RECIPES

Blue Cheese Crostini

• 2 cups halved seedless red grapes

• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

• 1 1/2 tablespoons shallot

• 2 teaspoons olive oil

• 1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 (12-oz.) French baguette, cut into 20  slices

• 3 tablespoons butter

• 2-3 ounces crumbled blue cheese

• 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans

• Garnish: chopped fresh thyme

 

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss together first 6 ingredients. Arrange grapes in a single layer in a small roasting pan; bake 15 to 20 minutes or until grapes wilt and liquid forms a thin syrup. Remove from oven.

2. Increase oven temperature to broil with oven rack 7 inches from heat. Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Stir together butter and cheese, and spread evenly over bread slices. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Spoon grape mixture over toasted bread, and sprinkle with pecans.

*Timesheraldonline

 

 

Marinated Mozzarella

• 3 (8-oz.) blocks mozzarella cheese $

• 1 (8.5-oz.) jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained and halved

• 1/2 cup olive oil

• 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 teaspoon onion powder

• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

• 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

• Garnish: flat-leaf parsley sprigs or fresh rosemary stems

 

Preparation

1. Cut blocks of cheese into 1-inch cubes. Arrange cheese cubes and tomato halves in an 8-inch square baking dish.

2. Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, chopped parsley, and next 6 ingredients; pour evenly over cheese cubes. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Transfer mixture to a serving plate. Garnish with fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, or spear tomato halves and cheese cubes with short rosemary stems, if desired. Drizzle with marinade, if desired.

*bigoven

 

Bruschetta with tomato & basil by Jamie Oliver

• 2 handfuls nice mixed ripe tomatoes

• 1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves picked

• sea salt

• freshly ground black pepper

• olive oil

• good-quality white wine or herb vinegar

 

The bread is best sliced 1cm thick and toasted on a barbecue, but it can also be done in a griddle pan for ease at home. After that it should be lightly rubbed a couple of times with a cut clove of garlic, then drizzled with some good extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The toppings can be as humble or as luxurious as you like, from chopped herbs or a squashed tomato with basil, to marinated vegetables or beautiful cheeses, to lovely flaked crabmeat. The only rule is that whatever goes on top of a bruschetta should be nice and fresh and cooked with care.

 

Make sure your tomatoes are really ripe when making this topping. Give them a wash, remove their cores and carefully squeeze out the seeds. Place in a bowl, tear in the basil, season with salt and pepper, then toss with a good glug of olive oil and a good swig of vinegar to balance the flavours to your taste. You can serve the tomatoes either chunky or finely chopped, or you can scrunch them between your fingers before putting them on your basic bruschette – really tasty.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese by Jamie Oliver

• 3 red onions

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 3 carrots

• 3 sticks of celery

• 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

• olive oil

• 500 g lean beef mince

• 1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes

• 1 tabelspoon tomato purée

• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or red wine vinegar

• 3 fresh bay leaves

• 1 organic low-salt beef stock cube

• sea salt

• freshly ground black pepper

• 500 g dried spaghetti

• Optional:

• 40 g Parmesan cheese

 

Method

1. On a chopping board, peel and finely chop the onions, garlic and carrots, then trim and finely chop the celery.

2. Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves.

3. Put a large saucepan on a medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.

4. Add the bacon, rosemary, garlic and veg, then cook with the lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened and just turning golden, stirring occasionally.

5. Stir in the mince, turn the heat up to high and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until browned all over,stirring and breaking it up with a spoon as you go.

6. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, vinegar and bay leaves.

7. Fill and boil the kettle.

8. Crumble in the stock cube and pour in 400ml boiling water.

9. Stir well, turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil.

10. Season with pepper, reduce to a low heat, then cover and simmer for around 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

11. Remove the lid and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened and reduced. Meanwhile...

12. Re-fill and boil the kettle.

13. Carefully fill a large pot three quarters of the way up with boiling water, add a tiny pinch of salt and bring back to the boil.

14. Add the spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions – you want to cook your pasta until it is al dente. This translates as 'to the tooth' and means that it should be soft enough to eat, but still have a bit of a bite and firmness to it. Use the timings on the packet instructions as a guide, but try some just before the time is up to make sure it's perfectly cooked.

15. Using a microplane, finely grate the Parmesan cheese onto a clean chopping board (if using).

16. Once the spaghetti is done, ladle out and reserve a cup of cooking water and keep it to one side, then drain in a colander over the sink.

