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gluten-free panzanella with peaches and heirloom tomatoes | a recipe from frannycakes.com

Gluten-Free Panzanella with Peaches and Heirloom Tomatoes

August’s flavor of the month is Peach. Check back regularly for a new recipe highlighting this fantastic fruit!

Ok, technically, it is September, but I wanted to squeeze in one last recipe bursting with peaches. A recipe that can simply be multiplied by the number of servings you need.

It still certainly tastes like summer, and the farmer’s market does not disappoint. Particularly the Green City Market (Chicago’s largest farmer’s market which I had been wanting to hit up ever since I moved in). It was everything I had been hoping for. And more.

I mean, there was whiskey. Whiskey made from millet. (I won’t debate with you whether or not all whiskey is gluten-free – science says yes, TTB says maybe not). Whiskey that I can drink without thinking about the science. And it was distilled in Chicago, in my neighborhood. (Their bourbon is also wheat-free and made from corn & millet in case you are more of a bourbon person…)

Koval Millet Whiskey found at the Green City Market

There was local honey and preserves and a honey mint soda.

An abundance of flowers.

Flowers at the Green City Market | FrannyCakes

Melons that tasted like my trip to the South of France (12 years ago…I need to go back, but until I can, this melon will suffice 🙂 ).

French Cantaloupe from Green City Market | FrannyCakes

Heirloom tomatoes in more varieties than I could count.

Heirloom Tomatoes from Green City Market | FrannyCakes

Peaches bred to perfection.

It was as if all the best parts of summer produce converged in one place. And I didn’t want to leave.

The only downside to the market is the bus ride home. The bus ride where a peach and a tomato are damaged despite your efforts to be careful.

Summer flowers on the bus | frannycakes

So what do you do? You make them in to something. And a gluten-free panzanella sounds like what the doctor ordered. You open your freezer and discover all you have are the hot dog buns you bought for a memorial day cookout (and now it is labor day and you still haven’t had grilled brats). It’s ok. This panzanella doesn’t judge your bread. The whole point of the bread is to soak up all those lovely juices from your produce.

Good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar with some fresh from the garden sage, a few thin slices of onion, salt and pepper round out this lovely lunch. You can even make this with undamaged fruits (you careful shopper, you!). If you need to feed more than one, simply multiply the recipe by the number of people you want to serve.

gluten-free panzanella with peaches and heirloom tomatoes | a recipe from frannycakes.com

Gluten-Free Panzanella with Peaches, Heirloom Tomatoes and Sage
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 1
This salad comes together easily and celebrates late-summer produce. It can be easily multiplied for more than one and works as a great way to use up lonely slices of bread (particularly the ends no one likes or hot dog buns that happen to be hanging out in your freezer). You could use regular bread if the glutens don’t hate you. Don’t use dried sage in place of the fresh. If you don’t have sage, fresh mint or basil could also taste quite good here.
  • 1-2 slices of your favorite gluten-free bread (or hot dog bun if that’s what you have)
  • 1 ripe peach
  • 1 ripe heirloom tomato
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 4-5 fresh sage leaves
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Toast your bread.
  2. Dice your tomato and peach.
  3. Slice your onion as thinly as you can (if you are not so good at slicing, use a mandolin).
  4. Chiffonade or tear your sage leaves.
  5. Dice or tear your toasted bread.
  6. Toss all your prepared ingredients in a bowl with the salt and drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic.


gluten-free peach cobbler with almonds and browned butter from frannycakes.com

Gluten-Free Peach & Cherry Cobbler with Almonds

This month’s flavor of the month is Peach. Check back regularly for a new recipe highlighting this fantastic fruit!

Somehow, the unofficial end of sun soaked days is upon us. White is verboten. Kids are back in school. Trips to the beach aren’t quite what they had been the past few months (I mean, I can sense the shift even if I haven’t made it to the beach that is 10 minute walk from my front door all summer…)

I’m not quite ready to give it up.  I mean, the polar vortex is still too fresh a memory – I don’t want winter back. I’m not ready for pumpkin spice everything. I just want to soak up the sun. (And now Sheryl Crow is stuck in your head. You’re welcome 🙂 )

While I hold on to what’s left of summer (technically it goes until September 22…), I encourage you to do the same. Take that walk to the beach. Drink a cocktail on the porch. Have one last football-free barbecue. And fit some peach cobbler into your life.

