Saturday, July 9, 2011

Caprese Sandwich. Kind Of.

Caprese sandwiches with mozzarella, tomatoes, and pesto on a baguette are a lunchbox favorite in my house. This is a twist on the traditional sandwich that stretches it a bit to include some other flavors and meat.  This is another one of those recipes where you can add what you like, leave off what you're not fond of, and make your own. Playing with recipes and finding the right fit for the right person is my new favorite hobby.  This sandwich received high marks from the eating machine in my family.

  • Fresh ciabatta rolls
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Cucumber, sliced lengthwise into 3-4 inch pieces
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Ham
  • Balsamic vinegar
Slice ciabatta for sandwiches.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar on bottom half of roll. Stack ingredients on the bottom, starting with mozzarella (it's the heaviest ingredient and is less likely to fall out on the bottom).  Top with the other half of the roll and enjoy!  Simple...

fresh ingredients

assembled and ready to enjoy

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tomatoes. Again. Grilled.

Tonight's tomatoes were cooked on the grill, in three varieties.  You can put anything you like on top of tomato slices, grill them for a few minutes, and have a colorful, tasty side dish in no time!

Picture first:

All started with sliced tomatoes drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.  On six tomato slices, I added fresh Italian parsley and after cooking, were drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  On three slices I added Havarti cheese and a grape that was sliced and rolled in parsley.  On the last three, I placed thin slices of red onion and cilantro.  All three were fabulous, but my vote was with the onion & cilantro first, and Havarti & grape second.

I assembled the tomato slices on a cooling rack that I put directly on the grill. Keep an eye on them while grilling; once they start to pull in around the edges, they are ready to enjoy!

Grilled Oysters.

Last month I enjoyed some amazing raw oysters on the east coast. Tonight, we enjoyed some amazing grilled oysters (and littleneck clams) from the east coast, right here at home.

  • a dozen fresh oysters, in half shells
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • sea salt
Heat olive oil and add butter, stirring until melted. Add parsley, lemon juice & salt.  Set oysters directly on heated grill, or place in a shallow pan filled with pebbles, rock salt, or rice (to prevent oysters from tipping), and place pan on grill.  Spoon a teaspoonful of oil & butter mixture over each oyster.  Grill 5-6 minutes, or until oysters start to curl slightly.  Enjoy with a squeeze of lemon juice or hot sauce...or just as they are.

This recipe works well with clams, too.  Cooking time is slightly less.  So good...