Browsed by
Tag: Cheese!

Three Cheese Quiche Stuffed Peppers

Three Cheese Quiche Stuffed Peppers

Three Cheese Quiche Stuffed Peppers

 

2 medium bell peppers sliced in half and seeds removed

4 large eggs

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella shredded

1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. dried parsley

1/4 cup baby spinach leaves

2 T. parmesan cheese to garnish

 

Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare the peppers by slicing them into four equal halves and removing the seeds. In a small food processor blend the three cheeses, eggs, garlic powder, and parsley. My food processor is smaller than I would like so I did this in two batches, half and half, and then combined both fillings. Pour the egg mixture into each pepper, filling just below the rim. Place a few baby spinach leaves on top and stir with a fork, pushing them under the egg. Cover with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the egg is set. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and broil for 3-5 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.

Torn Figs and Burrata

Torn Figs and Burrata

Torn Figs and Burrata

 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling

3 rosemary sprigs

About 18 perfectly ripe figs* preferably Mission

12 ounces (3 balls) burrata

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup unsalted pistachios chopped, for garnish

 

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and rosemary just until the leaves begin to crisp. Place the rosemary sprigs on a paper towel for at least 10 minutes. Strip the leaves from the stem, discarding the stems. Tear or slice each fig into 4 pieces and divide them among 6 plates. Tear each ball of cheese in half and add a portion to each plate. Sprinkle the crisped rosemary and pistachios on top of the burrata cheese and figs, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

Herbed Lemon Cheese

Herbed Lemon Cheese

Herbed Lemon Cheese

 

1 quart whole or 2% milk

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ tsp. minced fresh chives

½ tsp. minced Italian parsley

¼ tsp. minced fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, grated

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Gently heat the milk to 180ºF. Add the lemon juice and stir slowly until the milk separates into curds and whey. Ladle into a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth together over the curds and tie with butcher’s twine. Let the curds drain in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours, or until the desired consistency. Transfer the cheese to a medium bowl, stir in the chives, parsley, thyme, and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Form the cheese into a wheel and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Savory Gruyere Custard

Savory Gruyere Custard

Savory Gruyere Custard

2 oz/55 g Gruyere cheese

2 oz/55 g Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

2 C./500 mL 35% cream

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 garlic clove

3 eggs

3 egg yolks

½ tsp. Dry Mustard

Salt and pepper

 

Assemble, prepare, and measure ingredients. Grate both cheeses. Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C. Lightly butter four l-cup/250 mL ramekins or a 1-quart/l L baking dish. In a small saucepan, warm cream over medium-low heat with thyme and garlic until steam rises. Remove from heat and allow to infuse and cool while you make the eggs. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and yolks with mustard (or cayenne) and salt and pepper. Stir in grated cheeses. Strain cream through a fine-mesh sieve and whisk into egg mixture. Pour custard mixture into ramekins (or baking dish) and place in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water around dishes to come halfway up their sides. Be careful not to splash any water into the custards, as you want them to be creamy and silken, not watery. Bake for 30 -45 minutes, or until center is just set. Custards in ramekins will cook more quickly than those in a single baking dish. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  To serve, place ramekins on individual plates or scoop out servings from larger baking dish.

Pan-Fried Feta with Thyme and Greek Marinated Olives

Pan-Fried Feta with Thyme and Greek Marinated Olives

Pan-Fried Feta with Thyme and Greek Marinated Olives

 

Greek Marinated Olives

1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves

4 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. dried fennel seeds

Zest of 1 lemon, peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler

2 C. mixed olives (I like kalamata and green olives)

Crushed red pepper flakes

 

1 large egg, beaten

1/3 C. panko bread crumbs

1 (10- to 12-ounce) block feta cheese

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

Crushed red pepper flakes

Grilled naan, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves, for serving

 

Marinate the olives. In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and fennel. Bring the oil to a simmer over medium-low heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and olives. Season with red pepper flakes. (The olives can be prepared up to 1 week in advance and stored in a glass jar in the fridge.) Make the feta. Pour the beaten egg into a shallow medium bowl. Put the panko in a separate shallow medium bowl. Dip the block of feta in the egg, coating all sides completely, then remove and allow any excess egg to drip off. Place the block of feta in the panko, pressing the crumbs gently to adhere. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. When it shimmers, add the feta and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden. Transfer the feta to a serving platter and garnish with fresh thyme, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve warm, with the marinated olives, naan, and tomatoes alongside.

Low Carb Baked Zucchini Casserole

Low Carb Baked Zucchini Casserole

Low Carb Baked Zucchini Casserole

 

40 ounces (approximately) Zucchini, large, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 tsp. Salt

2 T. Butter

5 ounces Onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

½ C. Heavy Cream

6 ounces Gruyere Cheese, grated and divided

4 ounces Parmesan Cheese, grated and divided

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare zucchini by slicing it and then lightly salting it on both sides. Place the salted zucchini slices on a layer of paper towels and let sit for 15 minutes before flipping and letting sit for another 15 minutes. This will remove the excess water from the zucchini before baking. In a baking dish place the prepared zucchini slices in rows one on top of another until the dish is filled. Set dish aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes until it begins to soften. Then add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Pour the heavy cream into the pan stirring until it begins to bubble. Add 2 ounces of Parmesan cheese and 4 ounces of Gruyere cheese to the heavy cream, onions, and garlic. Stir together until the cheese melts. Pour the cheese sauce over the zucchini spreading it evenly over the zucchini. Cover the casserole dish with foil and place in the oven and bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil, top with the remaining Gruyere and Parmesan cheese and bake for 5 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the zucchini is tender. Remove from oven and serve.

