GARDEN-INSPIRED RECIPES: TOMATO CROSTINI WITH FETA CREAM CHEESE SPREAD & SUMMER SALADS

Fresh Herbs & Greenhouse Salad

DON’T WORRY, EAT HAPPY JULY 4

July 4 is one of my all-time favorite celebrations!  With colorful fireworks overhead and sparklers in-hand, enjoy this Day of Independence surrounded by love, gratitude and delicious eats. Whether it’s garden greens, juicy tomatoes or grilled skewers, there’s nothing like a robust gathering full of good food and great friends. Don’t Worry, Eat Happy 4th of July!

Let’s Play!

Be sure to check our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages for updates or email mindy@mealsonheelsbymindy.com to schedule your individual phone consultation for specialized private cooking lessons and family-friendly pantry make-overs. Don’t Worry, Eat Happy!

EAT WELL. FEEL WELL. ENTERTAIN WELL.


LOVE your life!
CELEBRATE your culinary creativity!
PLAY with a renewed vitality!
Exercise! Breathe Fresh Air! Exhale Sunshine! Listen to INSPIRING TUNES WHILE COOKING!

Music, one of my daily culinary inspirations, is not just background noise…it is a way of life and joy in the kitchen.

  • Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen
  • Freedom, Jimi Hendrix
  • Stronger, Kelly Clarkson
  • Firework, Katy Perry
  • Young Americans, David Bowie
  • America, Neil Diamond
  • America the Beautiful, Ray Charles

GARDEN SHIRAZI SALAD

Prepared in 20 minutes.

Ingredients

1 red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 lbs seedless cucumbers, cut into discs
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
3 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
5 Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice, divided into 2 portions
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided into 2 portions
½ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
½ bunch of chives, cut into match-stick size pieces
¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
¼ bunch fresh dill, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped

Preparation

Combine sliced onion with red wine vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside for 15-20 minutes. Drain.

Gently toss with your hands the marinated onions, cucumbers, garlic, tomatoes, fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to a serving platter.  Add fresh herbs and remaining half of lime juice and olive oil to the large bowl.  Season to taste. Toss. Pile the herb mixture atop salad. Serve immediately.  Serves 4-6.

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the sweet and tangy flavor of tomatoes. Tomatoes are excellent sources of potassium and several vitamins including folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. But did you know that eating tomatoes reduce inflammation and could possibly help to burn fat? Bioflavonoids, which are concentrated in the tomato skin, may counteract inflammation and allergic reactions. Don’t Worry, Eat Happy.

 

Tomato Crostini and Feta Spread

TOMATO CROSTINI & FETA SPREAD

Prepared in 15 minutes or less.

Ingredients

6 oz fresh Feta
2 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
Juice of 1 lemon + zest
1/3 cup olive oil
2 lbs ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 baguette cut diagonally into 20 ½-inch slices, toasted
4 Tbs fresh basil, cut into long thin strips (chiffonade)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Lightly toast baguette slices.  Remove toasted crostini from oven and allow to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, combine Feta, softened cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and zest and two tablespoons olive oil.  Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, combine shallot, red wine vinegar and olive oil.  Allow to macerate for 5 minutes.  Add cherry tomatoes and three tablespoons fresh basil. Toss gently to combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes.

Spread Feta mixture atop each crostini.  With a slotted spoon, top each crostini with tomato mixture.  Garnish with remaining basil.  Serve immediately.  Serves 8.

Simple and Delicious!

GRILLED MOZZARELLA AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO SKEWERS
Prepared in 10 minutes or less.

Ingredients

24 pieces of good quality sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 lbs fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes
16 fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
8 skewers
Salt and fresh pepper to taste

Preparation

Preheat grill or oven to broil. Lightly brush the grill rack or broiler pan with olive oil.

On each skewer, alternating the ingredients, thread three pieces of sundried tomatoes, two mozzarella cubes and two basil leaves. Brush the mozzarella with marinade from the sundried tomato jar.

Grill or broil the skewers just until the mozzarella begins to melt, flipping once. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

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