Easy Dinner: Strawberry-Peach-Basil Shortcakes & Antipasti!

/ Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy weekend, all! Do you have something fabulous planned for today? I had the day off yesterday (and had every intention to be productive) but all I have to show for it are a few photos of the kind-of-homemade dinner I pulled together. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the too-good-to-pass-up cheese counter at Brooklyn Lader. Whatever the reason, I was not in the mood to cook a full meal. So I "made" one of my favorite simple summer dinners: antipasti, salad and a fruity dessert.

I picked up spicy sopressata, Iberico ham, Cacciatore boar salami, super-ripe goat cheese, Italian bitto cheese and a hunk of tom de savoie, then turned some leftover baguette we had in the freezer into croutons and crostini. My boyfriend taught to warm up a piece of charcuterie by rubbing it on your upper-lip right before you eat it. Apparently it helps you get the most flavor possible out of each bite. Have you ever done this? It looks a little funny, like you're sniffing cold cuts, but it works! 

I went out quickly to buy a few bottles of rose and ended up trapped in the rain—how romantic if I wasn't alone! I returned home soaked (but with wine inhand!) and just enough time to dry off, make dessert and a big caesar salad before a friend came over for martinis and storm-watching. 

I may not have accomplished much with my free day but dinner was mighty tasty and I'm feeling utterly relaxed :) Enjoy the sunshine. Here's a recipe for last night's dessert... 


1 cup self-rising flour
Pinch of salt 
2 tablespoons sugar 
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus melted butter for brushing
3 ounces cold milk
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

2 cups sliced strawberries
1 tablespoons sugar 
1 cup sliced Georgia peaches
Small basil leaves (optional)
Vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream, for serving

1. Make the shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 425˚. Whisk the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, or quickly work it in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Stir in the milk to make a shaggy dough. 
2. Scoop the dough into 4 piles on a parchment-lined baking sheet and gently pat each into a 1-inch-thick round disks (dust your hands with flour, if needed). Brush the top of each round with melted butter, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
3. Meanwhile, make the filing: Toss the strawberries and sugar in a bowl; set aside until syrupy, about 10 minutes. Toss the peaches and basil in another bowl. 
4. To serve, slice each shortbread in half. Fill with the strawberries, strawberry syrup, peaches and basil, if using. Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. 

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