• Recipe: Crostini make Oscar-worthy snacks

    Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini with Balsamic Cream, Nuts and Olive Oil

    Set the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil. Bake the crostini, seven to eight minutes, or until lightly toasted. Crostini can be made a few hours before topping. Cover and keep at room temperature until needed.

    Sweet and smoky fruit, tangy cheese and rich walnuts combine in these crostini. Those items are drizzled with balsamic cream. It is syrupy, reduced balsamic vinegar found at specialty food stores and in the deli section or vinegar aisle of most supermarkets.

    Preparation: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: a few minutes
    Makes: 12 crostini

    Ingredients

    1 medium, slightly under-ripe pear
    2 tsp lemon juice
    2 tsp olive oil, plus some for the grill (suggested Extra Virgin Olive Oil OLIORAMA)
    12 crostini
    12 thin slices blue cheese, each large enough to fit the top of the crostini (see Note)
    12 walnut or pecan halves
    • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • balsamic cream, to taste
    12 small rosemary or Italian parsley sprigs (optional)

    Instructions

    Preheat an indoor grill or barbecue to medium-high. Quarter pear lengthwise and remove core. Now cut each quartered pear, lengthwise, into three wedges. Toss pear slices with lemon juice and 2 tsp olive oil. Oil the bars of your grill. Grill the pears about 30 seconds per side, and then set on a plate.

    Set crostini on a serving platter. Top each with a slice of cheese, pear wedge and a walnut or pecan half. Sprinkle with pepper and drizzle with a little balsamic crema. If desired, garnish crostini with a small rosemary or parsley sprig, and then serve.

    Note: Don’t care for blue cheese? Then top crostini with Brie, mascarpone or goat cheese.

    How to make crostini

    To make the crostini, toasted pieces of bread, for today’s recipes, I started with a baguette about two and half to three inches wide, a size that will yield bite-sized crostini. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Slice the baguette, widthwise, into thin slices, stopping when you have the number of crostini you’ll need. Just so you know, a two-foot long baguette will yield about 60 crostini.


    Hummus, Olive and Feta Crostini

    Mediterranean-style bites you can quickly make with store-bought hummus.

    Preparation: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: none
    Makes: 12 crostini

    Ingredients

    12 crostini
    3/4 cup store-bought or homemade hummus
    1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    6 pitted black olives, each quartered
    • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling (suggested Extra Virgin Olive Oil OLIORAMA)
    • finely grated lemon zest, to taste
    • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • fresh oregano leaves, to taste

    Instructions

    Set crostini on a serving platter, and then divide and spread with the hummus. Top each crostini with some feta cheese and two quarter pieces of olive. Drizzle and top each crostini with a little olive oil, grated lemon zest, pepper and oregano leaves, and serve.

    source 

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    Rating: 4.3/10 (13 votes cast)
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    Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini with Balsamic Cream, Nuts and Olive Oil Set the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil. Bake the crostini, seven to eight minutes, or until lightly toasted. Crostini can be made a few hours... 
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  • Recipe: Goat Cheese Spread with Herbs and Olive Oil

    Simplicity is always welcomed and never goes out of style. Goat cheese spread with herbs and olive oil is as easy as it gets.

    A hint of lemon zest adds a freshness and lightness to the cheese spread. The presentation is unique and stunning and will certainly be a hit with your guests.

    This recipe can be used year round and is fitting for any celebratory occasion. Enjoy!

    Ingredients

    8 ounces plain goat cheese

    2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling

    2 tablespoons good quality white dry wine

    kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

    2 tablespoons chopped favorite fresh herbs

    (use several different herbs for better flavor)

    1 ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

    favorite crackers

    Directions

    1. In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, whipping cream, 2 tablespoons olive oil and wine with a hand mixer. If mixture is too thick, add a touch more cream. Season with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon herbs, 1 level teaspoon lemon zest and again blend goat cheese mixture. Readjust seasonings if necessary. Form a ball with the cheese spread.

