Tag Archives: appetizer

Tempting Tomato/Eggplant/ Basil Teasers (orig. 2013)

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Tempting Tomato/Eggplant/ Basil Teasers (orig. 2013)

IMG_3443Sometimes (often) my culinary creations are a project which I oversee for an evening, or for several hours in preparation..cooking, writing, listening to music, staying between the table where I work and the stove. At those times, I linger and taste and savor and adjust..playing with my food as it were.

But on other nights, it has to be a little quicker but still…sensuous, savory, satisfying and delicious.  And sometimes it has to be a “light” meal as well..simple and without a lot of other accompaniements.

This is one of my very favorite creations. It is is actually a kind of an appetizer, but I would not have too much patience making up 50 of them for a party. But for a light supper for one or two, perhaps a cup of broth, a little crusty bread and a plateful of these are just perfect. Oh, and don’t forget the wine..a lot rose is my preference.

Ingredients

1 small-medium  narrow eggplant sliced in rounds, fresh basil leaves (or dried basil if necessary), a soft mozzarella sliced in rounds, cocktail tomatoes seeded and opened up, or small plum tomatoes seed and cut in thin rounds, black pitted olives cut in half lengthwise,  1-2 finely minced garlic gloves or garlic powder,  a sprinkling of finely-grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.IMG_3440

Preparation:

Lightly spray heated indoor grill with olive oil. Lightly cook eggplant rounds until just a touch soft/translucent. Set them aside in baking dish, place a tomato slice on each eggplant, a LITTLE minced garlic or a sprinkle of garlic IMG_3441power, then a fresh basil leaf (sprinkle with dried basil if no fresh basil is possible..but fresh is the BEST), top with a mozzarella slice, olive pieces, a sprinkle of ground pepper and a sprinkle of finely grated parmesan.

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Broil until cheese starts to melt and brown..serve.

I like this with a light rose wine. Or the light Gallo Paisano Wine...not fancy..just friendly and simple.

 

 

**** I know I have established that I am not Italiano. However, tomorrow I do start a series at the University in Conversational Italian. I have been listening to the practice cd in the car and repeating musical Italian phrases while I drive..Of course I have read and loved the book “Under The Tuscan Sun” which had me longing for the simple life…but for now my reading/handbook is:                                                                     

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CIAO! 

***If this looks good, don’t forget to click “Like”!

I also invite you to check out my blog   http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com and see what a magical world we live in!

From Christine, The Cook

 

                           

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Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Turmeric

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Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Turmeric

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It is COLD in the Northeast USA now and I find that cooking with the WARM spices like curries, turmeric, cayenne keep the bodily  “fires” burning from the inside out for a feeling of warmth and comfort. One of my favorite fast and easy recipes for inner heat and delicious eating is this one. There are many variations on this with an added ingredient here or there but this one so far is the one that works for me, allowing for culinary creativity as I am so inspired.

The price of cauliflower varies widely. Yesterday at Belmont’s it was $4.99 for a head, and $2.99 a head at Shaw’s. Both beautifully fresh and white. Shop wisely and economically!

Although a white vegetable, cauliflower is nutrient rich and the powerful brown/red/orange spices in curry (turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne etc) are warming to the body and digestion, protective and anti-tumor as well. This recipe is a winner…good to prepare ahead and take to a potluck also, serving warm or hot.

Basic ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cut into flowerettes, olive oil, curry powder and preferred extra spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cumin. IMG_8742

Extra ingredients as desired:

tahini, honey, a good chutney (I use Major Grey’s)

Preparation:

1. Cut cauliflower into flowerettes, place in a large bowl and drizzle with  a tablespoon + of olive oil, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle with curry powder to coat as desired and add a sprinkle of one of the extra spices if preferred. I do ot have a measurement here but go by eye, to color the vegetable. Just remember: you can always ADD but you cannot SUBTRACT an ingredient…be discerning…a little at a time. Sprinkle with a little salt (fingertip-taste…do not overdo!) Toss to coat everything evenly.

IMG_87412. Place on a cooking pan. Bake/Roast at 400 degrees for 15 -20 minutes depending on your oven… turn the flowerettes after that time and bake/roast until done…I like them to turn a slight golden color but do not burn!

3. Serve as is, adjusting for flavor   OR….

4. MY Special touches:

~ when in the serving bowl, I add a teeny bit of honey to taste

~ when in the serving bowl, I add a teeny bit of tahini to coat very lightly

~ when in the personal dish, I add a little bit of mango/raisin chutney if desired

This recipe is open for adjusting to your personal taste and preferences but I assure you, it is delicious and won’t last long in the serving bowl.

Stay warm, inside and out!

From Christine, The Cook

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A delicious life has many ingredients! Check my other blogs..

For inspiration: http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com

For music/the arts: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

For the power to create a good life: http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

 

Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie (Quiche)

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The Gardener’s Community Cookbook- Victoria Wise

As promised, following yesterday’s post “Foodie Flops-Behind the Scenes on Cooking Blog”  here is the delicious recipe for Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie from the Smith and Hawkins Community Cookbook compiled and written by Victoria Wise. The book is a delightful collection of tales and  favorite recipes from various gardeners and farmer’s market people using the generous bounty of the earth and summer’s harvest. This recipe can be found in the book on page #172. As I had mentioned in the original article above, this book was a special overstock deal for $2.99  at JOB LOT many years ago and I bought extra copies of this treasure to give as gifts to friends. I hope you can still find it on Amazon or ebay  ( or in your library system) It was published in 1999.

This is a wonderful recipe! Just remember to make the pie crust first!

Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie

Ingredients:  One 10 inch pie crust…3 large tomatoes, sliced 1/8 in thick…salt…1 cup firmly packed basil leaves…1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese…2 large eggs…1/2 coarsely grated or chopped mozzarella cheese…1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese…dried garlic powder and dried sweet marjoram (optional, my addition)…olive oil to brush on top

Prepare

1. Prepare crust, set aside (I baked it slightly first to harden it just a bit)

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (I had to lower it to 350 degrees as my countertop oven was running too hot)

3. Lightly sprinkle tomato slice with salt, both sides. Set aside on paper towels top and bottom to absorb the liquid. Pat dry before using.

4.Place basil, cottage cheese and eggs in a blender (I used my nutribullet) and blend until well combined. Add the mozzarella, parmesan, a little salt and pepper, a sprinkle of the optional garlic powder and or the sweet marjoram..just a sprinkle..) and continue blending until mixed,

5. Assemble pie: Pat tomato slices dry, line bottom of pie pan with the crust with the end pieces of the tomato slices, spoon cheese mixture over the tomato slices, arrange the remainder of the tomato slices on top of the cheese/basil mixture. Brush top layer with olive oil. Place in heated oven.

6. Bake until edges of crust are crispy and golden (watch for burning and lower temp if necessary) and the cheese mixture is firm enough for an knife inserted in the center comes out clean…about 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room temperature or cover and refrigerate to serve later or the next day.

This is also a hit at pot lucks! Disappears fast! (Make two- one for everyone, one for you!)

Enjoy!  (And remember, even if it looks like mine did in the Foodie Goof post…it is still delicious!)

Happy Eating from Christine, The Cook

ps. If you’d also like Food for Your Soul and Nature’s Beauty check my Greening Spirit Blog as well

http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com