Samantha Potter » Vancouver Food Blog

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My newest salad go-to is ready to be your salad go-to! 

Why?  There’s four ingredients… That’s right, only FOUR. 

Why else?  It takes well under ten minutes to make (really it just depends on how slow you are at grating cheese). 

You want another reason? It’s delicious and SO ridiculously easy to make. 

This salad is actually so easy I almost feel silly posting it – but just in case you’ve never had this salad or never been made aware of it’s existence I will carry on posting it.  Additionally, if you’ve never had it or made it, I recommend you give it a go.   To be honest, I didn’t know about it  until my mom brought it to my attention (PS- she never puts cheese on anything so it was a big deal! Evidence that cheese lovers and non-cheese lovers BOTH love this salad).  It’s a prefect  light summer salad that you can grow in your garden (oh ya, I grew this!) and can be thrown together so quickly.  Also, if you become overly obsessed with it like I currently am, you can eat it without feeling too guilty about it – quantity of cheese dependent, of course.   So… Add this to your next summer BBQ meal!

Easy Parmesan Arugula Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups fresh arugula
  2. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (or more if you're like me and obsessed with cheese...)
  3. ~ 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (just enough to lightly coat the greens)
  4. A splash of balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Coat arugula with extra virgin olive oil until the greens are lightly coated.
  2. Add in a tiny splash of balsamic vinegar and grated cheese and toss until everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Serve immediately.
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

I know, I know, I literally just did a popsicle post a month ago.  Well, I’m OBSESSED with homemade popsicles right now so I am officially starting a popsicle of the month routine… until it gets cold… at which time I will possibly start a hot chocolate of the month routine.   

This months popsicle happens to  be inspired from a strawberry orange juice I had from Whole Foods not too long ago.  I really never pictured strawberry juice… ever. Strawberry smoothies, yes, but strawberry juice? Hmm…   Turns out it’s actually delicious!   The combination of strawberries and oranges is killer and by throwing some basil into it you’re truly doing your taste buds a favor. 

PS- popsicles are my new go-to afternoon pick me up and they work like a charm.  You should convert as well based on three reasons.

1- It saves anyone’s bank account from a $5.00 tea latte/coffee/cool refreshing drink

2- It is an all natural and healthy snack

3- It’s summer time so why not?!

Strawberry Basil Orange Popsicles
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups strawberries
  2. 1/2 cup basil
  3. 1.5 cups orange juice
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Poor juice evenly into popsicle moulds.
  3. Add popsicle sticks and freeze until frozen
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

 I am a big advocate for indulging. If I want to eat something, I will… I will probably have four times the normal amount of food/treat/dessert/drink I am indulging in but I will be ever so happy that I did (overly full mind you, but sometimes that amounts to overly happy).  PS- I’m only indulging on occasion, this isn’t a daily occurrence! Or maybe it is… Anyways… The first thing my Mum said when I showed her this picture (above) was “that’s too pretty, I wouldn’t eat it”. I thought to myself “hmm, I guess it is pretty but half the tart is gone already…So I would eat it still”. I didn’t confess that to her, until now I guess.

Long story short, if you’re going to indulge in something, do it with this tart. The combination of mascarpone and ALL of the berries (berries are my absolute fav and are now in season, cue excitement!!!) with thyme and lavender is a perfect combination of sweet and savory. The crispness the tart crust adds to your bites compliments the filling perfectly. Possibly the best part is how easy this is to make, as my mom put it, look pretty.

Tart Crust
Yields 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour (gluten-free option: 2 cups Bob's Red Mill GF flour) plus more for dusting
  2. 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature ( if you're using gluten free flour) OR 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature (if you're using regular all-purpose flour)
  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1/2 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
  5. 1/2 cup ground almonds
  6. 1 teaspoon lavender
  7. 1 egg
  8. A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix together all ingredients using a wooden spoon, or, your hands (hands work better:) ). Kneed together until the dough sticks together and forms a uniform mixture.
  2. Separate into two halves and wrap each half in it’s own saran wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes (the longer the better!).
  3. On a large floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one of the halves of dough into a round shape that will fit your tart dish (mine was ~9 inches in diameter and ~1 inch deep with a removable bottom so that the tart can come out easily).
  4. Put the tart dish with the dough into the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Remove tart crust from the freezer and line the tart with parchment paper. Fill the lined tart with something heavy (beans, pennies, pot lids, etc.) and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.
Notes
  1. You can use the second (half of the) tart right away or store in the freezer for approximately one month.
Adapted from Mimi Thorisson
Adapted from Mimi Thorisson
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/
Lavender Thyme Berry Tart
Serves 8
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 250 g mascarpone
  2. 1/3 cup heavy cream
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 cup blueberries
  5. 1 cup strawberries
  6. 2 cups raspberries
  7. 1 cup blackberries
  8. 2 tablespoons whiskey*
  9. 1 tablespoon thyme
  10. 2 teaspoons lavender
  11. 1 tablespoon blueberry jam
Instructions
  1. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, mix together mascarpone, heavy cream, and sugar until stiff peaks form.
  2. Once pie crust has cooled, fill with the mascarpone filling.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, combine blueberries, strawberries, 1 cup of raspberries, whiskey, lavender, thyme, and blueberry jam. Stir continually until berries have broken down into a liquidy/mushy substance. Let cool in the fridge or outside.
  4. Once you can touch the berry mixture without burning yourself (don't try until you're almost certain you've reached this point), evenly pour it over the mascarpone filling.
  5. With the remaining raspberries and blackberries, decorate the top of the tart.
  6. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. *You can substitute a nutty or fruity liqueur such as amaretto or creme de cassis or vanilla extract
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

