Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Heirloom Tomato Salads

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Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom tomatoes are in season so I’m buying them fairly regularly. I have two, really easy and delicious salads here that can be the main course or a side dish with any protein you like. The second of the two is completely vegetarian.

Let’s talk about my first of the two Heirloom Tomato Salads. Heirloom Tomato Salad With Bocconcini And Sopressata.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Local Grown Florida Heirloom Tomatoes

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Red Onion

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Arugula

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The second salad is my Artichoke, Heirloom Tomato, And Orzo Salad.

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad (2)

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

1). The first tomato salad is an Heirloom Tomato Salad With Bocconcini And Sopressata.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: large mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, large salad serving bowl, a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk

Ingredients:
8 cups of heirloom tomatoes, halves, and wedges (depending on whether whole or grape size tomatoes)
1 1/2 heaping cups of diced Sopressata, OPTIONAL (substitute diced Genoa salami)
1 8-ounce package of Bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls or pearls)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1 1/2  tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

Salad Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Salad Dressing:
Place all ingredients into a (2 cup) measuring cup. Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.

Herb Marinade For Bocconcini:
1 (8-ounce) package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Italian-flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O

Directions:
Separate all the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small mixing bowl along with the other ingredients. Using a spoon, gently toss to combine. Set aside.

Direction For Heirloom Tomato Salad:
In a large mixing bowl, add the tomato halves and wedges. Add the marinated bocconcini and chopped tarragon. Pour the dressing over and toss all the ingredients together. Transfer to a large salad serving bowl. Serve with your favorite bread.

2). The second tomato salad is an Arugula, Heirloom Tomato, And Orzo Salad. This one is a vegetarian salad, totally meat-free!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, large mixing bowl, large salad serving bowl, large mesh sieve

Ingredients:
1 pound of orzo, cooked drained and cooled
2 cups of arugula leaves
4 cups of diced and halved heirloom tomatoes (depending on whether whole or grape size)
1 (14.6-ounce) jar of long-stemmed artichoke hearts, halved
1 (8-ounce) package of Bocconcini ( mini mozzarella balls
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl add the diced and halved heirloom tomatoes, cooked and cooled orzo pasta, halved artichokes hearts, bocconcini, arugula leaves, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Italian flat-leaf parsley. Squeeze fresh lemon juice and drizzle the two tablespoons of agave nectar over the top, gently toss to combine. Next, transfer to a large salad serving bowl. My Artichoke, Heirloom Tomato, And Orzo Salad are so delicious you’ll be asked to make it over and over again.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Caponata Chili

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Changing a classic recipe by adding new and interesting ingredients. This is my Caponata Chili.

Caponata Chili

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Caponata Chili

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Caponata is a Sicilian relish of eggplant and assorted vegetables. Usually, the skin of the eggplant is removed before adding it to any dish. Smaller eggplants, like the ones I’m using in this dish, the skin is tender and edible For this recipe, I’m using the ingredients from a Caponata-style dish and spinning it into a non-traditional chili. This is my Caponata Chili.

Caponata Chili

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Fennel bulb

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Fennel

Olive Oil

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Oregano

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Caponata-Chili

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, chef’s knife, 3 medium-size bowls, 2 small bowls, 2 large plates

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (substitute hot Italian sausage)
1 small (1 pound) eggplant, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and diced
2 1/2 cups of zucchini, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 pint of cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
1/2 cup beef stock, unsalted
1 (15-ounce) can of Cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 (9-ounce) package of frozen (Birds Eye) artichoke hearts, thawed
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves, extra for garnish
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated for garnish
1 pound (16-ounce) box of orzo pasta, cooked

Directions:
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat add olive oil and sausage. Using a wooden spoon break up the sausage. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned with no pink. Using a slotted spoon to drain the excess fat, remove the sausage, transfer to a medium-size bowl.

Remove all the fat leaving about 2 tablespoons in the bottom of the pot. Over medium-high heat add the diced onion, diced fennel Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Stirring frequently, cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft.

Add fennel seeds, dried oregano, chili powder, ground cumin, tomato paste, stir to combine. Next, add the diced orange, red, yellow, Poblano peppers, and minced garlic, and Fresno chili, stir to combine. Stirring occasionally, cook for another 4 to 6 minutes or until just tender.
Add beef stock to *deglaze. With the back of a wooden spoon, scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pot. Continue to cook for 2 minutes allowing the beef stock to reduce by half.

Add diced eggplant, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and cooked sausage, stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium, cook for 45 minutes.

Add dice zucchini, artichoke hearts, and Cannelini beans, stir to combine. Over medium-low heat, simmer for another 45 minutes until the sauce reduces slightly and thickens. Turn the heat off before adding 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves, stir to combine.

To serve, I like to spoon a good helping of orzo pasta in the bottom of a porcelain bowl. Ladle the Caponata Chili on top, garnish with a few oregano leaves, from my garden, then finish with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I have to tell you it’s not your traditional chili but if you love Caponata-style dishes, then you’ll definitely love my Caponata Chili.

*Deglaze is the process of diluting sediments in (a pan) in order to make a gravy or sauce.

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