Scarborough Fair Shortbread & Paris Garden Montrachet

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photograph by Melissa Placzek

“Are you going to Scarborough fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Remember me to one who lives there. She once was a true love of mine.” ~Simon and Garfunkel

Happy Friday friends! Today I woke from a strange, delightful dream still fresh in my memory. I was painting with oils on a blue sailboat full of apple blossoms. I swear I could still smell the sea air and apple blossoms when I opened my eyes… (what does that mean?)

Alas, I was not on boat in Greece or the south of France, but in snowy Minnesota. Dang. Sooo…. I quickly decided to embrace the idea of a cozy day indoors. Today I’ll be baking this delicious, savory shortbread, some no-knead bread in my new Dutch oven, drink pot after pot of Assam, listen to a playlist including: Joanna Newsom, Regina Spektor, Mindy Gledhill, Lenka, Missy Higgins, the Avett Brothers and Simon and Garfunkle…and daydream of Paris gardens and ferris wheels and tropical islands, fragrant blooms and blue boats.

I want to get a little writing in today, but we’ll see what happens. I’m thinking it might be a good day to tuck my characters in for a nap and do a watercolor painting of my dream. What creative pursuits are you enjoying these days?

~Scarborough Fair Shortbread~

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons finely-chopped, fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon each, finely chopped, fresh:

sage

rosemary

thyme

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 stick butter, softened

1 egg, lightly beaten

whole, small leaves of each herb for decorating the top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Stir flour, sugar, garlic salt, onion powder, chopped herbs and pepper together in a bowl. Cut in butter with a fork until dough forms. Divide dough in half. Pat each into a 7 inch round on an ungreased baking sheet. Cut each round into 8 even wedges. Brush with egg and decorate top with the whole, small herb leaves, leaving some shortbread showing, don’t completely cover them with leaves. Poke each wedge with a fork. Bake until golden, 15-17 minutes. Re-cut wedges while shortbread is still hot. Cool completely. Serve with assorted cheeses, fruits, Jardin des Tuilieres Pont de Barret Goat Cheese (recipe below), and tea or wine.

~Jardin des Tuilieres Pont de Barret Goat Cheese~

This is a gorgeous goat cheese spread inspired by a Paris garden. The next time I whip up a batch with the flowers I’ll take a picture and post it here. Today I’ll be making it without the flowers, so, not too exciting of a photo op.

Combine:

8 oz. Montrachet goat cheese

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons whole milk plain yogurt

3 Tablespoons fresh, chopped chives

2 Tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley

1 teaspoon fresh, chopped mint

1 teaspoon fresh, chopped thyme leaves

1 teaspoon fresh, chopped rosemary leaves

fresh, edible, pesticide-free flowers:

nasturtiums, pansies, rose petals

johnny jump-ups…

Mix everything except the flowers. Top toasted baguette slices with the mixture…then some assorted raw veggies (I love thin sliced purple onion, radishes, carrots and artichoke hearts.) Top with edible flowers. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

~Melissa

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