Displaying items by tag: appetizers

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Although charcuterie is a trendy dish in many restaurants, it makes a refreshing main course for a summer dinner.  Buy your favourite kinds and serve with this hearty salad dressed with bagna cauda vinaigrette, a tradtional Italian dip for vegetables.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

BAGNA CAUDA VINAIGRETTE
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped anchovies
1 tsp chopped capers
½ tsp chopped garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
 

CHARCUTERIE
4 oz Prosciutto
4 oz Cured Sausage
2 oz Bresola
4 oz shaved Parmesan

1 cup sugar snap peas
6 radishes, thinly sliced

4 green onions cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces

½ fennel bulb, shaved
4 figs, quartered


METHOD
Stir lemon juice with anchovies, capers and garlic in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.

Arrange meat and Parmesan around a large platter. Slice sugar snap peas in half, lengthwise. Toss sugar snaps, radishes, green onions and fennel with half of the vinaigrette and figs and  mound in the centre of platter. Place remaining vinaigrette in a bowl to serve with the dish. 

07.08.2013
Published in Recipes

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A tangle of baby shrimp top this easy chilled soup. Look for ripe avocados that have a little give to them.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ready time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4 

4 green onions, coarsely chopped

2 ripe avocados, peeled and cut in chunks

2 cups buttermilk

2 cups baby spinach

1 tbsp lime juice

Salt to taste

 

GARNISH

4 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

1 green onion, chopped

1 tbsp finely chopped jalapeno

4 oz cooked baby shrimp, chilled

 

METHOD

Place all the ingredients for the soup in a food processor and puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning adding more lime juice and salt as needed. 

Garnish with chopped tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and baby shrimp.

 

07.08.2013
Published in Recipes

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The culinary scene in sedate Palm Springs, Calif. has been getting a welcome jolt over the past few years from a couple of young upstarts named Tara Lazar and Marco Rossetti. The pair owns Birba, a stylish pizza-and-cocktails place, as well as Jiao, a hip new Asian spot. One of my favourite dishes at Birba is the burrata with caponata, a perfect appetizer for this time of year and easy to make at home. In Italian, burrata means “buttered,” an indication of just how decadent this cheese is. The outside is a thin shell of salty mozzarella, while the interior is creamier and slightly sweet – a fine complement to tangy caponata, a complexly spiced stewed-eggplant dish. Versatile and adaptable, it can be served as an appetizer or a side or even on its own with grilled bread for a light lunch.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Ready time: 1 hour

 INGREDIENTS 

3 tbsp olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1 tsp red-pepper chili flakes

1 tbsp garlic, minced

1 tbsp granulated sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

Pinch cayenne

¼ tsp cocoa powder

1 eggplant (about 500 grams),

cubed in 1-inch pieces

1 red pepper, seeded

and finely diced

1 tbsp dried cranberries

1 tbsp pine nuts

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp capers

¼ cup water

1 or 2 balls burrata

(depending on size)

Toasted ciabatta

 

METHOD

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, chili flakes, garlic, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne and cocoa powder. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until onions start to brown, stirring continuously to prevent spices from burning. Add the eggplant and red pepper and cook until they begin to brown (about 4 to 5 minutes).

Stir in cranberries, pine nuts, vinegar and capers. Sauté for 4 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.

Add water and bring to a boil, stirring. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until thick, dark and glossy and the flavours melt into each other. Add salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar to taste.

Serve either warm or cooled, with an oozing ball of burrata and crunchy ciabatta.

07.08.2013
Published in Recipes

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Morels can be sautéed in a little butter with garlic and served on toast, or cooked with chicken to make a heady sauce. The one issue with preparing them is cleaning. A quick rinse with warm water and a good shake in a strainer to dislodge the dirt usually works, although some people soak them, which I think soaks out the flavour.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

 

INGREDIENTS

1 pound (450 grams) thick stalks of asparagus, peeled and trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces (125 grams) morel mushrooms

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

4 handfuls mixed spicy greens

Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Sprinkling of Maldon or other flaky salt

 

METHOD

Bring a skillet of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and boil one to two minutes or until still crisp but with a little give. Run under cold water until cool. Pat dry. Cut stalks into thirds on a sharp diagonal.

Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Cut morels in half if large and toss into skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Lower heat and sauté until morels are softened, about five minutes.

Add balsamic vinegar. Toss with asparagus.

Place a handful of greens on four plates and top with asparagus and mushroom mixture.

For vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice. Season with chives and salt. Drizzle over salads.

 

SUGGESTED WINE PAIRINGS

For the asparagus starter, I’d suggest Sancerre, the fine sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley in France. The vegetal flavour of the green spears will resonate with the wine’s herbal character, and there’s often a nuance of chalky mineral to Sancerre, which complements the earthy morels. - Beppi Crosariol

05.06.2013
Published in Recipes

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Spot prawns are available fresh at farmers markets and sustainable-fish stores for the next few weeks or frozen all year. If desired, use medium shrimp instead.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Ready in: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

 

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups sliced leeks, dark green leaves removed

1 cup peeled, diced yellow-flesh potato

4 cups chicken stock

4 bunches sorrel, enough to make 4 packed cups

¼ cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

18 spot prawns or medium tiger shrimp

2 tablespoons chopped chives

 

METHOD

Heat butter in a soup pot over medium. Add leeks and potato and sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Stir in 3 cups sorrel and simmer for 2 minutes or until the sorrel has wilted. Use a hand blender or a food processor to blend it until smooth. Return pot to heat and add cream and lemon juice.

Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining sorrel for the last minute of cooking. Season to taste. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Place spot prawns in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over prawns and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain immediately. Peel, season with salt and pepper and toss with 1 tablespoon of chives.

Spoon soup into 6 bowls. Top with prawns and sprinkle with the remaining chives.

23.05.2013
Published in Recipes

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This healthy salad is the perfect accompaniment to the flavours of the main course. Cavolo nero is black or dinosaur kale. Regular kale can also be used.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

 

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches cavolo nero

green apple, peeled and slivered

2 green onions, sliced

6 radishes, slivered

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

1/4 cup dried cherries

1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped capers

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped mint

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

METHOD

Remove ribs from kale and thinly slice leaves. Add to a salad bowl with apple, green onions, radishes, almonds and dried cherries.

Whisk mayonnaise with mustard, vinegar and capers. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Stir in parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Toss salad with vinaigrette up to 30 minutes before serving.

15.05.2013
Published in Recipes

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Though puntarella is now available in some grocery stores (especially Italian ones), shredded dandelion leaves, radicchio or Belgian endive are good substitutes. You can shred and sauté the thick base of the puntarella in some olive oil for a side dish.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 2 hours, including chilling time

Serves: 4

 

INGREDIENTS

1 head puntarella

1 tablespoon chopped anchovies
 
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
 
¼ cup olive oil
 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
 
Salt and freshly ground pepper
 
 
METHOD
 
Remove stalks from puntarella and thinly slice. Place in ice water along with leaves and refrigerate for about 2 hours; they will curl slightly. Drain well and pat stalks dry.
 
Combine anchovies, garlic, olive oil and lemon. Toss with the puntarella. Taste for seasoning adding more lemon juice, salt and pepper if needed.
 
 
SUGGESTED WINE PAIRINGS 
 
These almost-fashionable greens bring to mind a few almost-fashionable Italian whites, such as greco di tufo, falanghina and insolia, all from the south. Verdicchio from the central-northern Marche region is another good option. They’re all crisp and herbal and happy to swim with the caper-adorned fish, too. Should you prefer more heft, try white Burgundy, especially if you have access to a cellared bottle with a characteristically nutty note that echoes the brown butter.Red? Yikes. The acidity and bitterness here will unhinge all but the crispest examples. Stay on the light side, as in Beaujolais from France or dolcetto from Italy.
 
- Beppi Crosariol
17.04.2013
Published in Recipes

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Cut all vegetables the same length (about 5 inches) so they peek out of the roll.

 

Prep time: 30 minutes 

Ready in: 40 minutes

Makes: 8 rolls 

 

INGREDIENTS

100 grams (4 ounces) thin rice vermicelli

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
 
1 teaspoon sesame oil
 
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
 
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
 
8 8-inch rice papers
 
1/2 cup mint leaves
 
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed
 
2 small carrots, cut into matchsticks
 
1 5-inch length of English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
 
3 green onions, cut into matchsticks

 

METHOD 

Cook vermicelli according to package directions. Rinse cooked noodles under cool water. Drain and reserve.

