TheAncientOlive

No Cook Bulgar Salad with Meditteranean Vegetables & Lemony-Dill Vinaigrette

Ingredients
2 cups bulgar
1/2 cup Wild Fernleaf Dill Olive Oil
1/4 cup Sicilian White Balsamic
Juice and zest of one large lemon
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can or cup of garbanzo beans, drained
1 large English cucumber finely diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 red onion finely minced
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup crumbled feta (optional)
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Soak the bulgur in very hot water (enough to cover the bulgur by 1") along with a tablespoon of salt for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until completely cooled and drained. Fluff and set aside. Combine all the other ingredients (except the feta) and mix well. Marinate these ingredients for up to an hour in the refrigerator. In a large bowl, combine the completely drained and cooled bulgur with the marinated ingredients, tossing well to combine and sprinkle with feta if using. Adjust the seasoning again and serve.

Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a side
Categories: Soups and Salads

Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Green Garlic

This quick and easy summer appetizer is bursting with flavor and is perfect served with crusty bread or pita.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz block feta cheese
  • 1 T The Ancient Olive Oregano White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 T Eurkea  Lemon Olive Oil 
  • 1 handful of fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 pinch of French Grey Sea Salt
  • 1/4 c green olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1 clove green garlic or garlic, cut into thin rounds
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • crusty bread or pita

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • 2. Place the feta in a small oven safe serving dish (a small tart pan, ramekin, cazeula or tapa dish) and pour the Oregano White Balsamic and Eureka Lemon Olive Oil over the cheese. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
  • 3. Toss the tomatoes, olives, and green garlic with a pinch of salt. Place over the cheese.
  • 4. Cook for 15 minutes until the cheese has softened and warmed through and serve immediately with crusty bread or pita. The wonderful juices that the cheese, lemon oil and oregano create are perfect for crusty bread!
Categories: Soups and Salads

Cremini, Blue Cheese and Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil Flat Bread

A mushroom lovers delight!  Here  you’ll find layer upon glorious layer of mushroom; using The Ancient Olive Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil in the dough and also with the caramelized mushroom topping.  The results are a simple yet supremely satisfying flat bread that begs to be served alongside a crisp, vibrant salad with a bit of acidity.

Flat Bread Dough

2 1/2 cups of All-Purpose unbleached flour
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons The Ancient Olive Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Mushroom Topping
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons The Ancient Olive Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil 
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms such as Cremini, Shitake, Oyster, Porcini, Chanterelle, etc.
sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

To make the flat bread dough, mix together the olive oil, warm water, yeast, and sugar.  Allow to sit for five minutes to bloom. Blend the salt with the flour and mix with the wet ingredients to form a somewhat moist dough.

Knead the dough for about five minutes adding just a bit of flour if it becomes too sticky, until a smooth dough forms.  Divide in to two balls and set aside covered in a warm place to rise until doubled, for about 1 hour.

Meanwhile make the mushroom topping.  In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt to taste.  Sauté until they just begin to turn a light golden-brown color.  Add the sliced shallot and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the shallot is sweet, soft, and also gently caramelized.  Adjust seasoning as desired with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool while the dough rises.  Alternatively, you can use your bread machine or stand mixer to mix and knead the dough.

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

To assemble, roll each flat dough ball in to a very thin circle, approximately 8″ in diameter. Place the rolled dough on to a sheet pan or pizza pan either greased with olive oil, lined with parchment, or dusted with cornmeal.

Arrange the caramelized mushroom-shallot mixture evenly over both pieces of dough.  Sprinkle each with equal portions of crumbled blue cheese, and another drizzle of WIld Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil, and additional fresh ground pepper (if desired).  Slide the flat bread in to the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and beginning to caramelize and the crust is golden brown and slightly puffed.  Rotate the flat bread half way through the cooking process to ensure that each cooks evenly.

Serves 4-6

Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche
1 pound cooked shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined
Juice of 2 limes
1 cup diced seeded peeled cucumber (1/4-inch dice)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 serrano chiles or jalepenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup diced seeded tomato
1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro leaves, plus more leaves for garnish
1/4 cup Persian Lime olive oil and 1/2 cup Coconut White balsamic or Ripe Peach White balsamic

PREPARATION

Chop the shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a medium nonreactive bowl. Add lime, stir in cucumber, onion and chiles. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Stir tomato, chopped cilantro, oil and balsamic. 1/4 teaspoon salt into the shrimp mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.

Oven Roasted Tomato Quiche with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pastry Crust

Ingredients for the Crust:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup fruity, Picual By Oro Bailen Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1/2 cup warm water

Ingredients for the Quiche Filling:
7 large eggs, beaten
1 - 1 1/2 cups oven roasted tomatoes, drained thoroughly
2 tablespoons fresh basil, torn or chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded Fontina
1/4 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano
2 teaspoons good quality Dijon mustard, optional (try our Edmond Fallot basil or tarragon mustards!)
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 cloves garlic minced
Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
10″ Olive Oil Pastry Crust recipe above


Directions for the Crust:
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and flaxseed meal. Add the olive oil and water and mix quickly with a fork until it comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a lightly floured board or parchment-covered surface, roll out the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick round. Gently press into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Cover the tart with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prick all over with the tines of a fork. Bake crust in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool before filling.

