Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

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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Lobster Mac & Cheese

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I’m pretty confident in saying, Mac and Cheese is the favorite comfort food for people of all ages. There are so many recipes out there from the classic version to endless variations of the classic. Chorizo and smoked Gouda, or how about butternut squash mac and cheese! The one I like to serve when entertaining is my Lobster Mac And Cheese. The lobster adds a delicate sweetness along with a variety of delicious cheeses and a flavorful crunchy topping complete the perfect recipe for Lobster Mac & Cheese.

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Tarragon

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Chives (2)

Chives (2)

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Parmesan Cheese

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Prep Time: 1 hour (the time it takes to cook the lobsters for the casserole)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 16-quart stockpot, 2 6-quart saucepots, 9 x 13 casserole dish, 2 large mixing bowls, colander, Microplane

Ingredients:
4 cups of lobster meat, large dice (equivalent to approx. three 1 1/2 lb lobsters)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, (4 tablespoons for greasing the baking dish)
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
4 cups of whole milk, *scalded
1 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of corn (optional)
1 cup of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of Brie cheese, without the rind, diced
2 cups of Fontina cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1 cup for the top)
1/2 cup of Sargento Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tablespoon of fresh chives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, chopped
2 (16-ounce) packages (2 pounds) of cooked Paccheri Rigati, just under al-dente ( large rigatoni shaped pasta, substitute rigatoni)

Topping:
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Notes:
Note: For a 1 1/2 pound lobster, cook time is 15 to 20 minutes.
Note: They need to be a vibrant red color when fully cooked.
Note: I prefer to cook lobsters one at a time.

Directions:
Start by buttering a casserole dish.

Directions, How To Cook A Lobster:
Bring a 16-quart pot (a little over half filled) of well-salted water up to a rapid boil. Drop the lobster into the pot, quickly place the lid on. Using a towel, hold the lid in place for just a minute, giving the water a chance to come back up to a boil,  then start the cooking time. After about 15 to 20 minutes, remove the lobster from the pot and set aside to cool. Repeat this process two more times.

Boil 16 ounces (1 pound) of pasta just before the al dente stage, about 8 to 10 minutes, and drain. The pasta will finish cooking during the baking process.

Remove the lobster meat from the tails and claws. Chop the lobster meat into large chunks and place into a bowl.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
In a large saucepot melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Continuously whisking the flour and butter to form a *roux. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes blond in color and paste-like, about 2 minutes. Again continue whisking while slowly adding the (*scalded) hot milk. Continue to whisk as the sauce thickens. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Sprinkle in the grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, continuously whisking until sauce becomes thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, switch to a wooden spoon, stir in the chopped tarragon, finely chopped chives, grated cheeses, and corn (optional). Last, add the cooked lobster meat. Mix to combined.

Add the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce stirring gently not to break up the pasta. Pour the entire mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle the reserved Fontina cheese evenly over the top.

For the crumb topping, add the melted butter to the Panko bread crumbs. Mix in the Italian flat-leaf parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Allow the casserole to rest for 15 minutes before serving. This is my Lobster Mac & Cheese.

*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces

*Scalded milk is milk heated to a near boil. Small bubbles will appear around the inner rim of the pot.

How To Cook and Open A Lobster

3 Comments »

Heirloom Tomato Salad

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The Heirloom Tomato goes back generations. When in season, you’ll see them in a variety of colors as well as being multi-colored. Unique because they are beautifully misshapen. If that wasn’t enough, they now come in cherry size! I love to present the tomatoes in different ways, for example; I’ll cut a few into wedges, the cherry tomatoes I’ll leave whole.

Bocconcini are small mozzarella balls. I love the creaminess they add to the Heirloom Tomato Salad. To finish, add fresh basil leaves and finely chopped tarragon.

Tarragon

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Sweet Basil (2)

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Local Florida Heirloom Tomatoes

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Chef’s knife, large mixing bowl, large serving platter

Ingredients:
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 pints of heirloom cherry tomatoes, whole
6 to 8 whole basil leaves
3 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, finely chopped
1 tub (18 to 20 ct) of Bocconcini, drained, dried, and seasoned
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
*E.V.O.O. to taste
Red wine vinegar, (optional)

Ingredients For Bocconcini Seasoning:
1 tub (18 to 20 ct.)  Bocconcini drained and dried
2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the Bocconcini seasoning. Place the drained, and really well dried, Bocconcini into the seasoning mixture, toss to combine.  In a large mixing bowl add the tomato wedges, cherry tomatoes, and seasoned Bocconcini. Add the Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped tarragon leaves. Gently toss the tomatoes and Bocconcini together. To finish, place whole basil leaves throughout.

When plating, drizzle each serving with *E.V.O.O. (A splash of red wine vinegar is optional).

*E.V.O.O. is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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