Cheese in a Jar

Cheese in a Jar

Cheese in a Jar

Throughout the Mediterranean, cheesemakers have traditionally preserved their fresh cheeses in jars of olive oil, often with the addition of wild herb branches. It is a glorious snack to make at home. After only a few days in a flavorful marinade, it’s ready to eat with a good crusty loaf or with Real Garlic Toast. Make sure to get a little herby oil in each bite. Cheese in a jar is handy to take on a picnic too—and just as nice for an indoor picnic at the kitchen table.

 

1/2 pound fresh goat cheese log or mild feta

A few thyme branches

A few rosemary sprigs

A bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, halved

A few black peppercorns

About 1 C. olive oil

 

Slice the cheese into 2-inch chunks. Carefully layer the cheese in a clean jar or glass bowl, adding the thyme branches, rosemary sprigs, bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorns as you go. Pour over enough olive oil to cover. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least several days before serving. This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.

Cheese Apple and Nut Butter Roll Ups

Cheese Apple and Nut Butter Roll Ups

Cheese Apple and Nut Butter Roll Ups

 

4 thin slices (1/4 lb.) swiss or muenster cheese, at room temperature

1/2 large apple (3 oz) thinly sliced

1 T. macadamia nut butter or 2 tsp. unsweetened peanut butter

 

Place the cheese on a cutting board. Arrange the apple slices in a horizontal row 1″ from the narrow end of each cheese slice, roll up, and drizzle or spread with the nut butter. Secure with toothpicks.

 

Makes 4 servings

Calories: 143,

Fat 11g

Fiber 1g

Sheet-Pan Pasta Bake with (leftover) Chicken and Kale

Sheet-Pan Pasta Bake with (leftover) Chicken and Kale

Sheet-Pan Pasta Bake with (leftover) Chicken and Kale

 

Kosher salt

12 ounces penne pasta

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided

4 T. olive oil divided

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper divided

1 bunch curly kale ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces

1 pint cherry tomatoes halved

1 cup sour cream or crème fraiche

1 T. Dijon mustard

4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided

 

Set a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Bring a pot of salty water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, mix the panko, ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, 2 T. of the olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp. black pepper, and ¼ tsp. salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Toss the kale and tomatoes with ½ tsp. salt and the remaining 2 T. olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot along with the sour cream, Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ cup pasta water, and the remaining ¾ cup Parmesan cheese and ½ tsp. black pepper; stir until smooth. Stir in the shredded chicken and 1 cup of the mozzarella, adding more pasta water to keep everything mixable if needed, until well combined. (You can add additional aromatics and seasoning at this point to pump up the flavor.  Garlic powder, roasted red bell peppers, red pepper flakes, scallions or chives, etc.).  Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet with the kale and tomatoes. Toss to combine and spread everything in an even layer on the baking sheet. Top with the panko mixture and the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Place the pan in the oven and roast the pasta until the cheese is melted and the top is lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve warm.

Baked Feta with Chickpeas and Greens

Baked Feta with Chickpeas and Greens

Baked Feta with Chickpeas and Greens

 

2 T. olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 tsp. cumin seeds (optional)

1 large or 2 small bunches kale (about 8 ounces total), stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces, washed, and shaken dry (there should be a little water still clinging to the leaves)

3 cups Simple Tomato Sauce

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 T. fresh lemon juice, plus additional wedges for serving

Kosher salt

1 (12-ounce) block feta, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

Freshly ground black pepper

Warm pitas or crusty baguette slices, for serving

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Heat a 14-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil’s hot, add the cumin seeds (if you’re using them) and let them sizzle gently for a minute or two. Add the kale in batches, letting each handful shrink and wilt before adding the next. When the last of the kale has wilted, add the tomato sauce, chickpeas, lemon juice, and ½ cup water. Give everything a stir and let it come to a simmer. Taste the sauce for salt and add a little if needed. (Whether it needs it will depend on how salty your tomato sauce is, but keep in mind that the feta is salty, too.) Nestle the feta slices into the sauce and give them a few good grinds of black pepper. Slide the skillet into the oven and bake until the feta has softened, about 15 minutes. Drizzle a little olive oil over the whole thing and serve with warm bread and lemon wedges.

Broccoli Cheese Cups

Broccoli Cheese Cups

Broccoli Cheese Cups

 

3 cups cooked and chopped broccoli

1 large egg

12 Ritz crackers (crushed)

1 heaping cup of cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium size bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until well incorporated.  Generously grease a mini muffin tin and evenly distribute the mixture into about 16 of your muffin tin cups.  Use your fingers to squish the mixture down so that it’s well compacted. Top with more cheese and bake in the center rack for 14-16 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Let them cool for at least 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. Serve alone or with a little ranch or ketchup for dipping. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Recipe Notes: The mixture will seem a bit dry, but this is what makes them crispy and not too eggy. Add an extra egg if you want more of a quiche consistency. They’re great for breakfast this way!  Like things crispy? You can add a pinch of cheese to the bottom of your greased muffin tin wells before adding your mixture.  Feel free to season however you’d like. You could also add onion powder or black pepper. Don’t forget that the Ritz crackers already have added salt.

