Insalata Caprese

Recipe n. 42

Caprese1

 

It’s a classic. Mostly a Summer dish, served as an appetizer or as a salad to accompany another dish.  Even if the ingredients are not in season yet, I decided to publish it now because I was asked by one of my sons’s teachers to visit their classroom to do a ‘cooking’ demonstration about a traditional Italian food.

I picked this dish because it is easy to assemble and it doesn’t require any cooking. It’s also delicious and resembles the colors of the italian flag!

There are many legends around the origins of the Caprese salad. One of the most accreditated stories goes back to after world war II, when a laborer, who was very patriotic liked to include the colors of the italian flag in his ‘panino’ for his lunch break. Legend also has it that this dish appeared during dinner around 1920 in a hotel in Capri (the famous island off the coast of Naples) to please Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the poet and founder of the futuristic cultural movement.

One more story includes the Egyptian Sovereign Farouk.  In 1951, he went to visit the island of Capri with his family. It was a very sunny afternoon and he requested to have a quick meal prepared to satisfy his hunger. On that occasion he had the chance to taste a crunchy sandwich with pomodoro, mozzarella e basilico.  He fell in love when tasting these three fresh local ingredients together!

The dish was improved when the traditional mozzarella  from cows started to be replaced with bufala (buffalo) mozzarella, a dairy product typical to Campania.No matter where and when it was exactly created, this dish has become a signature Italian dish around the world.

caprese

 

caprese 3

 

 

Reference:
http://www.italyheritage.com/traditions/food/insalata-caprese.htm

FLOURLESS  SPINACH  and  RICOTTA QUICHE

RECIPE N.31

This is what I made yesterday for dinner. I love this dish because it’s quick , easy to make and tastes delicious!    Plus you sure are going to get all your proteins and vegetables at the same time. It’s a complete meal. However, I like to serve it with roasted vegetables of your choice on the side, just to add some more colors to your plate  (a very important component when you are eating according to ancient Ayurveda, along with the six tastes) and also to give  your quiche ‘some company’!

 

IMG_6479
© 2016 Iose’ Cocuzza All Rights Reserved

 

IMG_6758
© 2016 Iose’ Cocuzza All Rights Reserved

 

IMG_6763
© 2016 Iose’ Cocuzza All Rights Reserved

 

Ingredients

(Serves 4 people)

  • 2 bunches of Spinach
  • 1 cup of fresh ricotta
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper

 

In a large pot bring 2 inches of water to the boil, add the spinach (previously washed) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the water and squeeze out the remaining water from the spinach. Put on the side and let it cool. In the meantime beat the eggs in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients except the ground flaxseed. Cut the spinach coarsely and add it to the mixture.

Pour everything in a baking dish. Sprinkle the top with  some parmesan cheese and the ground flax seeds to form a nice crust on top.

Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes.

Tip: You can also bake it in a mini muffins pan and obtain fancy mini quiches to serve as an appetizer.  Your guests will love them and  for sure there won’t be any left over.

 

 

TAPENADE   

Recipe n.29

Today I’m going to share with you my ‘secret recipe’ to make  a delicious tapenade. I have been making a batch a week of tapenade for my kids sandwich for school for the past 2 years. It’s an easy fix delicious and nutrient alternative sandwich, instead of the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

My 2 kids just love it!

Tapenade  is very versatile and can be used a number of ways: you can use it for a great appetizer or as a snack on a piece of toasted bread or as a dip with carrots and celery sticks.

IMG_2377

IMG_2381     IMG_2380

 Ingredients (classic version)

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups whole, pitted kalamata olive
  • 1 or 2  anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons capers rinsed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
My personal touch:
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions

In a food processor, chop the garlic first and then combine all the other ingredients except the olive oil. Using the pulse button, process until coarsely chopped and well blended. Continue to process, slowly adding the olive oil. Refrigerate in a covered container. Use as needed.Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate until needed. Will keep three to four weeks.