A topic I’ve been longing to learn more about is wine and of course along with that comes wine and food pairings. While I can easily say that wine is my favorite liquid, I will admit that it is something I don’t know much about. I’ve got books, I’ve got a BF who sold wine for a short stint and yet I can barely determine if something is “oaky” or not. But what I do know? I know that a vinho verde tastes just perfect with peaches & pancetta.
With a short ingredient list and the use of cured pork I was sold on this recipe when I came across it on the Food & Wine website. Although I’m almost convinced you could wrap anything in pancetta and it would turn out delicious.
And until my wine palette is more refined, I’ll just have to stick with what tastes good. I think I can handle that.
Pancetta -Wrapped Peaches from Food & Wine, serves 4 as an appetizer
- 2 ripe peaches, sliced into wedges
- a few basil leaves, torn into about 12 pieces
- 12 slices pancetta
Roll pancetta in half. Place basil leaf and peach on one end and wrap pancetta around peach. Fasten with a toothpick if necessary.
Coat pan with cooking spray. Heat to medium-high heat. Add peaches and cook on both sides until pancetta is crispy.
Do you know of any good wine resources to help me out?
Filed under antioxidants, appetizers, blog friends, cheese, cocktails, dessert, entertaining, fruit, great meals, in season, Recipes, salad, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains, wine
My Mother is the Queen of pasta salads. Literally. She has enough pasta salads in her arsenal to get through the whole summer without repeats. Many of them are worth repeating however, so she’ll find a way to squeeze them in.
As a child, I remember being fond of some, like chicken curry pasta salad, and not so fond of others, presumably this one as I hated both blue cheese and olives at that young stage of life. Now I’ll take the blue cheese & olive combo anyway – fried, in a salad, a martini or preferably all three at the same time. 🙂
I’m finally starting to understand the great meal that is the pasta salad. Easy to throw together, tastes even better the next day and no oven required. Just thinking about pasta salads reminds me of summer dinners as a kid, eating on the porch. While I rarely eat on my balcony these days, I may just serve up a bowl of this and head out to the sun for a summer lunch worth dreaming about.
Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad – 6-8 servings
- 2 cups farfalle pasta (I used Barilla PLUS)
- 6 oz can of black olives, halved
- 2 cups green grapes, halved
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- 4 oz blue cheese crumbled
- 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
- juice of one lemon
- salt & pepper
Cook pasta as directed. Set aside in large bowl and let cool.
Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt & pepper until smooth in small bowl. When pasta is cool, add other ingredients and dressing to bowl. Toss to combine.
Refrigerate overnight if possible. Serve cool or at room temperature.
A recipe for a grilled vegetable flat bread caught my eye while paging through Martha’s Everyday Food and like most recipes that catch my eye, I added it to the never-ending “list.” But with my recent grocery bill woe’s and a loaf of bread already in the cart I decided that this would be a situation where a carb is a carb and it would be just as good on bread as it would a tortilla. I’ll end up with the tortilla version eventually because it just looks too delicious to pass up, but this was just as good on some chewy/crunchy bread and also made a great salad topping the following day.
The concept, like most of my recipes, is a simple one: grill a bunch of vegetables, top some great, grainy bread with them and finish with some feta crumbles if desired. Or, if you’ve already got some leftover grilled vegetables you know just how to use them!
Grilled Vegetable Crostini
- 2 small zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 Portabella mushroom caps
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 small head of radicchio
- crumbled feta cheese
- loaf of bread
Cut up vegetables in pieces to grill. Spritz with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables in batches, flipping over after a few minutes one one side and removing after a few minutes on the other side, until slightly charred. Set aside to cool and then chop up vegetables in about 1 inch pieces.
Slice bread and spritz with olive oil. Grill bread if desired. Top bread with vegetable mixture and sprinkle with feta cheese.
Summers always mean a few things: I’ve got weddings to go to (only 8 this year) and that I put all fancy restaurants, wine and trips to the farmers market on hold so that I can spend my weekends at Camp Endeavor.
Now it may sound like I’m complaining and I surely do my fair share of it, but I’ll gladly trade wine for a bunch of hormonal teenagers. (Hey, I never claimed sane) These kids mean the world to me and agreeing to spend a month with them can sometimes feel like a wedding vow – through thickness and thin – but nothing can beat seeing kids who struggle with weight and self-esteem laughing with new friends, running to the lake and trying new foods.
I can’t wait to share more of this experience with you, we’ve got a great one coming next week!
An appetizer that just screams summer to me is bruschetta. Once the tomatoes are good (ie not mushy and tasteless like they are in January) you can be sure that bruschetta is showing up on our plates on a regular basis. Always partial to my Mother’s recipe, although my friend Anna makes a delicious version with mozzarella, simplicity is key with bruschetta and nothing is better than tomatoes, basil, garlic and some olive oil.
This was the first time I’ve tried bruschetta grilled and as with most foods, grilling just takes it to the next level. The tomatoes were slightly roasted, the bread imparted with a smoky flavor that just can’t be replicated in the oven.
- Whole grain baguette
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- fresh basil, julianned
Cut bread into 1 inch pieces and rub with cut side of garlic clove. Set aside. Rub tomatoes with garlic clove.
Thread alternating bread pieces and tomatoes on skewer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill over medium heat for about 4 minutes per side until bread is toasted.
Remove from skewer and put on a plate, and sprinkle with basil.
Orzo is not as easy to find as one might expect. Maybe Minnesota has too much Norweigen influence and prefers lefse over orzo but once I finally tracked some down, the hope of finding a whole-grain version was long gone. As long as I left the store with orzo, I would worry about fitting in whole-grains later.
I wanted to come up with a salad that was light, but flavorful and this turned out just as I had hoped. Bright and citrusy flavor, full of good-for-you zucchini, and a touch of pasta for good measure. Because you can never have too much pasta. And I’m not even Italian!
Orzo Salad with Zucchini & Feta – about 2 servings
- 1/4 cup orzo
- 2 small zucchini, cut into half length-wise and then into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 Tbsp feta cheese crumbles
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp Greek Seasoning
- salt & pepper
Prepare orzo as directed. Set aside in medium sized bowl.
Heat large pan and spray with cooking spray. Add zucchini and garlic to pan, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Add to bowl with orzo and let cool.
Prepare dressing: mix olive oil, lemon juice and greek seasoning. Whisk until combined and pour over orzo and zucchini mixture. Add feta crumbles and toss until combined. Let cool and serve cool or at room temperature.