Tag Archives: tomatoes

Gina’s Luscious Tomato Bruschetta

img_3205
Luscious tomatoes

img_3207

Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer. It’s a commonly mispronounced Italian word. In America, many people say bru’shetta, but in Italian, it’s pronounced: bru’sketta. How ever you pronounce it, it’s an easy and enticing appetizer. Your guests will enjoy every bite of its lusciousness. I suggest that you have two loaves of bread on hand, in case you burn the first batch. It’s happened to me a couple of times, but luckily, my guests never found out. It’s important that you are glued in front of the oven, because that one extra minute will create an unappealing presentation and an unpleasant taste. Follow me, and let’s have some fun in the kitchen.

Degree of difficulty: Easy –  Serves: 8-10 as an appetizer

Ingredients:

-2 lbs. of grape tomatoes, cut-up
-1/4 tsp. of sea salt
-Freshly ground black pepper, optional
-1 tbsp. flat-leave Italian parsley, chopped
-1 tbsp. basil leaves, chopped
-1-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
-3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (+ more to drizzle)
-2 loaves of bread, sliced diagonally
-Parmegiano Reggiano, parmesan cheese for grating

Preparation: 

1) In a medium-sized ceramic or glass bowl, mix tomatoes, salt, black pepper, parsley, basil, garlic, vinegar and oil together.
2) Refrigerate for a minimum of an hour before serving.
3) In a single layer on a flat tray, drizzle the bread with olive oil and broil for 2-3 minutes until it’s golden brown in color. Remove immediately.
4) Spoon the tomatoes on top of the toasted bread. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve at once. Voila! Repeat the process as needed.

Cook’s Notes:
1) Broil the bread, just before your guests arrive
2) Instead of adding garlic to the tomatoes, you can rub it on the bread before broiling it and then, toss it out. It is an Italian technique.
3) Do not use the top shelf of the broiler as it is too close to the burner.
4) Do not leave the oven unattended.
5) Use Italian or French baguette bread

I hope you will make this delightful appetizer. I suggest you practice broiling the bread a couple days before your event.  This way, by the time your guests arrive, you have mastered the technique.

Wine suggestions: Sparkling wine, Prosecco, Champagne or a lovely crisp white wine of your choice.

Wishing all of you a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year full of bubblies!
Have fun and stay safe!

Gina/Foodiewinelover
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
WSET-Level 2 Certified Wine Connoisseur
Culinary Aficionado & Lover of Global Cuisines

Recipe: Foodiewinelover
Photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover

Gina's Luscious Tomato Bruschetta

Advertisements

Easy Pasta Primavera

As you know by now, I love eating pasta. It is definitely my favorite starch and one of the most versatile food to prepare.  For us South Floridian, it feels like summer already but for most of you, it’s still springtime. The flowers are blooming, and some veggies are in season.  It’s Pasta Primavera time, a simple pasta dish made with fresh vegetables in a cream sauce. It’s easy and delicious.  You can use any pasta shape of your choice, but today I am using a small farfalle. They’re commonly known as bow-tie, and the meaning stands for butterfly in Italian.

Serves: 6-8 as a main meal Level of difficulty: Easy – It takes about 20  minutes from start to finish depending how fast you prep your ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. small farfalle pasta
  • 1/2 head of garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + more to drizzle
  • 15 oz. whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup pasta water, (reserved)
  • 3-4 basil leaves, cut in chiffonade

    Preparation:

    1) In a large frying pan, on medium-high heat, heat up olive oil. Sautee onions for 2-3 minutes, add the garlic, and sautee until you smell the beautiful aroma. Set aside.

    2) Bring the pasta water to a boil. Add a handful of salt, and cook pasta according to package directions. About 5 minutes or so before the time is up, add the asparagus and cook in the same pot to save time. Before draining, reserve 1/2 cup or so of pasta water.

    3) Turn the burner back on with the onions and garlic on low, drop the pasta, season with Italian seasoning and black pepper. Add the tomatoes and  asparagus. Slowly incorporate the ricotta, pasta water and basil.  Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Garnish with some veggies on top to make it enticing. Drizzle with olive oil.  Voila! It’s that easy!