Stir hoisin with sesame oil, vinegar and ginger in a small bowl. Reserve.

Soak one rice paper in warm water until soft, about 2 minutes. Transfer onto a damp tea towel. Fold in half, making a half moon. Place 2 or 3 mint leaves in the centre. Top with 1/4 cup vermicelli noodles. Drizzle 1 teaspoon hoisin over noodles. Top with 2 heaping tablespoons chicken. Lay 3 to 4 matchsticks carrots, cucumbers and green onions over the chicken. Fold one side of the rice paper over the filling then firmly roll into a cylinder. Repeat with remaining rice papers and filling. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with remaining sauce.

 

SUGGESTED WINE PAIRINGS 

Lucy has referenced children in her introduction to the tostadas, so permit me to start with a non-alcoholic suggestion: lemonade. You can festively rim the glasses with sugar and call them “margaritas,” an enchanting word for kids to pronounce. Lemonade would suit the entire menu, in fact. For adults, the genuine margarita – 1 ounce tequila, 1 ounce fresh lime juice and 2/3 ounce triple sec shaken with ice – is a fine choice for all three recipes. So is a bloody Mary. On the wine side, keep things zippy or boldly fruity or both. These are spicy-zesty dishes that call for punchy fruit. Sauvignon blanc is ideal if you favour white. Good reds include zippy Beaujolais or fuller-bodied Chilean merlot or California red zinfandel (though the crisp, light salad rolls really beg for white). - Beppi Crosariol

10.04.2013
Published in Recipes

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Tiny ones make great appetizers.

 

Prep time: 25 minutes

Ready in: 45 minutes

Makes: 8 sliders

 

INGREDIENTS 

Red Cabbage Slaw: 

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded red cabbage

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

 

Chicken: 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed

1 cup best-quality barbecue sauce

8 slider buns, toasted

 

METHOD

Combine vinegar, sugar, lime juice and salt in small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and set aside.

Toss cabbage and onions in a large bowl with vinegar mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic and paprika and cook for 30 more seconds, or until paprika is fragrant. Add chicken and stir until chicken has absorbed the spices. Add barbecue sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce is thick and rich.

Load each bun with 1/4 cup pulled chicken and top with a mound of cabbage slaw.

 

SUGGESTED WINE PAIRINGS

Lucy has referenced children in her introduction to the tostadas, so permit me to start with a non-alcoholic suggestion: lemonade. You can festively rim the glasses with sugar and call them “margaritas,” an enchanting word for kids to pronounce. Lemonade would suit the entire menu, in fact. For adults, the genuine margarita – 1 ounce tequila, 1 ounce fresh lime juice and 2/3 ounce triple sec shaken with ice – is a fine choice for all three recipes. So is a bloody Mary. On the wine side, keep things zippy or boldly fruity or both. These are spicy-zesty dishes that call for punchy fruit. Sauvignon blanc is ideal if you favour white. Good reds include zippy Beaujolais or fuller-bodied Chilean merlot or California red zinfandel (though the crisp, light salad rolls really beg for white). - Beppi Crosariol

10.04.2013
Published in Recipes

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Our friend Woody Wells drew inspiration for this salad from Judy Rodgers, author of the classic The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. Do not dress the salad until right before serving. For texture make sure the breadcrumbs are coarse, not finely processed.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ready in: 20 minutes

Serves: 8

 

INGREDIENTS

Garnish:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

3 Belgian endives, shredded

1 head radicchio, shredded (about 6 cups)

11/4 cups chopped red onion

1 egg, hard-boiled

 

Vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 anchovies, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

METHOD

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and toast, stirring until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Place endive and radicchio in a medium bowl with onion. Grate egg over the salad.

Whisk together mustard, anchovies, garlic, vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss salad with vinaigrette, then breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.

 

WINE PAIRING

This salad, enticing though it is, will be kind to no wine. Pungent mustard, sharp vinegar, egg, raw onion – that’s quite the arsenal. Best to go with a very crisp, light Mediterranean white. -Beppi Crosariol

13.03.2013
Published in Recipes