(Family Features) Cool winter days and their cold, crisp air call for a quick warmup in the form of a classic combo: soup and sandwich. Next time you need warmed up from the inside out, go for a homemade pairing that brings together a cheesy handheld and hearty minestrone.
When you sit down for a wintertime meal with the family, Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets provides the comfort you crave with caramelized onions, gooey melted cheese and toasted sourdough. Slowly simmered to savory perfection, 3-Bean Tortellini Minestrone – powered by READ 3-Bean Salad – plays the ideal complement to the griddled sandwiches as a filling soup without the hassle.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Pickled Beets
Recipe courtesy of "Carlsbad Cravings"
Prep time: 60 minutes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large yellow onions, halved, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1-2tablespoons water (optional)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 large sourdough slices, 1/2-inch thick
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces shredded gruyere cheese, at room temperature
- 1 jar Aunt Nellie's Sliced Pickled Beets (about 32 beets)
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- To make caramelized onions: In Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes then reduce heat to medium.
- Cook until onions are caramelized and rich, deep golden brown, about 25 minutes, stirring often. Turn heat to medium-low or add water if onions are dry or start to scorch before caramelizing.
- Add sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes; cook 1 minute. Onions should be jammy and darkly caramelized when done. Remove to plate to cool.
- To make sandwiches: Spread out bread slices on flat surface. Spread thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of each bread slice.
- Turn four bread slices over and spread goat cheese on plain side. Top goat cheese with gruyere, even layer of beets, caramelized onions and arugula. Top with remaining bread, mayo side out. Secure with toothpicks, if desired.
- In large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add two sandwiches, cover and grill until bottom of bread is toasted, about 5-7 minutes, and cheese starts melting, checking often. Flip and cook, uncovered, until cheese is melted and bottom of bread is toasted.
- Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
3-Bean Tortellini Minestrone
Recipe courtesy of "Joy of Eating"
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 can (15 ounces) READ 3-Bean Salad
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 peeled garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pinches salt, plus additional to taste, divided
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus additional to taste, divided
- 3 small carrots, trimmed, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 9-10 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 2 cups baby spinach
- jarred pesto, for serving (optional)
- Drain and rinse bean salad; set aside.
- In large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic and 1 pinch salt; saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Stir in Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, celery and zucchini with remaining pinch salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp tender, 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes. Add Parmesan rind, if desired. Cook about 10 minutes until most tomato juice evaporates. Pour in vegetable broth. Bring to boil. Add tortellini; cook 2 minutes, or just until tender. Stir in bean salad and spinach. Cook 2-3 minutes to heat through.
- Season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve garnished with pesto, if desired.
Use a pantry staple to spice up comfort food classics
(Family Features) As chilly weather sets in and days get shorter, comfort food favorites once again fill menus. While traditional flavor combinations typically hold a special place in many families’ hearts and on their plates, there is almost always room to add new and exciting flavors to tried-and-true favorites.
If you’re craving cheesy scalloped potatoes, savory stuffing or juicy braised meat, an option like California Ripe Olives are an easy addition that can spruce up your go-to dishes. Their mild and unique taste lends itself well to many different flavor pairings such as Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Turkey Breast, Potatoes Au Gratin with Olives and Fennel, and Green Beans with Olive Butter.
California family farms produce 95% of the ripe olives grown in the United States. Multi-generational family farmers work with family-owned canneries to produce each can and ensure only the highest quality olives make it from the farm to your table.
For more creative ways to use olives, including family recipes from growers across California, visit CalOlive.org.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Turkey Breast
Recipe courtesy of Karista’s Kitchen
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 quarts water
- 3 1/2-4 pounds turkey breast
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4-1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup sliced California Green Ripe Olives, divided
- 4-5 slices prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1-1 ½ cups chicken broth
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- orange slices, for garnish
- To brine turkey breast: In large, non-reactive bowl, mix salt, peppercorns and bay leaves in water. Place turkey breast in brine and cover with additional water, if needed. Place plastic wrap over bowl and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
- To cook turkey breast: Heat oven to 375° F.
- Remove turkey breast from brine, rinse and pat dry. On large cutting board with sharp, sturdy knife, slice into thickest portion of turkey and cut lengthwise, but not all the way through.
- Brush inside of turkey breast with 1 tablespoon olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, rosemary, parsley and orange zest. Spread minced garlic, cranberries and 1/2 cup sliced green olives over bottom half of turkey breast then fold top over bottom.
- Brush outside of turkey breast with remaining olive oil and place prosciutto slices over top of turkey breast. Using three pieces kitchen twine, tie turkey breast on each end and in middle.
- On baking sheet, roast turkey 15 minutes then turn heat down to 350° F and roast 35-45 minutes. Once internal temperature reaches about 155° F, remove from oven and tent foil over top to allow it to continue cooking and stay warm. Let turkey rest about 15 minutes.
- Once turkey is cool enough to handle, remove kitchen twine and slice. Arrange slices on platter.
- To make gravy: Take remaining juice from baking sheet and add to saucepan over medium heat along with butter. Once butter is melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk. While whisking, add 1 cup chicken broth. If it becomes thick, add 1/2 cup chicken broth, or more, as needed. Let gravy cook several minutes, whisking constantly.
- When gravy is done, remove from heat and drizzle over sliced turkey breast. Garnish with remaining green olives and orange slices. Serve warm.
Green Beans with Olive Butter
Recipe courtesy of Culinary Hill
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 20 California Black Ripe Olives, chopped
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 quarts, plus 1/4 cup, water, divided
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus additional, to taste
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In food processor, pulse butter, olives, shallots and garlic; set aside.
- In large saucepan or stockpot, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil.
- Add green beans and boil until tender-crisp, but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Work in batches, if necessary. Drain well and immediately plunge into bowl of ice water to stop cooking. In large skillet, add remaining water over medium heat. Add blanched beans and toss until heated through.
- Toss beans with olive butter to coat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving platter.
Potatoes Au Gratin with Fennel and Olives
Recipe courtesy of Heather Likes Food
- 1 bulb fennel, washed, stalks removed and cored
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 large russet potatoes, washed and peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1/2 California Ripe Black Ripe Olives, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated, divided
- 3/4 cup Jarlsberg cheese, grated, divided
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Using mandoline or handheld slicer, thinly slice fennel, onion and potatoes.
- In medium pan, heat olive oil and butter then saute onion and fennel over medium-low heat 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat.
- In large bowl, combine sliced potatoes with 1 cup cream, olives, salt, pepper and all but 2 tablespoons of each cheese.
- Add cooked fennel and onion to bowl and stir to combine.
- Transfer potato mixture to 8-by-8-inch baking dish or deep pie plate and flatten surface so potatoes are mostly submerged in cream.
- In small bowl, combine remaining cheese with remaining cream. Sprinkle cheese over top of potatoes evenly.
- Bake 45-60 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown and bubbly. If needed, tent with foil to prevent top from becoming too brown.
- Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Source: California Olive Committee