Green Beans with Balsamic Glazed Red Onions

It is another  Meatless Monday.  On Monday’s I try to post meatless ideas.  Today, I am making an easy side dish market fresh green beans topped with balsamic glazed red onions.  A recipe to keep for all your summer entertainment, dinners, picnics and bbq’s.  Let’s cook!

Green Beans with Balsamic Glazed Red Onions

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A Summer recipe winner, great to serve at all your outdoor events

Ingredients

1 lb of green beans ends snapped and washed

1 cup of thinly sliced red onions

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

2 tbls balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

-Snap and wash the green beans

-In a pot large enough to hold the beans, fill with cold water, add sea salt and boil the beans until they are to your desired doneness.  *note- I like my green beans cooked a little longer than normal until they are soft, but not mushy.

-Drain beans and place in a serving bowl

-Thinly slice the red onions, in a small skillet, add the olive oil and the onions, on low heat, slowly cook the onions until they become soft

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-Add the balsamic vinegar to the onions, cook for a few minutes until the onions are sweet, tender and the flavors meld

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-Add the balsamic onions to the green beans, mix well  *note-try to add the onions to the beans while they are still warm, it enhances the flavors .  Adjust salt and pepper.

-Serve and enjoy as a side dish with all your grilled meats/fish/poultry

Buon Appetito!

Mickey

 

 

 

Bicolor Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

We love this salad as a side to beef or chicken dishes.

Bicolor Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Love this salad with my Beef Paillard recipe, the perfect side

Ingredients

1 head of romaine lettuce

1/2 head of radicchio of Chioggia (round shaped)

10-12 small baby heirloom tomatoes

1 red onion or 2 knobby white onions

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil  (to taste)

1 tbls red or white wine vinegar (to taste)

sea salt fine

black pepper ground

Directions

-Clean and dry both lettuces chop or cut into bit sized pieces add to salad bowlIMG_1142.JPG

-Thinly slice the onions add to salad bowlimg_1143.jpg

-Wash and cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters (depending on the size) add to salad bowlIMG_1144.JPG

-season with salt and pepper to taste

-add oil and vinegar (note- this is also to taste, the above amounts are a guideline) toss well and serve

Buon Appetito!!

Mickey

 

Meatless Monday….Greens and Beans Soup with Garlic Bread Croutons

If you grew up in an Italian American home, you probably have eaten or are  familiar with “Greens and Beans”.  The greens, escarole or Swisschard  are cooked in a garlicky oil mixed with white beans.  I have taken this dish one step further making it into a soup, topping it with a garlic Parmesan crouton. It is a filling flavorful soup for lunch or dinner on a Meatless Monday!!

Greens and Beans Soup with Garlic Parmesan Croutons

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A soupy version of a favorite, Green’s and Beans

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs a of cleaned chopped Swisschard or Escarole

4 cups Cannellini Beans ( not dried)

1 hot pepper chopped (note- peppers have different heat this is to taste)

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

4 scallions finely diced

2 garlic cloves finely diced

6 cups of vegetable broth

sea salt

pepper

For the bread

1 loaf  of crusty bread Italian

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbls fresh flat leaf parsley chopped

3/4-1 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

-In a soup pot, add the olive oil, garlic, scallions and pepper sauté until garlic is lightly browned

-add the chopped greens, the beans and the brothIMG_0879

-add sea salt and pepper to taste

-bring to boil, and simmer for 35-45 minutes

Garlic Parmesan Croutons

-slice the bread in half or thirds depending on size

-in a prep bowl add olive oil and the crushed garlic stir

-with a pastry brush paint the bread with the oil mixture then dust with the parsleyIMG_0880

-Spread the Parmesan on the bread generously

-place the bread under the broiler until golden brown, let cool and cut into cubes

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-ladle the soup into bowls, add the Croutons and server

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Buon Appetito!!!

Split Pea Soup with Spring Onions and Thyme

Another favorite soup to welcome the season.  This Split pea soup  is a light vegetarian version, few ingredients,  easy to prepare and flavorful.  Great for lunch or dinner served with a sprig of fresh thyme… Spring is in the air!!!!

Split Pea Soup with Spring Onions and Fresh Thyme

  • Servings: 2-4
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A Fresh, light Springtime favorite

Ingredients

-1 cup of split peas

-2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

-1 garlic clove

-2 large carrots

-3 celery stalks

-4 spring onions

-2 scallions

-7 cups broth, vegetable or chicken

-course grind sea salt

-fresh ground pepper

-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

Directions

-In a deep soup pot add the olive oil, finely chop the spring onions, garlic and the scallions and add to the oil.  Saute on medium/low heat until the onions are translucent about 3-5 minutes careful not to burn.IMG_0837

-Dice the celery and carrotsIMG_0835

-add the chopped celery, carrots and the split peas to the onions

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Add the broth, sea salt, pepper and thyme cook simmer on a medium/low heat. (Note- unsoaked peas can take 1-2 hours to cook you need to watch the and maintain the broth level, if you presoak the peas cooking time is around 45 minutes.)    Cook the soup until the peas are soft to the bite.IMG_0843

-remove approximately 2 cups and blend with a immersion blender, mix the creamed soup back into the pot

-serve with a drizzle of olive oilIMG_0846

As always I look forward to your feedback!