    2. Wrap goat cheese spread in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    3. To serve, remove plastic wrap and place directly on a tray or in a small bowl that rests on the platter. With the back of the spoon, make a small indentation and drizzle olive oil into it. Sprinkle with reserved herbs, lemon zest and freshly ground pepper. Arrange crackers around the cheese, every cracker must be in place. Presentation is just as important as taste.

    Secret Ingredient – Memory.

    “Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.” — Khalil Gibran

    Recipe source

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    Rating: 3.3/10 (436 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -3 (from 185 votes)
    Simplicity is always welcomed and never goes out of style. Goat cheese spread with herbs and olive oil is as easy as it gets. A hint of lemon zest adds a freshness and lightness to the cheese spread. The presentation is unique and stunning and will certainly be a hit with your... 
    Read More →
  • Exclusive recipe: Black olive tapenade toasts with anchovy, capers and EVOO

    SERVES 6

    Ingredients:
    450g (1lb) pitted black olives
    6 anchovy fillets in oil
    1 clove garlic, crushed to a cream
    2 tsp capers, drained of brine or rinsed of salt
    salt and pepper
    zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
    1 small chilli, finely chopped
    6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 tbsp chopped parsley, chives and/or thyme
    ½ baguette loaf
    1 clove garlic, cut in half

    Directions:

    1. Chop the olives finely with the anchovy fillets, add the garlic and capers and continue chopping until it becomes a soft paste. Place in a small bowl, taste for seasoning, and add lemon zest, chilli and olive oil until it reaches the consistency you like (stiffer to use as a spread but looser if it is to become a sauce).
    2. Finally add either chopped parsley, chives or thyme – or all three. This may be made in advance and kept in the fridge – although it is best to add the fresh herbs just before serving.
    3. Slice a baguette (or similar country-style bread) thinly and place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a medium-hot oven (approximately 180C fan/200C/gas 6) until golden (this may also be done on a char grill – turning over to colour both sides). While still hot, rub each slice with a cut clove of garlic and serve topped with tapenade.

    Recipe source

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    Rating: 3.5/10 (403 votes cast)
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    Rating: +6 (from 136 votes)
    SERVES 6Ingredients: 450g (1lb) pitted black olives 6 anchovy fillets in oil 1 clove garlic, crushed to a cream 2 tsp capers, drained of brine or rinsed of salt salt and pepper zest of 2 lemons, finely grated 1 small chilli, finely chopped 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp... 
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  • Recipe: Olives, As You’ve Seldom Seen Them

    A little creativity spices up this Mediterranean stalwart for tasty cocktail nibbles.

    It’s often said that, as a general rule, most people don’t like change.
    We like things the way we like them, especially if we have been liking them that way for a long time.

    That’s especially true with food.

    Some of us (me!) are thrilled when a skilled restaurant chef changes up a recipe in a fun and delicious new way.

    Others (you know who you are!) cringe when their plate is brought to them and it’s obvious that the kitchen has “done something” to their traditional mashed potatoes. Or that there is a hunk of blue-cheesy butter melting over their perfectly good steak. (Me: “Yay!” Them: “Ugh.”)

    Sometimes change is for the better; it can bring out new flavours and textures you never knew were hiding in there.

    Playing with temperature is one way of changing things for the better. Some foods, especially those that you’ve probably always enjoyed cold, improve immensely when heated.

    NADINE’S GREAT RECIPES

    Hummus is one of those things. Usually you whiz it up in the food processor, store it in the fridge and pull it out when you need a quick appetizer. But instead of serving it cold, try scooping it into an earthenware dish, drizzling with a bit of olive oil and toasted pine nuts and baking it in the oven for about 20 minutes. You’ll wonder why everyone isn’t doing this.

    Grapes? Before you plunk down that boring cluster of grapes on a cheese plate, roast them in the oven until juicy and pile them atop crostini that has been smeared with some room temperature cheese, such as blue or brie. Mind. Blown.

    I’ve got lots more, but I’ll leave you with this quick little party nibble for hot, marinated olives. I still enjoy some olives cold, especially in a shot of icy cold vodka. But if the closest you’ve ever been to warm olives is on top of a pizza, these will knock your flip-flops off.

    Sometimes a little change will do you good.

