Oh, Summer… so sad to see it come to an end but luckily the produce from the summer crops are still going strong. We have been growing these lovely little tomatoes all summer and have been thoroughly enjoying them. One of our favorite ways to have them is with fresh basil and penn mac’s fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. So simple, so good. Recently, we received some ‘lemon-basil’ in our CSA and naturally a pesto came to mind.
Tag Archives: olive oil
It should come as no surprise to anyone by now that I am a fan of homemade salad dressings. I made this for a family dinner some time ago and have been meaning to post it forever now. It was a delicious dressing that I ended up using on a spring salad. It would also be a great marinade or you can serve it warm as a sauce as well. It’s very versatile and easy to make.
This is the second installment of the Greek inspired recent dishes, which has always been my favorite Greek dish. Pastitsio is often described as a Greek lasagna which is fairly accurate. This was a combination of a few recipes as they all differed quite a bit. Either way, it is not a beginner recipe but it seriously may have been the best thing we have ever made! I even met a new cheese in the process.
We recently went to the Greek Food Festival at St. Nicks Church and were inspired to go Greek as you will see reflected in a few dishes to come. This was simple, quick, and cheap! Some spices and fresh oregano, roast for about an hour, and you seem like a genius!
We have been on a roll with Bon Appetit recipes recently and this is an adaptation of one. They have section where they recreate/figure out recipes from restaurants that readers request. This was an adaptation of their version of Mahi-Mahi with Tomato, Pepper, and Caper Sauce from Cabana in West Palm Beach.
I got some green beans at the farmer’s market and planned to saute them with some olive oil, butter and garlic when I remembered I also had some slivered almonds in the pantry.
Green beans almondine is a classic dish and I decided to give it a try but didn’t want to leave out the garlic. We’re big garlic lovers so I figured it would go over well… and it did! This side dish was created on the fly and was so good that I’ll definitely be making it again!
We served it along with some broiled scrod (which is good and great). I didn’t take any pictures of the process but it was very simple.
I sauteed/steamed the green beans in some olive oil and a little butter. I toasted the almond slices and then added them to the green beans along with some garlic, butter and salt and pepper. That’s about all it took to create this tasty side dish!
I am sorry to say that most of these pictures are slightly out of focus. Our camera has a mind of it’s own sometimes and I just couldn’t get it to agree with me when I was cooking today. I was also running around the kitchen, cooking and trying to take pictures all at the same time. I apologize in advance, but hopefully that won’t deter you from enjoying this recipe!
Believe it or not, I found this recipe in a Suzanne Somer’s book several years ago. It has been a while since I made it, but I had a bunch of little eggplants and some fresh mozzarella in the fridge so I gave it a go.
These guys were little. I got them from a farmer’s market (this is about half of what I got for $2.50).
The first step was to slice up the eggplant and roast the slices in the oven for about 20 minutes with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
While the eggplant was cooking, I made the herb spread (aka pesto), which was comprised of garlic, basil, oregano (which I substituted for parsley), red pepper flakes, and olive oil. I used the bullet for this.
I also prepped my work station for the next steps of the recipe. I used fresh mozzarella for the sandwiches, but if you don’t have any on hand you can use shredded or sliced. There is something about the way fresh mozzarella melts though that makes it extra special, so I definitely recommend it for this dish.
After assembling the sandwiches, the next step is to dip them in egg and coat them with grated cheese. So I prepped my egg dip and cheese for that as well.
Now for the sandwich assembly…
Basically all you do is take a slice of eggplant and spoon the herb spread over it. Add the mozzarella and then put a second slice of eggplant on top. Easy peasy.
Next, dip the sandwich into the egg and then roll it around in the grated cheese to coat.
Once you have all of your sandwiches coated it’s time to fry ’em up. They just need a couple minutes per side. Enough time for the cheese in the center to melt and for the eggplant to turn a nice golden brown.
When they are done place them onto a paper towel covered plate to drain any excess oil. Serve ’em up nice and hot and feel free to add any fillings you like. I’ve added roasted red peppers before, for example. They are also good served with marinara sauce on the side for dipping if you’d like.
Yum! These are so good!
Greg and I were invited to a family BBQ and knew we wanted to bring something good for a side dish. We remembered a great dish that Ash brought over one time, tomato panzanella salad, and decided it would be the perfect thing to make. You can find the recipe here on Ash’s site (I didn’t alter it much as you will see).
We bought the tomatoes at a local farmer’s market. Obviously for this dish the quality of the tomatoes can make or break it. I was so happy to get these tomatoes. As imperfect as they look, they tasted great!
I cut the tomatoes and added some thinly sliced red onion. I actually completed this step the night before the BBQ, as I knew I would be facing some time restrictions the following day.
Similar to the importance of using good tomatoes for this dish, the quality of the bread is also something to be mindful of. We picked up a french baguette from our favorite place on Earth, Pittsburgh’s strip district (wahoo!), the day before the BBQ. On the day of the BBQ I cut the bread into bite-sized cubes (slightly larger than croutons) and baked them for 20 minutes. 20 minutes was about 2-3 minutes too long and some of the pieces were a little too baked for my liking. I recommend keeping an eye on them after the 15 minute mark.
Sorry for the blurry pic! You can get a sense of the size though.
While the bread was baking I assembled the rest of the dish by adding fresh basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to the tomatoes and red onion.
I just love all the colors in this dish!
Once the bread is done baking it gets added to the salad. You want it to absorb moisture from the dressing and tomatoes while still maintaining some of it’s crunch.
The final step in making this salad is to top it with ricotta cheese and a little olive oil. Since we were transporting this dish to another house I felt it would be best to keep the ricotta and olive oil in a separate container prior to serving. Before dinner was served the ricotta was placed on top of the salad.
Overall, this was a true crowd pleaser! I received several compliments on the dish and answered some questions about it too. People seemed to really enjoy it and want to recreate it themselves.
Take advantage of the Summer tomatoes while they last! Hope you like this one.