The List: What to Do This Week

Our Editor's guide to the best things to eat, do, and read this week.
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Last week, I opened my pantry to a small landslide of rice, spices, and other items I'd haphazardly lobbed in there, opting to deny the pantry avalanche warnings rather than address them head-on. Friday night, I had a "that's it" moment (which, if you read the post about my nook, you know come quickly) and began reorganizing it. After editing, measuring, and creating a Pinterest board I'm almost embarrassed to admit exists... I managed to re-do the entire thing in two five-hour stretches on Saturday and Sunday morning. The labor of love was absolutely worthwhile—it's already so much easier to find items and meal-plan (I found five bags of Arborio rice, each one purchased after I forgot we already had some in the back...). It served as a reminder that sometimes the least-glamorous home refreshes are the most worthwhile. Let me know if you're interested in a post on how it looks now, and tips for organizing your own, and I'm happy to cover it! Here's what else I'm up to this week: 

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One of my favorite museums in Los Angeles, the Annenberg Space for Photography, currently has an exhibit of curated photos from The Library of Congress, "Not an Ostrich." Many of the images are immediately recognizable—like Dorothea Lange's image of a mother in the dustbowl—but several have rarely been seen before, and paint a picture of America over the past century. This Saturday, they're hosting an "Annenberg After Hours" event with live music, drinks, and food so you can make a night of it. 

P.S., We're hosting a Happy Hour this Thursday evening at Melrose Umbrella Co. at 6 PM. It'll be a casual way to meet the team as well as other readers, and grab a drink on your way home. RSVP at info@cupcakesandcashmere.com (so we can get a headcount)—hope to see you there!

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Photo Courtesy of Gaby Dalkin, by Matt Armendariz

Photo Courtesy of Gaby Dalkin, by Matt Armendariz

As soon as I saw stone fruits and heirloom tomatoes on display at the grocery store this weekend, I quickly scrapped my grocery list in favor of the just-in summer produce. The first recipe that came to my mind was the Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Tart on the cover of our food contributor, Gaby's, new cookbook. After making it for dinner Sunday night (and then enjoying it for breakfast this morning...), I quickly emailed Gaby to ask if she'd be willing to share the recipe so all of you can enjoy it as well. The crispy shell, ricotta, and bright herbs provide the perfect foundation for summer fruit (in addition to the tomatoes, I added some sliced peaches as well). Here's how to make it: 

Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Tart
Serves 6 to 8 | Total Time: About 2 hours (Prep: 20. Cook: 35 to 40.)
From What’s Gaby Cooking by Gaby Dalkin, published by Abrams Books © 2018.

Ingredients:

For the dough: 

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts 
1¼ cups (155 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 
Pinch of kosher salt 
½ cup (1 stick/155 g) European-style unsalted butter
2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 ml) ice-cold water 

For the filling: 

1 cup (245 g) fresh ricotta cheese 
4 ounces (115 g) cream cheese, at room temperature 
½ cup (50 g) grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for garnish 
1 teaspoon lemon zest 
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the topping: 

3 cups (435 g) heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large 
½ shallot, thinly sliced 
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the garnishes:

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts 
Handful of microgreens 
½ cup (20 g) fresh torn basil 
½ cup (20 g) oregano leaves 
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

To make the dough: 

Place the pine nuts in a spice grinder and grind until pulverized. In a large bowl, combine the flour, ground pine nuts, and salt. With your hands, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture, leaving some pea-size pieces of butter. Add the cold water starting with 2 tablespoons, stirring with a wooden spoon and gradually adding as much water as you need to bring the dough together without making it too moist. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a disk, wrap it up, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

To make the filling: 

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and pecorino with a rubber spatula, blending well. Fold in the lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).

To assemble the tart:

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch (30.5-cm) circle. Place the dough into a 10-inch (25-cm) nonstick tart pan with a removable bottom, trimming the sides to a ½-inch (12-mm) overhang. Fold in the excess dough and pinch into the sides of the tart. Prick the bottom of the tart all over with a fork. Place the tart pan in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove the tart pan from the freezer and place it on a baking sheet. Line the tart shell with parchment paper or foil and fill with dried beans or baking weights. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and beans and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

To make the topping: 

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes and shallots with the oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the tart from the pan and place it on a serving plate. Fill with the cheese mixture and top with the tomato topping. 

To garnish: 

Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, micro-greens, basil, oregano, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a dusting of pecorino cheese.

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Ian McEwan is one of those authors I'm able to read almost every book by—when I read Atonement in a contemporary fiction class in college, I nearly abandoned the syllabus to read the rest of his books. The movie adaptation of his novella, On Chesil Beach, comes out this week so it's the perfect time to revisit the book. It's just over 200 pages, so it's just short enough that you can get through it before the movie comes out Friday.

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I love pretty much anything written by Diablo Cody, so I'm beyond-excited to see her latest film, Tully, later this week, in which an exhausted mother (Charlize Theron) is saved by her new nanny (Mackenzie Davis). I'm seeing it this weekend, but in the meantime prepping by watching some of my past favorites of hers, from Juno to Young Adult. Have you seen it yet? 

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One of the best parts of reorganizing my pantry this weekend was the opportunity to binge-listen to a podcast I've been meaning to check out, ever since it was recommended in the comments of a past List. The Habitat by Gimlet Media follows six volunteers sequestered in a Mars-like habitat in Hawaii for a year, to help NASA understand what it would be like to send astronauts to the red planet. The podcast veers a little towards a soap opera (at least one couple is formed), but it's mostly a fascinating look at the incredible challenges astronauts go through in space. 

P.S., One of my favorite artists I've mentioned here several times is performing in L.A. in September—you can purchase tickets here.