Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘Olive oil’


In Recipes on May 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Yield: 6 servings

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Panzanella salad is a very classic italian recipe developed as a way to use stale bread. This is a recipe I adapted from Ina Garten’s 2001 cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties!  It’s a great summer time salad that’s filling and fresh!

1 small stale French bread cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced

20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1/2 cup good olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.


Prosciutto Baguette with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Roasted Red Pepper

In Recipes on May 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Yield: 4-6 sandwiches

Cook Time: 10 minutes

1 large baguette

1 pound fresh mozzarella

3/4 pound premium proscuitto, thinly sliced

1 pint roasted peppers (jarred or from grocery store olive bar)

2 cups wild arugula


2 cups fresh basil leaves

2-3 garlic cloves

1/4 cup pine nuts

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher Salt and Pepper

1/2 cup pecorino cheese


to make the pesto

Combine basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Slowly add in olive oil while the processor is still running.  Blend until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper.

to make the sandwiches

Slice the baguette in half lengthwise. Spread pesto on both sides of the bread.  Layer mozzarella, proscuitto, arugula and red pepper one side of the bread.  Slice the sandwich into 4 or 6 individual sandwiches.

10 Things You Never Knew You Could Grill

In Features on May 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

Okay, so living in small spaces not many of us have a grill, but any of these items can be made on a grill pan for the same effect. If you’re lucky enough to make a meal on a gas or charcoal grill this summer, give one of these surprising foods a try. I promise you’ll never reserve the grill for only red meat and chicken again!

  1. Cheese – Choose a dense cheese or one with a strong rind like, Halloumi, queso fresco or Brie (with the rind on).  Brush each side with a little canola or olive oil and grill over medium-low heat until grill marks appear.  Serve with fruit or tomatoes as an appetizer or an unexpected dessert.
  2. Melon – Watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew make great grill mates.  The heat from the grill caramelizes the sugar giving the melon a wonderful smoky flavor.  Try eating with fresh prosciutto and mozzarella cheese for a riff on a classic appetizer.
  3. Shellfish – Throw some oysters or clams in a grill basket and put directly on the grate over high heat.  Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes until the shells open.  Serve with fresh squeezed lemon juice, cocktail sauce or mignonette. You could even toss the bivalves in some pasta with garlic and olive oil for a simple weeknight meal.
  4. Pizza- Roll pizza dough out and brush one side with canola oil or a hearty olive oil.  Place directly on the grate and cook for 2-3 minutes until grill marks form.  Brush the uncooked side with more oil and flip, cook for another minute or so.  Put your toppings on.  Cover the grill and cook for another 10 minutes until the toppings are done and dough is crispy.
  5. Avocado – Cut in half, remove pit and skin. Brush with canola oil or a hearty olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on grill over medium-high heat.  The result is a creamy, rich flavor that really brings out the best in the avocado.  Serve as is or add to guacamole or salad for a smokey twist.
  6. Pineapples, Peaches, Nectarines – Cut in half, remove pit and brush with canola or hearty olive oil.  Grill over medium-high heat.  Like the melon, the result is a beautiful caramelized version of the fruit.  Serve as dessert with ice cream or whipped cream.  For a savory twist, cut and use in a fruit salsa or relish.
  7. Romaine Lettuce – Wash and dry well.  Brush with olive oil and place directly on the grill grates over medium heat until the lettuce begins to wilt.  Serve as a side dish to chicken, lamb or beef or as a warm salad with a vinaigrette.
  8. Herbs – Throw a sprig of rosemary or thyme on the grill for 30 second to a minute just to heat and release oils.  Add to marinades or even cocktails.
  9. Cake – Choose a dense cake like pound cake.  Brush both sides with melted butter and put directly on the grill over medium heat.  Cook just until grill marks for.  Serve as dessert with chocolate sauce, fruit or ice cream.
  10. Citrus Fruit– Cut lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit in half and place directly on the grill.  Cook until grill marks form and serve as a garnish for fish or chicken.

If all this grill talk is making you long for more than a grill pan, check out this nifty indoor grill.

Greek Salad Pitas

In Recipes on May 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Yield: 8 servings

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 1/2 cups chopped seeded plum or cherry tomatoes

3 cup diced seeded peeled cucumber

2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 1/2 cup chopped red onion

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 8 ounces)

8 8-inch-diameter whole wheat pita breads, halved


Whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice in large bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Mix tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, romaine, and parsley into dressing. Fold in feta cheese.

Quick Tip: Salad can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Using slotted spoon, transfer salad mixture to pita bread halves right before you leave for the picnic.

Parmesan Asparagus

In Recipes on March 27, 2011 at 11:19 am

Yield: 4 servings

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

In early spring asparagus begins to sprout from the cold ground giving us one of the seasons sweetest treats.  This is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of preparations.  For an easy, no fuss side dish try this for your next dinner party or family dinner at home.

1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed

1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan-reggiano cheese

Fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup olive oil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place asparagus on prepared baking sheet in a single layer.  Sprinkle with parmesan and pepper.  Drizzle liberally with olive oil.

Bake in over for 15-20 minutes until the parmesan is brown and the asparagus looks wilted.

Serve immediately.

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