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

 

4 T. olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

Salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb.), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1 cup frozen corn kernels (4 ounces)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 C. grated pepper jack cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 3 T. oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1 tsp. salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute more. Add zucchini and frozen corn kernels; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft and corn is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if using. Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining T. oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with a spatula to seal. Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges.

Cachapas – Fresh Corncakes with Cheese

Cachapas – Fresh Corncakes with Cheese

Cachapas – Fresh Corncakes with Cheese

 

3 C. corn kernels (from fresh ears or thawed frozen)

1/4 C. masa harina (available on the international aisle of most grocers)

salt & pepper

1/2 C. shredded queso mano or mozzarella

vegetable oil, for frying

 

Grind the corn kernels to a smooth pulp, along with the salt and pepper. Add in the masa harina. Note: You can use a food processor or a blender for this step. If you use a blender, you’ll need a tamper or long spoon to push the corn into the blade (not while the blender is running, of course!). Once the mixture is smooth, preheat a griddle or large frying pan over medium heat. Add on some oil, then spoon the batter onto the pan. With the back of your spoon, press the batter into a rough circle. Cook the cachapas for 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for 3-5 more minutes, pressing the mixture flat if desired. Sprinkle with mozarella and let melt. If necessary, keep warm in the oven until all cachapas are cooked. Fold in half and enjoy!

Baked Savory Custard with Cheese

Baked Savory Custard with Cheese

Baked Savory Custard with Cheese

2 C. cream, half-and-half or milk

1 sprig thyme, optional

1 clove garlic, optional

3 eggs plus 2 yolks

Pinch cayenne

½ tsp. salt

½ cup grated semihard cheese, like Gruyère, Comté or Emmenthal

½ cup grated Parmesan

 

Put cream in a small pot with thyme and garlic, if you’re using them. Cook just until it begins to steam. Heat oven to 300 degrees and set a kettle of water to boil. Put eggs, cayenne and salt in a medium bowl and whisk or beat until blended; stir in the cheese. Remove thyme and garlic from cream, then add cream gradually to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour mixture into a 1-quart dish or into 4 ramekins or custard C.. Put dish or ramekins in a deep baking pan and pour boiling water in, to within about 1 inch of top of dish or ramekins. Bake until mixture is not quite set; it should jiggle a bit in middle. This will take about 30 minutes for ramekins and longer for baking dish; also, cream sets faster than milk. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold within a few hours of baking.

Foraged Mushroom Tart

Foraged Mushroom Tart

Foraged Mushroom Tart

1 ready-made pie crust

2 T. butter

1⁄2 cup minced onion

salt

freshly ground black pepper

4 C. sliced exotic mushrooms (lobster, hedgehog, oyster, black trumpets, baby shiitakes, etc.)

2 tsp. chopped garlic

2 C. heavy cream

3 large eggs

1 dash hot pepper sauce

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

1 cup grated white cheddar cheese

4 ounces shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place crust in a 10 inch tart pan. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are wilted. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat. Cool completely. In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream and eggs together. Season with 3/4 of a tsp. of salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Pour the mushroom mixture into the pastry shell. Sprinkle the cheese over the mushrooms. Pour the cream mixture over the cheese. Bake until the center sets and the top is golden, about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

Artichoke Soufflés

Artichoke Soufflés

Artichoke Soufflés

4 Eggs

¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce

¼ C. flour

Pinch freshly ground nutmeg

1½ C. milk

1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

1 C. grated fontina cheese

1 C. grated cheddar cheese

½ C. chopped green onion or chives

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease eight ½-C. ramekins. Whisk together the eggs and hot pepper sauce in a large bowl until blended. Add the flour and nutmeg and mix well. Whisk in the milk, then stir in the artichoke hearts, cheeses, and green onion. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, filling them to about ¼ inch below the rim. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until puffed and nicely browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Serve immediately.

Mini Basil Parmesan Cheesecakes with Tomato Jam

Mini Basil Parmesan Cheesecakes with Tomato Jam

Mini Basil Parmesan Cheesecakes with Tomato Jam

 

1 1/4 cup cracker crumbs

4 tablespoons salted butter, melted

1 egg white

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup tomato jam

fresh basil leaves, for garnish

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, butter and egg white until combined. Press 1/2 tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each well of a mini cheesecake pan. (If you don’t have a cheesecake pan, you can use a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners.) Transfer to pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to 300 degrees. Add the cream cheese, parmesan, basil, sugar, eggs and salt to a blender.

Puree the ingredients until smooth. Fill each well of the pan halfway with the cheese mixture. Return the pan back to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are dry but the centers are still a little jiggly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill for 8 hours or overnight. Remover the cheesecakes from the pan by running a knife around the edges and pushing up on the bottom. Transfer to a serving platter or plate. Top with tomato jam and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese+

Ultimate Grilled Cheese+

Ultimate Grilled Cheese+

Savory. Sweet. Cheesy. Crispy. Goodness.

