Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Italian Countryside for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the MLCC

Tonight I will be presenting the following dishes for the Foodie Series for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square MLCC.    I'm really loving this Bruschetta recipe (see tomato coulis).  Roasted tomato/shallot focaccia is rising in the pan.
(Tuscan Squash Salad)

1. Tuscan Squash Salad

1 lb squash (butternut, hubbard, or any small firm variety except spaghetti), peeled, seeded and cut in 5-inch slices
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs honey, warm and divided into two parts
� cup chopped walnuts
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs walnut oil
� tsp kosher or sea salt
� tsp ground black pepper
~ 6 cups mixed baby greens, lightly packed
� cup crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 400�F. Toss the squash and olive oil in a large bowl. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly brush with half of the honey. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and brush with the remaining honey. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the squash is cooked through. Some varieties take longer to cook.

While the squash is baking, toast the walnuts lightly. Whisk together the lemon juice, walnut oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Toss the greens with the vinaigrette in a large bowl and place on serving plates. Top with 3-5 slices of squash. Sprinkle with the walnuts and feta, season and serve while the squash is still warm.

2. Bruschetta
4 medium tomatoes
4+ oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 clove garlic,
2-3 tbs. olive oil
small bunch basil
dash of crushed red chilies
salt and pepper

Blend all ingredients and chill.  Spread over Italian bread that has been toasted with olive oil and garlic. 


3. Karen's Beef Lasagna

1 pkg lasagna noodles (or make fresh pasta)
2 lbs ground beef
1 tbs olive oil
8 large oven roasted tomatoes or large can of tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt, to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (or 2 tbs dried)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried chilies (optional)
1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
1/2 - 1 cup red wine
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 500 ml package ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375�F. In a large saucepot, brown ground meat in olive oil over medium high heat. Remove meat from pot and set aside. Add olive oil to pot and slowly brown onions. Then add tomatoes (with water or juice), spices, roasted garlic, brown sugar and red wine. Pur�e sauce and add dried porcini mushrooms and meat back to the sauce. Simmer until well incorporated.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish, place 2 layers of noodles on the bottom of dish; layer 1/2 of the ricotta cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 of the sauce; repeat layers.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes; let stand for 10 minutes before cutting; serve.

4. Drunken Figs

1 package of dried figs
red wine such as Lambrusco works great as it is a sweet wine to begin with, but merlot, shiraz, zinfandel or pinot noir would work great too!

Place dried figs in a glass bowl, cover with wine. Place in fridge. DONE

Enjoy on their own, with ice cream, pound or angel food cake, etc.