This was my first summer having a garden and it coincided with the summer I hatched a new human and the themes of both keep blurring together: The goofy pride in growing things from seed. The occasionally overwhelming feeling that there are so many things and they’re all very hungry and counting on you to fix this. The twinge of sadness as they look less sprout-y and more robust. The urgency to not squander any of this.
With that in mind, there’s the fact that a very warm fall has meant that instead of this garden looking near collapse, it’s going strong and the four billowing pots of herbs that remain are pressuring me to do something great with them before they meet their imminent frosty demise. Fried sage leaves on everything! Crisp rosemary flatbread all the time! Minced chives on every dish! Parsley… I mean, I like tabbouleh and all, but there’s no way I’m going to get through this. Let’s not pretend this made a huge dent, but 5 sprigs down is a respectable effort, right?
Look, I know all of our cooking dance cards are full right now, beyond capacity, even. You’ve probably got your menus sorted. But this was too cute to save for a less frenetic week. Basically, I figured out that you could take any old biscuit and make it rather festive by egg-washing a flat parsley leaf on top before you bake it. I mean, that’s it, that’s all there is to it. The biscuit recipe I used is an old reliable; I’ve made it with cheddar and blue cheese both before. This time I used pecorino but parmesan is more likely what you have around right now and works, or certainly better than going back to any grocery store anywhere two days before Thanksgiving. I held back on the minced scallion I usually put it, but missed it. You could also use a little bit of onion or garlic powder for a more full flavor. You could also use whatever biscuit recipe you were going to, anyway and just do this to it because it turns out biscuits like to dress up for dinner parties too sometimes.
Parsley Pecorino Biscuits
Yield: 16 2-inch (tiny) biscuits
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1 1/4 cups (2 7/8 ounces) finely grated aged pecorino or parmesan cheese
2 slim scallions, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped small plus 16 extra leaves for garnish
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water for wash
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bottom of a large bowl, then use your fingertips or a pastry blender to work the butter into the dry mixture, until the largest chunks are the size of tiny peas. Stir in cheese, scallions and chopped parsley, then buttermilk, stirring just until combined. Knead once or twice right inside the bowl to form into a rough dough.
Pat or roll it out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a floured counter. Cut into 2-inch rounds, pressing straight down and not twisting the cutter. Place on an parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of each with egg wash, then place one leaf at the center of each biscuit top. Use brush to dab leaf with egg wash.
Bake biscuits for 11 to 13 minutes, until golden brown. Eat right away, or at least before the day is out.
Because biscuits are best on the first day, if planning ahead, I like to make the dough, cut in into rounds and freeze it until needed. Biscuits can be baked right from the freezer and will only require about 2 minutes extra. Brush egg wash and leaf on right before baking.
First published November 24, 2015 on smittenkitchen.com |
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