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Tomato-Pasta Salad

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Yesterday’s bounty from my yard and some bonus homemade salsa

Tomato season is in full swing. Every meal has tomatoes in one form or another. This is a nice combination of flavors to shake things up from the usual pasta salads:

Tomato-Pasta Salad

  • 10 oz dry rotini pasta, cooked, drained, chilled
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or stone-ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 oz fresh basil
  • 4 oz fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 oz Kalamata (Greek green) olives
  • 4 oz shredded parmesan
  • 2 oz crumbled Feta
  • 8 oz diced ham (opt)

serving bowl, bowl, saucepan

In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, pepper, garlic & basil.  Slowly whisk in oil.  To serving bowl, add pasta, fresh basil, spinach, tomatoes, olives, parmesan, opt. ham and toss with dressing.  Garnish with crumbled feta.



 

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Side Dishes: Antipasto Salad

This is great with Chicken Tortellini Soup or Linguine with Peppers

Antipasto Salad

  • 4 oz can sliced black olives
  • 2 oz jar sliced green olives
  • 4 fresh mushrooms, washed & sliced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 oz green beans, cooked & cooled
  • 1 green pepper, seeded & sliced
  • 1 banana pepper, seeded & sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 oz grated parmesan or Asiago cheese

serving bowl

Mix vegetables together in serving bowl.  Blend vinegar, oil, basil & garlic then pour over vegetables and toss.  Salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with cheese.



 

 

Dinner Menu: Pasta with Marinated Vegetables and Bruschetta

Photo courtesy FoodNetwork

Photo courtesy FoodNetwork

Just finished giving the Beast a bath. He hasn’t been in the tub all summer because he loves sprinklers, his pool and my neighbor hosing him down. The first thing I noticed: he’s grown. I’ll post pictures later.

Keeping in the vegetarian theme, here is this week’s dinner menu.

On the board:

  1. Pasta w/ Marinated Vegetables
  2. Tomato & Olive Oil Bruschetta
  3. Grapes

Pasta w/Marinated Vegetables

  • 10 oz Rotini pasta
  • 1 tray ice cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled & chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 10 to 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 red onion, sliced in rings
  • 2 oz black olives
  • 2 oz grated parmesan

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 oz fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tsp minced oregano leaves
  • 1 to 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Saucepan, skillet, bowl, serving bowl

Mix together dressing and refrigerate. In saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse in cold water and toss with ice cubes. Set aside and let cubes melt. While pasta is cooking, in skillet, heat oil and sauté eggplant, mushrooms and zucchini until tender. Remove and cool in refrigerator while preparing remaining vegetables. In bowl, toss all vegetables with dressing. Remove any un-melted ice cubes from pasta, and toss with vegetables, refrigerate 10 minutes. Add cheese.

Tomato & Olive Oil Bruschetta

  • 1 loaf Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (more if needed)
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 4 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 green onions, chopped

baking sheet and bowl

Gently toss 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp crushed garlic, basil, tomatoes and green onions and set aside. Mix togethere 1 tbsp oil and 1 tsp garlic. Spread on sliced sides of bread. Broil bread until golden brown on top (watch carefully). Layer tomato mixture on each half of the bread and then slice each half into quarters or eighths.

Shopping List:

  • 10 oz Rotini pasta
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 2 zucchini
  • 10 to 12 cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 loaf Italian bread
  • Large bunch of basil
  • Small bunch oregano
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 green onions
  • Grapes or any in season fruit

Also: crushed garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar

 

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Pizza Pr0n – Many Meats

DSC_9191 (1600x1060)I started the dough for this yesterday, 2 cups of bread flour, one cup water, 1/4t tsp yeast, a pinch of sugar and a dash of salt.  It was pretty well inflated by noon, I dumped it into a pizza pan and massaged it into shape while the oven preheated to 425-ish.  It par-baked for eight minutes and then I pulled it to furnish with toppings.  I had some leftover roasted plum tomatoes that went on first in lieu of a sauce, sprinkled on shredded mozzarella, sparingly, and then piled on the meats.  Italian sausage, already browned and drained, crispy bacon pieces, fried ham, and prosciutto that was tossed in the bacon grease to brown a bit.

