Stacked Tomato Salad with Black Olive Tapenade and Sweet Basil Dressing
- 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, (beefsteak, yellow, and heirloom), sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
- Tapenade, recipe follows*
- 1-pound goat cheese, thinly sliced (or use Mozzarella, but goat is better)
- Fresh basil leaves and sprigs, for layering and for garnish
Sweet Basil Dressing, recipe follows below
Place a tomato slice on a plate and spread with some of the tapenade. Then place a slice of the goat cheese on top, add a few basil leaves, and finish with another tomato slice. You can add another layer to make Napoleon as high as you desire. Top with another small spoonful of the tapenade and then drizzle the Sweet Basil Dressing over the tomato and around the plate. Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and repeat to make 4 to 6 plates. For a smaller version, use Roma tomatoes.
Tapenade (Honestly, I buy a small jar at the store…a whole lot easier)
- 2 cups kalamata or niçoise olives, pitted
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 5 anchovy fillets
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine olives, garlic, anchovies and pine nuts in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Sweet Basil Dressing
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3/4 cup pure olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (roll the leaves in a little tube shape and slice across the leaves)
Whisk together vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and then stir in the basil.
Who doesn’t like Greek food? It can also be great for a brunch or just a cozy breakfast. How does a frittata and an omelette differ? How does a frittata differ from a quiche? Since we do not have Alexa I checked on Wikipedia –
A frittata is cooked slowly over low heat while an omelet is cooked quickly over higher heat. Whereas omelets are served hot straight from the stove, frittatas are often served at room temperature, making them perfect to make ahead for brunches or larger groups.
A quiche is an unsweetened custard pie with savory fillings such as as spinach, mushrooms, or ham. It has to have eggs, and it usually has milk (or heavy cream), cheese, vegetables, and/or meat. … A frittata is like a crustless quiche or an unfolded omelet..
No matter, this egg dish was excellent and enough for 4 people. Serve it with a salad for brunch.
Greek Feta & Olive Frittata (half the recipe for two people)
Preparation: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1 1/4 cups feta cheese
Heat a large wok over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the pan. Toss in the tomatoes and stir for just 30 seconds or so to blister the skins. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onions to the hot oil along with the dried herbs. Sauté for 5 minutes until soft, and remove from heat.
Break the eggs into a large bowl, add the paprika, and beat well with a whisk. Add the grape tomatoes, onions and olives. Crumble in 1 cup of the feta cheese, and mix until combined.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, heat a 10-inch oven-safe frying pan or cast-iron skillet with straight sides over medium heat. When hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour in the egg mixture and let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes to let the bottom set.
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the eggs are set in the center, which you can test with a cake tester. As soon as the frittata is set, turn on the broiler and move the oven rack up to the top level. Remove the frittata from the oven, crumble the last 1/4 cup of feta cheese over the top, and return the pan under the broiler for another couple of minutes until the top is nicely browned.
Remove the pan from the oven. Run a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides, then slide onto a large serving plate.
Cut into wedges and serve hot.
Wrap any leftovers in aluminum foil and reheat later at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes
Last of the fall vegetable recipes since they are becoming scarce. These were great! Great with the scalloped potatoes…
Maple Thyme Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, and Parsnips
- 2 cups chopped, peeled parsnips, cut into ½” chunks (about 3 medium)
- 2 cups chopped, peeled carrots, cut into ½ ” chunks (about 3 medium)
- 4 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered, depending on size
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the oven racks on the lower and upper thirds of the oven.
- Divide the vegetables between two large rimmed baking sheets in a single layer.
- Place the olive oil, maple syrup, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle half of the mixture over each pan of vegetables and toss well to coat. Place one pan on the upper rack and one on the lower rack, and roast for 15 minutes. Switch the pans from upper to lower and vice versa, and roast 10-15 minutes more or until caramelized and softened.
- Serve and enjoy!
There was sausage. There was shrimp. There were Costco Ancient Grains. What can I make? Jambalaya!! What is that you say…
Jambalaya is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French (especially Provençal cuisine) influence, consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Traditionally, the meat always includes sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as andouille, along with some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp. The vegetables are usually a soffritto-like mixture known as the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking, consisting of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, though other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, chilis, and garlic are also used. After browning and sauteing the meat and vegetables, rice, seasonings, and broth are added and the entire dish is cooked together until the rice is done.
Jambalaya is similar to (but distinct from) other rice-and-meat dishes known in Louisiana cuisine. Gumbo uses similar sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. However, gumbo includes filé powder and okra, which are not common in jambalaya. Gumbo is also usually served over white rice, which is prepared separate from the rest of the dish, unlike jambalaya, where the rice is prepared with the other ingredients. Étouffée is a stew which always includes shellfish such as shrimp or crayfish, but does not have the sausage common to jambalaya and gumbo. Also, like gumbo, étouffée is usually served over separately prepared rice.
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (for TWO people, half the recipe!)
- 12 ounces sausage, sliced into 1/4″ slices (Costco Kielbasa works just fine)
- 2 cups of peeled, deveined shrimp
- 4 cups of chicken broth or stock
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup of instant rice/ Ancient Grains
- 2- 14 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 3 cloves of minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
In a large stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and the bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes covered.
Add tomatoes, sausage, chicken broth or stock and remaining seasonings and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes.
Add instant rice (here I used Costco’s Ancient Grains) and shrimp. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and shrimp turns orange. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
What to do when you buy a Costco or grocery store rotisserie chicken and have leftovers? SOUP.
This will easily feed 4 to 6 people as a main course. The ingredients list seems long, but it can be simplified by making the changes noted in red.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 Rotisserie chicken (half chicken is enough)
- 1 15-ounce can Black beans (drained)
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Celery stalks
- 3 tbsp Cilantro, fresh
- 2 cups Corn, frozen (1 small can or corn or more)
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 Lime, wedges
- 1 cups Peas, frozen (1 small can of peas)
- 1 Poblano peppers (Optional)
- 1 Red onion
- 1 Reserved red onion
- 28-ounce can Tomatoes
- 4 cups Chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp Taco seasoning (see elsewhere o the blog for homemade taco seasoning)
- 1 tbsp Olive oil, extra-virgin
- Crispy tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
- 1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and sauté until the vegetables start to become tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the Poblano peppers and cook until the vegetables are very tender, 6 to 7 minutes more. Add the jalapeño and garlic, and continue to cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
- Season the vegetables with the taco seasoning, then stir in the tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until a good flavor develops, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken, black beans, corn and peas. Return the soup to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla strips and just maybe, a touch of sour cream.