Buon Appetito!!

Welcome Spring… with a Mango, Avocado Shrimp Layered Salad !!

I saw this beautiful ripe mango at the market and just had to buy it.  Since today is the first day of Spring , I thought it might be nice to make a sweet and savory salad with my mango.  Certain fruits go so well with seafood, mango being one of them so I decided to do a Shrimp Salad and Layer it with Guacamole and Mango…… Hope you try it!!!!!

Layered Shrimp Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

-10  (1/2lb) med/large shrimp shelled and deveined

-2 Stalks of Celery finely chopped

-1 scallion

-1 tbls mayonnaise

-1 tbls plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

-2 dashes of Tabasco

-1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard

-1/2 lemon

-dash of balsamic vinegar

-1 tsp lemon juice

-1/2 Mango chopped

-1/2 Hass Avocado chopped

-2 medium plum tomatoes chopped

-lime juice

-1small garlic clove pressed

-cilantro chopped

-1/4 chopped red hot pepper (optional)

-sea salt and pepper

-extra virgin olive oil

Directions

-Peel and devein the shrimp. In a pot large enough to hold the shrimp,  cut a lemon in half then cut of the end , add the lemon to a pot filled wth cold water, add sea salt and bring to boil.

-When the water boils add the shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes they will turn white when cooked. Drain

-Finely chop the celery and the scallions, cut the shrimp into bite size piecesimg_0815

-For the Shrimp dressing add the yogurt,mayonnaise,mustard,Tabasco, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, in a bowl mix with the shrimp

-peeel and chop the avocado, chop the tomatoes, add garlic, lime sea salt pepper cilantro and hot pepper (optional) mix well.

-Peel and chop the Mango into  small even size pieces

-Assemble, on a serving plate, using a large pastry ring layer half of the shrimp salad, pressing it into the form, next your guacamole and last the Mango.  Carefully lift the ring exposing your 3 layers.  You can carefully dribble on some olive oil. E’ Voila!!

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Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Spicy butternut squash soup you can make in 1 hour

Today it’s chilly and cloudy, the perfect day to make my favorite soup for lunch.  Spicy Butternut Squash is a light healthy soup packed with loads of flavor that you can make in less than an hour.  It is so easy and so so good!!

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Spicy, easy to make soup packed with tons of flavor

Ingredients

-2 lbs of uncooked butternut squash peeled and cubed (note-you can roast the squash in the oven to make it easier to peel, place on a lined cookie sheet, make a few knife incisions and bake until soft, scrape the seeds and use the pulp in place of the cubed pieces)

-2 inch piece of fresh ginger grated  (note- a microplane does a great job grating ginger)

-1 large sweet onion roughly chopped

-1 scallion chopped

-1/2 red pepper chopped

-3 garlic cloves smashed with a knife

-1 fresh red hot pepper split

-4 cups of vegetable broth

-grated lemon peel

-1 lime

-1 can of coconut milk

-fresh cilantro

-2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

-sea salt and pepper

Directions

-In a soup pot, on medium heat add the olive oil, garlic, hot red pepper, grated ginger, scallion and a few grates of lemon peel, stir letting the flavors release.

-Add the chopped onion and red pepper

-Add the butternut squash, and the broth, sea salt and pepper to tasteimg_0787

-Cook for 45-50 minutes on medium-low heat until all vegetables are soft add the cilantro to your likingimg_0788

-Off the heat, add the juice of 1 lime blend with a immersion blender until you have a smooth creamy soupimg_0789

-Stir in the coconut milk

-Serve hot or at room temperature.  IMG_0791

Buon Appetito!!

Thyme lemon simply grilled shrimp

Here is another great alternative for a meatless meal.   This thyme, lemon  grilled shrimp , is easy to make, healthy and light.   Great for appetizer, lunch or dinner , on top of a big mixed green salad or as a stand alone main course this dish takes no time at all and is well worth it.  If you don’t have a grill use a grill pan on your stove, you will get the same results.

