Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Homemade Oven-Dried Tomatoes

One of my favorite snacks is sun-dried tomatoes. They are add so much depth to recipes, antipasti platters, or even on grilled cheese or deli sandwiches (sangwiches, as we call them where I grew up). Why pay $7-8 a pound at the salumeria when you can make them at home for a fraction of the cost? 

 I like to buy a boatload of Roma tomatoes when the go on sale and make a huge batch of these oven-dried tomatoes. Try it; it's such a cinch! you'll never go back to paying an arm and a leg for these babies again!


3-4pounds of Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup of Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 cup of chopped fFresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
3-4  garlic cloves.(smashed)


 Slice tomatoes in half, toss in olive oil and sea salt, slow- roast on 200 degrees for 6-7 hours. 

When leathery and dehydrated, dump into a small bowl and add more olive oil and about 4-5 smashed garlic cloves and cover. Refrigerate. Allow to blossom overnight.) 

Amazing on a sandwich, in a pasta dish, salads, or just all on their own!  They are little flavor bombs that really pack a kapow punch!! 

 Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ensalata de Fagioli

My grandparents had the most respectable fruit and vegetable garden. And, the pole beans seems to shoot up for miles. We would sit in the back yard and eat them right off the vine; we didn't care about washing them, or anything. This is, absolutely,one of my favorite salads. The beans are blanched, so they are tender, with a little crunch, still. You could use dried basil if you do not have your own pesto, but I happen to have a bunch of it, so it's what I used. I have to say, the combination of the pesto with the balsamic vinegar is what really makes this dish. Be careful not to use too much balsamic (only a cap), as it is sweet. Summer is right around the corner, so you should really try this! Salute!


*1 pound of organic green string beans (trimmed)
*3 tablespoons of basil pesto
Organic pole beans from our garden, 2011
*2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
*2 tablespoons for balsamic vinegar
* ½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1.) In a large pot, bring water to a boil and salt water liberally.  Add the beans and blanch until they are limp but still have a little snap.
2.) Create an ice bath with a large bowl, a few cups of cold water and ice cubes, filling about 1/2 of bowl.
3.) When beans are blanched, strain water and add beans to the ice cubes.  This will shock the beans so they stop cooking.
4.) In a small bowl, add pesto, garlic powder, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Stir to incorporate.
5.) Transfer cooled beans to a clean, large bowl and toss thoroughly with pesto/basil vinaigrette.
6.)  Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes to blossom.
7.) Serve at room temperature, warm, or cold.