Serving Suggestion for Fresh Vegetables Plate


My daughter’s kindergarten has held a “Family Day” activity, and our assignment was to prepare a vegetables plate. I thought of the below serving idea, using a braided basket.

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Naturally, the most interesting feature of this plate is the idea to put a dip inside the cabbage. “Scraping” the cabbage into this shape could be done using a large spoon with sharp edges. I used this Ice Cream Scoop (the brand doesn’t really matter, the form does). The dip itself, naturally, could be whatever suits your taste.

Just an idea…

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Sicilian Caponata


I have tasted my first Caponata in a nice traditional restaurant in Catania (Sicily). The dish was so good, I ended up literally licking the cup that was used to serve it and asking for some more. As for the restaurant, named I Crociferi (the Crusaders), it was something special. Lets set aside the fact that the food was very good, and the selection of fresh fish and sea food was absolutely out of this world (which is pretty normal for Sicily), the place itself was memorable. Imagine being sent back in time for, say, 40 years or so… Large hall (30-40 tables) with tall arches separating it to a number of areas. The tables, made of dark wood, were covered with flawlessly white cloth. A memorable experience…..

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Caponata is a widely prepared salad in Sicily, heavily based on eggplants. We’ve tried many versions of it and all other ingredients could vary (sometimes it would have some local flavors, depending on the are of Sicily you are in). Here’s what I managed to taste in the majority of them: tomatoes (of course), tomato paste, olives (green or black or both), capers, red pepper, chili pepper, vinegar (wine vinegar). Almost in every traditional Sicilian restaurant, you’d get a version of this salad with local bread.

When preparing mine, I was trying to emulate the most memorable one – the one from I Crociferi. It definitely isn’t identical, but quite similar and, regardless to authenticity, very tasty. Every time I am making this dish, I start remembering the vacation and the restaurant, so for me, its always a double pleasure 🙂

Ingredients:

(For half-a-liter of salad)
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium-sized eggplants
2 tomatoes
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp of small capers (salted)
7-8 green olives
2 tsp. tomato paste
50 ml. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

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Calamari Salad


I found a nice squid salad recipe at eryv’s journal, some time ago, and remembered it again relatively recently. Since I didn’t look at the original recipe and made the salad from memory, it turned out as a surprise that the result was very similar to the original. (A case of “Great minds think alike? :-)) The salad is very fresh, ideal for summer days. If you have fresh home-baked bread, the go just lovely together.

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Ingredients:

2 large red bell peppers
3 medium-sized tomatoes
1 medium-sized red (purple) onion
5-10 parsley branches
2 basil branches
1 tbsp. capers (salted)
Juice of half-a-lemon
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 kg calamari (tentacles for this salad)

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Yellow Cherry Tomatoes in Brine


Sometimes its great to repeat things you’ve already done, but with different ingredients.
Since the agriculture has developed lots of variations of Cherry Tomatoes (see, for example, the Tricolor Cherry Tomato salad as a reference on how to combine different types for a greater effect), I did some experiments with the kinds I’ve managed to find at different Farmers Markets.

In this case I have made my Marinated Cherry Tomatoes (see the original recipe for all the details) with yellow cherry tomatoes. The yellow ones are completely different from the red ones, and the result is different: these ones are much more “watery” therefore, when made in brine, they simply “explode” in your mouth…

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Try this with the original recipe, the sensation is absolutely different….

Universal Tomato Sauce


Ready for use jars of this sauce practically “live” nowadays in my refrigerator (and freezer – for longer term usage). I have picked up the idea once in a cooking magazine, and I am keeping using it and returning to it ever since. Cooking this sauce is very simple and it can later on be used for either a complete solution for a pasta sauce or a basis for a more complex pasta sauce. It can also be used as a basis for tomato soup or stew, pizza sauce, sauce for kebaps/burgers or even for tomato-based fish dishes. And, of course, it can also be consumed “straight from the jar” with a spoon 🙂

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Most important secret for making a successful tomato sauce is picking up very ripe and “sweet” tomatos. When such tomatoes aren’t available at the markets, it is better to use Italian canned tomatoes.

Following yields approximately 3 lilters of sauce.

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Tricolor Tomato Salad with Mozzarella, Anchovies and Capers


The salad is very simple and very tasty, It is just what you need for breakfast when you have no time to prepare it, but you would still like to get something nice. The color combination is very bright and lively projecting the exact energetic state of mind you are looking for in the morning. All the ingredients except the eggs and salsa are in the photo.

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Ingredients:

For the salad:
30 cherry tomatoes of different colors (red, yellow and chocolate)
1/2 glass small mozzarella “balls”
Leaves from 3 basil branches
6 anchovy fillets
1 boiled egg

For the salsa:
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1/3 lemon
2 anchovy fillets
2 capers
*No need to add salt, the anchovies and the capers are very salty

Process:

Cut cherry tomatoes in halves and tear basil leaves into small pieces. Cut the egg into 6 parts. Mix all the salad ingredients into a salad bowl. Mix all the salsa ingredients in the blender, pour over the salad and serve.

If you liked this breakfast idea, check out these other breakfast meals:

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Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..