Tag Archives: Olive Oil

Asparagi e Porri al Limone

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Photo Credit: Lidia’s Italian Kitchen, 2017

Asparagi e Porri al Limone
(ASPARAGUS AND LEEKS IN LEMON VINAIGRETTE)

From
Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian
by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
2017

I am really trying to eat light this Spring and given that I love asparagus, I found this delightful salad while perusing Lidia Bastianich’s most recent cookbook, “Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian” .

Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian

The best thing about this salad is that you can serve it while the vegetables are still warm, or you can serve it chilled, especially if you are hosting a buffet or a picnic. The important thing is to dress it just before serving, since the lemon juice will change the color of the vegetables.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
2 pounds medium thick asparagus spears, trimmed and peeled
1 bunch medium leeks, white and light green parts, washed and halved lengthwise
Juice of 1 large lemon
¼  Cup extra-virign olive oil
4  Hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cut the peeled asparagus into thirds, crosswise. Cut the leeks in thirds crosswise as well. Add the asparagus and leeks to the boiling water, and cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes, depending on their thickness. Drain, and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain and pat very dry.

Put the asparagus and leeks in a serving bowl. Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil, and season with the salt. Toss well. Mound the asparagus and leeks on a serving platter, and scatter the hard-boiled eggs over the top and serve.

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Spinach Salad with Pears and Gorgonzola

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Pears with gorgonzola is  just one of those classic combinations. Put them in salad with any kind of greens. Pick what you like best, anything from a spicy arugula or watercress to a mild butter lettuce.We used fresh baby spinach.The same goes for the pears: Bosc, Bartlett, Anjou or Comice would all be great choices.

And since the ingredients in this pear salad are so delicious, a champagne vinaigrette with a hint of lemon juice and Dijon mustard worked best for this salad. A heavy dressing would mask the delicate flavors.  A sprinkling of cheese, walnuts and  pomegranate arils also adds flavors and makes for  delicious lighter first course to start off a meal.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 tablespoons minced shallot
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces baby spinach, washed and dried
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese*
1 medium Bosc pear, cored and thinly sliced*
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (arils), for garnish
1/2 toasted walnuts, roughly chopped, for garnish

Champagne Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
For the Salad:
In a large bowl, add shallot,  salt and pepper. Add the olive oil, whisking constantly while drizzling the oil slowly. Add the spinach and toss with tongs until the leaves are well coated.

For Champagne Vinaigrette:
In a small bowl or glass jar, add all the ingredients except the olive oil. Mix well, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil  and whisk until the mixture is emulsified. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, evenly divide spinach greens between 4 salad plates. Top each plate with cheese and garnish with pear slices, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts and serve with a drizzle of champagne vinaigrette.

*Cook’s Notes:
You can substitute Blue cheese or Roquefort cheese for the Gorgonzola.
Any variety of apple can also be used as a substitute for the pears.

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Roasted Beet Hummus

Roasted Beet Hummus recipe

Photo Credit: PhillyVoice.com, 2017

 

Did you know that the very food known as “Hummus” was derived from the Arabic  word meaning “chickpeas”, and the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna which means “chickpeas with tahini”.  Hummus is basically  a Levantine dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or a mixture of other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.  It is popular in the Middle East and in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe. It can also be found in most grocery stores anywhere in the world.

The chickpeas used in hummus make it high in fiber, protein and iron, and when lemon is added, offers your body a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants. What’s more, a thick spread of hummus will never threaten your waistline, but tahini has been known to be anti-inflammatory and lower cholesterol.

Yes, you can buy hummus at just about any local grocery store these days, but it so much better if you make for yourself at home and so easy to do as you can follow this recipe basic recipe with a few tips from Inspired Taste.

For some people, hummus is like the comic relief at an awkward dinner party. Everybody’s yearning for it, and it’s a universal pleaser. This light, savory snack is the perfect hors d’oeuvre as it  slides smoothly onto your chip, pita, pretzel, bagel, carrot or cucumber slices and rarely leaves a mess. And it is perfect for Super Bowl Parties

But for a change of pace, we switched it up a little to liven up a party in presenting this quick and easy roasted beet hummus which is a light, savory snack that will make your mouth pop with flavor.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 medium roasted beet, cooled, peeled, and quartered (Directions Follows)
One 15-ounce, can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tahini (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dash salt and pepper
Water, to thin as needed
Optional spices: dried sage, cumin, paprika

Directions:
In a food processor, blend roasted beet until smooth. Add remaining ingredients to blend, reserving olive oil and water. Drizzle in olive oil while hummus is blending. If too thick, thin out with water until you have the desired consistency.

Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, as needed.

Place in a bowl and serve with vegetables , crackers or whole grain pitas of your choice.

Directions for Roasting Beets
 Option 1 
1. Preheat oven to 400 º F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. If buying whole beets with stem, remove leaves and stalk.
3. Peel beets and dice.
4. Lay on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried sage.
5. Cover baking sheet with foil and bake beets for 1 hour or until tender.

Option 2
1. Preheat oven to 425 º F.
2. Scrub, wash, and remove leaves/stalk from beets.
3. Place whole beets on aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
4. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.

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Olive Oil–Confit Chicken with Cipolline Onions with Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes

chicken onions potatoes

Recipe Adapted from Claire Saffitz
Bon Appetite Magazine
November 2017

What happens when you cook with a lot of oil? Pure Magic, especially for Hanukkah. Why? Because oil conducts heat much more efficiently than air, foods that are confited in it, like these chicken thighs, come out incredibly moist and infused with the oil’s flavor. And the extra bonus, the oil used to cook the chicken can be used for other dishes!

 

Polenta Pizza

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Gooey cheese melting into baked polenta—crisp on the outside with a creamy interior—is as satisfying as a pizza but it’s gluten-free. Serve with a green salad for a satisfying meatless Monday meal.

 Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the polenta crust:
1 1/3 cups  gluten-free medium-ground cornmeal
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

For the topping:
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 cup thin asparagus spears, sliced into  1 1/2 inch lengths
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Directions:
To make the polenta crust, in a microwave-safe bowl, mix 4 cups  water, the cornmeal and 1 3/4 teaspoon salt. Place in the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly, then return to the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 more minutes. Stir well. Return to the microwave and cook at the high setting until very thick, about 5 minutes longer. Stir again, and then mix in the 1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil and a generous amount of pepper.

Brush a large pizza pan generously with olive oil. Spread the cornmeal mixture out on the pan in a circle about 1/3 inch thick and about 12 inches  in diameter, building up the edges slightly.

Preheat an oven to 375°F .

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pizza crust on the pizza pan, leaving a border.

In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes,  asparagus, shallot, 1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil, garlic and the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake the pizza until it is beginning to brown in spots, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes to set up. Sprinkle with the oregano and serve immediately with forks and knives for eating.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower Soup

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Roasted seasonal vegetables add depth to this simple winter soup.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into  florets
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced  white onion
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup  milk
Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Halve Brussels sprouts. Arrange sprouts and cauliflower on a large sheet pan. Light season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring halfway.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauce pan and sauté diced onion until translucent. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Transfer half of the roasted vegetables to the broth and simmer for about 2 min., stirring occasionally. Return the remaining vegetables on the baking sheet to the oven, to roast for another 5 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Remove from heat and stir in the milk and remaining roasted vegetables.

Pour the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a few sprinkles of crushed red pepper. Serve immediately.

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Sautéed Mushrooms with Polenta

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A savory appetizer or main dish full with of flavorful mushrooms sautéed in herbs and a rich balsamic vinegar sauce, spooned over creamy polenta with melted  smoked gouda cheese.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

For the  mushrooms:
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Baby Bella  mushrooms, sliced
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt, to taste

For the  polenta  (See Cook’s Notes):
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups instant polenta
8 ounces  smoked gouda  cheese, shredded (See Cook’s Notes)
Salt, to taste

Directions:

For  the mushrooms:Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add mushrooms; and cook stirring occasionally for 7 minutes. Stir in thyme, oregano, pepper and garlic; continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in balsamic vinegar, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan, stirring constantly about 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth, reduce to low. Stir in butter.  Adjust the seasoning with salt to taste. Keep warm.

For polenta: In a saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups milk and 2 1/4 cups chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; gradually stir in polenta; cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Add more liquid (broth, milk or water) as needed to achieve desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add shredded cheese; stir to combine until smooth. Salt to taste. Serve polenta warm topped with mushrooms.

*Cook’s Notes:
Other cheeses may be substituted. A few recommendations: Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Fontina,  or Cheddar.

For a homemade polenta, follow the link here: Creamy Polenta

 

 

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Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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El Quim’s de la Boqueria Fried Egg with Baby Squid

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This summer I discovered frying eggs in olive oil, only because my pantry was out of butter, vegetable spray, and vegetable oil. I was even out of lard! My stores were low due to traveling so much.  It was so good! The crispy edge of the fried egg was so divine and I thought I alone had discovered a previously unknown culinary treat.

