Archive | May, 2011

Mushroom Crostini (Crostini Con I Funghi)

19 May

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There is a reason that Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia spent months in Italy eating and enjoying life. When Italy is the concerned we don’t count calories, what counts is our gastronomical pleasure.

Today’s recipe is Crostini – toasted Italian bread topped with mushrooms, which is a classic Italian appetizer like Bruschetta. Porcini were originally used for this recipe, but don’t hesitate to go with any other wild mushrooms. I used some magical ingredients that do not exist in the original recipe; truffle flavored olive oil and smoked salt from Norway. The aftertaste was heavenly! Yet, you can still make a mouthwatering appetizer without them. To make a lower calorie version, feel free to use light style toast bread.

It is amazing to achieve such a gastronomical delight with a simple recipe.

Ingredients (Serving 4)

625 gr fresh porcini or other wild mushrooms

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

½ onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Smoked Salt, (or regular salt)

Black Pepper

Truffle olive oil to sprinkle the toasted bread)

1 firm textured Italian or French bread, cut in 1 cm thick slices

Preparation Method

To prepare the mushroom topping: rinse and dry the mushrooms then dice them. Sauté garlic, onion and parsley with olive oil in a deep saucepan for 2-3 minutes and then add mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring continuously. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside the topping.

 Toast the bread sliced in a preheated oven for a few minutes. Remove them as soon as they turn crusty. Sprinkle the surface with truffle olive oil. Spread the mushroom over each toast. Serve right away. 

Baked Zucchini Recipe

18 May

We love talking about health benefits of food. There is no shortage of them when the veggies are concerned. Summer squash group is no exception, especially when consumed with onions, tomatoes, peppers and herbs; as in the following baked zucchini recipe topped with these treasures of mother earth.

We can cook extremely low calorie dishes with zucchinis, which provide fibers, proteins, magnesium, folate, zinc, iron, calcium and vitamins A, C, K, B1, B6… Isn’t this fantastic?

Baked Zucchini Recipe

Ingredients

 ½ kg (1.1 lb) small zucchinis

2-3 young onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crashed

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tomato, in cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt & ground black pepper

Preparation Method

Peel the zucchinis. Cut off ends and divide zucchinis lengthwise in two. Brush (or spray) the zucchini boats with olive oil and bake them slightly in a preheated oven at 150 C. Set aside.

Prepare the topping by sautéing young onions and peppers in a deep saucepan for 1-2 minutes. Then pour the tomato cubes, cook for 2 minutes more and add tomato paste. Add some water if necessary. Pour over the zucchinis. Bake in oven preheated to 150 C till the top turns gold. Sprinkle with fresh dill leaves, salt and black pepper.

Serve warm or cold, as preferred. 

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