~Salads~

Cherry Tomato Caprese     

2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered

½ t. sugar

Salt and Pepper

1 T. balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese cut into ½ inch cubes

1 c. chopped fresh basil 

    1. Toss tomatoes, sugar, and ½ t. salt in a large bowl.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Transfer tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to salad spinner and spin to remove seeds and liquid.  Return tomato to bowl.  Pour tomato liquid through fine mesh strainer set over saucepan, pressing on solids to extract juice.  You should have about ½ cup liquid.
    1. Add vinegar and garlic to pan with tomato liquid and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 3 T., about 5 minutes.  Cool to room temperature, then whisk in oil.
    1. Add cheese, basil and cooled dressing to bowl with tomatoes and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.
 

All-American Cherry Tomato Salad

2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered

½ t. sugar

Salt and Pepper

1 T. cider vinegar

1 shallot, minced

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

8 oz. cheddar cheese cut into ½ inch cubes

3 T. chopped fresh parsley

1 T. maple syrup

6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon

1.      Toss tomatoes, sugar, and ½ t. salt in a large bowl.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Transfer tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to salad spinner and spin to remove seeds and liquid.  Return tomato to bowl.  Pour tomato liquid through fine mesh strainer set over saucepan, pressing on solids to extract juice.  You should have about ½ cup liquid.

2.      Add vinegar and shallots to pan with tomato liquid and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 3 T., about 5 minutes.  Cool to room temperature, then whisk in oil and maple syrup.

3.      Add cheese, parsley and cooled dressing to bowl with tomatoes and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add bacon just before serving.          
 

Tuscan Cherry Tomato 

2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered

½ t. sugar

Salt and Pepper

1 T. red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

½ cup shaved parmesan cheese

1 T. chopped fresh rosemary

1 c. rinsed, drained cannellini beans

 1.      Toss tomatoes, sugar, and ½ t. salt in a large bowl.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Transfer tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to salad spinner and spin to remove seeds and liquid.  Return tomato to bowl.  Pour tomato liquid through fine mesh strainer set over saucepan, pressing on solids to extract juice.  You should have about ½ cup liquid.

 2.      Add vinegar and garlic to pan with tomato liquid and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 3 T., about 5 minutes.  Cool to room temperature, then whisk in oil.

 3.      Add cheese, rosemary and cooled dressing to bowl with tomatoes and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper. Add beans just before serving.

 

NIÇOISE Cherry Tomato

 2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered

½ t. sugar

Salt and Pepper

1 T. white wine vinegar

1 shallot, minced

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 cup crumbled goat cheese

2 T. chopped fresh tarragon

½ c. pitted and chopped kalamata olives

 1.      Toss tomatoes, sugar, and ½ t. salt in a large bowl.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Transfer tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to salad spinner and spin to remove seeds and liquid.  Return tomato to bowl.  Pour tomato liquid through fine mesh strainer set over saucepan, pressing on solids to extract juice.  You should have about ½ cup liquid.

 2.      Add vinegar and shallots to pan with tomato liquid and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 3 T., about 5 minutes.  Cool to room temperature, then whisk in oil.

3.      Add cheese, tarragon and cooled dressing to bowl with tomatoes and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper. Add olives just before serving.

Salade Niçoise

Ingredients:

1 large head Boston-lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1 pound green beans, cooked and refreshed
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 to 2/3 cup basic vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
3 or 4 "boiling" potatoes, peeled, sliced, and cooked
Two 3-ounce cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets
1/3 cup small black Niçoise-type olives
2 to 3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Instructions:

Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter or in a shallow bowl. Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper. Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette. Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals. Ring the platter with halves of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each. Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.

Yield: Serves 6

 Greek Salad

Ingredients

 3/4 pound tomatoes, seeded, cut into chunks

(about 2 cups)

2 cups seeded cucumber, cut into chunks

1 cup red and green bell pepper, cut into chunks

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 ounces)

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives or

other brine-cured black olives, halved

 Dressing:

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teas. dried)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

(rice vinegar or lemon juice)

 Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onions in large bowl and gently toss with dressing.  Top with feta cheese and olives (optional).

Pam’s Fresh Salsa

 4 cups diced tomatoes, sprinkled with salt and left to drain in colander overnight in refrigerator.

2 bunches of green onions, sliced

1-2 bunches of cilantro, remove from stems and lightly chop

2 green peppers, diced

6-8 jalapeno peppers, chopped in food processor to small pieces

4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped with jalapenos in food processor

1 T. lemon pepper

2 T. lemon juice

1 T. Tabasco or hot sauce

 Mix all ingredients with the tomatoes and store in refrigerator.

 Serve with tortilla chips.

 Mix 2 c. salsa with 1 can black beans and 1 can of corn to serve with chips also.

 

Dinner in a Bag

1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic

2 eggplants

2 medium zucchini

1 green pepper

6 Roma tomatoes

Fresh basil

2 cucumbers

Fresh dill

 

Roasted Ratatouille

 

Serves 4

 ¼ c. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks

2 cloves garlic, whole

2 eggplants, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 – inch cubes

Coarse salt and pepper

1 green pepper, ribs and seeds removed and cut into 1 – inch cubes

6 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

¼ c. fresh basil

 

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss onions, garlic, eggplants, zucchini, green pepper and tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread out on a large baking pan.  Roast for 25-35 minutes.  Place into a bowl and stir in shopped fresh basil.  Serve on top of rice or pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

 Cucumber Salad

 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 T. fresh dill, cut

2 T. mayonnaise

2 T. sour cream

1 T. olive oil

1 T. lemon juice

 Combine dill, mayonnaise, sour cream, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (or lemon pepper)  in a bowl and combine.  Add sliced cucumbers and serve.

BLT Salad with Basil Mayo Dressing

½ pound bacon (cooked until crisp and crumbled)

½ c. mayonnaise

2 T. red wine vinegar

¼ c. finely chopped fresh basil

4 slices French bread, cut into ½ inch pieces

1 t. salt

1 t. pepper

1 T. canola oil

1 pound romaine lettuce – rinsed, dried and torn into bite size pieces

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered 

In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, and basil.

 In skillet heat oil and toss bread with salt and pepper over medium-low heat until golden brown.

 In large bowl, mix together romaine, tomatoes, bacon and toasted bread.  Pour dressing over salad and serve.  Or you may serve the dressing on the side.

 

Soups ~ Main Dishes ~ Side Dishes

Ratatouille 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced

1 small eggplant, cubed

2 green bell peppers, coarsely chopped

4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped,

or 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes

3 to 4 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 teaspoon dried leaf basil

(or ¼ cup sliced fresh basil)

1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

 In a 4-quart Dutch oven or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add eggplant; stir until coated with oil. Add peppers; stir to combine. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep vegetables from sticking.

Add tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs; mix well. Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes, or until eggplant is tender but not too soft.
 

Serve over rice or pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.            

 Serves 4.