Friday, 14 August 2015

Salads & Startes

Here are some salad and starters recipes I posted on my previous blog from January 2010 till February 2015.

Sicilian Orange Salad
A typical Mediterranean dish
My grandmother (my mum’s mum, who did not live with us) used to make orange salad every time I went to see her.  She knew I was crazy about it. She was from Cortona in Tuscany but she had married a Sicilian man so she had learned some Sicilian recipes.

For four people you need four oranges, 50g. of black olives, oregano, two tbsp of olive oil and black pepper.
Peel the oranges, slice them into rounds about ¼ inch thick. Put the slices in a bowl and add the olives. Season with olive oil, oregano and pepper.
I love how the sweet, cold juice of the orange mixes with the deep, warm taste of the olive oil.
Let me know if you feel the same.

Caprese
Our favourite holiday dish
As I said before, we often had Caprese during our summer holidays.  We ordered it when we went to the restaurant and I made it every day when we were in Rome and at the seaside.  Everybody enjoyed it.  It is a very simple, tasty dish, ideal in warm or hot weather.  So, keep it in mind for next summer.

For four people you need:
four tomatoes, two mozzarella cheeses, four tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt, basil and oregano.
Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella in slices a quarter of an inch thick.  Arrange them in a line on the plate, starting with a slice of tomato, which you salt, and  then a slice of mozzarella.  Continue alternating a slice of tomato with one of mozzarella and insert a leaf of fresh basil from time to time.  You’ll end with two or three lines on your plate (you can also set them in a circle if you like). Pour on oil and sprinkle them with oregano.
If you like you can add balsamic vinegar, chopped garlic and/or parsley.
A delicious treat!

Salads

From time to time I need to try new dishes or the children complain about “the usual stuff”.  Now that the warm season is approaching there is nothing better than a fresh salad.  Here are some good salad recipes I tested at home.  Try them and let me know what you think.

Salad with mozzarella
For four people you need:
250g mozzarella, two boiled eggs, one lettuce, six tomatoes, ten pitted black olives, ten pitted green olives, half of a yellow pepper, 20g basil, three anchovies, salt, pepper, three tbsp of olive oil, one clove of garlic, wine vinegar.
First prepare the seasoning: mince the basil, garlic and anchovies. Put them in a small bowl and add the olive oil, with thew salt, pepper and vinegar.  Let it rest for about an hour.
Cut the lettuce and the tomatoes in pieces of about an inch and mix them in a large bowl.  Add the mozzarella cut in cubes of the same size, the olives and the pepper cut in strips, and the eggs cut in slices.  Finally add the seasoning and mix well.

Salad with fruit
For four people you need:
One lettuce, one head of celery, two apples, two pears, one lemon, an orange or a grapefruit, 100 g of natural yogurt, salt and paprika.
The seasoning: mix the yogurt with a tsp of lemon juice, salt and paprika.  Line a large bowl with four or five lettuce leaves. Chop the rest of the lettuce, celery, apples and pears.  Mix them in another bowl and add some lemon juice so they don’t discolour.  Cut the orange, or grapefruit, in slices and cut the slices in pieces of about two inches.  Mix them with the fruit salad and add the seasoning.  Pour your salad in the bowl lined with lettuce leaves.  You’ll impress your guests.

Salad with potatoes and tuna
For four people you need:
500g new potatoes, 100g spring greens, 100g tomatoes, 80g tuna, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 or 3 pickled cucumbers.
Peel and cut the potatoes in cubes.  Cook them in boiling water with salt.  Boil the spring greens as well.  Chop the tomatoes and mix them in a bowl with the tuna cut in little pieces.  Add the potatoes, spring greens and pickles cut in cubes, olive oil, salt, pepper and a few drops of vinegar to taste.

Chicken salad
For four people you need:
250g chicken breast, one lettuce, one head of celery, 150g mushrooms marinated in oil, 100g of mild cheese, 2 tbsp of mayonnaise or 2 tbsp of mustard, salt, pepper, 1tbsp of olive oil, half a lemon.
Seasoning: mix the oil with 2tsp of lemon juice, salt, pepper and mustard or mayonnaise.
Cook the chicken breast in water and cut it into strips.  Chop up the celery and mushrooms; add 2 tsp of lemon juice.  Cut the cheese in strips and mix all together.  Add the seasoning.
Buon appetito!

