Cheeses, sauces, toppings take burgers beyond

Just one out-of-the-ordinary element can make for an extraordinary burger.

Mix-and-match suggestions in this week’s food section should see us through what’s left of summer and beyond. I’ll add a few more of my own.

On the topic of quick pickling, try marinating sliced tomatoes in balsamic vinegar 30 minutes before assembling your burger. This trick recently convinced my husband that I’d compiled the “best sandwich ever” for his lunch. If the tomatoes alone are that good, consider stacking them with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, or a smear of pesto, for Caprese salad on a burger.

Burger fans likely can agree that blue cheese and mushroom-Swiss patties are fairly standard fare by now. But stuffing the patty with cheese is a move that many home cooks overlook. It’s an ideal technique for softer cheeses that otherwise would ooze all over.

I impressed some guests this weekend by encasing a bit of goat cheese in ground lamb. Just remember to get the ratio right. A one-third-pound patty needs less than an ounce of cheese to keep the combination from becoming messy.

Bacon on burgers, as this week’s story acknowledged, is old hat. Wrapping a patty in prosciutto, however, imparts all of bacon’s saltiness and savor in a streamlined process and presentation. There’s no need to cook such a thin slice of cured pork in advance. Indeed, it adheres to the burger and ideally creates a crunchy coating around it, particularly if seared in a cast-iron pan or on a griddle.

Regarding sauces, don’t be afraid of something sweet in lieu of ketchup. Fig jam provides the perfect contrast to the prosciutto and goat cheese recommended above. The trio constitute one of my all-time favorite burgers, detailed in a 2009 post. I said it then, and I’ll say it again: Just trust me on this one.

And I’m taking the Chicago Tribune’s word that marrownaise is the next Sriracha mayonnaise. I suspect I’ll need extra to accommodate dipping fries.

Until I can source some beef marrow, this compound butter likely would wow my husband, who never met a mustard he didn’t like. It’s also courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

Tribune News Service photo

Grilled Burgers With Mustard Butter

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for grilling. Divide 1 pound ground beef into 4 equal portions. Gently shape each portion into a patty. Season with salt and pepper.

Beat 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted, softened butter until creamy; blend in 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped.

Grill patties, for 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium. Place patties on bottoms of toasted buns. Top each burger with a dollop of mustard butter while still hot, then the bun top.

Makes 4 servings.

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Quinoa, millet both boost protein in tabbouleh

Along with zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers are both coming on strong in my garden. That means salsa and tzatziki; Caprese salad and quick pickles, maybe Greek salad pairing the two with some brine-cured olives.

But my favorite way to eat tomatoes and cucumbers together has long been tabbouleh, the Middle Eastern-Mediterranean salad usually made with bulgur and lots of fresh herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. It’s fairly common to see tabbouleh made with couscous.

But that variation leaves out a lot of the bulgur’s fiber and other benefits of whole grains. Made of semolina, couscous, is closer on the carbohydrate spectrum to pasta than the wheat grains that originate it.

One way to mimic couscous’ texture while reaping the benefits of whole grains is to substitute a seed such as quinoa or millet. The latter happens to be a favorite that I’ve recommended in a previous post. Whereas just about every American has cooked, eaten or at least by now heard of quinoa, millet remains relatively obscure.

So I shed some light on it while teaching a cooking class last week with participants’ shares of produce from a local community-supported agriculture program. And just as I suspected, no one previously had tasted millet. But they nearly all loved it as tabbouleh with cukes and tomatoes from Siskiyou Sustainable Co-op.

Comparisons of the nutritional value in millet versus quinoa are somewhat inconsistent. I’ve seen sources that give millet the edge over quinoa and vice versa. I decided to simplify things for my class and attest that millet is basically as healthy as quinoa, so celebrated for its high protein content.

Millet does have the edge in affordability, however. Readily available in bulk, it costs about half of what quinoa does. And the difference between conventionally farmed and organic is only 19 cents per pound at my local grocery store.