 

4 slices prosciutto di Parma

2 T. mayonnaise

4 slices sourdough bread

2 T. apricot jam

3/4 C. shredded Jarlsberg cheese

2 T. unsalted butter

 

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, lay the slices of prosciutto in the pan and cook, turning once, until frizzled and crisp, about 1 minute per side. Spread the mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread. Flip over and spread the jam on the other sides. Divide the cheese on the jam sides of two slices of bread, top with the crispy prosciutto, and top with the remaining bread slices, jam-side down, to form two sandwiches. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Lay the sandwiches in the pan and cook, pressing down on them occasionally with a spatula and turning once, until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut each sandwich in half. Serve hot.

Grilled Cheese with Apricot Jam and Arugula

Grilled Cheese with Apricot Jam and Arugula

Grilled Cheese with Apricot Jam and Arugula

 

4 slices country bread

4 oz. Cheddar or Dubliner cheese, sliced

2 T. apricot (or other fruit) Jam

1 T. salted butter

1/4 C. arugula

 

Preheat a large skillet or sandwich press on medium-high heat. To assemble sandwiches, spread a thin layer of jam on one side of bread. Top with a double layer of cheese slices and second piece of bread. Generously butter outsides of both pieces of bread.  Put sandwiches in skillet and toast until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Carefully (it will be hot!) peel apart bread and place arugula inside and replace top slice of bread. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Garlic Mustard Roulade

Garlic Mustard Roulade

Garlic Mustard Roulade

 

1 pound garlic mustard greens, flower stalks, and flowers

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. granulated garlic

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

2c. shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Heat oven to 425° F. Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the garlic mustard greens for 1 minute. Shock the greens in ice water to stop the cooking process, and squeeze as much water from them as possible. Add the cooked greens to a food processor. Add the nutmeg, salt, smoked paprika, granulated garlic, black pepper and egg yolks. Pulse until the garlic mustard greens are finely chopped.  In a mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the greens mixture, mixing until no more whites are seen. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, until the mixture is uniform. Spread the garlic mustard and egg mixture evenly on the parchment paper covered sheet pan, leaving an inch of exposed paper around the entire edge. Bake until the egg is set, about 12-15 minutes.. Loosen the roulade from the parchment paper. Sprinkle the top with whatever you are using as a filling, or just cheese. Starting with the wider side, roll the roulade up like a jelly roll, ending seam side down. Bake an additional 10 minutes to melt the cheese and warm the filling.

New Mex Migas

New Mex Migas

New Mex Migas

2 T. unsalted butter

â…“ C. chopped green onion (green parts only)

¼ C. chopped roasted and peeled green chile (or more to taste)

8 large eggs (beaten until smooth)

salt (to taste)

4 ounce tortilla chips (about 2 3/4 C.) preferably stale

2 C. grated cotija cheese (divided)

½ C. cooked black beans

¼ C. Mexican sour cream (plus more to taste)

1¼ C. coarsely chopped cilantro

 

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the green onions and cook until they wilt slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the green chile and cook until fragrant, another minute or two. Add the beaten eggs and let sit until they just begin to set, about 1 minute. Salt lightly, sprinkle the tortilla chips over top of the eggs and stir, folding the unset egg over the chips. Cook quickly (to keep the chips from softening), stirring until the eggs are almost set, then stir in half of the cotija cheese. When the eggs are set to your taste, an additional 2 to 3 minutes, divide the mixture evenly among 4 to 6 heated plates, or serve it family style on a large platter. Spoon over the black beans, then the remaining cheese, sour cream and the cilantro. Serve immediately.

Cheesy Pierogi Casserole

Cheesy Pierogi Casserole

Cheesy Pierogi Casserole

 

1 package (16 oz) frozen potato and cheese pierogies

7 oz kielbasa sausage, sliced (chicken sausage also tastes yummy)

2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

4 oz cream cheese, soften

1/2 cup sour cream

1/3 cup chicken broth

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

optional topping: fresh parsley

 

Heat oven to 375°F Prepare a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Place frozen pierogies evenly in casserole. Top with sausage. In medium bowl, mix together 1 cup of shredded cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, pepper and garlic salt. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over sausage and pierogies and pour in broth. Cover and bake for bake 30-35 minutes. Uncover, and top with remaining cheese. Continue baking for 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Braided Cheddar Loaf

Braided Cheddar Loaf

Braided Cheddar Loaf

 

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) plus 2 Tbs. warm milk (112°F/44°C)

1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast

2 Tbs. sugar

5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 egg, at room temperature

3 cups (12 3/4 oz./360 g) bread flour, plus more for dusting

3 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Canola oil for greasing

1 1/2 cups (6 oz./180 g) grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh herb leaves, such as thyme, oregano or basil, for garnish

