recipes

Meal Ideas 28 September 2018

Italian-Inspired Dishes

Delightful dining that honors heritage

(Family Features) Italy is one of the world’s great food nations, and many dishes have Italian roots. In honor of Italian heritage, light up the dinner table and impress your friends and family with sophisticated, traditional Italian recipes.

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Creating a true taste of Italy means including an abundance of smooth, high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, like Carapelli Olive Oil. Tracing its roots to the heart of Tuscany in 1893, the line of olive oils is designed to lift cooks out of the everyday cooking experience with high-quality olives nurtured by nature, selected at the optimal harvest time and handled delicately.

The ease and simplicity of shared dishes like Marinated Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Olive Oil Agrodolce – a traditional Italian sweet and sour sauce – focuses on quality ingredients inspiring quality memories. The artistry behind the olive oil shines in Creamy Potato Leek Soup with Olive Oil Pistou and Sicilian Lamb Meatballs with Whipped Feta-Olive Oil Spread, each recipe celebrating the embodiment of Italian cuisine.

Celebrate the best of Italy in your own kitchen by incorporating Italian artisan-inspired dishes ideal for memorable moments with loved ones. Find more Italian flavors and recipes at carapelliusa.com.
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Sicilian Lamb Meatballs with Whipped Feta-Olive Oil Sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Sicilian Lamb Meatballs:

  • 1          pound ground lamb
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3       cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3          tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2          tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1          large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper

Feta-Olive Oil Sauce:

  • 1/2       pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2          tablespoons Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2          tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  1. To make Lamb Meatballs: Heat oven to 375° F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, mix lamb, olive oil, panko bread crumbs, pine nuts, raisins, egg, salt and pepper. Use hands to mix all ingredients together.
  3. Roll mixture into approximately 36 meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake 15 minutes until sizzling and golden brown.
  5. To make Feta-Olive Oil Spread: In food processor, blend feta cheese, olive oil and yogurt 30-45 seconds until creamy.
  6. Serve Lamb Meatballs with Feta-Olive Oil Sauce for dipping or scooping.

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Marinated Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Olive Oil Agrodolce

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Roasted Mushrooms:

  • 2          pounds Portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2       cup Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2          teaspoons fresh sage, minced
  • 2          teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Agrodolce:

  • 1/2       cup red wine vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons honey
  • Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. To make Roasted Mushrooms: Clean and destem mushrooms, cutting large mushroom caps in half.
  2. In large bowl, toss mushrooms with olive oil, fresh sage and fresh rosemary. Let mushrooms marinate 1 hour, tossing occasionally to absorb oil.
  3. Heat oven to 400° F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Spread marinated mushrooms on baking sheets, making sure mushrooms are in single layer and not crowded. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast 30 minutes until mushrooms are crisped and golden brown at edges.
  6. To make Agrodulce: In small saucepan over medium-low heat, bring vinegar and honey to simmer, stirring occasionally until honey dissolves.
  7. Continue simmering 15-20 minutes until vinegar is reduced by half and is thick and syrupy.
  8. To serve, place roasted mushrooms on platter and drizzle generously with Agrodolce and olive oil. Serve with choice of side.

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Rustic Tuscan Potato Leek Soup with Olive Oil Pesto

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

Potato Leek Soup:

  • 3          medium-large leeks
  • 2          tablespoons Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1          large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste (optional)
  • 2          pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 2-inch cubes
  • 6          cups chicken or vegetable broth

Pesto:

  • 1          packed cup fresh basil
  • 1          packed cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1          medium-large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 3          tablespoons pine nuts or 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       cup Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. To make Potato Leek Soup: Trim bulb ends and tough, dark green stems off leeks. Slice tender white and light green stems in half lengthwise then soak in cold water 10-15 minutes to remove dirt. Drain leeks, rinse well and slice into thick half-moons.
  2. In large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-low heat, heat olive oil. Add leeks, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes and broth. Cover and increase heat to medium. Bring soup to simmer then uncover and continue cooking 30 minutes.
  4. Using immersion blender, puree soup until smooth, or carefully ladle into standing blender to puree in batches. Taste and add more salt, if desired.
  5. To make Pesto: In food processor, pulse basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, salt and olive oil to make chunky herb sauce.
  6. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and spoon Pesto on top of each serving.

Source:  Carapelli

Appetizers & Sides 06 August 2018

Make it Mediterranean

3 dishes to highlight the next trend in internationally themed cuisine

(Family Features) Just like forward-thinking culinary artists, many at-home chefs seek out the next trendy flavor to provide friends and family gathered around the table. When pondering which trend you'll dive into in the future, consider incorporating tastes from an especially influential international location - the Mediterranean Sea region.

Considered by the experts at Les Dames d'Escoffier International (LDEI) in the organization's 2018 Trends Report to be one of the most influential parts of the world on the American food scene, flavors from the Mediterranean Sea focus on a diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds and nuts. Take this Hummus recipe, for example, which involves processing a host of beans, seeds and seasonings to create a light, smooth dip to serve with anything from vegetables to crackers.

