Archive for the 'Vegetables' Category

03
May
08

Menu: Dinner for Two

Inspiration: My husband often works late so on nights he arrives early I love to prepare an intimate setting. Dinner for Two is a simple and elegant dinner even for week night dining.

Creation:

  • Arugula & Prosciutto Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

  • Crusty Garlic & Herb Bread

  • Tortellini with Oregano Butter

           

 

What:

Arugula & Prosciutto with Orange Vinaigrette

  • 8 oz Arugula: washed, dried and roughly chopped
  • 4 slices Prosciutto
  • 1 large orange: zest & juice
  • 2TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2TBSP honey
  • 1 clove garlic: minced
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4cup extra virgin olive oil

How: Preheat 350 degrees

  • Place prosciutto slices on baking sheet and bake until crisp approx 10 minutes. Let cool and crumble the prosciutto.
  • In blender or food processor combine the orange zest, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, salt & pepper. Blend until smooth.
  • While processor is running slowly pour extra virgin olive oil & blend until fully combined.

Plate Up:

  • Place arugula in large bowl
  • Pour orange vinaigrette over salad and allow to wilt & toss
  • Sprinkle prosciutto crumbles & toss salad again

What:

Crusty Garlic & Herb Bread

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3 garlic cloves: minced
  • 2TBSP Parmesan: fresh & grated
  • 1tsp rosemary: fresh & chopped
  • 1tsp oregano: fresh & chopped
  • 1 sweet Italian loaf: sliced

How: Preheat 450 degrees

  • Oil the inside of the bowl of a food processor (will help the herb butter from sticking)
  • Add softened butter, garlic, Parmesan, rosemary & oregano
  • Pulse until well combined
  • Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread
  • Lightly toast the bread: approx 5-6 minutes

Plate Up:

  • Place bread on desired serving plate
  • Serve warm

What:

Tortellini with Oregano Butter

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2tsp dried oregano
  • Parmesan: fresh & grated
  • 1 pkg cheese tortellini (find in deli section or freezer section of market)
  • Kosher salt

How:

  • Bring large pot of water to boil: salt generously
  • Boil tortellini until translucent & puffed
  • Melt butter in saute pan over medium heat
  • Reduce heat to low
  • Add oregano and stir 2-3 minutes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Plate Up:

  • Using a pasta strainer or slotted spoon put tortellini into large serving bowl
  • Pour oregano butter over the tortellini
  • Toss & Sprinkle with Parmesan
  • Serve

The ingredient combination of Dinner for Two was superb. Each dish complimented one another with the key ingredient of oregano. Arugula Prosciutto Salad with Orange Vinaigrette cleansed the palate and offered a touch of sweetness which blended beautifully with the salty Tortellini with Oregano Butter & Crusty Garlic Herb Bread.

Ciao’

 

 

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27
Apr
08

Penne with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Inspiration: Two of my favorite ingredients: Pasta & Sundried Tomatoes

Creation: Penne with Sundried Tomato Pesto

 

What:

  • 8 oz Penne
  • 1 Jar Sundried Tomatoes in olive oil (If unavailable use 1pkg Sundried Tomatoes): chopped
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Basil: Chopped (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves: Minced
  • 1/2cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4cup Parmesan: fresh & grated + extra Parmesan for sprinkling on top (Amount depends upon pallet: I love Parmesan so I may use more…personal preference!)

How:

  • Bring large pot of water to boil: Salt
  • Add Penne boil 8-9 minutes: Al dente’ – Reserve 1/4 cup salted pasta water
  • In food processor: blend sundried tomatoes, basil, garlic & parmesan until well chopped & mixed
  • Add olive oil & pulse until well combined: pesto will be a bit chunky which is good for texture

Plate Up:

  • Pour Pesto into large bowl
  • Top Pesto with Penne & 1/4 cup pasta water to help create sauce
  • Toss
  • Sprinkle with desired amount of Parmesan
  • Serve

Simple creation & superb combination! What better combination can one create than sundried tomato, basil & garlic?!? If you love tomato based sauce this is an easy & elegant way to prepare sauce for pasta.

Ciao’

25
Apr
08

Pear & Carrot Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

Inspiration: In season pears & craving a different salad. I paired this salad with Pork Chop Milanese with Creamy Lemon Dijon Sauce & Creamy Parmesan Orzo.

Creation: Pear & Carrot Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

 

What:

  • 1 1/2 lbs carrots: trimmed, peeled & cut matchstick thin or shaved (save time & purchase prepackaged carrots: fresh are more tasty)
  • 2 firm pears: recommend D’Anjou
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley: chopped
  • 2 TBSP White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How:

  • Cut carrots into matchsticks or use vegetable peeler to shave into thin slices
  • Quarter, core, stem the pears & cut into thin slices
  • Place carrots, pears & parsley in large bowl
  • Using a blender or food processor: combine white wine, curry powder, honey, salt & pepper
  • While blender or food processor is running pour the olive oil & mix until fully combined

Plate Up:

  • Pour vinaigrette over the salad
  • Toss and place on desired serving dish or platter
  • Optional: Sprinkle with Toasted Walnuts

The sweetness of the pears & carrots blended so well with curry vinaigrette. Pear & Carrot Salad cleansed the pallet while dining on Pork Chop Milanese with Creamy Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette. The pairing of all the courses were splendid.

