Pesto & Smoked Salmon Bruschetta

This is my favorite bruschetta and it has my favorite ingredient in it . . .  CAPERS!

Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until the pesto is creamy and smooth. Add more oil if you want your pesto more fluid.

1

2

Smoked Salmon Bruschetta

  • 1 French Baguette
  • 1 – 4 oz. package smoked wild sockeye salmon
  • 1 red onion minced
  • 1 jar large capers
  • 1 – 8 oz. container mascarpone cheese
  • prepared pesto
  • olive oil for bread

Slice the baguette in 1/2 slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet, spread olive oil on each slice with a pastry brush and heat in the oven on 350 degrees for 5 – 10 minutes to warm them. Remove bread slices from oven and spread a thin layer of mascarpone cheese, a layer of pesto, cover with a piece of smoked salmon and sprinkle with minced red onions and capers and serve immediately.

3.JPG

5.JPG

Spinach Salad with Caramelized Pecans & Avocado Dressing

Spinach Salad

  • 1 bunch of baby spinach
  • 1 cup pecans caramelized
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Wash, rinse and dry spinach. Cut pecans in half, heat butter and brown sugar in a small skillet and stir until caramel in color. Add the pecans and continue to stir until they ar coated. Remove pecans and set on a flat surface to cool. Slice the grapes in half. Toss the spinach, cheese, grapes and pecans together in a large bowl and serve with dressing.

Avocado Dressing

  • 1 ripe hass avocado
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. The dressing will be thick. If you want it more fluid add more water.

 

 

Chicken Piccata

This is an easy dish to prepare with simple ingredients. However, you must like capers. I cannot say enough good things about capers. Whenever I have this dish at a restaurant there are never enough capers on it. For some reason they are treated like little nuggets of gold. That is one reason to make it at home. Also I only purchase the large capers so I get more of the flavor of them. I added a simple steamed vegetable medley of baby carrots, yellow and zucchini squash.

Chicken Piccata with Steamed Vegetables

  • One chicken breast pounded out flat
  • Flour to dredge the chicken breast in
  • Juice of one half of a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp of white wine
  • 1 Tbsp large capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pound out the chicken breast on a cutting board until it is flat and dredge it in white flour to coat it on both sides. Add olive oil and butter to a saute’ pan. Add the chicken breast to the pan and cook until it turns golden brown on both sides. Remove the breast from the pan and add the white wine to the sauce in the saute’ pan and stir it in. Then add the capers and warm them in the pan. Add the lemon juice to the pan. Pour the sauce over the chicken breast and serve immediately.

Chicken Piccata Prep

Chicken Piccata

Caramelized Onion & Gorgonzola Cheese Flatbread

Caramelized Onion & Gorgonzola Cheese Flatbread

  • 1 Lb. Prepared Pizza Dough (purchase in deli section of grocery store)
  • 1 red onion caramelized in butter
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives sliced
  • 1/2 cup sun sugar or cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 tsp. Italian spice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice onion into thin slices and saute’ in butter for several minutes until the slices turn brownish purple in color. Slice olives in half lengthwise. Slice tomatoes in half. Roll out the pizza dough using flour and a rolling-pin into a rectangular shape the size of a baking sheet. Coat the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil. Place the dough on the baking sheet. Coat the flatbread dough with olive oil. Spread all the toppings on the dough placing the cheese and spice mix last.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the dough is golden brown on the edges. This is delicious served warm or cold.

1

 

23

 

 

 

 

Roasted Beets & Green Bean Salad

My grandmother made a cold green bean salad when I was a kid and I think it was the only thing green I ate. I never would go near a beet until I was much older. Beets are delicious and beautiful. I want to paint with the beet juice. Maybe I should try it.

Roasted Beets & Green Bean Salad

  • 1/2 Lb. green beans
  • 2 roasted beets
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Roast the beets, cool them and peel off the skins and slice them and then cut in half. Rinse, trim and slice green beans into 1″ length. Steam green beans for 5 – 6 minutes and then transfer them to an ice bath right away to keep them bright and fresh. Mince one shallot and add it in a mixing bowl to the lemon juice, lemon zest, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, coriander, dill, salt and pepper. Add the green beans, and beets and mix together. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours so the flavors meld together.

Note: Since I cook for two people, this recipe will need to be doubled for larger quantities.

1

2

Wilted Beet Greens with Pine Nuts

Rather than toss beet greens when you roast beets, try this simple nutty flavored dish.

  • 1 bunch of beet greens
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Rinse beet greens and cut off the stalks in 1″ pieces. Steam the stalks for 3 – 5 minutes until tender and set aside. Saute’ garlic and pine nuts in olive oil and set aside. Steam the beet greens with just the water from rinsing them in a large skillet with the cover on until they are wilted. Add the garlic, pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste.

2

3

Fettucine Alfredo

This is a dish I learned to make in the 1980s. My husband was a chef at a restaurant in Washington State and this was on the menu where he worked. Their version had pine nuts and it made the dish extra special. I don’t make it very often because it is high in calories and a little bit goes a long way in filling you up.

I plated it on a platter I purchased in Florence, Italy in 2002. There are many shops in Florence to purchase ceramics. I walked in and out of many of them and decided to make a purchase at the first one where someone greeted me. When I walked into this shop, the husband greeted me immediately and told me his wife painted the ceramics. His wife’s signature is on the bottom of the platter. I bought three platters from them that day. Their daughter was there too working on a painting. It was a memorable experience and one I think of every time I use their platters.

Fettucine Alfredo

  • 1 cup half & half
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp roasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 box fettucine noodles
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1

Cook pasta until it is al dente. Set aside. Saute’ garlic and zucchini in olive oil for 6 – 7 minutes. Set aside. Heat butter in a sauce pan until melted, add flour and stir until blended. Add cream and continue to stir on low while adding parmesan cheese. Continue to stir on low until it is creamy and blended. Toss pasta, garlic, zucchini and sauce in saute’ pan. Add pine nuts and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

2

3

4

%d bloggers like this: