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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

 

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Adding chickpeas to your salad adds protein and texture. Lots of colorful ingredients and different textures make for a wonderful salad. This is my Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.

Oregano

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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grape tomatoes

Kalamata Olives

Kalamata Olives (2)

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Red Onion

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Feta

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 hothouse cucumber, (English cucumber) 1 1/2-inch dice
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, 1-inch dice
1/2 cup feta, 1-inch dice
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients above, mix to combine. Dress with a lemon vinaigrette. The link for my recipe is below.

Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

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Braciole and Sweet Italian Sausage

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My Braciole And Sweet Italian Sausage is a childhood favorite. I’ve updated my grandmother’s Braciole recipe.

Braciole or Involtini are stuffed beef rolls filled with just the right amount of ingredients along with the perfect balance of flavors.

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Sweet Italian Sausage (2)

Sweet Italian Sausage (3)

Sweet Italian Sausage (4)

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Sweet Italian Sausage (5)

Sweet Italian Sausage (1)

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Onions

Stuffing (2)

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Olive Oil

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Sweet Basil (2)

Basil and Italian flat-leaf parsley

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 38 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 8 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: mini food processor, 6-quart Dutch oven, 12-inch sauté pan, 6-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting glass lid, cast-iron grill pan, meat mallet

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of good tomato paste
1 pint of Cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 cup of good red wine, Chianti
2 fresh bay leaves, (substitute dried)
2 (28-ounce) cans of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
6 to 8 large basil leaves, finely chopped, for garnish

1 pound of sweet Italian sausage links (5 links)
2 pounds of top round beef steaks (Scallopini-syle)
2 1/2 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine

Ingredients For The Filling:
1 cup of Italian season breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of Pecorino-Romano cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup of golden raisins
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil, plus extra if needed

Directions For Tomato Sauce:
Start by the tomato sauce. First, preheat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and tomato paste, allowing the tomato paste to begin to melt. Next, add the diced onions, dried oregano, light brown sugar, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, frequently stirring, cooking the onions until they become translucent around 1 to 2 minutes.

To the onions add the quartered mushrooms, dried thyme, and bay leaves, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release all their water and begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. To the mushrooms and onions, add the minced garlic, stir and cook for another minute.

Next, add the red wine, stirring and scraping the bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring up to a bubble and allow the wine to reduce by half. Finally, add the crushed tomatoes, stir to combine, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 35 minutes.

Directions For Italian Sausage:
First, using a fork, prick 3 sets of holes into the sausage links on both sides. Transfer the sausage links into a large saucepot. Cover with chicken broth and cover with a tight-fitting lid, preferably glass. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sausage is no longer pink. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the sausage links to a plate and set aside.

Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the grill pan. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled Italian sausage to the pot of tomato sauce.

One at a time, place the beef between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet (smooth side), gently pound to 1/8-inch in thickness. Set aside.

Directions For The Filling:
In a large mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs, Pecorino-Romano cheese, golden raisins, finely chopped basil, toasted pine nuts, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and olive oil, mix until the filling just comes together.

Directions For Braciole:
Line all the prepared beef slices on a (meat-safe board) flat surface. Sprinkle the filling evenly over all the beef slices. Roll the beef into a cylinder, tucking in the sides to hold in the filling as you roll. Secure with toothpicks.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the beef rolls, seam side down in the pan, and brown seam side first to seal the rolls. Cook, turning the meat occasionally until each roll is nicely browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the seared stuffed beef rolls (Braciole) to the pot of tomato sauce.

In that same sauté pan, still over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup of red wine, scraping (to *deglaze) all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour all that delicious flavor right into the pot of tomato sauce, gently stir to combine.

Simmer the Braciole and Sweet Italian Sausage on low to medium-low, in the tomato sauce, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Finish by garnishing with finely chopped fresh basil.

*Deglaze: The process of scraping meat sediments off the bottom of a pan and/or pot typically using wine.

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