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the warm milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Fit the mixer with the flat beater and add the melted butter, egg, 1 cup (4 1/4 oz./120 g) of the flour, the salt and pepper. Beat on low speed just until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds more. Switch to the dough hook, add the remaining flour and beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and then becomes elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 7 minutes. Lightly grease a large bowl with canola oil. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let stand in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan with canola oil. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently punch it down to release some of the air. Roll out the dough into a 15-by-9-inch (38-by-23-cm) rectangle, with a long side facing you. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the cheddar and Parmesan, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) border at the top. Tightly roll the dough away from you into a log and pinch the seam to seal. Place the log seam side down; using a serrated knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise. Cross one half over the other to form an X shape, then cross the ends and tuck them underneath, keeping the cut sides up as much as possible. Some cheese will spill out but that’s okay. Transfer the loaf to the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with any cheese that had spilled out. Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand in a warm spot until the dough has risen just over the edges of the pan, 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove the towel and place the loaf pan on a baking sheet. Bake until the top of the bread is deep golden brown, the cheese is bubbling and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 45 to 55 minutes.  Transfer the loaf pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then turn the bread out onto the rack and garnish with herbs. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.

Jarlsberg Cheese Fondue

Jarlsberg Cheese Fondue

Jarlsberg Cheese Fondue

 

1 clove garlic (peeled and halved)

½ C. fruity white wine

1 tsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

½ pound Jarlsberg cheese (grated)

¼ pound fontina cheese (grated)

bread cubes, sliced fruit or boiled baby potatoes (as needed for dipping)

 

Generously rub the insides of a medium saucepan with the garlic clove; discard remnants. Place the pan over medium heat. Whisk in the wine, lemon juice, and mustard. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add the cheese 1 C. at a time stirring after each incorporation with a wooden spoon until smooth. Pour into a fondue pot set over a heat source or set the saucepan on a trivet. Serve immediately with the bread, fruit and/or potatoes.

Cheesy Baked Tortellini

Cheesy Baked Tortellini

Cheesy Baked Tortellini

Olive Oil

2 C. marinara sauce

1/3 C. mascarpone cheese

1/4 C. chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 lb purchased cheese tortellini

2 oz thinly sliced smoked mozzarella

1/4 C. parmesan

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8×8 inch baking dish.

Whisk the sauce, mascarpone cheese, parsley and thyme in a large bowl to blend. Cook the tortellini in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Add the tortellini to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the tortellini mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top the mixture with the smoked mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheeses on top melt, about 30 minutes.

Baked Gnocchi with Spinach and Ricotta

Baked Gnocchi with Spinach and Ricotta

Baked Gnocchi with Spinach and Ricotta

3/4 C. ricotta cheese

1/3 C. thinly sliced fresh basil

3 oz. shredded mozzarella, divided

1 oz. fresh grated Asiago cheese

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

salt and fresh ground black pepper

3 C. marinara sauce, divided

1 lb. packaged potato gnocchi, divided

2 C. baby spinach leaves, thinly sliced, divided

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl, whisk together ricotta, basil, 1/3 C. of the mozzarella, Asiago, egg and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. In an 8″ square baking dish coated with nonstick spray, spread a thin layer of the marinara sauce over the bottom. Arrange one-half of the uncooked gnocchi in a single layer – scatter half of the spinach on top. Using a spoon, add small dollops of half of the ricotta mixture on top of the spinach. Spoon a layer of marinara over the ricotta, leaving enough sauce behind for another layer on top. Repeat layering, adding all of the remaining sauce on top. Scatter the remaining mozzarella on top. Place into the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is lightly browned, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and let sit 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional grated Asiago cheese before serving, if desired.

Cheesy Green Mish-Mash Soup

Cheesy Green Mish-Mash Soup

Cheesy Green Mish-Mash Soup

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 T. coconut oil, ghee or butter

6 C. roughly chopped green vegetables

4 C. vegetable stock or basic chicken stock

1 C. of rocket/arugula or watercress

1 C. roughly chopped coriander, basil or flat leaf parsley leaves

pinch of salt

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 C. crumbed sharp cheddar

 

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the coconut oil. Add the green vegetables and stir for a minute, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the rocket, herbs and salt. Turn off the heat and puree until smooth using a blender, or transfer to a blender and pulse. Whisk in the lemon juice and stir through the cheese. Serve hot.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Crepes

Chicken Cordon Bleu Crepes

Chicken Cordon Bleu Crepes

7-10 store bought, prepared crepes (or you can make your own)

2 C. cooked chicken, chopped

1/2 C. chopped (cooked) ham

1 C. shredded Swiss cheese

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

1 chicken bouillon cube, mashed into powder

1 1/2 C. warm milk

1/3 C. shredded Swiss cheese

For Garnish: chopped Parsley, optional

 

Assemble crepes: On each crepe, pile some chicken, some ham and Swiss cheese. Roll up or fold in quarters and place in a greased casserole dish (9×13).  Make sauce: In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add in flour and mashed bouillon cube. Stir and let cook for 1 minute to cook out the raw flour taste. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring this to a boil but watch so it doesn’t burn. Continue to stir and cook for a few minutes until it thickens. Remove from heat and add in 1/3 C. Swiss cheese. Stir until it melts. Pour 3/4 C. of sauce on top of the crepes. Bake 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley, if using. Heat remaining sauce and serve with crepes.  I made the crepes the day before and kept them in the fridge between sheets of wax paper.

Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni

Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni

Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni

8 oz. multi-grain elbow macaroni

3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2″ thick pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 large eggs

12 oz. canned evaporated milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

pinch fresh grated nutmeg

6 oz. (about 1 1/2 cup) shredded sharp white cheddar

2 oz. (about 1/2 cup) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 1/2 oz. (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup) fresh grated Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, stir in pasta and cook a couple minutes short of al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes depending on brand. Drain well and set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, add bacon and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the bacon is crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni 6 minutes (it will be undercooked). Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer bacon mixture using a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and evaporated milk. Add 1/2 tsp. salt, cayenne, nutmeg, cheeses and two to three tsp. bacon fat, if desired. Stir in cooked pasta and the cooked bacon and garlic mixture. Scoop mixture into an 8″ or 9″ baking dish coated with nonstick spray, spreading smooth with an off-set spatula. Place dish into the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling at edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Fall Cheese Platter

Fall Cheese Platter

Fall Cheese Platter

2 medium apples, chopped (2 C.)

2 C. cranberries

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 C.)

1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 C.)

3/4 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 C. golden raisins

1/2 C. white vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped gingerroot

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

 

16 slices (1 oz. each) assorted cheeses, such as Cheddar, Colby-Monterey Jack, Monterey Jack with jalapeño peppers and Swiss

1/4 C. hazelnuts, (filberts)

Crackers

 

In 2-quart saucepan, mix all chutney ingredients. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 1 hour, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and fruit is tender. Spoon into nonaluminum container. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Cut cheese with 1-, 1 1/2- and 2-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters. Place cheese on medium platter, overlapping leaves. Sprinkle hazelnuts on platter to look like acorns. Serve with chutney and crackers.

Cheddar and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Cheddar and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Cheddar and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich

8 slices applewood-smoked bacon (6 oz)

6 ounces Cheddar cheese, at room temperature (about 1 C. grated)

4 slices (from a medium to large loaf) country bread, sliced 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick

1/4 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/16 inch thick

2 T. unsalted butter (1 oz), at room temperature

 

Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, turning it once after 10 minutes, until crisp, about 20 minutes total, depending on the thickness. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Divide half the cheese between 2 slices bread and then divide the apple slices between them. Place 4 slices cooked bacon on each sandwich, top with the remaining cheese, and sandwich with the remaining bread slices. Spread the outside of each sandwich with 1/2 T. butter per slice of bread. (You can cover and refrigerate the sandwiches for an hour or so before heating them.) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and cook until the sandwich is golden brown and the cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula to flatten the sandwiches. (If the bread looks golden and done but the cheese hasn’t completely melted, arrange the sandwiches in a single layer on a baking sheet and finish them in the still-warm oven.) Transfer the grilled cheese sandwiches to a cutting board and cut them in half or, if you prefer, into bite-size pieces (about 8 per sandwich). Arrange the grilled cheese on a plate or platter and serve.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 453

Fat: .5g

Fiber: 1.2g

Apple and Cheddar Quiche

Apple and Cheddar Quiche

Apple and Cheddar Quiche

2 large apples (cored and cut into bite sized chunks)

1 C. apple cider

4 strips bacon (cut into 1 inch pieces)

6 sheets phyllo (thawed as directed on package)

1/4 C. olive oil

1/2 tsp. rosemary (chopped)

1 C. strong cheddar (grated)

4 eggs (lightly beaten)

1 C. half and half

 

Simmer the apple slices in the cider until they just start to turn tender, about 3-5 minutes, remove and set them aside. Simmer the remaining cider to reduce to about 2 T.. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a pan and set aside. Brush a sheet of phyllo pastry with the olive oil and fit it into the bottom of a greased 9 inch pie dish or springform pan with the ends hanging over the side of the pan and repeat with the remaining sheets placing them on top. Toss the apple slices in the reduced cider and spread them out over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the bacon, rosemary and cheddar cheese on top of the apples. Mix the eggs and half and half, pour into the pan and fold the edges of the phyllo dough that is hanging over the sides. Bake in a preheated 375F/190C oven until golden brown and set in the center, about 25-45 minutes.

Crustless Skillet Pizza

Crustless Skillet Pizza

Crustless Skillet Pizza

2 pounds lean ground meat

2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. black pepper

2 C. sugar-free pizza sauce

3 C. semi-hard cheese of choice (mozzarella, cheddar) divided

1 C. bell pepper chopped

1/2 C. red onion diced

6 large white mushrooms sliced

1 C. black olives sliced

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium-size bowl, combine meat, oregano, salt and pepper together. Spread meat mixture evenly on 12″ cast iron skillet, spreading to the walls of the skillet. Bake meat patty for 25 minutes.  When meat is cooked, remove from oven. The meat patty should slightly shrink in size.  Spread pizza sauce directly on top of the meat, making sure to get the outside of the patty. Cover the pizza sauce with 2 C. of cheese, followed by toppings. Top with additional 1 C. of cheese and return to oven for another 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cheese is bubbling.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Cut slices and enjoy immediately.

Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Soup

Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Soup

Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Soup

 

In this recipe, pungent tomatoes are balanced by goat cheese for a rich fall soup. Goat cheese can seem pricey because, unlike cows, goats roam instead of graze in one spot. Due to their independent nature, goats can’t be put into factory farms, which are cheap for farmers but hard on the environment. Most goat farms are small, family-run, and often highly sustainable operations. Find out about your local goat farm’s practices and use their cheese in recipes like this, where a little goes a long way.

12 ripe tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1 T. honey

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 T. balsamic vinegar

4 T. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 dried bay leaf

1/4 C. fresh goat cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 42 5 °F. Core and quarter the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds, reserving the seeds and cores for the stock. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the garlic, onion, honey, rosemary, 1 T. of the vinegar, 3 T. of the olive oil, and a dash of salt. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the rosemary and set aside. Combine the tomato scraps, bay leaf, and 1 C. water in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Strain the stock into a bowl and discard the solids. Rinse the pot and return the stock to the pot. Add the roasted tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Let the soup cool for 10 minutes, then pour into a blender. Add the cheese and blend until smooth. With the blender running, add the remaining 1 T. olive oil. Season to taste with salt. Garnish the soup with the remaining 1 T. balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of pepper and serve.

Warm Halloumi Salad

Warm Halloumi Salad

Warm Halloumi Salad

 

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 large handful mint, chopped

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1 T. olive oil

1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds

5 ounces halloumi cheese, cubed

4 handfuls arugula

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 T. sliced black olives

 

Mix the chili powder, half the mint, the lemon zest and lemon juice, oil, zucchini, and halloumi. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes. Thread the zucchini and halloumi onto the skewers, put the remaining marinade to one side. Grill or broil for 7 to 8 minutes, turning halfway through, and basting with a bit of the remaining marinade. Place the arugula in a bowl with the bell pepper, olives, remaining mint and dress with the last of the marinade.

 

Yield: 2 servings

Calories: 280

Baked Brie with Balsamic Cherries, Pistachios & Cinnamon Balsamic

Baked Brie with Balsamic Cherries, Pistachios & Cinnamon Balsamic

Baked Brie with Balsamic Cherries, Pistachios & Cinnamon Balsamic

2 T Cinnamon Pear Balsamic or your favorite!

2 T hot water

1/2 c. dried cherries (or could use dried cranberries)

1/3 c. pistachios, chopped (or your favorite nuts)

200 g. brie cheese wheel

2 T honey

 

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, add Cinnamon Pear Balsamic and hot water to dried cherries. Set aside and allow to soak for 15 minutes. While cherries are soaking, warm honey slightly in microwave or saucepan (to make it thin for drizzling).  Using a brie baker or a baking sheet lined with parchment, place unwrapped brie. Using a fork or a vegetable peeler, lightly score or peel top rind of brie (leave sides and bottom intact). M Drain balsamic-soaked cherries, then place on top of brie. Sprinkle the pistachios and drizzle the warmed honey. Bake for 15 minutes or until brie has just started to ooze. Transfer brie to a serving platter if desired, and drizzle with extra Cinnamon Pear Balsamic. Serve warm with crackers, crostini or baguette slices.   Chef’s Note: Try with your favorite flavored Balsamic! We would recommend Black Currant, Blackberry Ginger, or Cherry Balsamic.

Tartiflette Toastie

Tartiflette Toastie

Tartiflette Toastie

 

Lunch doesn’t get more comforting – or indulgent, frankly – than this sumptuous version of cheese on toast, which is also a great way to use up leftovers. It’s not something you can take to the office, granted, but it is just the sort of thing I like to rustle up for lunch when I’m at home. It’s inspired by the Savoyarde dish tartiflette, a rich baked combination of potatoes, cheese, and bacon. Tartiflette is usually made with Reblochon, but any semisoft washed-rind cheese, such as Brie (not too ripe), works well, or try a semihard cheese, such as Cheddar.

1 T. canola or olive oil

2 bacon slices, or a slice of cold ham, cut into small strips

1 cold cooked potato (baked, boiled, or even roasted), thickly sliced

1 to 2 T. heavy cream or creme fraiche

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large, thick slice bread

3 to 4 thick slices (about 1 ounce) semisoft or semihard cheese (good melting cheese)

A few crisp, bitter salad greens, such as chicory, radicchio, or frisee, to serve

 

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. If you are using bacon, add it to the pan and fry for a few minutes, until cooked. Add the potato and fry until it is heated through and starting to color a little. If you’re using ham, add it now and stir until well heated through. Stir in the cream or creme fraiche and allow it to bubble and reduce for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste. Toast the bread, pile the mixture on top, then cover with the sliced cheese and put under a hot broiler. As soon as the cheese is melted and bubbling, whip out from under the broiler and transfer to a plate. Serve at once, with a few crisp, bitter salad greens on the side.

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

 

2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane

1 whole roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded, and chopped (1/2 cup)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 C. mayonnaise

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (2 cups)

 

Combine the garlic, bell pepper, cream cheese, mayonnaise, cayenne, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed until well mixed, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and beat on low speed until the cheese is evenly distributed. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight. The garlic will mellow over time and the flavors will meld.