    HOT SPICED OLIVES

    INGREDIENTS
    500 ml (2 cups) assorted olives with pits intact; a mixture of green and black are nice
    250 ml (1 cup) good-quality extra virgin olive oil
    3 large garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
    15 ml (1 tbsp) fennel seeds
    2-3 bay leaves
    Couple sprigs of fresh thyme or 10 ml (2 tsp) dried thyme
    Several pinches chili flakes
    Generous grinding of cracked black pepper
    6 good-sized pieces of lemon rind; use a carrot peeler to shave nice, big pieces from the lemon

    To serve: Crusty bread, fresh lemon wedges

    DIRECTIONS
    Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place everything in the skillet, but hold back three pieces of fresh lemon rind.

    Gently heat the olives and spiced oil until the oil begins to bubble gently around the olives. You don’t want the temperature to be so high that the olives fry or the lemon rind burns; it’s more like a slow, gentle simmer.

    Keep moving the olives around in the oil until the olive skins start to crinkle a bit and soften slightly. Take an olive out, let it cool a bit and taste. The pits will be hot, so be careful!

    Most olives will be salty enough, but if you think the olives and the oil could use a bit more salt and pepper, go ahead and season to your taste. Carefully tip olives and the oil into a nice clay serving dish.

    Fish out the spent lemon rind and tuck in a few fresh pieces here and there.

    Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top and serve with warm crusty bread and some nice, full-bodied wine.

    Alternative preparation: Place everything in a foil baking dish, cover with foil and place on the outdoor grill over low heat for about a half-hour.

    Recipe by NADINE FOWNES, source

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    Rating: 3.5/10 (116 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +7 (from 31 votes)
    A little creativity spices up this Mediterranean stalwart for tasty cocktail nibbles. It’s often said that, as a general rule, most people don’t like change. We like things the way we like them, especially if we have been liking them that way for a long time. That’s especially... 
    Read More →
  • Recipe: Tortilla Española with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    This healthy Spanish Tortilla omelet recipe sticks to the basics—eggs, potatoes, onions and a lavish amount of extra virgin olive oil

    Total Time: 40 minutes Serves: 4 as a main course, 8 as an appetizer

    INGREDIENTS
    2 cups extra virgin olive oil
    1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    ¾ teaspoon salt
    2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    8 eggs, gently whisked
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

    DIRECTIONS
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt, stirring to coat with oil. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes and stir to coat, sautéing until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Use a strainer to drain off excess oil and reserve.

    2. In a large bowl, combine eggs with cooked potatoes and onions, rosemary and ½ teaspoon salt. Heat 1 tablespoon reserved potato-onion cooking oil in a 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, pour in egg-potato mixture, using a rubber spatula to smooth surface. Cook until eggs have set, about 8 minutes. Use a spatula to break any bubbles that rise to the surface.

    3. Transfer pan to oven and cook until surface is just firm to the touch, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Invert a large plate over pan. Hold plate firmly and flip to transfer tortilla to plate. Serve at room temperature, sliced into wedges.

    Recipe source

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    Rating: 3.7/10 (85 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +12 (from 44 votes)
    This healthy Spanish Tortilla omelet recipe sticks to the basics—eggs, potatoes, onions and a lavish amount of extra virgin olive oil Total Time: 40 minutes Serves: 4 as a main course, 8 as an appetizer INGREDIENTS 2 cups extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, thinly sliced ¾... 
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  • Burrata, Golden Beet & Arugula Bruschetta with extra virgin olive oil

    Ingredients:
    • 1 loaf of soft Italian bread
    • 3 Tbsp. ricotta cheese
    • 5 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 golden beets
    • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tsp water
    • 1 pinch kosher salt
    • 1 cup baby arugula
    • Juice from half of a lemon
    • 5 oz. burrata cheese
    • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

    Procedure:
    1. To prepare the roasted beets, rub each beet with olive oil and kosher salt. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roast beets in a covered pan for an hour until you can easily stick a knife though. Cool, then use a clean towel to rub off skin. Set aside.

    2. Slice Italian bread in to half inch thick pieces. Brush both sides of bread with soft butter and grill on both sides until crispy, with visible grill marks.