17. Taste the Bolognese sauce and season with a little more pepper or vinegar, if you think it needs it.

18. Carefully pick out and discard the bay leaves.

19. Put half the sauce into a container, leave to cool, then freeze for another day.

20. Stir the spaghetti into the remaining sauce, adding a splash of pasta water to loosen, if needed.

21. Divide between bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if using), then serve.

 

Jamie's top tip: "This recipe makes double the amount of sauce you need, so freeze half for another day."

 

Classic tomato spaghetti by Jamie Oliver

• a bunch of fresh basil

• 1 medium onion

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 1 kg ripe tomatoes, or 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

• olive oil

• tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar

• sea salt

• freshly ground black pepper

• 500 g dried spaghetti

• 15 g parmesan cheese

 

Method

Once you've made this a few times you can add other simple ingredients, such as baby spinach, chopped rocket leaves, or fresh or frozen peas, to your basic tomato sauce to completely transform it.

1. Pick the basil leaves onto a chopping board (reserving a few baby leaves to garnish), then roughly chop the remaining leaves and finely chop the stalks.

2. Peel and finely slice the onion and garlic. If using fresh, cut the tomatoes in half, then roughly chop them or carefully open the tins of tomatoes.

3. Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onion, then cook for around 7 minutes, or until soft and lightly golden.

4. Stir in the garlic and basil stalks for a few minutes, then add the fresh or tinned tomatoes and the vinegar.

5. Season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, then continue cooking for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Stir in the chopped basil leaves, then reduce to low and leave to tick away. Meanwhile…

7. Carefully fill a large pot three-quarters of the way up with boiling water, add a tiny pinch of salt and bring back to the boil.

8. Add the spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions – you want to cook your pasta until it is al dente. This translates as 'to the tooth' and means that it should be soft enough to eat, but still have a bit of a bite and firmness to it. Use the timings on the packet instructions as a guide, but try some just before the time is up to make sure it's perfectly cooked.

9. Once the pasta is done, ladle out and reserve a cup of the cooking water and keep it to one side, then drain in a colander over the sink and tip the spaghetti back into the pot.

10. Stir the spaghetti into the sauce, adding a splash of the pasta water to loosen, if needed.

11. Serve with the reserved basil leaves sprinkled over the top and use a microplane to finely grate the Parmesan cheese, then sprinkle over.

 

Jamie's top tips: It's important to season the cooking water so that the pasta can absorb it as it cooks. Once you've made this a few times you can add other simple ingredients, such as baby spinach, chopped rocket leaves, or fresh or frozen peas, to your basic tomato sauce to completely transform it.

 

Grilled Peach-and-Avocado Salad

Ingredients

• 1 large peach, peeled and chopped

• 6 tablespoons canola oil

• 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white vinegar

• 1/2 teaspoon honey

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

• 3 large peaches, peeled and halved

• 2 firm avocados, peeled and quartered

• 1 tablespoon canola oil

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 6 cups loosely packed arugula

• 1/2 cup freshly grated Manchego or Parmesan

 

Preparation

Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Process 1 large peach, peeled and chopped; 6 Tbsp. canola oil; vinegar; and honey in a blender until smooth. Add 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper. Gently toss 3 large peaches, peeled and halved, and avocados in 1 Tbsp. canola oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill, covered with grill lid, 2 minutes on each side or until charred. Slice and serve over arugula. Top with peach vinaigrette and Manchego or Parmesan.

 

Herbed Potato Salad

• 2 pounds red potatoes, cubed $

• 1 (14-oz.) can fat-free chicken broth $

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt $

• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

• 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise $

• 2 tablespoons olive oil $

• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

• 1 teaspoon salt $

• Garnishes: fresh dill sprig, chopped toasted pecans

 

Preparation

1. Bring first 3 ingredients and 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool 30 minutes.

2. Whisk together yogurt and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl until combined.

3. Gently fold potatoes into yogurt mixture. Cover and chill 1 to 12 hours. Garnish, if desired.

 

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

• Cooking spray or 1 teaspoon olive oil

• 1 cup chopped onion $

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth $

• 1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets

• 2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk $

• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

• 8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light) $

 

Preparation

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

 

Tomato-Basil Soup

• 4 cups chopped seeded peeled tomato (about 4 large) $

• 4 cups low-sodium tomato juice $

• 1 teaspoon olive oil

• 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

• 1 cup 1% low-fat milk $

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

• 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened $

• Basil leaves, thinly sliced (optional) $

• 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette

 

Preparation

Bring tomato and juice to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Place tomato mixture and basil in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan; stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Add cream cheese, stirring well with a whisk, and cook over medium heat until thick (about 5 minutes). Ladle soup into individual bowls; garnish with sliced basil, if desired. Serve with bread.

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