Wednesday, May 26, 2010

small bites: artichoke & sun dried tomato bruschetta

this is the last post of my small bites series, and probably the most simple of 'recipes'.  it's actually just two ingredients, but the end result is super yummy.  i love artichoke hearts on... everything.  i want to create twist on the standard tomato bruschetta, and thought artichoke hearts would make a great ingredient to swap in.  and to give it a just another little zing, i used sun dried tomatoes, although i'm sure regular ones would make a nice flavour combo as well. the picture here is half a bowl of simple tomato bruschetta (left) and the artichoke and sun dried tomato on the right.  i didn't want to dirty up all of kim's dishes just for a pic!

  • 6 oz. small jar of marinate artichoke hears
  • 7-8 sun dried tomatoes, not oil packed
i buy sun dried tomatoes in bulk and just rehydrate them when i need.  in this case, i soaked them in a warm bowl of water for about 25 minutes, and then sliced each one into matchstick size pieces. next, drain the artichoke hearts. if you aren't using the marinated ones in a jar, i would suggest making a marinade of olive oil and some spices and letting them sit for a while.  the pre-marinated ones make this so much easier, though.

and that's it.  combine and let sit for a few hours.  no need to add garlic or other spices, cause the artichoke hearts take care of it for you!   

Monday, May 17, 2010

small bites: zesty olive tapenade

as i recently posted about, my friend kim and i had a delicious feast of italian tapenades and bruschetta for dinner one night.  kim used her new ninja to make this olive tapenade.  i love my magic bullet, but the ninja looked like it could hold a little bit more - i might have to consider getting one.  this tapenade was sooo good - it tasted a little zingy at first, but it was totally balanced out by the flat breads and crackers.

  • 3/4 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cup green olives (w/ pimentos)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
 this is one of those simple throw together recipes - just toss everything in a ninja or food processor, and pulse several times.  you don't want a puree, but rather a finely minced tapenade.  it makes a good cup and  half - quite a bit of tapendade.  it's definitely an easy go to recipe, especially if you keep olives on hand.  thanks for the recipe, kim!

Friday, May 7, 2010

small bites: simple tomato bruschetta

my friend kim and i met for dinner recently and decided to make a fun dinner of small bites - all italian themed.  i love having the variety of dinners like these - it's satisfies so many cravings at once.  this night i made a tomato bruschetta, and an artichoke bruschetta and kim made a super zesty olive tapenade.  we served them on flatbread crackers and wheat crisps, but they would be awesome on some crunchy french bread as well.  i'll post the recipes for each in my upcoming blogs starting with the simple tomato bruschetta. enjoy!

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

core and chop your tomatoes and place in a bowl.  add in the minced garlic and dried basil, and then drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top.  gently toss and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  some notes: i rarely eat onions, so i excluded and went for a straight forward tomato flavor.  also, you can sub in fresh basil, but i didn't have any on hand, so i just used dried.  letting it sit overnight really made the difference in flavor.