Tag Archive: appetizers

Crostini with cannelini beans and fried sage

August 20, 2017

This is a very Italian dish and like most Italian food it is simple and delicious. “Simple” I mean in a sophisticated way. Viva Italia. I cook beans frequently and tend to have some on hand most of the time so it’s easy for me to make these crostini without having to cook them from scratch. The beans can be homemade, slow cooked with aromatics, or if you don’t cook beans from scratch then use good... View Article

Crostini with fresh ricotta, herbs and figs

June 5, 2017

The ricotta I picked at the market the other day from Bella Stella Cheese and used with the pappardelle was also good on crostini with garden herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, figs and balsamic crema. Ingredients: 6 slices bread of your choice Olive oil 2 cups ricotta Salt and pepper A handful of fresh summer herbs (chives, dill, parsley) Micro greens 3 ripe figs Balsamic crema (I used fig balsamic) Directions: Brush the bread... View Article

Mini zucchini “pizza” bites

August 18, 2016

The larger zucchini that have grown to a considerable diameter can be used for many things, one being a base for mini “pizza” rounds. This is kind of fun as an appetizer and if you use prepared toppings, it’s not that much work to prepare. I had small jars of pizza sauce and artichoke pesto from William Sonoma that I needed to use and were perfect for this little recipe. You can get more creative... View Article

Watermelon bites with feta mousse

July 15, 2016

Here is something fun to make with sweet summer watermelons. Did you know that watermelon and feta is a delicious combination? something about the sweet and salty that makes your palate sing. Cut the watermelon into 1.5 inch slices, as even as you can, then punch out rounds or squares with a small cookie cutter. These should be a one bite thing so don’t use too large cookie cutters. With a melon ball cutter scoop... View Article

4-Cheese fritters with green and red tomato jam

July 7, 2016

I haven’t made cheese fritters in a while. After trying them at a cooking class party a few years ago I made them a few times but then moved on to other things. Last night I needed a few appies for a group of 6 who was coming over for a glass of wine before dinner at a local winery. I was browsing my blog, found these long lost fritters and felt up to the... View Article

Flatbread with olive oil and homemade za’atar

December 24, 2015

Zaatar is the sine qua non of middle eastern cooking. It’s indispensable for its flavour and versatility. Zaatar, meaning thyme in Arabic, refers not to thyme but to a slightly tangy, intensely aromatic  spice blend that can be used to flavour many dishes, middle eastern or not. As with all things culinary, there are many versions of zaatar with ingredients ranging from thyme, oregano, minty hyssop, tangy sumac, marjoram and sesame seeds and I have... View Article

Grilled scallions with Salibitxada sauce

September 9, 2015

When we were in Spain we  were lucky to be in Barcelona during the calçot season and I wrote about the experience here. Calçot is a type of scallion or green onion, only it is grown in a special way that makes it much thicker, more like the size of a slender leek. It is a specialty of Catalunya and the Calçot from Valls in Tarrragona (a province of Catalunya) has a a DOC status... View Article

Bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes

September 8, 2015

This is a recipe that needs no introduction. It’s one of the most popular  dishes to come out of Italy but if you travel you’d know that almost every country has a version of this delicious bread and tomato dish. In Spain they have the delicious pan con tomate, where they rub a tomato over a grilled piece of bread. We had this for breakfast throughout out two months stay in Spain and i am... View Article

Fig and gorgonzola flatbread

September 3, 2015

I can never resists fresh, ripe figs when I see them. More often than not I enjoy them fresh on their own but I also make a few things with them. They are nice roasted and served with salted orange caramel, added to salad or on top of a pizza. One thing to keep in mind about figs is that unlike other fruits, they don’t ripen sitting on your counter. They have to be picked... View Article

Summer dips: Roasted eggplant with tahini

August 20, 2015

I have taken to entertain friends for a glass of wine and appetizers instead of long, multi course dinners. It gives me a chance to visit rather than be up and down preparing, plating, serving and clearing. Not that dinner entertaining is over, but now when the weather is good it’s easy to say “come for a glass of wine”. So far no one filed any complaints. Since I keep my kitchen mainly vegetarian I... View Article

Steam fried baby artichokes with lemon-chive aioli

August 12, 2015

One of the local organic farms here grow lovely baby artichokes and whenever I go there I clean up their daily harvest of these little gems. Today I thought I’d cook them to a golden crispiness in olive oil, although I forgot about grilling them, that would have been good as well. So many options, so little time. Trimming a full grown artichoke is a bit of an undertaking but well worth it. The little... View Article

Roasted garlic

August 5, 2015

Roasted garlic is useful in the kitchen and very easy to make. Roasting makes the garlic mild and slightly sweet and the texture becomes creamy and spreadable. Use it to: Spread on a pizza before piling other ingredients Fold into mashed potatoes Add to pasta Add to sauces Add to soups Serve as a spread with crostini Make roasted garlic oil Add wherever a mild garlic flavour is desired   Keep in mind it is... View Article