New Favorite · Vegetarian

Grilled Peach Bruschetta

The idea of Peach Bruscetta resonates with me as did the Strawberry Bruscetta I’ve made many times. This recipe was delicious and I made it strictly according to the recipe.  The grilling of the bread and the peaches took some time, but the end result was worth it.

Next time, however, I may try using Goat Cheese instead of Burrata and skip grilling the peaches, using my tried and true Peach Salsa as the topping with a drizzle of honey.

Anyway you make, you can’t go wrong this time of year with fresh Colorado peaches, cheese and bread.  MMMMM….

GRILLED PEACH BRUSCHETTA

1 loaf ciabatta bread, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces burrata cheese, torn
3 medium ripe peaches, halved and cored
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Honey, for drizzling

  • Preheat and oil a cast iron or gas grill. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over ciabatta slices and grill over medium heat until crisp and lightly charred on both sides, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Brush peach halves with vegetable oil or spray with non-stick spray. Grill, flesh side down, until lightly charred, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then chop and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Chop tarragon and add to bowl along with salt, pepper and remaining tablespoon of olive oil and mix to combine.
  • Spread a layer of burrata over each slice of ciabatta and top with a dollop of grilled peach mixture. Season with additional salt and pepper and drizzle with honey.

Recipe from: http://www.lepetiteats.com/2014/08/grilled-peach-bruschetta-2.html

Garden · Vegan · Vegetarian

Fresh Garden Tomatoes with Homemade Pesto

Continuing on my lazy days of summer postings, let’s talk about tomatoes. Fresh garden tomatoes cannot be compared in any way to the mushy, tasteless tomatoes at the grocery store. Comparing the two is like comparing a beautiful rose to a dandelion. Wonder why that’s the case? Read this great article from the University of Illinois Extension office.

Unfortunately, I have regular visitors to my garden helping themselves to my tomatoes.  The silly bunny (that isn’t afraid of my Golden or Chihuahua) along with the neighborhood Raccoon are creating havoc with the tomatoes.  I find green tomatoes plucked from the vine laying on the ground.  I find large red tomatoes half eaten on the vine.  Have any of you had the same experience? This is the first time in over 20 years that I’ve had to fight for my own tomatoes!

Racoon

Garden Bunny 020-6x9

IMG_1486
My garden tomatoes violated by the critters!

My tomatoes have been slow to produce this year but I have enjoyed a few fresh tomato salads. This time a juicy sliced tomatoes paired with homemade pesto (basil also from my garden) was the salad du jour.

If you don’t grow your own tomatoes, visit a local Farmer’s Market soon and enjoy the harvest.

English: Photograph of tomatoes on a vegetable...
English: Photograph of tomatoes on a vegetable stall at Borough Market in London, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the pesto recipe, reference my posting, Pesto Schmesto.

New Favorite · Vegetarian

Caprese Pasta…OMG!

Caprese Pasta? With smoked mozzarella? OMG…I had to try this recipe found on Iowa Girl Eats. I rarely eat wheat pasta but this was worth the splurge!

CAPRESE PASTA

Serves 2-3

8 oz. bow tie pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sungold (cherry) tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons pesto (reference Pesto recipe or purchase)
1 cup cubed smoked mozzarella cheese (or mini mozzarella balls)
extra basil leaves for garnish

  • Prepare pesto and set aside. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until just under al dente then drain and set aside. Place an oven rack to the very top, then preheat broiler.
  • Heat oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cherry tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then toss and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add cooked pasta and pesto then toss to combine. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top then place skillet under the broiler until cheese melts. Using a pot holder, remove skillet from oven then sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Slightly adapted from Alexandra Cooks; and Iowa Girl Eats

Family Favorites · Gluten Free · New Favorite · New Traditions · Vegetarian

Pesto Schmesto…on Pizza and Caprese Salad

Have I told you I love pesto?  Fresh ingredients and CHEESE…what’s not to like?  My basil did well this year and I’ve enjoyed a few batches of this tasty delight. This year I tried a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats blog.  After all, a recipe originating from a cook in my home state of Iowa gets my attention. I like her recipe because it’s small in proportions but you can double, triple, etc. based on your desired volume.