    3. Place ricotta cheese in a bowl and whisk in extra virgin olive oil. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

    4. Cut the grilled bread in half and spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese on each piece and top with a thin layer of sliced golden beets.

    5. In a small bowl, combine arugula, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Mix well until even coated. Place salad on top of golden beet slices and press down lightly.

    6. Cut the burrata into even quarters and delicately place two pieces of burrata per bruschetta.

    7. Finish with fresh ground pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

    Recipe source

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    Rating: 3.6/10 (108 votes cast)
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    Rating: +7 (from 41 votes)
    Ingredients: • 1 loaf of soft Italian bread • 3 Tbsp. ricotta cheese • 5 tsp extra-virgin olive oil • 3 golden beets • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar • 1 tsp water • 1 pinch kosher salt • 1 cup baby arugula • Juice from half of a lemon • 5 oz. burrata cheese •... 
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  • Recipe: Courgettes with anchovies, chunky pangrattato and mozzarella with EVOO

    This dish is my way of willing spring along. It makes a lovely lunch served simply with a leafy salad on the side. Who knows, weather permitting, you might even be able to have it outside.

    Serves 4

    INGREDIENTS:

    4 courgettes
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
    40g day-old ciabatta
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    Few lemon thyme sprigs, leaves only
    Grated zest 1 lemon
    ½ tsp crushed chillies
    Few mint leaves
    Few basil leaves
    6-8 anchovy fillets in extra virgin olive oil
    2 buffalo mozzarella, torn

    DIRECTIONS:

    Blanch the courgettes in a pan of salted, boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes, until just cooked. Drain and refresh in iced water. Cut the cooled courgettes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Discard the flesh and place the courgettes on a platter. Season with salt and a light drizzle of olive oil.

    Courgettes with anchovies, chunky pangrattato and mozzarella (Jonathan Gregson)
    Preheat the grill. Roughly chop the ciabatta and toss into a bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil, the garlic, thyme sprigs, lemon zest and chilli.

    Tip on to a baking tray and grill until lightly golden. Leave to cool then stir through the mint and basil leaves, anchovy fillets and buffalo mozzarella. Spoon the mixture into the hollow courgettes, add an extra drizzle of olive oil, and serve.

    Recipe source: Food stylists: Marina Filippelli and becky wilkinson; stylist: Rachel Jukes

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    Rating: 3.9/10 (86 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 27 votes)
    This dish is my way of willing spring along. It makes a lovely lunch served simply with a leafy salad on the side. Who knows, weather permitting, you might even be able to have it outside. Serves 4 INGREDIENTS: 4 courgettes 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle 40g... 
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  • Recipe: Crab Taquitos with Salsa and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Makes 18 taquitos; serves 6

    The salsa and aioli can be made ahead. Buy the freshest corn tortillas you can find.

    INGREDIENTS

    The salsa
    1½ cups tomatillos (about ½ pound)
    1 large avocado
    1 clove garlic
    ¼ bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed
    Kosher salt, to taste

    The aioli
    1 large egg yolk
    1 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 small jalapeño or serrano chile, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
    Kosher salt, to taste
    Lemon juice, to taste

    The taquitos
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 small carrots, finely diced
    1 rib celery, finely diced
    2 large shallots, minced
    Grated zest of 2 limes
    1 pound cooked Dungeness crab meat
    18 (5-inch) fresh corn tortillas
    Vegetable oil, for softening tortillas and frying taquitos

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Make the salsa.

    Put the whole tomatillos in a bowl of cold water (this makes them easier to peel), then peel off the sticky outer husk. Transfer the tomatillos to a food processor and add the avocado, garlic and cilantro. Process until smooth, thinning with water as necessary to make a sauce with a pourable consistency. Season to taste with salt, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

    2. Make the aioli.

    Put the egg yolk in a medium bowl set on top of a kitchen towel (this will help stabilize the bowl as you whisk). Pour the oil into a measuring cup with a pouring spout.

    Begin whisking the egg yolk with your dominant hand, holding the measuring cup of oil in your other hand. Pour the oil into the yolk, drop by drop at first, whisking continuously, until the mixture begins to visibly thicken and emulsify; if you add the oil too quickly at the beginning, the emulsion will break and the aioli will not thicken properly. Once you’ve established the emulsion, continue to add the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until all of the oil has been incorporated.