Once deemed only suitable for chicken feed, quinoa has shed its birdseed image while millet still is consumed mainly in the United States by feathered species. But if you like quinoa, you should love millet, at least that was the consensus in my cooking class.

Try them each out in the following recipe. Millet should substitute interchangeably, perhaps with the addition of bit more cooking water.

Tribune News Service

Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 pound raw quinoa

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup grapeseed oil

2 cups diced tomatoes

1/3 cup finely chopped, fresh mint

3/4 cup chopped, fresh, curly parsley

1 bunch scallions, washed, ends removed and thinly sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pita or lavash bread, for serving (optional)

Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. Combine quinoa in a medium saucepan with 1 ½ quarts water. Bring to just a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and continue to cook for 10 to 12 minutes or a few minutes longer for softer textured quinoa.

Meanwhile, make vinaigrette. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and grapeseed oil; set aside.

Once cooked, transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add the tomatoes, mint, parsley and scallions. Pour vinaigrette over salad, and toss to coat. Season with the salt and pepper and, if desired, serve with pita or lavash bread.

Makes 8 servings.

From “Fit Fuel: A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well, Getting Fit and Living Your Best Life” by Robert Irvine, (Irvine Products, $29.99).

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Turkish-style zucchini fritters fit to please purists

A single dish to dispatch several zucchini is a gardener’s dream come August.

Everyone’s got a go-to. Or two or three. Hopefully, at least as many as there are plants in the garden.

Mine happen to be quiche, mentioned in this blog’s previous post, and refrigerator pickles. I nominate the rest of my family for the zucchini muffins, quick breads and even cookies that my mother-in-law recently devised to trick my oldest son into eating his veggies.

Taking pains to disguise a plant that simply can’t be ignored seems like working at cross purposes. If I’m going to devote time and effort to a vegetable that grows effortlessly in seemingly no time at all, it should be the star or at least play a strong supporting role. I can accomplish that with recipes for zucchini soup, hummus or noodles.

And fritters. But coating bland zucchini in flour and egg, then frying demands something more in the way of compelling flavors. I’ve suggested mingling zucchini with other vegetables for a Korean-inspired dish. But this Turkish version is more of a zucchini purist’s that gives mint and dill their due, rather than summer’s de rigueur basil and parsley.

Tribune News Service photo

Zucchini Fritters

1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for pan frying

1 pound zucchini, finely chopped

3 eggs

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Black pepper, to taste

Dash of salt

2 to 3 fresh mint sprigs, chopped

2 to 3 fresh dill sprigs, chopped

6 to 7 ounces crumbled feta cheese

In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in the 3 tablespoons oil until it is soft and lightly colored.

Add the zucchini and saute, stirring, until they, too, are soft.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the flour until well-blended. Season with the pepper and add the salt and herbs; mix well.

Fold feta into the eggs. Spoon in onion-zucchini mixture. Don’t add liquid released from zucchini while cooking.

Over medium heat, film bottom of a nonstick frying pan with oil. Add 2 tablespoons zucchini mixture for one fritter and leave enough space around each fritter for flipping it. Cook until both sides are slightly brown.

Drain on paper towels and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe from “Arabesque” by Claudia Roden (Knopf; 2006)

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Squirrel away squash soup for summer’s end

Invitations to my house in midsummer always come with a hidden motive: relieving our family of surplus garden vegetables.

Even guests who, themselves, garden sometimes are game for a few extras. My friend’s tomatoes hadn’t come on when we met for a leisurely weekend lunch, so she went home with a good dozen Brandywines and Romas, with a handful of cherry tomatoes thrown in. She also welcomed an alternative to her pickling cucumbers in our lemon variety.

And zucchini. I was amused to hear she didn’t bother with it because one can always pick up a spare summer squash. Indeed.

