Grilled Serrano Salsa Verde

Grilling the chiles tames their heat a bit and adds a nice smoky flavor to this green sauce. You can fine-tune the heat by using fewer or more chiles, depending on the intensity of the ones you have and your personal taste. This sauce goes well with any grilled meat or fish. Makes about 2 cups.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Thread chiles onto skewer and grill, turning often, until charred and softened, about 6 minutes. Let cool; remove stems.
  2. Meanwhile, pluck leaves from basil and leaves and tender stems from cilantro and parsley. (You should have about 2 cups of each herb.)
  3. Pulse chiles, basil, cilantro, and parsley in a food processor until finely chopped. Add oil, vinegar, and salt and pulse until a thick, slightly textured sauce forms.
  4. Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe from Epicurious, Anna Stockwell

 


Whipped Feta with Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 1 cup TAO EVOO or Tuscan Herb Olive Oil or Pesto Olive Oil
  • kosher salt
  • 12 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp TAO EVOO
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 loaf crusty bread, sliced ½”
  • thyme + oregano leaves, to garnish
  • flaky sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F°. Add the cherry tomatoes, sliced garlic, and fresh herbs to a large cast-iron skillet. Cover with the olive oil, season with a pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Roast for 35-40 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and caramelized.
  2. Preheat the grill over high heat. Coat each slice of bread with a good amount of olive oil on both sides. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine the feta, olive oil, and water. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Grill the bread until slightly charred and crisp, just a minute or so per side. Transfer the bread to a cutting board and cut each piece in half.
  5. Spoon the feta cheese into a bowl. Add the roasted tomatoes over top, along with a generous drizzle of the oil from the skillet. Top the tomatoes with a few thyme and oregano leaves, flaky sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve the bread alongside.

This recipe was adapted from the original that appeared on Kayla’s beautiful website/blog: The Original Dish


Spiced Carrot Dip w/Pomegranate and Mint

A creamy, healthy, festive spiced carrot dip with pomegranate seeds, fresh mint, pistachios and sesame seeds is a wonderfully bright dip. Serve with grilled bread, mini naan or crudité.

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients:
 

  • 1 ½ lbs peeled carrots
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup TAO EVOO – you can be creative here and use a flavored olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey from Honey Feast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • chopped toasted pistachios
  • toasted sesame seeds, black and white seeds if possible
  • pomegranate seeds
  • torn mint
  • crudité, charred bread or mini naan

 

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and blanch them for about 6 minutes, or until fork tender. Transfer the carrots to a bowl of ice water to cool.
  2. Trim and discard the ends of the carrots, cut the carrots into chunks, and add them to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add the tahini, olive oil, water, lemon juice, honey, salt, smoked paprika, coriander, and cumin. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the processor as needed. Taste the dip and season with more salt, honey, or lemon juice if desired.
  4. Garnish the dip with the pistachios, sesame seeds, pomegranate seeds, torn mint, and a good drizzle of olive oil.
  5. Serve with crudité, charred bread or mini naan.

This recipe and photo were adapted directly from Kayla Howey’s beautiful blog and website, The Original Dish, https://www.theoriginaldish.com/2019/04/05/spiced-carrot-dip-with-pomegranate-mint/#tasty-recipes-6876

 


Maple Balsamic-Bacon Vinaigrette Over Wilted Baby Spinach

Makes 6 servings

ingredients:

preparation:

Place spinach in a serving bowl. Place the maple balsamic, half the crumbled bacon, red wine or champagne balsamic vinegar, salt, half the shallots, pepper, and mustard in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Gently warm while whisking – remove from heat before it reaches a simmer.  Allow to cool for a minute, and then whisk in the extra virgin olive oil to emulsify.  Adjust seasoning,

Gently dress spinach with warm vinaigrette and top with remaining crumbled bacon and shallot. Add blue cheese crumbles, chopped dates/strawberries/dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts if desired and serve warm.


Lemon-Honey Goat Cheese Pear Cheese Dip

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: The Ancient Olive butter-, rosemary– and lemon-infused olive oils work well here)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large Anjou pear, finely diced 4
  • ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Zest of 1 lemon Juice of ½ lemon
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • Handful of chopped walnuts

Instructions

Strain whole milk ricotta to get out as much liquid as possible. Set aside. Heat butter or olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add pears and cook until soft and golden, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In medium mixing bowl, mix together drained ricotta, goat cheese, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and caramelized pears. Transfer mixture to baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Top with chopped walnuts and bake another 8-10 minutes.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy! Serve with crostini or fruit slices.

culture: the word on cheese http://culturecheesemag.com/


Cantaloupe and Mozzarella Caprese Salad

This quick and easy salad is perfect for any occasion and is ideal when your current stock/selection of tomatoes is not very good. The fragrant and sweet balls of cantaloupe add a surprisingly delicious twist to the standard Caprese salad and we promise you won’t miss the tomatoes! Besides, if you’ve ever enjoyed a slice of cantaloupe wrapped up in salty prosciutto, you already know how delicious this combination is going to be. A total crowd pleaser!