Mrs J’s side got pickled onion pepper rings, I added mushrooms and chopped ripe olives.  I gave it another sprinkle of mozz and slid it back into the oven, it needed another ten minutes or so.  It must have been better than usual because Mrs J went on and on about how good it was.  I thought it one of my better efforts – she wasn’t just blowing smoke.DSC_9193 (1600x1060)

Mmm… meatballs

DSC_7590 (1600x1060)I had a sudden urge to make some meatballs after looking at a meatball sub the other day.  I have usually pan browned mine but I went with the oven for them this time after viewing one of the TV cooking shows.DSC_4477 (1600x1060)I mixed a batch with mostly ground beef but there is about 20% pork sausage in there.  No recipe but there is chopped spinach, grated Parmesan, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, various dried herbs, a splash of milk, a couple of eggs, and a fistfull of bread brumbs.  These are roughly golf ball sized.DSC_4478 (1600x1060)I gave them about 40 minutes at 400 while some canned San Marzano tomatoes simmered with a little basil and garlic.  Mrs J made salads for us while the spaghetti boiled.  I’ve been buying a lot of olives lately.  I keep them in a marinade of store bought Italian dressing with lemon wedges and crushed cloves of garlic.  I wish we had a better source of olives than the Kroger store near us.  I’ve bought them online before but the quality varies a lot, and the shipping can double the price.DSC_7587 (1600x1060)Plenty of meatballs leftover!  I think that meatball sub that got me going on these is coming up pretty soon.

Pizza Pr0n

DSC_7346 (1600x1060)

Mmm… lamb burger

DSC_7075 (1600x1060)My local Kroger store surprised me with lamb patties but I dithered about using them until tonight when I threw this dinner together.  The yogurt came from one of those little cups – plain Greek yogurt with dried dill weed added and a little garlic.  I’ve been collecting olives, the plate tonight has three kinds: Baby kalamatas, country style cracked green olives, and stuffed manzanillas.  The garden is still producing tomatoes but the nights have been cooler so they will be coming to an end.  Love them with feta and kosher salt.

Pizza Night

DSC_6956 (1600x1060)This one is a cheese stuffed crust pie with my own homemade Italian sausage.  I added a caramelized sweet onion along with a few dried tomatoes atop a base of awesome sauce.  Plenty of cheese over all of that.DSC_6957 (1600x1060)The cheese in the crust is a string style snack mozzarella blend.  The cheese on top is a packaged “Italian blend” along with additional fresh mozzarella and grated Parmesan.DSC_6960 (1600x1060)I like to trick my platter out with garnishes and extra pepper flakes.  These are marinated garlic stuffed olives along with a few baby kalamatas.  The marinade is olive oil and red wine vinegar with rosemary and lemon peel and pinches of dried basil and oregano.DSC_6962 (1600x1060)Leftovers!  I slide the extra slices around so they aren’t touching and place the whole thing into the freezer.  In the morning I’ll pop them loose from the pan and seal them into freezer bags.

Greek Salad

DSC_6492 [1600x1200]We needed to finish out the ground lamb we had thawed so gyros were in order.  I looked for suggestions for a side and saw mentions of a Greek salad in several places.  A search for “Greek salad” turned up one from Rachael Ray.  It turned out rather well, I think.DSC_6496 [1600x1200]

Pizza Night

DSC_6446 [1600x1200]We like the big crusts.  This 14″ pie has 3-1/4 cups of flour in it.  I rolled string mozzarella into the edge and sprinkled it with kosher salt after spritzing with olive oil.DSC_6456 [1600x1200]I’m calling this one a triple triple – it has three meats, three cheeses, and three veggies.  Three veggies if you stretch the definition to include mushrooms. The other two are onions and olives  Err, if you count olives.  Gah!  It has Italian sausage, ham, and pepperoni for the meats; mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan are the cheeses.DSC_6461 [1600x1200]