: add all ingredients to a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then lower to medium heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or cranberries have broken down and mixture is thick.  Remove from heat to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oats, flours, baking powder, salt, xanthum gum and spices. 

In another small mixing bowl, whisk together egg, coconut oil or butter, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. 

Mix wet ingredients into dry, mixing well until dough looks like oatmeal cookie dough. 

Add 3/4 of oat mixture to a greased 8x8 or round tart pan, using your hand to press batter evenly.  Add about 1 heaping cup of cranberry compote over top, using a silicon spatula to evenly disperse.  Then sprinkle the top with the last amount of oat mixture.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until oat topping is browned.  Set aside to cool, then serve warm or chill before cutting into squares.

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SAVORY TOMATO & PARMESAN CRUMBLE

It’s just beginning to feel real Wintry here in NYC.  It happens that way each year, where one day, it just gets cold and we begin to hunker down for the Winter ahead.  We roast squash and make soup and need to wear socks to bed.  It’s a new season and we learn how to submit to it.

In terms of cooking, the warmer and heartier the better. I’ve been making soups like crazy and roasting a whole kabocha squash each week.  Some people feel daunted by the produce limitations, but I’ve learned some things over the years to help inspire cold-weather cooking.  Besides beans, lentils, etc, I always have preserved tomatoes on hand: canned, chopped, fire-roasted or whatever you like.  It’s the simplest thing to keep around that can make cold, Winter nights a little better.  I use them in soups, make a quick tomato sauce, a savory braise - the options are endless.  We may not have fresh tomatoes, but we wouldn’t want to eat them this time of year anyway.  It’s time for baking, braising, roasting - all the warm things in life.

Savory Tomato & Parmesan Crumble (Gluten-free) Serves 8

-This recipe, at its base, is a simple crumble.  I used romesco and cannellinni beans, but you could use any veggies or herbs you have on hand and need to get rid of! A few notes, too: you can use all cornmeal instead of cornmeal/corn flour to keep it simple.

FILLING:

  • 26 oz. Pomi Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 teaspoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 small romanesco, chopped into about 1 inch pieces
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of cannellinni beans, drained 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1/3 cup basil, sliced thin or chiffonade
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs marjoram

TOPPING:

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal 
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 5 sprigs thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk chopped tomatoes together with cornstarch, lemon juice + zest, tamarin, sumac, salt and red pepper flakes.  Then, stir in romesco, beans, garlic, shallot and herbs until well combined.  Add to 9x9 or similar sized baking dish and set aside.

In another mixing bowl, stir together oats, almond meal, cornmeal and flour, parmesan, thyme and salt.  Mix until well combined, then add chilled butter cubes,  Using your hands, work together dough - breaking down butter - until mixture looks and feels like oatmeal cookie dough.  Add olive oil, and mix in well with your hands, making sure to get all the flour bits at the bottom.

Add crumble evenly over top tomato filling.  Bake for exactly 30 minutes or until tomato is bubbling up around the sides and topping is golden browned.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.


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BUCKWHEAT APPLE GALETTES WITH CARDAMOM CRUMBLE (Gluten-free)

In the Summer months, when the markets are bursting with tomatoes, corn, strawberries and the like, I can't imagine eating anything but the brightest, most Summery produce. I cant imagine wanting to turn my oven on to warm the apartment, to crave eating heavy squashes and Winter soups.  But then you wake up, and it's October. The last Indian summer has subsided and the heat is officially on in the building. You put on boots again, and try to re-remember how to dress for 58 degrees. Before you've even thought about the transition, it happens and all of a sudden you're there.  

So, now it's late October. I am appropriately eating soup, baking to warm the apartment and wearing boots. The heat is on in the apartment and I've started to layer successfully for the correct temperature (still rusty, though).  I can't imagine eating salads of cucumbers and dill, I'm craving hearty things, broths, anything warm.  Apple season is winding down, but I'm trying to do as much as possible with them until all we've got is citrus for the dark, Winter months.  

Apples are that fruit to me that I would never say is my favorite, but I eat one at least everyday, sometimes two.  I crave them consistently and so look forward to honeycrisp season (and apple season in general) where the varieties are overflowing.  Apples symbolize those first signs of Fall, that lead us from melon and currants to warm, baked apple desserts.  

And then just like that, before you've even thought about the transition, it will be the dead of Winter.  And all of a sudden you'll be there. 

BUCKWHEAT APPLE GALETTES WITH CARDAMOM CRUMBLE (Gluten-free) Makes 4 Mini Galettes

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2-4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 egg, whisked, for wash

Crumble:

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled + cubed
  • Pinch of salt

Filling:

  • 2 medium honey crisp apples, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Coconut sugar, to top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For crust:  Add first seven ingredients to a food processor.  Pulse to mix dry ingredients well.  The add cubed butter, pulsing until butter is evenly mixed.  Then, drizzle in ice water - pulsing as you go - until dough comes together and away from the edge.  Form dough into a disk, dust with tapioca flour and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for 30 min - 1 hour.

For crumble:  In a small mixing bowl add all ingredients, using your hands mix together well - breaking up butter cubes with your fingers - until the dough starts to look like oatmeal cookie batter.  Set aside.

For filling:  Slice apples thinly and add to a small mixing bowl.  Toss gently with cinnamon and maple syrup until all apples are coated.  Set aside.

To assemble galettes:  Once dough has chilled, remove from fridge and let sit at room temp for 10-15 minutes.  “Flour” a surface with tapioca flour.  Divide the dough by four equal parts.  Roll out each portion evenly to approx. 6-7 inches or so.  Assemble apples overtop, leaving t least once inch all around to fold.  Fold over crust working each edge at a time.  Brush crust with egg wash, then sprinkle coconut sugar overtop apples and crust.  Top with cardamom crumble and add to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Continue until all galettes are assembled - I made 4 galettes, but feel free to make them whichever size you like, but note the baking time will change.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden browned and “dry” to the touch.  Set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes.  Serve immediately!