Serves: serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cantaloupe, halved and seeded
  • 1 8-ounce container mozzarella balls (pearl size balls are a good choice here)
  • 8-10 slices prosciutto, chopped/torn into large pieces
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons TAO extra-virgin olive oil or TAO Basil olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon TAO Peach or Citrus Mint or Banana white balsamic vinegar
  • Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Scoop balls from the cantaloupe with a small spoon or melon baller and add to serving bowl or platter. Add the mozzarella pearls and the chopped/torn prosciutto. Sprinkle with the basil and mint leaves.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar together and season with Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the cantaloupe and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper and additional herbs to taste.

This recipe was adapted from Foodie Crush, August 2015: https://www.foodiecrush.com/cantaloupe-and-mozzarella-caprese-salad/


Classic Tomato Bruschetta

The outcome of this really depends on the quality of the ingredients.  Pick from the store or farmers’ market the ripest, heaviest you can find. We like the “ugly” and heirloom varieties, but when we can’t find great fresh tomatoes we’ll use high-quality, petite diced canned San Marzano tomatoes or fire roasted, petite diced from Muir Glen. Just be sure to drain the tomatoes thoroughly. Save the juice and add to pasta water or use the juice when steaming spinach or broccoli!

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 20-24 oz fresh tomatoes (4-5 roma tomatoes or 3-4 regular tomatoes) diced small. Or use canned, petite diced tomatoes that have been drained completely. Fire roasted tomatoes are excellent choice, too!
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons The Ancient Olive single varietal EVOO or Tuscan Herb or Basil olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon TAO PEDRO XIMENEZ AGED SHERRY WINE VINEGAR
  • TAO balsamic vinegar for drizzling. We like our extra dense, traditional and fig for this dish. Red wine vinegar is typically used to create a classic bruschetta, but you can optionally drizzle the bruschetta with balsamic vinegar just before serving.
  • salt & pepper (or to taste)
  • Optional: Grated parmesan Reggiano** do NOT use finely ground cheese as this will make the bruschetta look cloudy our muddy; grate should be like tiny pieces of angel hair or capellini pasta.
  • 1 baguette
  • EVOO & fresh garlic pieces
  • Our olives, as a side dish. Obviously, this is optional but a mistake not to serve them with this dish!

DIRECTIONS:

  • Dice tomatoes about 1/4″ and lightly drain.
  • Mix all ingredients and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  • Slice the baguette, brush with olive oil and toast or grill until lightly browned. Rub each toasted slice baguette with a clove of raw garlic.
  • Top with tomato mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Best served at room temp and with a big bowl of our amazing olives!

 


Marinated Olive and Feta Appetizer

This is a great appetizer by itself when served with crusty bread. Or, use a component of a composed cheese board, antipasto platter or charcuterie board.

Serves about 8 as an appetizer.

Ingredients:
Olive Oil Marinated Olives:
• 1 cup TAO EVOO + 4 strips lemon rind OR 1 cup TAO Lemon olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• 2 cups mixed olives, drained and rinsed of brine – We recommend our Spanish olives from Torremar
• 1 TBS oregano white balsamic

Marinated Feta:
• 3 cups TAO EVOO
• 2 TBS Greek Freak seasoning or Pink Peppercorn Thyme seasoning**
• 2 x 1lb chunks of feta cheese, drained and patted dry, cut in ½ inch chunks
**2 TBS of fresh/dried herbs will work here too: rosemary, bay leaves, thyme

Instructions:
Marinated Olives:
1. Place the lemon olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic (add lemon rind if not using lemon olive oil) in a medium frying pan over medium heat.
2. Cook for 4 minutes or until the garlic is golden. Add the olives and vinegar and toss until
warmed through.

Marinated Feta:
1. Place the oil and seasonings in a small saucepan over very low heat and gently cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until the oil becomes fragrant.
2. Place the feta in a large heatproof bowl or large jar. Pour over the oil mixture and set aside to
cool and marinate.
Note: The marinated feta and olives will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Tomato and Pumpkin Seed Salsa Fresca

This fresh recipe is wonderful with tortilla chips or poured over eggs, fish or added to tacos!