Baked Ham and Cheese Rolls with a sweet tangy Honey Mustard Glaze

Baked Ham and Cheese Rolls with a sweet tangy Honey Mustard Glaze

Baked Ham and Cheese Rolls with a sweet tangy Honey Mustard Glaze

1 lb. Pizza Dough (store-bought or home-made)

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter

8 large slices Ham (thinner slices will roll easier)

8 large slices Swiss or Provolone Cheese

1 T. Dijon Mustard

1 T. Honey

1 T. Poppy Seeds

 

If the pizza dough is refrigerated, take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before you begin so that it comes to room temperature (this will make it easier to work with). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Roll pizza dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle that is roughly 16″ x 8″ (just use the baking dish as a guide, no need to be exact). Heat butter in the microwave until melted. Brush the surface of the rectangle lightly with melted butter (this should require about 1 Tablespoon of butter) and set the remaining butter aside. Top the pizza dough with ham and then with cheese each in a single layer with no slices overlapping. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll the pizza dough up into a log so that the ham and cheese is on the inside. Use a serrated knife to slice the roll into 9 even pieces. Place the pieces in the prepared baking dish and set aside to rise for 20 minutes. Whisk remaining butter with mustard, honey and poppy seeds. After the dough has risen slightly, pour honey mustard glaze over the top of the rolls. (This will look like a lot of sauce, but that’s what makes it so good!) Bake the rolls until the dough is cooked through and golden on top, 20-25 minutes. Serve rolls warm or at room temperature.

 

Serving Size: 1 Roll

Calories: 407

Fat: 26g

Fiber: 1g

Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

16 oz. fusili pasta, cooked according to package instructions

8 oz. mozzarella balls, halved

4 oz. salami, quartered

2 c. baby spinach

1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved

1 c. artichoke hearts, chopped

1/2 c. pitted black olives, sliced

 

1/3 c. olive oil

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley

Pinch red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

In a large bowl, toss together pasta, mozzarella, salami, spinach, tomatoes, artichokes, and olives.

To make the dressing, add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley, and red pepper flakes to a jar and secure with a lid then shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Dress pasta with dressing and serve.

 

Get The Mix-Ins Right

Variety is the spice of pasta salad mix-ins. That’s how that phrase goes, right? But seriously, it’s all about variety. Variety in texture, flavor, and color. Hey, we eat with our eyes first! All that variety brings balance to your salad, so make sure you have several contrasting elements. For example:

Creamy/Fatty Mix-Ins These are the things you want in every bite: quartered mozzarella balls, crumbled bacon, shaved gouda, chunks of avocado, crumbled feta, prosciutto, or chopped salami are all solid options. Without them, your pasta salad might be a little too virtuous.

Crunchy/Fresh Mix-Ins We’re talking veggies! Arugula, chopped bell peppers, celery, spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, slices of raw red onion, the list goes on. Pick and choose your favorites! Without these, your pasta salad may feel a bit too heavy. It is Summer, after all! Take advantage of all that glorious produce.

Hearty Mix-Ins These elements can make your pasta salad feel like a meal. Chickpeas, chopped hard-boiled eggs, toasted nuts, shredded chicken, broiled or grilled shrimp, or even white beans make delicious and satisfying additions.

Salty Mix-Ins We LOVE a burst of salty flavor in our salads. Capers, sliced olives, pickled onions (or really anything pickled), sliced pepperoncini, or chopped anchovies for the adventurous folks.

Brightly Flavored Mix-Ins When we think of bright flavors, we think of herbs and citrus: things that will give your salad an extra boost of freshness and flavor. From dill to basil, in our opinion there’s no such thing as too many herbs. Feel free to combine 3 or 4 types of herbs, the more the merrier! When it comes to citrus, we like adding zest or juice to our final dish (especially those with creamy dressings) to add a little zing.

Get The Dressing Right

The dressing really ties everything together. Just like the mix-ins, you’re looking for balance. Your dressing should be bright but not astringent, full-bodied but not oily, flavorful but not overpowering, and perfectly seasoned. Okay, I know this sounds particular, but the good news is, all you really need are your taste buds! Dressing is one of the easiest things to taste an adjust while you’re making it, so as soon as you find your balance, you’re good to go. Here’s what ya need:

  1. Oil: use your favorite olive oil if you want that delicious rich flavor, or a neutral oil like vegetable oil or grape seed oil if you don’t.
  2. Vinegar: there’s SO many delicious vinegars, but some of our favorites are red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and rice wine vinegar. Try to match your vinegar with your mix-ins. (For example: sliced cabbage, red peppers, chopped peanuts = rice wine vinegar. Basil, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella = balsamic or red wine vinegar.)
  3. Flavorings: minced garlic or shallots, fresh or dried herbs, spices or a scoop of dijon mustard all would be delicious add-ins. These flavorings are what gives your dressing personality.
  4. Sweeteners: although not totally necessary, we find that sometimes our dressings are a bit too acidic. (AKA that feeling when you taste it and it burns in the back of your throught.) A teaspoon or two of honey, maple syrup, agave, or even just plain sugar can help round out the acidity.
  5. Creaminess:also not entirely necessary, but if you’re craving a more bodacious dressing, try adding a scoop of mayo! This brings your pasta salad into a more traditional place, and we aren’t mad at that. If you don’t do dairy, pureeing your dressing with ripe avocado is a great substitute!