    “If at any point the aioli starts to look ropy or has visible whisk lines, whisk in a few teaspoons of warm water, which will help smooth it out,” Savitsky says.

    When all of the oil has been incorporated, stir in the minced garlic and chile, and season to taste with salt and lemon juice. This recipe will make more aioli than you need for the taquitos. The remainder can be stored in the refrigerator up to a week.

    3. Make the taquito filling.

    In a medium frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the carrots, celery and shallots, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft but not browned, about 10 minutes.

    Transfer to a bowl and add the lime zest and crab meat, breaking up any large chunks of crab and making sure to discard any cartilage or shell. Add 3 tablespoons of the prepared aioli and stir to combine. The mixture should be moist but not overdressed; add additional aioli if necessary.

    4. Stuff and roll the taquitos.

    Pour a small film of vegetable oil into a small frying pan; When the oil is hot, fry the tortillas one at a time just until pliable, flipping once, about 30 seconds total. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

    If you don’t want to fry the tortillas, you can wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and microwave them until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then fill and fry as described in Step 5.

    Place about 3 tablespoons of the crab mixture in a line about one-third of the way from the bottom edge of each tortilla. Gently fold the bottom of the tortilla over the filling and roll up like a cigar. The cylinders should be about 1-inch in diameter. To keep the tortillas rolled up, place 3 of the rolls side by side and pierce through all of them with two evenly spaced wooden skewers.

    5. Fry and serve.

    In a heavy-bottom pot suitable for deep frying, pour canola oil to a depth of 1½ inches and turn the burner to medium-high. Heat the oil until it starts to ripple; test the temperature by gently submerging a set of skewered taquitos — the oil should start quickly bubbling on contact. If it does not, the oil is too cool. If it bubbles furiously, the oil is too hot.

    Working in batches, fry the taquitos for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned. The ends should be crisp but the middles should remain slightly soft. Transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining taquitos.

    Serve hot, accompanied by the Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa.

    Per serving: 466 calories, 23 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 23 g fat (5 g saturated), 68 mg cholesterol, 312 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.

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    Rating: +11 (from 27 votes)
    Makes 18 taquitos; serves 6 The salsa and aioli can be made ahead. Buy the freshest corn tortillas you can find. INGREDIENTS The salsa 1½ cups tomatillos (about ½ pound) 1 large avocado 1 clove garlic ¼ bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed Kosher salt, to taste The aioli 1 large... 
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  • Recipe: Extra Virgin Olive Olive and Pistachio Muffins

    Makes 12

    INGREDIENTS
    500ml flour
    10ml baking powder
    2ml salt
    125ml sugar
    2 extra large eggs
    15ml orange zest
    15ml lemon zest
    30ml balsamic vinegar
    125ml milk 125ml lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil
    200ml pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

    DIRECTIONS
    Preheat oven to 180ºC.

    Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.
    Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
    Beat the sugar, eggs and zests in a bowl until pale and fluffy – about 3 minutes.
    Beat in the vinegar and milk.
    Gradually beat in the extra virgin olive oil.
    Add flour mixture and stir just until blended.
    Add half the pistachios to the batter and stir until mixed.
    Spoon into the paper cups.
    Sprinkle with remaining pistachios.
    Bake until golden on top, about 20 to 25 minutes.
    Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

    Recipe source

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    Rating: 4.0/10 (159 votes cast)
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    Rating: -2 (from 42 votes)
    Makes 12 INGREDIENTS 500ml flour 10ml baking powder 2ml salt 125ml sugar 2 extra large eggs 15ml orange zest 15ml lemon zest 30ml balsamic vinegar 125ml milk 125ml lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil 200ml pistachio nuts, roughly chopped DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 180ºC. Place... 
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  • Recipe: Greek Salad Bites with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    I’m always looking for easy appetizers to throw together for an impromptu gathering. Inspired by these scrumptious caprese skewers, I decided it was time to test out a Greek salad skewer.

