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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

 

Antipasto Platters

Antipasto Platters (2)

Antipasto Platters (3)

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, 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.

Ingredients: Marinate For Bocconcini
1-8 ounce package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
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.

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Greek Pasta Salad With A Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Photo Mar 09, 7 43 07 PM

Photo Mar 09, 7 43 11 PM

Ina Garten was my 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 get the water for the pasta to boil and the pasta to cook, you can have all the veggies chopped and the dressing made for the salad.

Greek Pasta Salad With A Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment:

Ingredients:
2 hothouse or English cucumbers diced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 a red onion sliced very thin then cut in half
2 pints of grape tomatoes halved
10 ounces of 1 inch cubed Greek Feta
1 package of cooked Fusilli pasta
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons of finely chopped Italian parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredients For Sun-dried Tomato Dressing:
2 tablespoon of drained capers
2 garlic cloves
8 drained sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
a 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. Through the feed tube of the food processor, while it’s turned on, drizzle in the *E.V.O.O 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 the half of 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.

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Tuna Tapenade

2014-07-09 19.30.16This recipe is one 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. We have this at my house any time we’re in the mood for tuna.

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 tell you how I did this.

Start with red onion, celery, and garlic. In a food processor, fitted with the metal blade, pulse until the ingredients are finely minced. I like to give them a head start before adding the other ingredients.

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There are quite a few ingredients that go into this recipe, so let me just show you those now.

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At this point, I’ve already added the onion, celery, and garlic, next, the tuna. Italian tuna can be expensive so I decided to mix one 6-ounce jar of Italian tuna packed in water,  drained, and 2 small packages (total 6-ounces) of chunk light tuna packed in spring water to the food processor.

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To the tuna, Mascarpone cheese, capers drained and rinsed, lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, chopped and pitted Kalamata olives, flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Pulse all of these ingredients together until smooth.

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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 chill in the refrigerator 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.

I like to top the Tuna Tapenade with roasted asparagus and even a few julienned roasted Piquillo peppers for a little sweetness.

Toasted Ciabatta Bread

Tuna Tapenade

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

Ingredients:
12-ounces 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 caper, 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, 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

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 12-15 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, the tuna. Italian tuna can be expensive so I decided to mix one 6-ounce jar of Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained, 6-ounces of Starkist chunk light tuna packed in spring water to the food processor.

To the tuna, add Mascarpone cheese, drained and rinsed capers,  lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, chopped and pitted Kalamata olives,  chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, freshly cracked 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 chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

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 even a few julienned roasted Piquillo peppers for a little sweetness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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