Thyme lemon simply grilled Shrimp

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
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Easy, healthy appetizer or entree, light and fresh

Ingredients

-3 dozen fresh or frozen whole shrimp (note-I prefer the medium size for their tenderness)

-the juice of 2 fresh lemons

-3 tbls extra virgin olive oil

-5 sprigs of fresh thyme

-3 garlic cloves crushed

-sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions

-Devein the shrimp, rinse and place in a colanderIMG_0772

-Heat the grill

-In a bowl add the juice of 2 lemons, the crushed garlic, sea salt, pepper add the olive oil stir with a small whisk add the thyme.IMG_0774

-place the shrimp one by one on metal or wood skewers 7 or 8 per (note-if using wood skewers, soak them in water so they don’t burn while grilling)IMG_0773

-In a shallow dish long enough to hold the skewers, add the marinade, let sit at least 20 minutes

-on a medium/low direct heat grill, place the skewers and grill  3-5 minutes per side…when the shrimp turn white they are cooked. Save the marinade in the dish to brush on the shrimp while  cooking.IMG_0776

Serve along side or on top of a mixed green saladIMG_0779

Buon Appetito!!

Creamed Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Hopefully this creamy, healthy, spicy soup will keep  our friends warm in the cold weather….This soup is  fast, easy and  nutritional, with tons of veggies and lentils.  I like making it  a little spicy, and love using a fresh mexican salsa, avocado, tomato and cucumber salsa and/or  even shredded radicchio salad on top…a dollop of sour cream works too!!

Creamed Lentil and Vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 1 pot
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

-2 1/2 cups of green lentils rinsed

-4 stalks of celery chopped in chunks

-1 large yellow onion cut in chunks

-3 scallions peeled and quartered

-5 carrots peeled and chopped in chunks

-2 cups of chopped mushrooms

-1 red bell pepper cut in chunks

-1 red hot pepper fresh chopped finely

-4 cloves of garlic, peeled whole and smashed

-1 ripe tomato cut in pieces or 1tbls tomato paste

-5 cups of broth vegetable, chicken of beef

-2 tbls olive oil extra virgin

-1 tsp cumin seeds

-1 tbls of chili powder

-1tsp of ground oregano

-sea salt and ground pepper

Directions

-in a soup pot add olive oil, garlic cloves and hot pepper, lightly brown the garlic to release it’s flavor

-add all the vegetables and lentils, stirring with the pepper and garlic

-add the broth and seasonings

-cook on low heat until all vegetable and lentils are soft 45-60 minutes (note-if lentils absorb cooking liquid add more broth at anytime during cooking)

-off of the heat, with an immersion blender puree the soup into a cream

-serve with chopped avocado, fresh salsas and or sour cream

Buon Appetito

 

Fennel au gratin

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Fennel au Gratin

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Easy, light and healthy way to eat fennel

Ingredients

-4 fennel bulbs, washed and trimmed of the fronds

-1/2-3/4 cups of Parmesan cheese

-extra virgin olive oil

-sea salt (large grain)

-ground pepper

Directions

-preheat oven to 375F

-cut the fennel into quarters making sure to leave the bottom of the quarter  intact (the bottom will hold the fennel piece together while cooking)

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-place in pot and fill with cold water add a small handful of sea salt

-boil the fennel for 10 minutes a fork should be easily inserted into the center when done, drain carefully we want to keep the fennel intact

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In an ovenproof dish lay the fennel side by side, salt and pepper

-drizzle olive oil across the fennel 2 times

-sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top generously

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-bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown

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Buon Appetito!!

Eggplant Parmesan, Melanzane Parmigiana

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Eggplant Parmesan, Melanzane Parmigiana

A light non breaded version of this favorite dish

Ingredients

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-2 large round eggplants

-1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese (note- please try not to use the string type pizza mozzarella)

-1 cup Parmesan cheese

-Tomato Sauce, see recipe  simple tomato sauce

-fresh basil leaves chopped

-sea salt

Directions

-Slice the egglplant into thin slices, place in a colander and generously salt.  Let rest for 45 minutes, eggplant will release it’s water.IMG_0732dry with paper towel

-Prepare the Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe (see above) and set aside

 

-Heat the grill, medium direct heat, place the eggplant on the grill and lightly grill carefully turning  (note- I do not salt the eggplant again since we salted it to release it’s water).   When grate marks appear on each side the eggplant will be done. Transfer to a plate.

-Preheat oven to 350◦

-Cut the mozzarella into slicesIMG_0737

-Smear the bottom of a oven proof dish with the tomato sauceIMG_0739

-Place a layer of the grilled eggplant IMG_0740

-add tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan and basil, then add another layer of the same until you have finished your eggplant, feel free to overlap the eggplant.  Finish the top layer with parmesan and mozzarella.IMG_0741IMG_0747

-bake for 35-45 minutes until top is crusty and goldenIMG_0751

-let the eggplant parm set up for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

-can be served hot or at room temperature

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Buon Appetito !!