    All it takes is a bit of chopping of ingredients, and in about 20 minutes, I had a plate full of these delectable bites. The key is to make sure you have the right portion of each component – you don’t want to overdo it with the briny Feta and olives.

    A quick drizzle of olive oil and voilà, the easiest, freshest, and most flavorful app ever.

    Ingredients

    1/4 English cucumber
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 pound feta cheese, cut into 16 small cubes
    8 pitted kalamata olives, halved
    8 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    Directions

    Cut four 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices from the cucumber, and then quarter each slice. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Top each with a piece of feta and then an olive half.

    Stab a toothpick through a tomato half, then thread through one of the cucumber stacks, pushing the toothpick down to secure it.

    Arrange on a platter, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with some more black pepper, and serve.
    Information

    Category: Finger Foods, Appetizers

    Yield: Serves 4-6

    Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking source

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    Rating: 3.6/10 (69 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 24 votes)
    I’m always looking for easy appetizers to throw together for an impromptu gathering. Inspired by these scrumptious caprese skewers, I decided it was time to test out a Greek salad skewer. All it takes is a bit of chopping of ingredients, and in about 20 minutes, I had... 
    Read More →
  • Recipe: Greek Appetizer with Olives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    This simple Greek appetizer array is part takeout and part homemade.

    It makes a colorful starter for holiday entertaining. Set out small plates and let people serve themselves.

    Spanakopita is a savory Greek pastry made with spinach, eggs and cheese wrapped in phyllo dough. It is time-consuming to make, but easy to find in the frozen food section of most grocery stores and all specialty stores. You can also find party-size trays at Costco. Allow three pieces per person.

    Tzatziki, a yogurt-based dipping sauce, can be found in specialty stores.
    Serve the tomatoes with sliced French bread.
    Anne Greer McCann is a Dallas restaurant consultant.

    GREEK ANTIPASTO

    INGREDIENTS:
    – 6 Campari or Roma tomatoes
    – 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
    – 4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    – 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (more or less)
    – Sea salt and cracked pepper
    – 1/3 to 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
    – 8 to 12 pitted Kalamata olives
    – Fresh basil (optional)
    – 1/2 cup tzatziki sauce
    – 12 to 16 slices French bread
    – 18 to 20 pieces spanakopita (see Note)

    DIRECTIONS:

    Remove a thin slice from both ends of the tomatoes. Cut tomato into slices and set aside.

    Soak onion slices in a mixture of equal amounts cold water and vinegar for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse again under cold water to remove bitterness.

    Put olive oil in a serving platter with a deep well. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and arrange tomatoes on top. Add red onion and season with salt and pepper. Top with cheese and garnish with olives and fresh basil if desired.

    Set out tomatoes with tzatziki, French bread and warm spanakopita. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

    Note: If using frozen spanakopita, heat according to package directions. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick olive oil spray and dust lightly with cornmeal. Arrange the frozen spanakopita on top and brush each with melted butter. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes or until browned.

    Recipe source

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    Rating: 3.7/10 (73 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 19 votes)
    This simple Greek appetizer array is part takeout and part homemade. It makes a colorful starter for holiday entertaining. Set out small plates and let people serve themselves. Spanakopita is a savory Greek pastry made with spinach, eggs and cheese wrapped in phyllo dough. It... 
    Read More →
  • 3 ideas for easy holiday party snacks with Olive Oil

    Nobody is going to blame you if your holiday party spread includes a bowl of mixed nuts, some grapes and a wedge or two of cheese. After all, most people enjoy them and are willing to nibble mindlessly on them. But it is easier than you think to elevate your feast by bolstering those tired party snack clichés with a few more creative offerings.

    You won’t need to work very hard at this. Most holiday party snacks can be assembled in less than 10 minutes, and many can be assembled ahead of time. And the only truly important rule is to make sure everything is neat and easy to eat (one-handing it really is best for party food).

    To help get your party started, we’ve assembled some of our favorite snack ideas. We’ve even given you a way to jazz up your basic bowl of mixed nuts.