PESTO SCHMESTO

25-28 fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
salt & pepper to salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in the food processor.
  • Pulse until finely ground.
  • Slowly stream in the olive oil and pulse until smooth.

Adapted from Pesto by Iowa Girl Eats

PESTO PIZZA

Udi’s GF pizza crust (or precooked crust of your liking)
Pesto
Thinly sliced zucchini
Slow roast tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
Turkey or chicken (or omit for vegetarian pizza)
Shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Mozzarella)

  • Layer the ingredients on the pizza crust in the order given.
  • Bake per crust instructions until pizza is hot, cheese is melted.  YUMMMMM.

PESTO CAPRESE SALAD

Fresh sliced tomatoes
Fresh sliced buffalo mozzarella
Pesto
salt & pepper

  • Layer in order above and enjoy!
New Favorite · New Traditions · Vegetarian

Avocado and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Avocado + Goat Cheese + basil + olive oil + tomato = taste bud explosion!

AVOCADO AND GOAT CHEESE BRUSCHETTA

Baguette
1 avocado
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
basil leaves
1/4 cup goat cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

  • Slice the baguette and toast the bread.
  • Slice and pit the avocado.  Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, place in a bowl.
  • Mash the avocado and mix in the lime juice and chopped basil.
  • Add the goat cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix together,
  • Spread the mixture onto the toast.
  • Add a basil leaf to each piece of toast and top with a half of a sun gold tomato (or cherry tomato).
New Traditions

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad is nothing new but when made with Black Krim tomatoes from my friend, Jan, it takes on a whole new level of yumminess. On another day, I’ll try Caprese Salad with the Green Zebra tomatoes she grows!

CAPRESE SALAD

sliced fresh tomatoes
sliced buffalo mozzarella
fresh basil leaves
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper

  • Wash and slice the tomato(s) about 1/2 inch thick, place on a platter or plate.
  • Slice the buffalo mozzarella about 1/4 inch thick and place on top of tomato.
  • Top with a fresh basil leaf.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar; salt and pepper to taste.
New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Summer’s Harvest Salad

Every two months a group of great friends meet for a themed potluck before our book club gathering.  This month, an hour before our meeting, I had nothing.  It had been a busy day and I was fresh out of ideas and time.  After writing about food it seemed tacky to run to the grocery store and buy something…God forbid!

I stood in my kitchen and contemplated my next move when suddenly I saw a bowl of sun gold tomatoes from my garden and an avocado.  Hmmmm.  I quickly looked up a few recipes using those ingredients and then decided, ‘what the heck’, I’ll just through a bunch of vegetables in a bowl and toss with Greek Dressing (or vinaigrette) and call it good.

What resulted was a yummy refreshing summer’s harvest salad.  It’s a keeper!

SUMMER’S HARVEST SALAD

Sun Gold (or cherry tomatoes) halved
Fresh Sweet corn, cooked and cut from the cob
Chopped Avocado
Chopped green or sweet white onion
Chopped fresh basil
Salt & Pepper
Balsamic vinaigrette (or Greek Dressing)

New Favorite · New Traditions · Vegetarian

Strawberry Bruschetta

Ok, I’m on a Pinterest roll this week.  I LOVE this website and used so many ideas from Pinterest for both daughter’s weddings.  I noticed several family and friends pinned this Strawberry Bruschetta and I had to try it.  It is amazingly simple yet fantastically delicious.  I’m made it for parties, assembled and ready to serve.  It’s like dessert for an appetizer.  It feels soooo right.

It’s summer!  Enjoy!

STRAWBERRY BRUSCHETTA

1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced
1 tbsp. sugar
1 French baguette
4 oz. goat cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup minced basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the  strawberries and sugar in a small bowl; toss to combine.  Let the berries sit for about 30 minutes so that they begin to release their juices.  Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on top of each baguette slice.  Top each slice with spoonfuls of the strawberry mixture.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Top each slice with the basil leaves and cracked pepper, to taste.

Slightly adapted from Whole Foods via The Curvy Carrot and via annies-eats.com