  • August 11, 2014 - 6:37 pm

    Fig & Mascarpone Tart | Samantha Potter - […] when I realized that I had froze the other half of the dough from my last tart (which can be found here).  All I needed to do was thaw the tart crust, roll it out and pop it into the oven… oh and […]ReplyCancel

So brunches are my thing.  You want a brunch party done right, call me up.  Seriously.  

For some reason I like brunch parties more than dinner parties (but I do love me a good dinner party!!) even though I tend to like dinner more than brunch.  I can probably attribute this to the clean-up: brunch is cleaned up and you still have the day (or evening) to do something that doesn’t revolve around eating however, once dinner is cleaned up its time for bed.  You could say that you had the morning to do something useful when you have a dinner party but knowing me, I  took advantage of the weekend and slept in.  Brunch forces you to get up early enough and start your day off with so many delicious smells.  One thing I’ve learned from my brunch party extravaganza’s is to stick to one theme and go with that (i.e., classic breakfasts or breakfast tacos); it makes your morning a lot easier to handle.  This dish would go great as your egg dish in your “classic breakfast” morning with breakfast sausages and hashbrowns.  You obviously don’t need to have a brunch party to make this, but it is a worthy explosion of flavor to have at the table!

Shakshouka
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 Anaheim chiles, finely chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. 1 tablespoon paprika
  7. 1 teaspoon chile powder
  8. 1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
  9. 1 12oz can tomato paste
  10. Himalayan sea salt, to taste
  11. Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  12. 6 eggs
  13. 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  14. 1 tablespoon chopped chives
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot (dutch oven if you've got one) over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and chiles and cook until onions are translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add cumin, paprika, and chile powder and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add in whole tomatoes and let simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Crush tomatoes with a potato masher, add in Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste.
  6. If your mixture is quite thin, add half of the tomato paste and stir until well combined. Let simmer for another 10 minutes. Keep adding tomato paste until the mixture is decently thick with no water-like consistency.
  7. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  8. Transfer your tomato mixture evenly into whatever oven-proof serving dishes you'd like (you can also just keep it in the pot) and crack eggs over tomato mixture.
  9. Cover and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until your egg yolk has reached your desired consistency.
  10. Garnish with feta cheese and chives. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Food Network: America's Best Cook - Brunch Edition
Adapted from Food Network: America's Best Cook - Brunch Edition
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

I’m soooooo sick of having ciders to drink every day.  I wish I was exaggerating but it’s summer right?!  You can’t say no to outdoor anything in the summer, especially drinks shared outdoors.  I’m hoping most of you agree and I’m not just the crazy drink lady.  

ANYWAYS no dwelling over whose a crazy drink lady and whose not.  Let’s get to the point shall we: I’ve got a wheat allergy so I can’t have beer.  I’m not too phased by this since I really don’t enjoy the taste of beer anymore and have happily resorted to ciders.  The problem with ciders is they are so sugary and your teeth feel like they are rotting.  While ciders may be the best portable option, I always need a backup I can drink at home.  My solution: sangria!  Strawberries and basil compliment eachother so well and both of those things happen to always be in my fridge in the summer.  Instead of sugar I add agave nectar and voila, no more teeth rotting! A win for all I think!

Strawberry Basil Sangria
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  2. 1/2 cup basil
  3. 1/2 cup agave nectar
  4. 1 cup soda water
  5. 750 mL Sauvignon Blanc
Instructions
  1. Using full leaves of basil, take a fork and imprint the leaves. This will give your sangria that delightful basil flavor while making it easy to avoid accidentally drinking small pieces of basil.
  2. Put the basil into a pitcher with the chopped strawberries, agave nectar, and soda water.
  3. Let stand for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  4. After your 30 minutes is up add the wine, stir, and start pouring glasses!
Notes
  1. The amount of strawberries and basil is just a guideline, if you feel like you want more do it!
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/