Despite our best efforts at generosity, zucchini occasionally one-ups us. Earlier this week, I dispatched a good-sized squash in a Greek-inspired quiche with phyllo crust, mentioned in a May post. Salting the zucchini after grating is a critical step that eliminates excess water and preemptively seasons the egg filling.

And because grated zucchini, I’ve found, does not freeze well, I’d consider whipping up this soup and squirreling it away for those cooler days when we’re craving a taste of summer. Until then, I’d prefer a chilled zucchini soup featured two summers ago in this blog.

Tribune News Service photo

Zucchini Soup

2 pounds small to medium zucchini (about 5 zucchini), stems trimmed but not peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

1/2 medium jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 (32-ounce) carton reduced-sodium chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup coarsely chopped, fresh basil

6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Slice part of 1 of the zucchini into julienne strips to equal 1/2 cup, cutting each julienne strip about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Set julienne strips aside to use as a garnish. Quarter remaining zucchini lengthwise, then cut into ½- to 1-inch cubes. Set zucchini cubes aside.

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and carrot; cook, stirring frequently for about 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add the jalapeno and garlic; cook for 1 minute.

Add the broth and zucchini cubes. Season lightly with the salt and generously with the pepper. Heat until boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until zucchini is very tender.

Add the basil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Carefully, using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. (Alternatively, pour soup into a large bowl and allow soup to cool slightly; ladle soup into a blender, in batches as necessary. Remove center from blender cover or cover leaving partially ajar so steam releases. Blend soup until smooth. Return soup to hot pot and repeat with remaining soup.) Reheat soup, if necessary.

To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls. Top each serving with julienne strips of zucchini and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 6 servings (total yield about 8 cups).

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Make sweet corn ‘street corn’ with Mexican flavors

Some foods, as I’ve been known to jest, are primarily vehicles for mayonnaise.

Elotes, Mexican street corn, could be considered one of them, if it wasn’t for corn bursting with both flavor and texture this time of year. The recipe was highlighted in this week’s A la Carte, along with other variations of corn on the cob perfect for high summer.

Corn on the cob certainly constitutes a hand-held snack that can be consumed on the run. But the spreads, toppings, compound butters and bacon wrappers detailed in this week’s story wouldn’t be so easily packed up for picnics or potlucks. That’s when the concept calls for cutting kernels off the cob and combining them with traditional Mexican flavors for esquites, basically elotes as a salad.

Various riffs on esquites, including this recipe, are some of my family’s favorite ways to enjoy sweet corn. Here’s another version that can be made vegan with a soy milk-based mayonnaise and nutritional yeast instead of cheese. Or substitute the Sriracha mayo from this week’s food section. I will.

Tribune News Service photo

Rewarding Esquites

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

1 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1/4 teaspoon each: black pepper and salt

8 ears of corn, husks and silk removed

Canola oil cooking spray, as needed

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon chili powder

Lime wedges, for garnish (optional)

To make mayonnaise, use a 1-quart, wide-mouth canning jar and an immersion blender. (Alternatively, a food processor or blender will work.) Add the lime juice and soy milk to jar. Insert immersion blender into jar. With immersion blender running at its fastest speed, pour the oil in a constant, slow, thin steam into jar. It will take a couple of minutes, but liquid will thicken into mayonnaise consistency. Add agave nectar, pepper and salt; blend for a few seconds to combine.

For the corn, set oven to broil. Lightly mist ears of corn with some of the cooking spray; arrange on a baking sheet. Roast on center rack, rotating every 3 to 5 minutes, for 12 to 15 minutes total. Allow corn to cool until cool enough to handle.

Cut stem off cob; hold cob vertically, cut side down, in a shallow bowl. With a sharp knife, remove kernels from cob using a downward sawing motion. Repeat with all ears. Stir in 1 cup of mayonnaise; garnish with the nutritional yeast and chili powder.

Use as a filling for tacos or eat as is; give it a squeeze of lime before serving. Makes about 8 servings, or filling for 16 tacos.