Peaches in the midwest are crazy delicious at the moment. Juicy. Sweet. And they are perfect in a gluten-free cobbler. This time I paired them with some cherries I had laying around, but you could do all peaches or do a combination of your favorite stone fruits.

gluten-free peach cobbler

Gluten-Free Peach & Cherry Cobbler with Almonds and Brown Butter
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 8
For this recipe, it is not crucial to use a blend with xantham gum or other gluten-replacer, but it being in your blend is just fine too. Adapted from [url href=”http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/stone-fruit-cobbler”]Bon Appetit[/url]
  • 115 grams (½ cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • approx 1000 grams (2-2½) pounds peaches, each peach cut into 6 wedges
  • 225 grams (½ pound) cherries, pitted
  • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 100 grams (3½ oz) almond paste
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 70 grams (½ cup) gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup sliced almonds (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until the butter solids begin to turn brown and have a slightly nutty smell. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss together the peaches, cherries, 100 grams (½ cup) of the granulated sugar and kosher salt. Transfer to a 13×9 baking dish (I like pyrex or glass dishes for cobblers).
  4. In a stand mixer, beat the browned and slightly cooled butter, almond paste and remaining sugar until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the edges of the bowl and mix in the gluten-free all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Drop/pour/spread the batter over the fruit. It won’t be perfect, and it will spread, so just try to pour or scoop it out evenly.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The top will be golden and the fruit juices will be bubbling up around the edges. Serve warm with ice cream or let cool and serve as either breakfast or a summery dessert.


peach strawberry carrot smoothie | a gluten-free recipe from frannycakes

Peach Strawberry Carrot Smoothie

This month’s flavor of the month is Peach. Check back each Wednesday for a new recipe highlighting this fantastic fruit!

Green smoothies are a thing. In fact, they are a thing that happens to be part of my morning nearly every day. (I have to counteract the cupcakes somehow…)

I add everything from spinach and kale to mint and parsley into my morning concoctions. Some days they have chia seeds or protein powder. Some days they have juice and other days almond milk.

The one thing they always have? Some sort of healthy vegetable, some fruit for sweetness and some liquid to make it drinkable.

I’m making orange smoothies a thing.

I was lamenting the weird, brown color that my smoothies sometimes take on (it is the very color that kept me from trying green smoothies in the first place- if you want me to eat something healthy, it at least has to look delicious), when a cousin suggested that I try carrots in my morning power-up. I was a little skeptical at first, and even more so when every recipe that had carrot in it called for carrot juice rather than actual carrots. (I don’t have a juicer, and while I can get carrot juice at the local grocery store, it isn’t something I am likely to have on hand).

To make it work in my real-world, I can’t function properly in the morning routine, I tried carrot ribbons. By using the peeler to create long, thin strips, I was able to make the vegetable easy on my blender while keeping all the fiber that is left behind in the juicing process. Carrots help underscore the sweetness of the fruit without overpowering the flavor – which makes them an easier smoothie addition than kale. They also mix well color-wise with most fruits and berries (so we aren’t left with some weird, green-brown drink that might taste good but draw strange looks from bystanders on the bus…)

peach strawberry carrot smoothie | a gluten-free recipe from frannycakes


Peach Strawberry Carrot Smoothie
Cuisine: Breakfast
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 1
Green smoothies are all the rage, but you can also try adding other veggies to your smoothies to create a whole rainbow of drinks. Here we are adding carrots to a peach and strawberry smoothie for an almost electric orange smoothie packed full of good-for you foods.
  • 1 peach, peeled and sliced or 6-8 frozen peach slices
  • 5-6 strawberries, tops removed and halved
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
  • almond milk
  1. In the blender, combine the peach slices and strawberries. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrot into ribbons. If you have a high-powered blender, you can just chop the carrot, but making ribbons will be easier on your blender’s motor and faster to blend up.
  2. Add the cardamom, vanilla, ginger and a pinch of salt. You can add a teaspoon of chia seeds if you want to add some protein to your smoothie.
  3. Pour in a scant cup of almond milk and blend until smooth. If your smoothie is too thick to drink, you can always add in another quarter cup of milk and blend again. (You can always make a smoothie thinner but you can’t thicken it back up).


steak with parsley and mustard sauce | a gluten-free recipe from frannycakes

Steak with parsley mustard sauce

Some days, I really, really just want dinner in a hurry.

And I don’t want dinner out of a box. (No offense, gluten-free macaroni and cheese, you’re just not an option every day.)

I actually don’t keep food in a box in my apartment. It forces me to make real food. One of my best tricks? Steak dinner in 15 minutes.

Seriously good food with steak, parsley and some pantry ingredients. This dish doesn’t require much finesse – you just need to be able to heat a skillet, roughly chop some herbs and whisk together some sauce. And then you toss it together. That’s it. Easy peasy weeknight dinner. You can even roast some asparagus or make a salad while your meat cooks.