Because the fare is typically lighter, small bites and salads such as Fresh Figs with Honey or this Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad provide easy-to-prepare versions of Mediterranean cuisine. Incorporating vegetables (tomatoes and basil) along with the salty, milky flavors of feta cheese makes the salad a distinctly Mediterranean dish.

In addition to Mediterranean food, the trends report highlighted Middle Eastern cuisine and Latin American flavors as areas of the world that will influence American dining in the next year. Additionally, LDEI highlighted these regions as likely to be influential in the next three years:

  1. East Africa
  2. The Balkans
  3. The Caribbean Sea

To go along with specific regions and countries to influence American food culture, the report identified these international food concepts as the most likely to become prominent food trends:

  1. Puebla Hot Pot (Latin America, Mexico) - ancho chile, smoked paprika and spices in chicken stock, served with chicken or pork, corn, avocado crema and fresh garnishes.
  2. Manouri (Mediterranean, Greece) - a semi-soft, fresh white whey cheese made from goat or sheep milk.
  3. Millet (India) - ancient grains harvested from small-seeded grasses used for porridge.

Mediterranean food, because of its reliance on the inclusion of vegetables and exclusion of red meat in many of its dishes, also squarely fits into the top established and growing health trends, according to the report, which are:

  1. Vegetarian cuisine
  2. Organic
  3. Vegan cuisine

Find full results from the report and learn more about the organization at LDEI.org.

10 Ways to Find Culinary Inspiration

Consider these strategies for achieving inspiration in the kitchen from the LDEI 2018 Trends Report:

  • Traveling
  • Cookbooks
  • Farmers' markets
  • Internet and social media
  • Fresh produce
  • Food magazines
  • Chefs
  • Seasons
  • Beautiful imagery
  • People and culture

Tracking the Top Food Trends

As trends continue changing, growing and spreading, the experts at LDEI continue to provide updates from the food world. Find complete 2018 Trends Report survey results and expert panel insights by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LDEI is a worldwide philanthropic organization of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The invitation-only membership, composed of 2,300 women in 40 chapters across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico, is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality. For more information, visit LDEI.org or find LDEI on Facebook.


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Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Servings: 15-20

  • 8 medium size tomatoes, sliced into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 block (8 ounces) feta cheese, sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
  • 2 small packages fresh basil, leaves picked off stems
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. On large platter, arrange slices of tomato and feta so they overlap. Place basil leaf between each tomato and Feta slice. Repeat.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

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Hummus

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Yield: 2 cups

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) garbanzo beans
  • 1 medium garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Drain garbanzo beans reserving 1/2 cup liquid.
  2. In food processor, process garbanzo beans, garlic, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until incorporated. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl. Add garbanzo liquid and process until smooth.
  3. Scoop mixture into medium bowl, add black sesame seeds and mix gently. Serve with drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.

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Fresh Figs with Honey

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Servings: 6

  • 6 fresh figs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Slice figs in half lengthwise (stem to bottom). Distribute on small platter.
  2. Drizzle honey over each fig equally. Serve immediately.

Photos courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav

Source:  Les Dames d’Escoffier International

Appetizers & Sides 11 June 2018

Host a Better-for-You Barbecue

(Family Features) A traditional backyard barbecue is typically filled with a wide array of tempting foods that make it hard to keep a healthy eating plan on track. With a few simple modifications to your menu, you can transform your grilling party into a spread of better-for-you foods you can still enjoy.

Get creative on the grill. An easy swap like chicken or pork instead of burgers and brats is an instant nutrition boost. Use wood chips or a marinade to create a main dish so tasty you’ll forget it’s a health-conscious choice.

Put produce front and center. There’s no time like summer to enjoy the bounty of the garden, so pile on the veggies in place of dense, calorie-laden sides. A crisp, refreshing salad, lightly seasoned veggies on the grill and even fresh raw veggies with a light yogurt dip can all be healthier additions to your barbecue menu.

Make apps amazing. A health-conscious meal doesn’t have to mean eliminating entire courses. Appetizers while you wait for the grill to heat are practically a requirement, after all. Instead of the typical rich, creamy dips, try a lighter approach, like these cracker canapes. Add a special touch with Crunchmaster crackers, which are gluten-free, non-GMO and full of flavor. Made with wholesome ingredients from trusted sources and available in Sea Salt, Roasted Vegetable, Applewood Smoked BBQ and Aged White Cheddar flavors, these snacks are crafted to fit healthy lifestyles. 

Find more delicious ideas for summer entertaining at crunchmaster.com.
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Grilled Watermelon, Feta and Balsamic Cracker Canapes

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4          watermelon wedges (1/2-inch thick slices, 4 inches wide at base)
  • 16        Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Sea Salt Crackers
  • 1/4       cup finely crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4       cup prepared balsamic reduction
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  1. Heat grill to medium-high; grease grate well. Grill watermelon wedges, turning once, 3-5 minutes, or until grill-marked on both sides. Cut each watermelon wedge into four smaller wedges.
  2. Top each cracker with watermelon wedge and sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Garnish with fresh mint.

Tip: Add finely chopped Kalamata olives for a tangy twist.

Source: Crunchmaster

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