    3 fresh ideas for holiday snacks

    Marinated olives: Whisk together 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, zest of 1 orange, 2 minced cloves garlic and 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary. Toss with 2 cups mixed pitted olives. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

    Smashed lemon cannellini beans: Drain and rinse a 15-ounce can of cannellini beans. Pat dry with paper towels, then spread on a dinner plate. Roughly smash the beans with a fork or potato masher. Drizzle all over with extra virgin olive oiland lemon juice. Sprinkle with grated lemon zest, chopped fresh oregano, coarse sea salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. Serve with toasted pita chips.

    Marinated mozzarella with anchovy and peanuts: Mash 3 anchovies with a fork in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil, 1 pound cubed, drained fresh mozzarella, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 2 cloves grated garlic, 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, and 1/2 cup lightly chopped unsalted peanuts. Serve with bread for scooping.

    Recipes source

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    Nobody is going to blame you if your holiday party spread includes a bowl of mixed nuts, some grapes and a wedge or two of cheese. After all, most people enjoy them and are willing to nibble mindlessly on them. But it is easier than you think to elevate your feast by bolstering... 
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  • Grilled flatbreads with extra virgin olive oil

    Ingredients:

    1 batch basic bread dough
    plain flour, for dusting
    olive oil Vaoni
    a few sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
    sea salt

    Method:

    Follow basic bread recipe through steps 1 to 4. After the dough has doubled in size, you need to knock the air out of it by bashing it around for a minute. Now it’s ready to be transformed into pizzas or flatbreads.

    Tear off chunks of the dough and roll out your bread, shaping into slightly irregular oval shape rounds, about 0.5cm thick.

    Oil the grill on the barbie, then lay the flatbreads on top of the grill and cook them for about 3 minutes. Turn them over and cook for another 3 minutes until they are golden brown, crispy and slightly charred – this’ll give them a real barbecued flavour.

    Take the flatbreads off the barbie. Mix a couple of lugs of olive oil with the rosemary leaves and brush (or drizzle) over the hot breads. Sprinkle with salt and serve straight away while still warm.

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    Ingredients: 1 batch basic bread dough plain flour, for dusting olive oil Vaoni a few sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked sea salt Method: Follow basic bread recipe through steps 1 to 4. After the dough has doubled in size, you need to knock the air out of it by bashing it around... 
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  • Greek Vegetable “Stew” with Olive Oil

    Ingredients:

    4 cups eggplant
    2 cups summer squash
    1 cup chopped onion
    3 cups potatoes
    3 cloves fresh garlic
    1 red bell pepper
    1/2 cup okra
    1 cup fresh tomato
    1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
    1/3 cup fresh mint
    2 tablespoons fresh oregano
    1/2 cup “Vaoni” Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 cup fresh tomato
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
    1/4 teaspoon each salt and fresh ground pepper
    2 tablespoons water juice of 1/2 lemon

     

     

    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Dice first 8 ingredients and spread evenly in large roasting pan. Place 1 cup tomato, herbs, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in blender or food processor and blend to a moderately chunky fresh tomato sauce. Pour sauce over vegetables, add 2 T water to cover vegetables with the sauce. Bake in preheated oven 1 1/2 hours or until vegetables are tender. Squeeze lemon juice over completed dish, stir, and serve.

    recipe source

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    Ingredients: 4 cups eggplant 2 cups summer squash 1 cup chopped onion 3 cups potatoes 3 cloves fresh garlic 1 red bell pepper 1/2 cup okra 1 cup fresh tomato 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley 1/3 cup fresh mint 2 tablespoons fresh oregano 1/2 cup “Vaoni” Extra Virgin... 
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  • Recipe: (Spinach Pie Triangles) with Olive Oil

    If you like Greek food then you’ll want to head to the corner of Brush and Monroe in Greektown this weekend.

    The Greektown Preservation Society is holding a harvest festival.

    Pavlo Manolas, the chef at Santorini Estiator, and Greektown Preservation Society board member Athina Papas joined us on 7 Action News This Morning on 20 to talk about the tasting event – and the food that will be offered.

    You can find the information about the recipe the talked about below.

