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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)

fresh basil

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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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Burrata And Prosciutto Bruschetta

 

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The dish I’m making today is Burrata And Prosciutto Bruschetta. Let me give you a little background on Burrata cheese first. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside is filled with both mozzarella and cream. This gives this cheese a unique and soft texture. The mozzarella is formed into a pouch and filled with soft, stringy curd and cream. Inside each container, there are 2 mozzarella balls. This dish I’m showing you today only uses half of the mozzarella ball.

Until recently, I haven’t been to a restaurant that’s offered a dish using Burrata. I definitely wanted to recreate this dish but the biggest hurdle is being able to find this cheese. I was totally surprised to find Burrata was available at my local grocery store. Tucked away right next to the fresh mozzarella. How I missed these gems I’ll never know.

This recipe is easy to make, using a few really good ingredients. Keeping it simple is what Italian recipes do best.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 2 servings, 5 crostini per plate
Equipment: one baking sheet with a rack.

Ingredients:
1 loaf of good baguette bread, 10 toasted baguette slices, 5 per plate
1/4 cup of good olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (for bread)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper ( for bread)
1/4 cup of baby arugula leaves
2 slices of Prosciutto cut into thirds
5 mini San Marzano or grape tomatoes halved
5 tablespoons of Burrata cheese
Kosher salt- to taste
Black pepper freshly cracked- to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven
to 375-degrees F.
Slice the baguette bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of baguette 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 to 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.

Slice in half eight mini San Marzano tomatoes. In a sauté pan, on medium-low heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the halved grape San Marzano tomatoes. Add a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper too. Toss the tomatoes around in the pan for about 2 to 3 minutes, just giving them enough time to softened and start to burst, then remove from the heat. Take 2 slices of Prosciutto and cut into thirds, allowing them to fit onto the toasted baguette slices.

At this point, the bread should be coming out of the oven. It’s really all about the timing. Setting the bread into the preheated oven, then sautéing the tomatoes, and slicing the prosciutto.  This allows you to complete a few easy tasks at the same time.

Once the bread and tomatoes are ready, it’s just a matter of plating the bruschetta. Take a round plate and lay 5 of the crostini in the shape of a star. Place a few baby arugula leaves on each piece of toast along with one prosciutto piece on top. Next, for the Burrata. Cut open the cheese very carefully and place a tablespoon of Burrata on top of the prosciutto. Top the cheese with two tomato halves, and finish with another light sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper.

There you have it, Burrata And Prosciutto Bruschetta. A beautiful small bite loaded with flavor, and the plates look appealing too.

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Rustic-Style Grilled Pizzas

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Whenever I talk about making pizza at home, I need to decide on the toppings. Because we’re into the beginning of summer, I thought I check out what was in season at my local farmers’ market. Boy was I surprised! There was so much to choose from that I thought I get a little of everything.

These pizzas are great if you’re leading a vegetarian lifestyle. I will post this under both categories, “pizza dishes” and “vegetarian dishes”. Oh yeah, I’ve got a great to prepare the toppings.

Making your own pizza dough is fun but because this post is going to concentrate on the toppings. I’m taking help from my local grocery store and buying the pre-made pizza dough. You can also go to your local pizzeria and buy your dough.

Let’s get started on my Rustic-Style Grilled Pizzas.

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Sweet Basil (2)

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Fennel bulb

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 60 minutes
(each of the veggies takes a different roasting time. The roasting order starts with onions and fennel, next, the bell peppers, garlic, and finally, the beets.)
Grilling Time: 2 to 4 minutes per side
Total Time:  2 hours 8 minutes
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, indoor grill pan, 2 large mixing bowls, rolling pin, 1 small mixing bowl, 2 pair of disposable gloves, chef’s knife

Complete List Of Ingredients:
1 ball of store-bought pizza dough
2 4-ounce balls of fresh mozzarella cheese
4 ounces of fresh goat cheese
6 slices of Prosciutto, thin julienned strips (optional)
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 sweet onion, roasted
2 bulbs of fennel cleaned, cored, and roasted
2 red beets, roasted and diced
2 golden beets, roasted and diced
1 red bell pepper, roasted and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted and julienned
2 bulbs of garlic, roasted
3 tablespoons of basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 16-ounce package of Spring Mix

Ingredients From The Pantry:
Olive oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Red wine vinegar
granulated sugar

Ingredients For Heirloom Tomato Topping:
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Directions For Heirloom Tomato Topping:
Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, toss to combine. Set aside.

