Bruschetta with Mediterranean Tomato Topping

Inspired by a great recipe from Emeril Lagasse, this bruschetta recipe is vegan friendly!

Ingredients

20 (1/2-inch) slices French bread
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and small diced
2 tablespoons basil chiffonade, plus more for garnishing
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the slices of French bread on a baking sheet and lightly brush with half of the olive oil. Season with half of the salt and half of the pepper. Bake until lightly golden and crispy, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

While the toasts are baking combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and stir to blend.

Serve each toast with a heaping tablespoon of the tomato mixture and garnish with additional basil, if desired.

Reference
Bruschetta with Mediterranean Tomato Topping

Caprese Sandwich

First post back from Thanksgiving! If I learned anything from this post and the next post that’s coming up this week, photographing sandwiches are not my strongest point. I wish I could have photographed this sandwich to look as good as it tasted. I previously posted a recipe for Caprese Pasta Salad so this weekend I decided that I would try making a Caprese sandwich. Here’s how I went about it.

Ingredients

Basil pesto sauce
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Whole fresh basil leaves
Sliced mozzarella cheese
Sliced sun-dried tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes, whatever you prefer)
Whole wheat ciabatta bread

To assemble sandwich, slice ciabatta bread horizontally in half. On one half, spread pesto sauce. On the other half, spread balsamic vinaigrette. On either half of the sandwich, stack the sliced mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and tomatoes. Combine both bread halves together and consume.

Artichoke Pasta Salad with Roasted Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I love love love this recipe. I pretty much used Alton Brown’s Artichoke Pasta Salad recipe with a few small changes to quantities and a couple ingredients. The herb oil is fantastic! I have been making this dish over and over again over the past couple of weeks because I can’t get enough of it. So good!

Ingredients

2 cups cooked whole wheat penne pasta, cooled
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons herb oil, recipe follows
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned 
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted chicken
1/4 cup roughly chopped marinated artichokes
1/4 cup sliced black olives
2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large bowl toss all of the ingredients. Serve or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Herb Oil:

1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 cup packed fresh basil
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 cup packed fresh oregano
1/2 orange, zested
1 whole dried arbol chile
1 teaspoon whole black pepper corns
2 cups canola oil
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a 1-quart mason jar or glass container, place all of the herbs, zest, chile, and peppercorns. Pour both oils into a saucepan and heat to 200 degrees F. Pour the hot oils into the jar and cover with a kitchen towel. Let stand overnight.

Place cheesecloth or strainer over the top of the jar and replace the outer rim of the lid. Invert and strain oil into desired container.

Basil Pesto

I love pesto! Particularly basil pesto. Finding a good store-brought pesto anywhere is almost impossible. I have tried. However, this recipe is my go-to when I want basil pesto.

Ingredients

Leaves from 1 large bunch basil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Fresh lemon juice

Add basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic to a food processor; chop. Adding olive oil in a thin stream while pulsing ingredients in food processor. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, processing briefly to mix.

References
Pesto Tips and Recipes