Cherry & Tomato Basil Toast
This is a little bit of a non-recipe recipe, but it was so bright and summery, I had to share.
We’ve owned our house for a little over a year now, and one of my very favorite things about it is how much we can eat straight off our own yard. We also have some really nice neighbors who share theirs with us. Between the two of us, we have rhubarb, more lettuce and spinach than we can handle, zucchini carrots, herbs, and BERRIES. We haven’t even gotten to the part of the year where we have tomatoes and peppers.
But back to the berries – have you ever had a fresh-picked, home-grown one? They melt in your mouth – they just don’t have the same texture as a store-bought berry. In a good way. They aren’t as firm. I have no idea why or what it means. But it is worth your while to get some home-grown or small-farmed strawberries as soon as you possibly can. And then when you do, you can make strawberry shortcake with this new recipe:
These are a breakfast or dessert biscuit, slightly sweetened, that we developed in partnership with my sponor for BlogHer, Stone-Buhr Flour.
I had a great conversation with the owner of Stone-Buhr, Josh Dorf – we were talking about agriculture, and what it means to be a small family business like a farm. It was really nice to see that we are on the same page about that. When you choose to buy flour from a small company (and with this one, you can find out from exactly which farm), you aren’t necessarily doing it because you can taste or see the difference – I can’t, and I think only the pros can. You’re doing it because you are making a decision to support small farmers – especially susuatinable ones.
Josh made an excellent point when he said that when a family has a piece of land that is their livelihood, they can’t just pick up and leave once it is used up. It’s in their best interest to take really good care of it. Which is why Stone-Buhr practices no-till farming and is Food Alliance-certified. On top of all of that, they have a pretty cool program called All Purpose With a Purpose – for every bag of flour sold, Stone-Buhr donates flour to a food bank in your area – they have partners in Washington, Oregon and California. We’re talking 23,000 lbs. and counting!
So, here’s what you need for delicious sweet biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Use a fork or a pastry-cutter to cut in the shortening, until the mixture looks mealy.
Add the milk with a wooden spoon. The dough should not be very sticky, but also not break apart into crumbs. You may need to add a little milk or a little flour to get a soft, nonsticky dough – it’s OK to play with the measurements a bit, because the dough will be different depending on the humidity.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about a 3/4 inch thickness and cut out using a cookie cutter or the top of a cup. Try to fit as many biscuits as possible onto the sheet. You can roll the remaining dough out again, but only once more or the texture will suffer.
Bake for about 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them after 10, to make sure you get the amount of brownness you prefer. For breakfast, they can be served as is or with butter/jam/etc. For dessert, add fruit and a large helping of whipped cream