Tuna delicacies
You can have these special titbits as a treat on a warm evening with a glass of cool Pinot Grigio, in your garden or on a terrace, the moon casting its rays on your sequined dress...just a suggestion.
For six people you need: 240 g of tuna, 150 g of ricotta, three boiled eggs, one tbsp of capers, 50 g capers, 50 g butter, the juice of one lemon, salt, pepper and parsley.
First mix and blend the capers, eggs and tuna, then add all the other ingredients.
Let the mixture cool in the fridge for an hour and then serve on canap├ęs, crisp bread or crackers.

Cheese delicacies
This time a red wine (Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino) would work better.
For the titbits you need 150 g of ricotta, 50 g of Double Gloucester, 50 g of red Leicester, 50 g of Mature Cheddar, two tbsp of parmigiano and 50 g of ground nuts.
Blend all the cheeses; add ricotta and parmigiano.  Let the mixture cool in the fridge for one hour.  Form little balls and roll them in the ground nuts.
Buon appetito!

Bruschetta

Simply bread
I make bruschetta frequently, especially at weekends when everybody in my family wants something different.  It is also a perfect starter and an ideal snack for summer days.

You can prepare the bread (slices of a white bloomer loaf are perfect but you can use whatever kind of bread you prefer) inside in the oven or in the grill, or outside on a barbecue.
The bread must turn slightly brown, not too dark or burned.
The basic traditional bruschetta is with garlic, salt and extra virgin olive oil: rub the clove of garlic on the bread and then sprinkle salt and olive oil.
Tasty alternatives can be with a seasoning or a sauce you spread on the bread. Here are some examples:
·        Two tomatoes, olive oil, salt, oregano. Cut the tomatoes in pieces, add salt, oregano and abundant olive oil.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before topping the bread.
·        Two tomatoes, 50 g of mozzarella, salt, olive oil and basil.  Cut the tomatoes and the mozzarella in pieces and add salt, olive oil and one or two leaves of fresh basil.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before topping the bread.
·        Two yolks of boiled eggs, 80 g of tuna, 1tbsp of mayonnaise.  Crush the yolks and the tuna, add the mayonnaise and mix and then spread on the bread.
·        One slice of smoked salmon and some drops of the juice of a lemon.  Cut the salmon in little pieces, lay them on the bread and sprinkle over a few drops of lemon juice.
·        One tbsp of parmigiano, 50 g of ricotta, 50 g of cheddar.  Grate the cheddar, add ricotta and parmigiano, mix and spread on the bread.
·        50 g of brie or feta cheese, 50 g of sardines, olive oil.  Cut the cheese and the sardines in pieces, lay them on the bread and sprinkle over some drops of olive oil.
·        100 g of mushrooms, oil, parsley, salt, pepper, one peeled clove of garlic. Cut the mushrooms in slices and cook them in a frying pan with oil and garlic.  Add a little water and, after 10 minutes, all the other ingredients. Stir and let them simmer for about 10 minutes.  When they are ready you can cover the bread or liquidise them and spread onto the bread.
·        20 g of anchovies, one tsp of capers, five black olives, five green olives, olive oil.   Chop all the ingredients, mix them and spread them on the bread, then sprinkle with olive oil.
·        One red pepper, salt, olive oil and the juice of half a lemon.  Cut the pepper into little cubes and cook them in a frying pan.  Add salt and the juice of half a lemon, then pour over the bread.
·        One tbsp of mascarpone, two slices of ham.  Cut the ham in pieces and mix it with mascarpone.  Arrange them on the bread.
·        Some leaves of lambs' lettuce and some parmigiano or cheddar, diced, salt and olive oil.  Season the lambs' lettuce with salt and olive oil, lay it on the bread and top with the cheese.
Try all of them: they are worth it.







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