    Wine pairing suggestions: Verdicchio , Gavi or a Sauvignon Blanc will work beautifully with this spring dish.

    Cook’s Tips

    You can use a variety of vegetables such as zucchini, green or red bell peppers. The choice is endless.  For a more flavorful version, roast the veggies in the oven, however, keep in mind, this recipe is meant to save you time. Put your own twist on it, and make it your signature dish.

    A recipe is to be used as a barometer, if you are on a salt-restricted or low-fat diet, cut back on the salt and use a part-skim ricotta cheese.

    Happy Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours,

Easy Pasta Primavera

Recipe by Foodiewinelover
Photo by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover

Follow me on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodieandWineLover/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodieWineLover

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foodieandwinelover/

 

 

Delectable Greek Salad

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece
Acropolis, Athens
Acropolis, Athens

 

I love Greek cuisine, and one of the easiest dishes to make, is a classic Delectable Greek Salad. When I make it here in the US, I usually use Romaine or iceberg lettuce along with the other ingredients. Surprisingly, when I was in Greece, I found out, their authentic salad did not call for any lettuce. Back in 2008, taking pictures of food wasn’t popular like today. I don’t have any to share with you because Instagram was non-existent then. However, I will share some of my personal photos taken while visiting some of the famous and breathtaking Greek islands, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Athens.

Serves 2-4 as a side – Add Grilled Chicken or Salmon, and make it a meal for 2.  Difficulty, super easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tomato, cut up in wedges
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut up in wedges
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  •  A handful of Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 3-4 oz. of Feta cheese, crumbled, and a square for garnish
  • Red wine vinegar, lots of drizzle to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to your heart’s content
  • Himalayan sea salt, or sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon oregano

Preparation:

Place the tomatoes, Feta cheese, cucumbers, onions, olives, peppers in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle with red wine vinegar, and a generous amount of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well. Garnish with a nice piece of Feta. Voila! You got yourself a lovely and refreshing Greek salad.

Tips #1)  Always use more olive oil than vinegar. In general, the ratio is 2-3 parts oil for 1 part vinegar.

Tip #2) You can eye-ball the measurements, use a jar with a spout, it gives you more control. Most of all, as a homecook, you should always taste your food. If you like it, the chances are, your loved ones will too.

I hope you will make this delicious salad, and bring it to a picnic!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Kali Orexi!

Delectable Greek Salad
Greek Salad

 

Greek Salad

Mykonos
Mykonos

 

Rhodes, Greece
Rhodes

Refreshing Gazpacho

Continue reading Refreshing Gazpacho

Helene’s Delicious Tabbouleh

Happy New Week everyone! I’d love to share with you, my favorite salad that my Mom taught me. Her name is Helene and her background is from the Middle East. It is sometimes called Tabouleh or Tabouli.You will love this recipe because it’s delicious and very refreshing. You can make it on hot summer days or cold winter nights. Either way, it will be delectable.

 

img_5976
Tabbouleh

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 cup finely cracked wheat, which can be found at specialty stores *
  • 1.5 cup of water
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 cups chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 5 scallions, sliced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional

PREPARATION:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, soak the cracked wheat in water for about 20 to 30 minutes until all the water is fully absorbed.
  2. In the meanwhile, chop and prep all your ingredients.
  3. Add all the ingredients in the wheat and give it a good stir. Taste it and adjust as needed. Chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours for maximum flavor. Most of the time, the oil will be absorbed during the chilling process. You will need to add some extra lemon juice and olive oil  to moisten the salad and give it that glistening look.
  4. Place the salad in a serving bowl and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

* You can substitute the cracked wheat with bulgur or quinoa. Cook according to package directions. The measurements that I give you are to be used as a barometer. I always recommend that you tweak everything to your taste.

Bon Appetit

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
Foodiewinelover
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
Culinary Aficionado and WSET-Level 2 certified wine connoisseur