Recipe from “The Taco Cleanse” by Wes Allison, Stephanie Bogdanich, Molly R. Frisinger and Jessica Morris.

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Stick to simple seasonings for superior skirt steak

Skirt steak is a Southern Oregon staple for grilling, or so say local butchers profiled in this week’s A la Carte.

The quick-cooking cut becomes even more convenient when butchers sell it already marinated. Check out this week’s list of local butcher shops doing a brisk business in both meats cut to order and ready-to-grill specialties.

Although it does take a couple of hours to properly marinate, skirt steak is simple to prepare. And keeping it simple, above all, is the key to superior steak that makes the ultimate taco filling.

I still recall my first taste of authentic carne asada, prepared by a local Mexican-American family on a campground grill by the shores of Emigrant Lake. The flavors of lime, cilantro and sweet onion are as bright in my memory as the day’s sunshine. The coupling of rich meat and charred scallions in a fresh corn tortilla still has no equal.

Likewise, I’ve never felt equal to the task of replicating that casual but seminal meal, knowing full well that it owes much to the lakeside setting. But if I was inclined to try, I’d follow this recipe from the Chicago Tribune, billed as the quintessential dish of Mexican taquerias.

Tribune News Service photo

Carne Asada Tacos

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Canola or olive oil, as needed

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

Kosher salt, as needed

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of fat and silverskin

1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

2 bunches scallions, trimmed to 5 inches

8 small soft corn tortillas

1 cup green tomatillo salsa, for serving

1 lime, quartered

In a shallow baking pan (or zip-close plastic bag), combine lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the cayenne pepper Add the steak. Flip. Cover and chill, for 2 to 24 hours.

Pull steak out of marinade. Pat dry. Sprinkle with a little more salt. Let rest at room temperature, for 30 minutes.

Heap the cilantro and white onion in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little more salt. Toss.

Rub the green onions with 1 teaspoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Grill steak over a medium-hot fire, for about 4 minutes per side for medium. Slide onto a platter and cover loosely with foil. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, set green onions on grill grates crosswise. Grill, rolling occasionally, until tender and nicely marked, for about 8 minutes. Grill the tortillas until they show light marks, for 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Slice steak along its grain into 3-inch wide sections, then across the grain into thin strips. Douse with any accumulated juices.

For each taco, spread a grilled tortilla with a spoonful of tomatillo salsa. Add a heap of steak, a scoop of cilantro mix, a couple of green onions and a squeeze of lime.

Makes 4 servings.

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This juicy cheeseburger is a ‘smashing’ succcess

With all the special diets and international cuisines influencing American palates, the good ol’ burger has lost some of its foothold.

I confess that I almost always bypass beef for turkey, lamb, fish or even veggie burgers, particularly ones that boast interesting accompaniments and sauces. There’s no denying, however, the appeal of a basic beef patty prepared with minimal fussing but served with the highest quality fixins’.

Garden-fresh, heirloom tomato and sweet onion slices, velvety butter-lettuce leaves and homemade pickles rarely play as nicely together as they do on a simply seasoned slab of freshly ground beef. Read more about locally owned butchers who can grind meat to order in Wednesday’s A la Carte.

And while this may sound like heresy during grilling season, a hot skillet is the ticket for the tastiest, juiciest burger, aficionados agree. This recipe from the Chicago Tribune does one better by sandwiching cheese between two just-browned beef patties. The “smash” technique ensures that the burgers cook quickly, the cheese melts completely and the condiments mingle with the meat juices.

Tribune News Service photo

Smashed Burger

1 hamburger bun (preferably a good-quality potato roll)

Butter, softened

Mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, onion, tomato, pickle, etc., for serving

4 ounces ground beef chuck or other ground beef (not lean)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 (1-ounce) slice American cheese

Spread inner faces of the bun with some of the butter. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium. Toast bun, butter-side down, until golden, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Set bun on a plate, open-faced. Arrange condiments and veggies of choice on bottom bun.