Ingredients For Roasted Fennel And Onions:
1 large sweet onion quartered
2 bulbs of fennel cored and quartered
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil

Note: The fennel and onions will roast on the same rimmed baking sheet pan. The garlic, bell peppers, and beets will roast on the second baking sheet.

Note: Watch the roasting times for each vegetable.

Directions For Roasted Fennel:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Place the fennel and onions onto a rimmed sheet pan, spread out into one even layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, toss to coat. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl set aside.

Note: The bell peppers, beets, and garlic bell peppers will roast on the same baking sheet pan.

Ingredients For Roasted garlic:
2 bulbs of garlic, cut in half crosswise
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions For Roasted Garlic:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Place the halved garlic bulbs into a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the tops of each half. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Wrap the garlic up tightly in the foil, transfer to a baking sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, using a fork smash the garlic into a paste.

Ingredients For Roasted Bell Peppers:
1 yellow bell pepper, washed and dried
1 red bell pepper, washed and dried

Directions For Roasted Bell Peppers;
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Wrap each bell pepper in foil, Place onto a baking sheet pan along with the garlic. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes. Unwrap the peppers, transfer to a large mixing bowl. cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove the skins, seed, and slice into julienne strips. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Ingredients For Roasted Beets:
2 red beets, washed and dried, cut off the tops and bottoms, cut in half
2 golden beets, washed and dried, cut off the tops and bottoms, cut in half
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O., divided
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

Directions For Roasted Beets:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Layout two large pieces of aluminum foil. Place the red in one and the golden ones on another. Add the olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to each pair of beets. Using gloves toss to combine. Wrap up tightly in the foil, transfer to the baking sheet pan containing the wrapped garlic and bell peppers. Roast for 1 hour (60 minutes) or until a knife can be inserted with no resistance. Once cool, using disposable gloves, remove the skins, dice, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add chopped basil, Italian parsley, 2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O., and red wine vinegar. Toss to combine set aside.

Directions For Store-Bought Pizza Dough:
Allow the dough rest a room temperature for 1 hour. Cut the dough ball into four equal parts. Next, dust a flat surface with all-purpose flour. Roll the dough out to around 6 to 8-inches in diameter. They don’t have to be perfectly round, that’s what gives them that rustic look.

Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush two of the pizza doughs with olive oil then place onto the grill pan, oiled side down. Brush the tops with olive oil. Grill for 2 to 4 minutes per side.

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Arrange the four grilled pizzas (2 grilled pizzas on each pan) onto 2 rimmed baking sheet pans. Next, brush the tops of each of the pizzas with roasted garlic. Evenly distribute torn fresh mozzarella over each one. the pizzas. Transfer the baking sheet pans to the oven leaving the door slightly ajar. This process only takes a couple of minutes.

Once the cheese melts, pull the pizzas out and start arranging the toppings. I made different combinations of flavors for each of the four pizzas. For the base of all of the pizzas, I added the roasted onions and fennel over top of the melted mozzarella. Two of them I saved for the heirloom tomatoes and prosciutto, one for the roasted peppers, and one for the roasted red and yellow beets topped with crumbled goat cheese.

To serve the pizzas I added mixed greens, which included baby spinach, Swiss chard, and baby kale. The heirloom tomato pizzas, I laid the greens underneath the tomatoes because I wanted the colors to show through. Then I topped with the sliced prosciutto. With the roasted peppers and beets, I placed the greens on top with a sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper. You could make your Rustic-Style Grilled Pizzas with whatever ingredients you like. These are just a few ideas you may want to play around with when you’re making your favorite pizza.

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

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