Ciao’

 

16
Apr
08

Penne & Arugula w/ Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Inspiration: Side dish for Grilled Ribeye & Parmesan Cheese Straws

Creation: Penne & Arugula with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

 

What:

  • 6-8 oz Penne: Vary amount for number of servings
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Arugula
  • 1 Lemon: Juice
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard: Mild & Creamy w/ White Wine
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Gorgonzola: Crumbled

How:

  • Bring water to boil & then salt: use fair amount to best season the penne
  • Boil penne 8 minutes: al dente
  • Meanwhile, place Arugula in serving bowl
  • Whisk: Lemon juice, Dijon & Honey
  • Pour & Whisk Extra Virgin Olive Oil until fully combined
  • Remove Pasta with Pasta Strainer directly to the salad from the boiling water
  • Pour over the dressing
  • Sprinkle with Gorganzolla
  • Toss & Serve

The creaminess of the gorganzolla mixed with salty penne & peppery arugula blended beautifully with the fresh sweet & tangy Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette.

Simple & Savory!

Ciao’

11
Apr
08

Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Penne w/ Lemon Ricotta Sauce

Inspiration: Left over Artichoke from Artichoke & Tomato Panzanella

Creation: Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Penne with Lemon Ricotta Sauce

 

What: Serving One

  • 4 oz Penne
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: enough to coat saute pan
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 8 Sundried Tomatoes: Sliced & Cut in Half
  • 1/2 cup Artichoke
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan: Fresh & Grated
  • 1 Lemon: Zest & Juice
  • 1tsp Basil: Fresh & Chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

How:

  • Bring pot of water to boil & then salt
  • Add Penne: al dente
  • Heat Saute Pan on Medium Heat
  • Once hot: Coat pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Saute Garlic: 1 minute just fragrant
  • Add Sundried Tomatoes & Artichoke: Saute 5 minutes
  • Reduce Heat: Low-Medium
  • Stir in: Lemon Juice & Zest, Ricotta & Parmesan: Simmer while Penne finishes cooking
  • Add Penne directly from water to the sauce
  • Toss

Plate Up:

  • Pour pasta in serving dish
  • Sprinkle Parmesan & Basil

If you love artichoke as I do…Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Penne w/ Lemon Ricotta Sauce will soon be a definite favorite!

Simply divine

Ciao’

09
Apr
08

Artichoke & Tomato Panzanella

Inspriation: Love of artichokes…simply stated – I had a craving.

Creation: Artichoke & Tomato Panzanella

 

 

What: (Serving for one)

  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts – quartered & drained
  • 2 Roma tomatoes – sliced or chopped
  • 2 slices Whole Wheat Bread
  • 1/4 cup Basil – fresh & chopped
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh Black Pepper

How:

  • Preheat grill pan on medium-high heat
  • Slice Whole Wheat into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • Place Whole Wheat & Artichoke hearts on grill
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Allow to grill about 6 minutes on each side – bread should be toasted & artichokes golden at tips
  • Remove & place in bowl
  • Add chopped tomatoes, basil, dash of salt and dash of pepper

Dressing:

  • Whisk: 1/3 olive oil & 1/3 white wine vinegar
  • Add 1 tsp. salt & 1 tsp. pepper

Plate Up:

  • Bowl: Bread, artichokes, tomatoes & basil
  • Pour dressing over
  • Toss & Serve

Sweetness of the whole wheat & bite from white wine vinegar & artichokes made this Panzanella another lunch favorite!

Ciao’

 

16
Mar
08

Sun-dried Tomato Pizza

Inspiration: Boscos’ Californian Pizza – Che’vre Cheese, Mozzarella, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Pine Nuts on Olive Oil Crust…simple & fabulous.

Creation: Sun-dried Tomato Pizza w/ Fresh Basil & Pine Nuts…Gorgonzola & Mozzarella

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What:

  • 1 Pre-made Deli Pizza Crust or 1 lb Pizza Dough (if buying dough flour board & roll to 1/2 thick)
  • 3/4 Cup Gorgonzola Cheese – crumbled
  • 2 Cups Mozzarella – fresh & shredded
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes (I soaked in Olive Oil prior to making pizza….can use jar that is in oil)
  • Pine Nuts – Toasted
  • Basil – fresh & chopped
  • Parmesan for serving – freshly grated

How:

  • Preheat 400 
  • Place crust on baking sheet
  • Brush with thin coat of extra virgin olive oil
  • Bake 5 minutes – allows crust to cook slowly so that it won’t burn & get to hard
  • Top crust with Mozzarella & Goat Cheese
  • Bake 10 minutes – cheese should be a bit browned & bubbly
  • Top with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Fresh Basil – Drizzle LIGHTLY with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Bake additional 4 minutes  – then Broil for approx. 2 minutes just to brown the cheese nicely

Serve Up:

  • Top with Toasted Pine Nuts
  • Sprinkle w/ desired amount of Parmesan
  • Italian Style – Drizzle one more time extremely lightly with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Creamy Gorgonzola & Mozzarella with sweet Sun-dried Tomatoes, freshness from basil & toasted pine nuts made this a simple gourmet way to enjoy a favorite at home!

Needless to say…conversation was minimum!

Plate Up:

Boscos 

Ciao’