Sunday, September 6, 2015

Rhubarb Apple Crumble

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 40 minutes

One can hardly go wrong with a rhubarb apple crumble for dessert. It is comfort food from way back, a nostalgic reminder of one's childhood. You get the best rhubarb in spring and early summer. Choose stalks that are upright and glossy with pale yellow leaves. Stalks that have a tired look and bend easily are old.

Cucumber Yogurt (Cacik)

Servings: 4

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cacik or yogurt with cucumbers and herbs, is a Turkish favorite. Its versatility and easy preparation makes it a perfect companion for grilled  meats and roasted vegetables. It can be enjoyed before or during a meal in place of a salad. It is a cooling dip that can be  eaten alone or with pita bread on the side as part of a meze.

I prefer to use English cucumbers as they have less seeds and are easier to grate. Grating cucumbers give Cacik  more body and a crunchy bite. Passing cucumbers through the food mill will render a more liquified texture to the dip. Your call!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Italian Cauliflower Salad

Servings: 4

Preparation: 30 minutes plus marinating time

Insalata di Cavolfiore, a tasty salad from the southern tip of Italy, from Calabria. The mild taste of the cauliflower is the ideal canvas to complement some Mediterranean favorites like olives, capers, anchovies and peppers. Marinating it overnight will allow the flavors mingle and absorb. Great with roasted meats or as an entrée.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sardine and Potato Bake

 Servings: 4

Preparation time:  1 hour and 15 min.

Sarde in Tortiera is a dish from the Campagna region of Italy. The combination of sardines and potatoes is much reflective of the old times “cucina povera” (the poor's kitchen). Simple and cheap ingredients turned into a much satisfying meal. Ask your fishmonger for clean sardines and your work will be cut in half. Leaving the sardines pretty tails above the casserole's top gives a very attractive look to an otherwise humble dish.

Serve with grilled vegetables on the side and lots of fresh bread to mop up the delicious olive oil sauce.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Salami and Mozzarella Tart

Servings: 4 - 6

Preparation time: 60 min.

A delicious and easy to prepare tart which can be served warm or cold. Cut tart into squares to reveal the colorful layers and pack it as a take along on a picnic or as a satisfying light lunch with a salad, perhaps a tomato salad.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pumpkin Souffle (Uova Zuccate)

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 60 min.

This delicate souffle called Uova Zuccate is a specialty from the Lombardy region in Italy.

A savory fall dish, perfect for vegetarians. For a more formal presentation prepare in individual ramekins. It uses fresh pumpkin, not canned. A clear difference in taste.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Green Bean and Shrimp Salad

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 30 min.

Mediterranean flavors come to life in this colorful salad. A great dish for entertaining. It can be made in advance, even more delicious next day.

Serve as is or with an extra yogurt dressing on the side. A crusty french loaf is the ideal accompaniment.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pan-seared Cod with Green Lentils

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 90 min.

Dos de Cabillaud aux Lentilles Vertes de Puy, a delicious dish from France. The French Green Lentils, also called Puy Lentils, are smaller and tast‪ier than common lentils and very easy for your digestive tract. They are available in most well stocked supermarkets.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Squids Provencal

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 60 min.

Encornets à la Provençale, a very popular dish of the South of France. It is quite easy to prepare. Small squids, readily available frozen, are more tender. Serve the dish with a crusty white bread or rice pilaf.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wax Bean and Roasted Pepper Salad

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 30 min. plus chilling time

A tasty salad from Apulia in the South of Italy. It's a fabulous dish on its own with a crusty white bread and glass of white wine.