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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Antipasto Platters Made Easy

 

Whenever I’m doing an Antipasto Platter, start with great quality ingredients. I like to assemble a few and dress of few.

For example, the artichokes can be tossed with strips of roasted red peppers, and the cantaloupe and breadsticks, wrap delicious cured meats.

Keeping the same items together gives a more uniform look to the platter. I also always try to utilize herbs in my garden. Here I’m using fresh basil as a garnish for the platters.

Simple dress the grape tomatoes with *E.V.O.O. and a sprinkle of Kosher salt.

What’s great about this is all the ingredients are store-bought. This makes these platters quick and easy to put together. For the seasoned Bocconcini, my recipe is really simple. I doubled the recipe below for my platters in the pictures you see above.

Antipasto Platters

Antipasto Platters (2)

Sweet Basil (2)

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Antipasto Platters (3)

 

 

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 12 to 16 servings
Equipment: 2 large serving platters, chef’s knife, medium-size mixing bowl

Ingredients For Marinated Bocconcini:
1 8-ounce package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Directions:
Separate all the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Using a spoon, gently mix together.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

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Greek Pasta Salad With A Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

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Ina Garten was the inspiration for this salad. She did an episode on making pasta three different ways. This Greek pasta salad caught my eye. I wanted to make it with a couple of changes. What’s really cool about this recipe is, in the time it takes to cook the pasta, you can have all the veggies chopped and the salad dressing made. This is my Greek Pasta Salad With A Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette.

Hot House Cucumber

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Red Onion

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Kalamata Olives (2)

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E.V.O.O.

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Greek Pasta Salad With A Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, colander, large mixing bowl, large serving bowl, mini food processor

Ingredients:
2 hothouse or English cucumbers, diced into 1-inch chunks
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons then quartered
2 pints of grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
10 ounces of good Greek Feta, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 pound of fusilli pasta, cooked, rinsed until cold and drained
2 tablespoons of fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients For Sun-dried Tomato Dressing:
2 tablespoon of drained capers
2 garlic cloves
8 sun-dried tomatoes, drained (packed in oil)
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh sprig of mint for garnish

Directions For Dressing:
Add the sun drained sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until they are finely minced. Next, add in the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Kosher salt, black pepper, and Agave nectar. Pulse the ingredients to combine. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the *E.V.O.O whisking until the dressing comes together.

Directions:
In a large bowl, place all the diced vegetables. To the vegetables, add in the well-drained, cooked pasta. Pour in half of the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and stir through. This gives the hot pasta a chance to absorb those flavors. Finely, add in the cubed Feta, freshly chopped herbs, and remaining dressing. Gently toss the diced Feta (so to keeps its integrity) and herbs through until all the ingredients are well combined.

Serve the salad at room temperature or chill in the frig and serve cold. Garnish with a sprig of mint. This is my Greek Pasta Salad With A Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

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Tuna Tapenade

 

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This recipe for my Tuna Tapenade I love because it can be done in advance. It’s great to serve as Hors d’oeuvre for parties or just if you want to have it as a meal.

Tapenade is an olive spread that is served on bread. In this recipe, I’ve made the star the tuna. This one is made with Italian style tuna I just found in my local grocery store. Of course, you could use regular tuna and that would be delicious.  Let me show you have this recipe comes together.

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Ciabatta

Toasted Ciabatta Bread

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yields: 16 crostinis
Equipment: 10-cup food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients:
1 6.7-ounce jar of Italian style Tuna packed in water drained (substitute Starkist tuna packed in spring water)
half a red onion, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4-ounces Mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 loaf Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta Bread, sliced, (yields 16 slices) substitute plain Ciabatta or a good French baguette

For Spicy Tuna Tapenade:
Add 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or a Fresno chili, seeded

Directions For Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.

Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet topped with a rack. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12to 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Note: Each oven may vary slightly in temperature, watch the bread closely to prevent from burning.

Directions:
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, start with half a red onion and 3 ribs of celery and 3 cloves of garlic. In a food processor fitting with the metal blade pulse until the ingredients are finely minced. I like to give them a head start before adding the other ingredients.

Next, add the tuna. To the tuna, add Mascarpone cheese, capers, lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, Kalamata olives, flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper. Pulse all of these ingredients together until smooth.

When the Tapenade has reached a smooth consistency, it’s done. Taste to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.

Transfer the Tuna Tapenade to  the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

If you like a spicier version, at the beginning of the process, you could add some cayenne pepper or add a Fresno chili at the beginning, that would be delicious too. I like to serve this on some toasted or grilled ciabatta bread.

To serve, I like to top the Tuna Tapenade with roasted asparagus and a few roasted Piquillo peppers for a little sweetness.

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