Tag Archives: summer

Caponata – Eggplant recipe

This is a simple recipe that takes great advantage of fresh eggplant.  It has complex flavor and will be sure to wow any party or get together!

caponata

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan (medium heat).  Saute the onions, pine nuts, raisins and hot pepper for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions have softened, but have not turned dark gold.  Add the eggplant and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, about 6-8 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the chili infused oil and cherry balsamic.  Taste the caponata and adjust flavor with salt, pepper, cherry vinegar and chili infused oil.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped in 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons currants
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili flakes, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (to yield 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
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Corn and Smoked Fish Chowder

I love corn chowder, but the addition of smoked fish and tasty Lucini infused oils really makes this chowder unique.  This recipe is another great way to use the wonderful corn appearing at local markets right now.  My favorite purveyor of smoked fish is Russ & Daughters – appetizing on the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1914 – but any great local smoked fish will work well here.  I like to use a fresh green herb as a garnish and find dill balances up will with smoked fish.

 

I used dill as a garnish

I used dill as a garnish

 

 

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Remove the cream and allow to reach room temperature.  Add the cornstarch to the cream and stir well.  Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan and then add the cream and allow to simmer slowly until it reduces by two-thirds – 12-20 minutes.  Add the basil and chili oils and mix until well distributed.

Heat 2 TB of the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes – the onions should not brown.  Add the corn and potatoes and stir well as you cook the vegetables for 3 more minutes.  Strain the cream into your vegetable mixture.  Simmer until the potatoes are tender – 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the chopped smoked fish, season to taste with salt and pepper, add a chopped herb garnish, and serve.

Squash Blossoms stuffed with Ricotta

I have seen beautiful zucchini flowers at my local farmers market recently, so I am sharing this tasty preparation.  Just be sure to be careful with the flowers as you add the filing.

Beautiful Zucchini Blossoms

Beautiful Zucchini Blossoms

Ingredients:

  • 12-20       Zucchini Blossoms (medium to large, stems and pistils removed)
  • 2 TB           Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp     Sea Salt
  • 1/3 C        Pine Nuts
  • 1/2 LB      Escarole (remove core, chop fine)
  • 1/4 tsp     Black Pepper (fresh ground)
  • 2 C             Ricotta Cheese (high quality makes a huge difference)
  • 1/3 C        Raisins (golden are best for color contrast)
  • 2 TB          Lucini Basil Infused Olive Oil

Preparation:

Reconstitute the raisins in hot water –  allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Drain.

Heat the pine nuts in 1 TB olive oil a large pan over medium-low heat, stirring for even color, until lightly golden – about 5 to 7 minutes.  Transfer to a plate to cool.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add escarole, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender – about 5 to 7 minutes.  Transfer to a plate to cool.

Mix the pine nuts, escarole, ricotta and raisins well.  Transfer to pastry bag (or make your own with a plastic bag).   Snip a 1/3-inch opening and pipe filling into blossoms.  Using your fingers, very carefully press petals around filling.

Bring a few inches of water to boil in pot so that bottom of steamer insert sits above water.  Arrange blossoms, about  1/2 inch apart, in insert (steam in batches, if necessary – do not crowd).  Steam, covered, over gently simmering water until filling is just set, 3 to 4 minutes.

Best served at room temperature.

Gazpacho recipe

With tomato season approaching, I’m posting a quick recipe for Gazpacho.  The recipe works year round and uses wonderful Lucini tomatoes, but it tastes especially great with fresh, in-season tomatoes (use 3 cups).  You can garnish with chopped veggies, reduced vinegar, olive oil or shredded basil.

Finished with chopped green pepper, olive oil and reduced balsaimc.

Finished with chopped green pepper, olive oil and reduced balsaimc.

Ingredients:

Preparation:
Combine all the ingredients except olive oil and blend until smooth in food processor or blender.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.  Remove from the refrigerator and whisk in olive oils.  Finish with chopped cucumber, tomato or bell pepper and a few drops of the Basil infused Oil and reduced Balsamic, if so desired.

Summer Squash with Smoked Paprika

Summer squash has started to appear in local greenmarkets and reminds me of a yellow squash dish my mother used to make.  We grew squash in our garden and I always preferred sauteed squash to baked.  After trying to recreate the dish from memory, I found that the addition of smoked paprika really made this a more interesting dish and have added up to a tablespoon depending on my mood.

This makes a great side dish and also stands alone over pasta, lentils or quinoa.  Vegans can omit the sour cream – I find that doubling the vinegar works well when making the dish without dairy.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Cut the squash into 1/4 inch thick discs (if using patty pan, half or quarter for similar size)

Heat oil in a large skillet and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until the garlic just starts to brown. Add squash and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add the salt, pepper and paprika and mix well.  Continue cooking until the larger discs of squash just starts to wilt.  Pour in the sour cream or yougurt and stir until well distributed.

Remove from heat.  Add the parmigiano (if using) and season to taste with salt, pepper and paprika.  Ready to serve.