Ingredients:
• 1 can whole, peeled tomatoes (fire roasted is nice here)
• 1 cup cilantro, chopped, leaves only
• ½ cup red onion, diced
• Serrano peppers, roasted and chopped fine
• 2 Tbs lime juice
• 1 Tbs TAO extra virgin olive oil
• 1 medium avocado, sliced
• Salt and pepper to taste
Pepitas, roasted (we prefer Stonybrook Pepitas)

Instructions:
Drain the whole, peeled tomatoes, chop them up, and mix with 1 cup chopped cilantro (no stems), ½ cup diced red onion, 2 roasted and finely chopped serrano peppers, 1 Tbs EVOO and 2 Tbsp. lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in some toasted and ground pepitas for a delicious pumpkin salsa fresca. Serve with tortilla chips and sliced avocado


Grilled Bread with Thyme Pesto and Preserved Lemon Cream

The smokey grill flavor and crustiness of the bread combined with the salty, tangy, nutty, creamy,
herbiness of the toppings is wonderful enough by itself, but it can also serve as a jumping off point for any
number of sandwiches. You can top the bread and spreads off with slices of grilled chicken or a runny fried egg
and grilled asparagus, for example, and your life will never be the same…

Serves 6 slices

Ingredients

• 2 cups baby spinach, cleaned and torn into small pieces
• 1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves (stems removed)
• 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup TAO olive oil plus more for brushing
• 1/2 cup creme fraiche
• 2 teaspoons minced preserved lemon
• 6 thick slices of good Italian country bread

1. In a food processor, combine the spinach, thyme, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan, and salt. Process until the
ingredients are roughly chopped. With the processor running, gradually drizzle in the olive oil until you
have a chunky pesto. Set aside. (This will make more pesto than needed; the rest can be kept refrigerated
for about a week and used in other dishes like pasta, chicken, and fish.)
2. In a small bowl, combine creme fraiche and preserved lemon. Allow to stand in the refrigerator for about a
half hour for the flavors to combine.
3. Heat the grill. Lightly brush each slice of bread with olive oil on both sides. Grill the slices a minute or
two per side until they are crusty and have charred grill marks but are still soft in the middle.
4. Spread each slice of bread with the pesto, and top with a generous smear of preserved lemon cream.


Classic Tomato Bruschetta

The outcome of this really depends on the quality of the ingredients. Pick from the store or farmers’ market the ripest, heaviest you can find. We like the “ugly” and heirloom varieties, but when we can’t find great fresh tomatoes we’ll use high-quality, petite diced canned San Marzano tomatoes or fire roasted, petite diced from Muir Glen. Just be sure to drain the tomatoes thoroughly. Save the juice and add to pasta water or use the juice when steaming spinach or broccoli!

INGREDIENTS:
• 20-24 oz fresh tomatoes (4-5 roma tomatoes or 3-4 regular tomatoes) diced small. Or use canned, petite diced tomatoes that have been drained completely. Fire roasted tomatoes are excellent choice, too!
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped fine
• 2 tablespoons The Ancient Olive single varietal EVOO or Tuscan Herb or Basil olive oil
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar by Giuliano Hazan.
TAO balsamic vinegar for drizzling. We like our extra dense, traditional and fig for this dish. Red wine vinegar is typically used to create a classic bruschetta, and you can optionally drizzle the bruschetta with balsamic vinegar just before serving.
• 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper (or to taste)
• Optional: Grated parmesan Reggiano** do NOT use finely ground cheese as this will make the bruschetta look cloudy our muddy; grate should be like tiny pieces of angel hair or capellini pasta.
• 1 baguette
• EVOO & fresh garlic pieces
Our olives, as a side dish. Obviously, this is optional but a mistake not to serve them with this dish!

DIRECTIONS:
• Dice tomatoes about 1/4″ and lightly drain.
• Mix all ingredients and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
• Slice the baguette, brush with olive oil and toast or grill until lightly browned. Rub each toasted slice baguette with a clove of raw garlic.
• Top with tomato mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Best served at room temp and with a big bowl of our amazing olives!


Gremolata with Pasta

Gremolata is a dressing or garnish made with chopped parsley, garlic, and grated lemon zest (and sometimes mint), served as an accompaniment to meat, chicken or fish, or in this recipe, as the perfect match for pasta!

You can use the gremolata on flatbreads and as a marinade to baked chicken and fish. Gremolata also makes a bright accompaniment to oysters and shrimp! Always serve with fresh lemon slices or wedges.

Note: To make a bright Gremolata marinade or salad dressing, combine the first 6 ingredients of this recipe and add ¼ cup of TAO Citrus Mint balsamic vinegar.

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup minced parsley (leaves only)
  • 1 TBS fresh mint, minced (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lemons – zested carefully to avoid the pith, plus the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup TAO EVOO or TAO Milanese Gremolata olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb pasta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Mix the parsley, mint, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Toss the gremolata and the pasta until thoroughly coated. Serve immediately with sliced lemon.

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