Sunday, April 27, 2014

Minted Peas

My Italian grandmother used to dress up a simple side dish of peas by added fresh mint from the family garden.

This is my version of that tasty vegetable dish, which I enhanced with some lightly sauteed shallot.


2 cups frozen peas
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the peas according to the package directions until just tender. Do not overcook. Drain the peas and set aside.

In a medium non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, and saute for a minute or two, until soft but not brown. Add the peas and the mint, along with salt and pepper to taste. Saute for a minute or two to blend all the flavors.

-- 4 servings

Monday, April 14, 2014

Roasted Asparagus and Hard-Boiled Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce

Asparagus is great with Hollandaise sauce. So are eggs (as in Eggs Benedict). Combined here, they make a fantastic brunch, lunch, or light supper entree.


1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs, sliced
1 recipe Hollandaise Sauce
Paprika for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse the asparagus and break off the tough ends. (If you hold the asparagus spear at each end and bend it slightly, it will break at the right spot.) If using thicker spears, trim off the larger buds near the bottom of the stalk as desired.

Line up the asparagus spears in a single layer in a baking dish or pan.

Drizzle the asparagus lightly with the olive oil, turn to coat, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast for about 5-12 minutes, until the asparagus are tender when pierced with a fork, but still firm. The roasting time will depend on the thickness of the asparagus spears. For very thin asparagus, start checking them after about 4 minutes.

Divide the roasted asparagus spears evenly onto 4 individual serving plates. Top each portion with one sliced egg. Top with the Hollandaise sauce, sprinkle lightly with paprika, and serve.

-- 4 servings

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Grapefruit Mimosa

For this variation on a classic Mimosa, I simply substituted grapefruit juice in place of the orange juice. It was a lovely change of pace.


Grapefruit juice (white, pink, or ruby red), chilled*
Champagne or sparkling white wine, chilled

Pour the grapefruit juice into a champagne flute until it is 1/2 full.

Top with the champagne until full.

-- 1 serving

*Note: Use unsweetened grapefruit juice for a tart, natural flavor. For a sweeter and smoother mimosa, use sweetened juice or grapefruit juice cocktail.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Artichoke Omelette with Black Olives and Provolone

This recipe was inspired when my friend Sandi told me about an artichoke omelette with provolone that was very popular in a restaurant that her husband once owned.

Here, I created my own version, to which I added black olives for an extra flavor dimension. The result was delicious!


1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 or 2 whole canned artichoke hearts (depending on how much you like artichokes), rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon pitted sliced black olives
3 large eggs, or equivalent in egg substitute
1 tablespoon milk
Dash of salt (optional)
1 thin slice provolone cheese, at room temperature, torn into 6 or 8 pieces

Heat 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add the artichokes and olives, and saute for 3-4 minutes, until they are heated through. Keep warm until ready to use.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. Whisk in the dash of salt, if using. (Note: Go easy on the salt, as the artichokes and olives can be salty.)

In a separate 7- or 8-inch skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add the egg mixture, and tilt the pan quickly to distribute the eggs evenly over the bottom of the skillet.

Using a flexible spatula, lift the edges of the omelette so that the uncooked egg can flow underneath. Continue until the eggs are set. To set the eggs more quickly once they are firm on the bottom, you can optionally flip the omelette by setting a dish over the skillet, turning it over quickly, and then sliding the omelette, cooked side up, back into the skillet.

Once the eggs have set, arrange the provolone pieces over one half of the omelette. Top with the artichoke-olive mixture. Fold the other half of the omelette over the fillings. Heat over low to medium-low heat for a minute or two to allow the cheese to melt, and then serve immediately.

-- 1 or 2 servings