Divide the beef and roll into 2 balls, each 2 ounces. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high.

When skillet is very hot, add beef balls. Immediately smash each with back of a stiff metal spatula (use some muscle), creating 2 very thin patties, each a little wider than bun. Season each with the salt and pepper. Cook until browned on bottom and a mottled gray/pink on top, for about 45 seconds.

Scrape up and flip both patties. Top 1 with cheese. When patty bottoms have browned (for about 15 seconds) stack patties so cheese is sandwiched in between. Slide this cheese-filled burger onto prepared bun. Close bun, squish gently. Burger perfection is yours.

Makes 1 serving.

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Burgers blend flavor, health and sustainability

The “blended burger,” featured in this week’s A la Carte, is a concept I’ve long championed.

In one of this blog’s first posts, I sang the praises of moist turkey burgers made by cutting the meat with tofu. Replacing some of a burger’s meat with mushrooms not only makes them more sustainable, but tastier, too.

So goes the logic behind the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project, which has support from hundreds of chefs nationwide. Try the recipes in this week’s food section for beef burgers with shiitakes and salmon burgers with king oyster mushrooms. Some meatless burgers suggested in a 2011 post, align with yet another sustainability campaign, the International Year of Pulses, described in the June issue of Oregon Healthy Living.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that some beef alternatives are highly sustainable, particularly if produced locally. Organic, grass-fed bison raised near Williams, and profiled in a 2009 story, would be ideal in the following dish. Incorporating green olives and sun-dried tomatoes, the Chicago Tribune’s recipe aspires to blended burger status.

Tribune News Service photo

Mediterranean Bison Burger

In a medium bowl, mix 1 pound ground bison, until just combined, with 8 green olives, chopped; 3 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped; 1 egg, slightly beaten; 1/2 cup breadcrumbs; and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Form into 4 patties; season on both sides with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil; add patties. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and medium-rare, for 9 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a second, large skillet; add 1 red onion, peeled and cut in thin slices, and salt to taste. Cook until soft and translucent, stirring in 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar when almost done, for 8 minutes.

Serve burgers on buns topped with onions.

Makes 4 servings.

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Vintage Velox tomato strainer is a priceless find

As my food processor largely lay idle over the past few years, I’ve relied more on my food mill.

Mine is a low-tech, hand-cranked, stainless-steel model with screens in three gauges that not only puree foods but simultaneously strain out foreign particles. Useful for mashed potatoes and silky soups, the mill provided some peace of mind while I made baby food from prunes and dried apricots that sometimes harbored pit fragments.

But even on its finest setting, the food mill couldn’t eliminate every coarse particle in a puree. For cane berries, I needed a fine-mesh sieve that removed too much pulp. Ditto for tomato sauces free of pesky seeds and core fibers.

I’d long since resigned myself to imperfect tomato sauces until my husband’s penchant for junk-sale shopping bore quite possibly its sweetest fruits to date. Spying a hand-cranked gadget of tomato-red, high-grade plastic, Will knew it was a good-quality piece even before he noticed the “made in Italy” stamp. That alone seemed worth the $2 price tag.

Sarah Lemon photo

A bit of Internet searching identified the World Super Velox as a tomato press and strainer with something of a cult following. Ours was a vintage model, at that, judging by the erstwhile Montedison company’s renown several decades ago for manufacturing Moplen polypropylene. Used models like ours can be had for about $30 on eBay. New ones are about $40 online.

Among the Velox’s most impressive features are an industrial-strength suction cup that wowed Will, even before research confirmed its 220 pounds of compression. Indeed, in the words of one reviewer, when the suction cup is engaged, it’s like the mill is bolted to the counter.

The gauge of the Velox’s single screen, perfect for tomato seeds, also is useful for those vexing cane berries. A quick test of unstrained raspberry puree revealed that the Velox captures the crunchy pips, even if the berry skins sneak through.

The Velox will prove itself, of course, as I replenish our freezer cache of tomato sauce. Another contraption that has captivated us over the past year, the pellet smoker would infuse a refined tomato sauce with a bit of rustic character. The following recipe, courtesy of Tribune News Service, provides instructions for wood-smoking with gas or charcoal grills, as well as pureeing the sauce with a blender or food processor.

Smoky Tomato Puree

1 cup mesquite or hickory wood chips

4 pounds perfectly ripe, small, round tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

Prepare a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium hot. Soak wood chips in water for 15 minutes or more. Add drained chips to hot coals if cooking on charcoal. For gas grills, place drained wood chips on a piece of foil set directly over heat source.

Arrange tomatoes on grill directly over heat. Cover and grill, turning once or twice, until skin is slightly charred and blistered on all sides, for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a sheet pan.

When cool enough to handle, coarsely puree tomatoes (skin and all) with salt in a blender, food processor or food mill. Pack into small freezer containers. Label and freeze for up to several months.

Makes about 4 cups.

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Free-form pie evokes classic tomato sandwich

A surplus of cream cheese spurred me to rekindle a relationship with my food processor.

My neglect since last summer’s batches of pesto and baba ghanoush wasn’t intentional. Although an undisputed multitasker, a food processor just isn’t necessary in my daily cooking routine. But the appliance is about the only way to grind nuts fine enough to encrust cheesecake bars, detailed in a May post.

Pleased with those results, I’m finding fewer reasons to forgo a more traditional pate brisee, which I’ve made only once or twice in my food processor. Recipes like the one below that enrich basic pastry dough with cheeses, spices and other ingredients almost manage to convince me that they’re really not so much trouble.

But I think I’ll still keep a couple of boxes of frozen puff pastry on hand to make this free-form pie on the fly when garden tomatoes are at a surplus. Third place in last year’s Washington Post Top Tomato contest, Austin Williams conceived this savory tart as a riff on summer’s quintessential sandwich.

Photo by Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Parmesan BLT Galettes

4 large tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided

2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 1/4 cups flour

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise, divided

7 strips thick-cut hickory-smoked bacon

1 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh rosemary

1 1/2 cups arugula, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Core the tomatoes, then cut them into 3/4-inch slices, transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work. Add the oil, 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper; toss to coat evenly.

Arrange slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet; drizzle with liquid left in mixing bowl. Roast for 35 minutes, then cool. Drain juices. Tomatoes may be roasted a day or 2 in advance; refrigerate until ready to use.

Meanwhile in bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, 1/2 cup of the cheese, remaining teaspoon of salt and all the butter; pulse just enough to form a mixture that resembles a coarse meal. (Bits of butter should be no larger than peas.) Add 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, pulsing just to incorporate.

With motor running, drizzle in 1/2 cup ice water; process to form a dough that comes together in a ball. If mixture remains crumbly, add up to 1/4 cup ice water, as needed. Dough should not be sticky. Transfer to plastic wrap and shape into a disc; wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 days).

Line a plate with paper towels. Use kitchen shears to cut the bacon into small strips (lardons), placing them in a medium skillet as you work. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring as needed. Increase heat to medium to finish browning and crisping bacon, which should take 5 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 400 F. Lay 2 sheets of parchment paper on work surface.

Divide dough in half. Roll out each portion of dough on its own parchment paper to a round 11 inches across (about 1/4 inch thick). Transfer each, on its paper, to its own baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining cheese and remaining mayonnaise until well-blended; spread half of mixture on each dough round, leaving a 1-inch margin around edges.

Arrange roasted tomato slices in a circular pattern on each dough round, again leaving a 1-inch margin. Sprinkle with crisped bacon pieces and the rosemary. Fold dough in at edges all around. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until crust is well-browned, rotating baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile in a bowl, toss the arugula with remaining balsamic vinegar and pepper. To serve, cut each galette into wedges, then top each wedge with dressed greens. Serve warm.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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