    Spanakopitakia (Spinach Pie Triangles)

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and preferably POQA olive oil brand
    • 2 pounds spinach, washed and drained
    • 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
    • 1 to 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 pound filo pastry sheets thawed (can be found in the frozen pastry aisle of your grocery store)

    DIRECTIONS

    Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large sautee pan, add half of the spinach and sautee until spinach wilts, tossing with tongs, approximately 2 minutes. Remove spinach and squeeze out excess liquid, chop roughly. Repeat with remaining spinach, using more olive oil. Pour off any liquid from the pan, and add remaining olive oil. Add scallions and sautee until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the scallions, along with parsley, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. (This can be done ahead and kept refrigerated). Stir in the feta and as much beaten egg to moisten the cooled spinach mixture.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.

    Unroll the filo dough on a flat surface and keep covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out and become brittle. Using a sharp knife, cut the filo into 3 by 11 inch strips, and recover with the towel. Use a pastry brush to brush a strip of filo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of spinach filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag. Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.

    Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering waxed paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 10 minutes.)

    Variation: Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, and spread 6 sheets of filo, brushing each with butter, on the bottom. Spoon the spinach filling over the filo, then cover with 6 more sheets of filo, buttering each sheet. Score the top 3 sheets with a sharp knife. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden, let stand 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve warm.

    Recipe source

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    If you like Greek food then you’ll want to head to the corner of Brush and Monroe in Greektown this weekend. The Greektown Preservation Society is holding a harvest festival. Pavlo Manolas, the chef at Santorini Estiator, and Greektown Preservation Society board member... 
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  • Recipe: Fried Cheese (Saganaki) with Olive Oil

    Serves 4

    Ingredients:

    250 g strong flavoured cheese
    (Kefalotyri kritiko)
    Extra virgin olive oil Olia
    Juice of 1 lemon
    Crusty bread to serve
    Parsley to garnish
    Cut cheese in 1 cm thick slices.

    Directions:

    Cover the bottom of a frying pan with 5 mm oil and place over medium heat.

    When warm, fry the cheese slices, two at a time.

    Leave to fry 1 minute each side, sprinkle with the lemon juice and serve immediately in the same pan or in dishes.

    Serve very hot, together with the bread which can be soaked in the oil of the pan. Garnish with parsley.

    This recipe takes its name from the typical Greek pan in which is prepared.

    recipe source

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    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
    Serves 4 Ingredients: 250 g strong flavoured cheese (Kefalotyri kritiko) Extra virgin olive oil Olia Juice of 1 lemon Crusty bread to serve Parsley to garnish Cut cheese in 1 cm thick slices. Directions: Cover the bottom of a frying pan with 5 mm oil and place over medium heat. When... 
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  • Recipe: Linguine with swordfish, olives and Olive Oil

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    – 1 large onion, chopped
    – 120ml extra virgin olive oil and preferably olive oil brand GET
    – 1 garlic clove, crushed
    – 5g chilli, chopped
    – 60g green olives
    – 200g fresh swordfish, diced
    – ½ glass white wine
    – 12 cherry tomatoes
    – 4 tbsps chopped basil
    – 2 tbsps chopped parsley
    – 2 tbsps chopped coriander
    – 400g linguine

    Method

    Sauté the onion slices in a frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil until these turn slightly soft. Add the garlic, chilli, olives and the swordfish and sauté for one minute. Then add the white wine and cook until all the wine is absorbed. Add the cherry tomatoes, half the basil, parsley and coriander and allow to simmer for five minutes.

    Cook the pasta in boiling water. Take a tablespoon of the pasta water and add it to the sauce, add a pinch of salt and cover. Drain the pasta and transfer to the pan over low heat.

    Mix the pasta in the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Add more fresh herbs, but keep some aside to garnish.

    Joe Vella is an Executive chef, Hilton Malta.
    Recipe Source
    Serve the pasta on warm plates, garnish with the remaining herbs and drizzle some herb oil.

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    Rating: +9 (from 21 votes)
    Serves 4 Ingredients – 1 large onion, chopped – 120ml extra virgin olive oil and preferably olive oil brand GET – 1 garlic clove, crushed – 5g chilli, chopped – 60g green olives – 200g fresh swordfish, diced – ½ glass white wine –... 
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