Thursday, January 24, 2013

Italian Vinaigrette

Tired of heavy, bottled dressings? It is so simple to make your own!  Here is a tasty Italian inspired salad dressing that is as easy as shaking the ingredients up in a jar. 
 
 
Italian Vinaigrette

½ cup good olive oil

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 tbl Dijon mustard

1 scallion minced

¼ tea oregano

¼ tea thyme

2 fresh basil leaves torn up small

1/8 tea cracked black pepper

2 tbl lemon juice
 

Combine all and whisk well...or shake in a jar
air

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Minestrone

What is better than homemade soup on a cold winters day??? ummmmm not much thats what!
This traditional Itaian soup is a super delicious, super good for you meal. This is one of my favorite recipes for Minestrone, another will be in my upcoming cookbook.  There are as many ways to make minestrone as there are cooks so don't be afraid to add or omit anything you would like. Add some crusty bread and enjoy this wonderful homey meal!  If your family follows a meatless meal day...this is an excellent option!



Minestrone

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, sliced

2 carrots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

4 ounces green beans, cut into 1 inch

pieces

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 1/2 quarts vegetable, chicken or beef stock

1 large can of diced tomatoes

3 potatoes – peeled and diced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or rosemary

1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, with

Liquid

1 chunk of Parmesan rind

1/4 cup  short cut pasta of your choice (I like Ditalini or small shells)

4 cups baby spinach

salt and ground black pepper to taste


Parmesan cheese – grated for topping

 

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and garlic….sauté for
  several minutes then add zucchini, green beans and celery. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for
15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the stock, tomatoes, potatoes, Parmesan rind and thyme or rosemary per your preference.
Bring to a boil, then replace the lid, and reduce heat to low; simmer gently for 30 minutes.
 
Stir in the cannellini beans with liquid and pasta. Simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until
pasta is al dente. Remove the Parmesan rind.  Add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper to taste
before serving. top each bowl with some grated cheese if desired.
 
This soup tastes better on day two, so consider making it the night before if possible!
 
 
You can add kidney or black beans as well if you are looking for a heartier soup.  Feel free to
experiment with different veggies as well.