It will make your instagram friends jealous. And your real life friends might just show up for dinner.

steak with parsley and mustard sauce | a gluten-free recipe from frannycakes

Steak with parsley mustard sauce
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4
  • Steak
  • 1 pound quality flank steaks
  • Paprika (about 1 teaspoon total)
  • olive oil (about 1 teaspoon)
  • salt & pepper
  • Sauce
  • ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 heaped teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from ½ lemon (or 1 small lemon)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Drizzle your steak with olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika, salt and pepper on each side (make sure you rub the seasoning into your steak).
  2. Set a cast iron or grill pan over high heat, and make sure it is hot before adding the steaks.
  3. While they cook, roughly chop the parsley leaves and finely chop the stalks on a cutting board. Add the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix together, either on your cutting board or in a bowl. (It is perfectly acceptable to just smush it around on your cutting board). If you mix it in a bowl, spread it on your serving plate.
  4. Slice the cooked steak and toss with the sauce.
  5. Serve with a salad or some quick-cooked veg.


charred tomatillo salsa verde with parsley | a gluten-free recipe from frannycakes.com

Charred Tomatillo & Jalapeno Hot Sauce

charred tomatillo hot sauce with parsley | a gluten-free recipe from frannycakes.comFlavor of the Month for July 2014: Parsley. Parsley doesn’t get as much love as it should. It is a versatile herb with a fresh taste and peppery bite. It is definitely more than just a garnish, and this month we are exploring ways to help this herb live up to its potential.

I have to credit my best friend from college with helping me out of my mild-spice comfort zone. There might have been an incident where the shaker top came off of the chipotle I was shaking into our dinner, letting the entire contents of the jar fall into the quinoa I was making. He said it was the best dish I ever made. I couldn’t even swallow one bite.

After that dinner, he made it his mission to get me to try spicy food every time we were out together, and slowly, I started to appreciate a little heat in my food. I’m still no hot sauce fanatic. I am never going to embrace habaneros, scotch bonnets or ghost peppers. But a little kick is a very, very good thing.

tomatillos | from charred tomatillo hot sauce on frannycakes.com

And when a friend had an early surplus of jalapenos, what else was I going to do? Let someone else claim them? Never!


Since I had already obtained the peppers, when I was passing the small produce/ Mexican grocery on my way home, I saw that tomatillos were on sale. It was as if this sauce was calling to me. It wanted to be made!

charred tomatillos and jalapenos for hot sauce

I used parsley to avoid the “soapy” flavor that some people taste when they eat cilantro (even if it is one of my favorite herbs). This sauce balances the fresh, peppery taste of parsley and the sweet, bright taste of mint with the tangy tomatillo and the heat from the pepper. The charred skins add a layer of smoky depth to the sauce.

2014-07-03 19.53.29-1

The sauce was a hit with the friends I fed it to with tacos – there wasn’t any leftover for me! I had to make it again for the cookout I was going to for the fourth, where it was equally successful.

charred tomatillo hot sauce with parsley and mint | a gluten-free recipe from frannycakes.com

I promise it is easy, and it will make you a star at your next cookout or potluck. You can even use it to make chilaquiles for an easy, make it look fancy, breakfast nachos kind of morning. (Just heat the sauce and tortilla chips in a skillet until they are warmed through and not mushy, top with a fried egg, queso fresco and any other toppings you might like – tomatoes, parsley, leftover green onions, radishes and maybe even bacon bits).

Chilaquiles with Charred Tomatillo and Jalapeno Hot Sauce topped with an egg and queso fresco

Without further ado – the recipe for this hot sauce/salsa verde.

charred tomatillo salsa verde with parsley | a gluten-free recipe from frannycakes.com

Charred Tomatillo Hot Sauce With Parsley & Mint
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 6
This sauce has been a hit every where I have taken it. You can vary it by using cilantro in place of the parsley or using oregano in place of the mint. You might also consider adding a splash of tequila to the sauce. I didn’t call it a salsa verde because it is a bit thicker than most salsas, but it is really great anywhere you would use salsa verde.
  • 2 fresh jalapeños
  • 1 – 1¼ lbs (450-500 grams) tomatillos
  • 2 spring/green onions, trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, lightly packed
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Remove the papery outer husks of your tomatillos and discard.
  2. Heat a griddle or skillet on the stove over high heat (if you have a cast iron one, this would be best). When the skillet is hot, arrange the tomatillos and jalapeños evenly on the skillet. Turn them every couple minutes so that you char as much of the outside as possible. It took me about 20 minutes to get a good charring. Try not to squeeze the tomatillos as they start to soften – you want all those juices to make it into your sauce.
  3. You can either transfer them straight to your blender, or you can let them cool off a little bit. (Hot items in your blender require taking out the center part of your lid and covering it with a towel to prevent explosions). I’m inpatient and never wait. I do, however, like to chop off the stems of my charred peppers before adding them to the blender.
  4. In your blender, add your spring onions, garlic, cider vinegar, olive oil, mint and parsley. Add the charred tomatillos and jalapeños. Blend on high until you have a smooth sauce.