Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tomato-Basil Bruschetta

This is my version of the classic tomato-basil bruschetta that is served in so many Italian restaurants and households.

It's so simple, yet so delicious.


French baguette or submarine/hoagie rolls, sliced into 16 (1/2-inch) slices
6 large Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, shredded or coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil until one side of the bread is lightly golden. Turn the bread slices over and broil until the other side is lightly golden. Remove from broiler.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.

Spoon the tomato mixture evenly onto the toasted bread slices and serve.

-- 8 appetizer servings

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Honey-Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is my latest variation of balsamic vinaigrette. Not too sweet, and not too tart, the honey and dijon mustard strike a lovely balance.


6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shaking method: Combine all ingredients in a jar or cruet with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well blended.
Whisking method: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until well blended.

Use immediately or refrigerate. If using later, shake or whisk again just before using.

-- Approximately 2/3 cup of dressing

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Moroccan-Style Carrot and Raisin Salad

The sweet and spicy flavors of Morocco give this delicious and healthy salad an exotic flair.


1 pound medium-to-large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup raisins (dark or golden)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Boil or microwave the carrot slices in water until crisp-tender, about 5-10 minutes. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain well. Place the cooked/drained carrots in a bowl along with the raisins and the parsley or cilantro.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over the carrots mixture, and toss well. Allow the carrots to marinate in the dressing at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.

Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

-- 4-6 servings

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ingredient Tip: Pasteurized Eggs

For safety reasons, I prefer to use pasteurized eggs in recipes where the eggs are not fully cooked (for example, in Hollandaise Sauce or any time the yolks will remain runny).

Pasteurized eggs can be found in some U.S. supermarkets. A partial directory can be found here.

If you can’t find them at a store near you, make your own pasteurized eggs! Directions here.