Directions for the Quiche Filling:
Preheat the oven to 400. Saute the shallots until lightly browned. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Combine the shallots, garlic, and basil with the beaten eggs. Season the egg mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Spread 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard over bottom of crust (optional), and then sprinkle 1 cup of Fontina cheese over the bottom of the crust. Arrange the oven roasted tomatoes over the cheese. Add the remaining cheese, including Romano over the tomatoes. Pour the egg shallot mixture over the top. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the filling is set, slightly puffed and golden brown.

Enjoy warm, or allow to cool to room temperature. It can be made a day in advance or may be frozen and re-warmed.

Categories: Quiche and Egg Dishes

Pear Arugula Salad with Walnuts & Blue Cheese

This beautiful salad recipe and photo comes to us from Yelena Strokin of Cooking Melangery.

This Pear Arugula Salad is elegant and unusual recipe for dinner party salads or sophisticated lunch appetizer that will appeal to the eye as well as the palate. A luxurious creation from simple ingredients is presented to maximum visual effect and guaranteed to impress and please your guests.

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:




Directions:

Cut pears horizontally into 3 or 4 slices depending on the size of your pears. Use a paring knife to cut out the cores. The pieces should look like O's. Leave the stem on the pop piece. Brush slices of pear with lemon juice to keep it from browning.

Toss arugula, radishes, walnuts, and blue cheese with vinegar, oil and seasonings.

Reassemble the pear, vertically, with the arugula-radish salad in between each slice. Drizzle with honey, and serve.


Categories: Soups and Salads

Homemade Hummus Made w/Dried Chickpeas by Yelena Strokin, Cooking Melangery

This recipe (and photo) comes to us by Yelena Strokin's wonderful food blog: Cooking Melangery.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp pink himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste (sesame seed paste)
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup liquid from cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (our lemon olive oil or spicy harissa olive oil would work             well here, too!)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

For garnishes:


Directions:

Put chickpeas in a bowl, add water and soak in cool place for 12 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse well.

Place chickpeas in a saucepan with fresh water to cover. Bring to boil, cover and cook over low heat for about 1 hour. Drain, and reserve some cooking liquid. Place the chickpeas immediately in ice cold water, that way it's easy to peel them.....If you remove the skins from the chickpeas before you grind them you get a much better creamy texture. It takes a few extra minutes, but it is so worth it.

Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it's minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Adjust flavor and consistency with cooking liquid, and add salt if necessary. Hummus should be thick and smooth....

Spread puree in a shallow serving dish, swirling with back of a spoon. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in center and garnish with paprika, sesame seeds and herbs, or Zahtar spice blend. Serve with Yelena's homemade pita bread.

Grilled Brie Sandwiches with Chocolate and Roasted Strawberries or Cherries



Directions

  1. Toss the berries/cherries in the balsamic vinegar, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer, drizzle with EVOO and roast in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat.
  3. Butter one side of each slice of bread or add butter olive oil to pan, place one slice in the pan with buttered side down, top with half of the cheese, the chocolate, cherries, basil leaves, the remaining cheese, then crown with the other slice of bread with buttered side up.
  4. Grill until golden brown and the cheese and chocolate has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.

Balsamic Truffles


Balsamic Ganache Truffles
1/2 Cup Steaming hot heavy cream
1 pinch of sea salt
8 ounces best quality dark chocolate in chip form, or chopped
3 tablespoons dark or white balsamic - my favorite options for this are: coconut, raspberry, tangerine strawberry, maple, espresso, lavender, or traditional.
1/2 cup cocoa powder for rolling the truffles or use 6 oz. tempered (melted chocolate) for coating the truffles.


Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size heat proof bowl.

Heat the cream and salt in a heavy bottom sauce pan over low heat until it just begins to steam. Do not allow it to simmer or boil.

Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes without stirring. Stir the mixture gently until all the chocolate is melted. Add the balsamic and stir to combine well. Cool to room temperature and then place the bowl in the refrigerator, covered until the ganache has become cold and can be scooped and formed into balls.

Have a baking with a sheet of parchment ready that will fit into your fridge or freezer.

Take 1 teaspoon of cold balsamic ganache and quickly roll between your hands to form a ball. If you spend too much time trying to get the shape just right, you'll begin to melt the ganache and it will be a mess.

Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and then place the sheet in the fridge or freezer to firm up the truffles when you're done rolling all of them.

Now you can roll into cocoa powder or in tempered (melted) chocolate. However, these are best stored in single layers, separated by parchment or wax paper in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They can be taken out and served at room temperature.

Makes approximately 30-40 truffles

Categories: Desserts