Well, my bubble was burst when I visited Barcelona this summer. I had the opportunity to visit La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Spain, perhaps one  of the best markets in the world for foodies, and people watching.The market has been a fixture in the region since the 1200s, during the time of the Crusades. And it was at La Boqueria that I realized that my newly discovered way of frying eggs in olive oil was a  technique that the Spaniards have embraced for,  centuries upon centuries.

It will take you at least two weeks to go through every stall at La Boqueria. The tantalizing smells of food cooking and the fresh fruits and vegetables,  fresh meats and seafood and not to mention the dazzling array of spices was treat to behold.

But one dish that caught my fancy was signature dish served by  El Quim at the market ,  Spanish Fried Eggs with Baby Squid. Trust me, it is to die for. I mean, it was a pleasure on the palate. I could not wait to return home to my kitchen and put my spin on this delectable dish.

Although I had difficulty finding fresh baby squid, for my version of the dish, I used what I could find in my local supermarket. It was the Goya Brand of Squid Fillets in Black Ink. Not as tasty, but easily usable when you have no choice in the matter. Locally, the Goya tin of squid cost about $1.50, but they are available at Amazon.com.You might be able to find individually quick frozen (IQF) baby squid that are whole squid and  are cleaned and ready for cooking. On another note, using baby squid can elevate paella into a gourmand’s delight,  and they are just as delicious stuffed with rice, pine nuts and mint.

This dish is quick and simple and perfect for breakfast, brunch or a light meal. You simply cannot go wrong!

Enjoy!

Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 large egg
3.5 ounces of small baby squid (click here for the resource)
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 small red chili pepper, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for frying
Maldon salt (click here for the resource)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat.  Add plenty of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Fry the egg. When done, remove to a plate, set aside and keep warm.

While the oil is still hot,  add the garlic and the chili pepper and fry quickly until golden brown. Add the small squids and saute them for about 1 minute or until white in color.
To serve, add the cooked squid on top of the fried egg and sprinkle with Maldon salt and black pepper. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Cucumber Noodle Salad with Mint

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This is a great salad and just perfect for to serve as a light lunch or dinner during summer.

So often, we find ourselves just putting cucumbers in a smoothie or making refreshing cocktails, because they are made of more than 95% water and provide much needed hydration. They are also very low in calories which means you can eat as many cucumbers as you would like to have and not worry about counting calories.Did you know that a half cup of sliced cucumbers has only 8 calories and provides more than 10% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K? Imagine that!

This recipe is very adaptable. You can easily double the ingredients to share with a friend.

Serves 1

Ingredients:
For the dressing:
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4-5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

For the noodles:
1/2 large cucumber
handful of tightly packed fresh mint
1 green scallion (only the green part), finely sliced
1/2  teaspoon black  caraway seeds
1/2  teaspoon white sesame seeds

Directions:
To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the salad, remove smaller leaves from the stem. Tear the larger leaves into smaller pieces.

Make the noodles by using a spiralizer or  a veggie peeler. Add the noodles, mint and scallion to a bowl and pour the dressing on top.Gently toss the noodles to cover them in the dressing.

Top with caraway and sesame seeds and serve fresh.

Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs

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Let these deviled eggs take center stage at your next party. They will have your guests wanting more!

Ingredients:
6 eggs

For the Brine:
One 16 oz  can beets with liquid
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

For the Yolk Filling:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon light cream
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped chives,  for garnish

Directions:
Hard boil your eggs and remove the shells.For perfect hard boiled eggs, see  this link for the method: http://wp.me/p43Rn7-oY

Set the eggs aside.

To prepare  the brine, pour the entire can of  beets into a large mason jar or bowl. Add cider vinegar, sugar, peppercorns and salt. Stir mixture. Because beet juice will stain, carefully lower the hard boiled eggs into the brine, cover and let sit for at least 12 hours, up to two or three days. The longer the eggs stay submerged in the brine, the more sour and dark maroon they will become. If just the rim of magenta color of the egg white and a slightly pickled flavor is desired, let the eggs sit for about 13 to 16 hours.

When brining time has completed, using sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut each egg in half and carefully scoop out the yolks using a small teaspoon. Place yolks in a medium-sized bowl, along with the mustard, mayonnaise, curry, vinegar, and olive oil. Mix/mash until smooth. You can always add a little bit of light cream to the yolk filling, if it is too stiff. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Using  small teaspoon, or a pastry bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut off,  spoon or pipe the yolk filling back into the magenta colored eggs. Sprinkle with chopped chives and arrange on a platter for serving.  If the eggs are not to be served immediately, cover the dish with plastic  wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to be served.

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