Share with your friends!
Elizabeth James shares her recipes

Elizabeth James shares recipes

Summer Borscht

From Barefoot Contessa


  • 5 medium fresh beets (about 2 pounds without tops)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 16 ounces sour cream, plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups medium-diced English cucumber, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus extra for serving


Place the beets in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook uncovered until the beets are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the beets to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and also set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the beet cooking liquid, the chicken stock, sour cream, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, and the pepper. Peel the cooled beets with a small paring knife or rub the skins off with your hands. Cut the beets in small to medium dice. Add the beets, cucumber, scallions, and dill to the soup. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Season to taste and serve cold with dollop of sour cream and sprig of dill.

Serves 6

Tomato Pie

Written by Elizabeth James
This is a recipe that my Mother uses from a wonderful book called Atlanta at Table by Frances Shultz. First of all, you want to thinly slice your tomatoes and lay them out on a few layers of paper towel to dry. I season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and usually let them sit for at 20-30 minutes…you need at least 3 good size tomatoes to make the pie but this time of year, I use multiple heirloom tomatoes in all different shapes, colors and sizes.  Cut some in rounds and others in half rounds to fill the pan.

Pillsbury Pie Crust (the one in the box in the cheese/yogurt section….they come 2 to a box)I use any shape shallow pan….tart pans from Williams Sonoma are my favorite. Spread the crust into your pan and bake the crust on the bottom rack for  10 minutes so the bottom gets a little brown….bake 325 degrees. If you want to be healthier, there are whole wheat crusts at Whole Foods but the Pillsbury ones are my favorite.

Then, add thinly chopped basil (I would say roughly a cup….you want there to be a thin layer covering the entire crust).

Then, add shredded mozzarella cheese (I get the bag that has 2 cups and is finely shredded).

Then, arrange the tomatoes and drizzle 1/4 cup (or less!) extra light olive oil over the top.

Bake on 325 on the top rack for 30 minutes….the cheese should be bubbling up through the tomatoes.

Let it set for 30 minutes to an hour before you serve it…..or pop it back in the over for a few minutes to serve it slightly warm.

Pan Seared Tilapia

From Martha Stewart :

  • 1 large or two small skin-on fish fillets, about 8 ounces (Tilapia, Rainbow trout, Small Salmon, Brown Trout)
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 2 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 lemon, juiced


Heat a heavy pan over medium high heat.

Season fish on meat side with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge fish in flour and shake off excess. When pan is good and hot, add Canola oil followed immediately by 1 tablespoon butter. As soon as foaming subsides, place fish in pan with the skin side down. Jiggle pan for the first 10 seconds to keep the fish from sticking. Cook until golden crust forms on meat. Carefully turn fish away from you and again jiggle pan for the first few seconds. Cook until skin turns golden brown. Remove to a warm plate.

Pour out the cooking fat, add remaining butter and quickly fry the capers. Remove pan from the heat, add lemon juice to pan and swirl. Pour sauce over the fish and serve.

Corn Stuffed Tomato

From Bon Appétit 2001

  • 2 large ears of corn, husked
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 4 large beefsteak tomatoes (each about 9 to 10 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño chili
  • 1/2 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 2 ounces)


Lightly oil grill racks. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill corn and bell pepper until corn is tender and beginning to brown in spots and pepper is blackened, turning occasionally, about 12 minutes for corn and 15 minutes for pepper. Enclose pepper in paper bag 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and chop pepper; place in large bowl. Cool corn, then cut kernels off cobs; add to bowl with pepper.

Cut tomatoes crosswise in half. Using melon baller or small spoon, scoop center of tomatoes into small bowl, leaving shell. Sprinkle inside of tomato shells lightly with salt; place cut side down on paper towels and let drain 30 minutes. Discard tomato seeds and juices in bowl; coarsely chop tomato solids and add to corn mixture.

Whisk oil, lime juice, lime peel, and garlic in small bowl to blend. Add to corn mixture. Mix in shallot, cilantro, and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon corn salad into tomato shells. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.) Sprinkle cheese over and serve.

Easy Berry Cobbler

From Whitland Avenue’s 4th of July contest winner

  • Fruit cups berries or fruit of your choice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 T. of sugar
  • Topping
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of self-rising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter ( melted)
  • Cinnamon to taste

Use an average size pan.  Wash and place berries in the bottom.  If not juicy, add ¼ c. water and 1T.of sugar. . Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.   Mix together in a bowl the sugar, flour, egg.  Arrange on top of berries.  Pour butter evenly on top of the cobbler.

Bake at 375 for 30 minute.s

Lemon Verbena Vodka Cooler

From Simply Stunning Parties at Home
by Karen Bussen, Stewart, Tabori & Chang

Serves 4

  • 6 oz. vodka
  • 2 cups pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup lemonade
  • 8 sprigs fresh lemon verbena

Combine the liquids in a pitcher, along with four sprigs of the lemon verbena.  Let the mixture steep in the refrigerator for at least one huor and up to a day.  Pour over ice and garnish with a spring of lemon verbenas to add extra flavor.

Enjoy and Relax!

Share with your friends!