Bread Dipping Appetizer

Bread Dipping Appetizer

Archive for the Category 'Italian cooking'

Spinach Parmesan Frittata With Olive Oil

Monday, June 02nd, 2014

A frittata is similar to an omelet, but more like a Spanish tortilla, because it is served flat and not rolled. It is also made with ingredients at room temperature and cooked very slowly over low heat, and then it is placed under the broiler until it is hard. The more fresher the spinach is, the better. When sliced into thin wedges, or used as a sandwich filling, this frittata always cooled to room temperature before eating makes perfect snack, luncheon, or picnic fare.


  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  Three oz fresh spinach leaves, washed and finely sliced
  • Six eggs
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • Four oz freshly grated, Italian cheese
  • One tbs extra virgin olive oil



1. Preheat the oven broiler.

2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add the spinach, pepper and salt, and nutmeg, as well as only half of the cheese, and lightly stir to combine the ingredients.

3. In a nine inch ovenproof omelet pan or skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat, swirling the pan to coat the bottom and sides evenly. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the frittata mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cook slowly, stirring the top two-thirds of the mixture (leaving the bottom part to set, so it doesn’t stick) until the eggs have formed small curds and the frittata is brown on the bottom and almost firm in the center, about four minutes. The top should still be very soft. With a spatula, lightly loosen the frittata from the edges of the pan, to prevent sticking later on. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

4. Transfer the pan to the broiler, placing it about five inches from the heat, so that the frittata cooks without burning. Broil until the frittata browns lightly on top and becomes puffy and firm, about two minutes. (Watch carefully: A minute can make the difference between a golden-brown frittata and one that’s overcooked.) Remove the frittata from the broiler and let cool in the pan for two minutes. Place a large flat plate over the top of the pan and invert the frittata onto it. Let the frittata cool to room temperature.

5. To serve, cut into wedges and serve with a salad or as a sandwich filling.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil On Penne Rigate Pasta

Tuesday, April 01st, 2014

The estimated preparation time is a half hour and accommodates four servings

• Half of cup of olive oil
• One clove of garlic
• One pound penne rigate
• One pound shredded high quality mozzarella
• One tiny pinch dried oregano
• Pepper
• Salt
• Three tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
• Two oversized tomatoes

Begin by crushing the tomatoes. Use a pot to boil six quarts of water combined with one tablespoon of olive oil and salt. To obtain a dense mixture, you will have to add the penne and cook the resulted mixture up to nine minutes. To save time, try to prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking. Use a medium-sized skillet to heat up the remaining olive oil. Then add the chosen amount of garlic and sauté it until you obtain a color similar to gold. Continue sautéing while adding the preferred amount of pepper and salt. During the process, add the crushed tomatoes and the two tablespoons of fresh basil. You will have to use half of the total quantity of mozzarella to skillet and keep it warm. The next step will be to mix the pasta with the obtain sauce and the other half of mozzarella. Don’t serve until you sprinkle the pasta with oregano.

Unique Bread Dipping Dish

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Have you ever eaten at those Italian restaurants and they bring you out this wonderful bread with a delightful dipping oil to dip your bread into? Well I have created a very simple fantastic recipe you can make yourself at home that tastes just as great.

In a small pouring container you will need to combine a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Add a 1/2 tsp of oregano, a 1/2 tsp of basil, and 1/8 cup of finely chopped fresh garlic. You may either use fresh or bottled spices for this recipe.

 Pour all of the ingredients into an oil bottle and cover and shake it until the oil and spices have mixed together well. Be sure to shake it again just before serving.

 Serve on a small bowl or dipping dish with your favorite warm bread like French bread or Italian rolls. Top the dipping oil with parmesan cheese.

Bruschetta from Italy

Friday, October 03rd, 2008

Italian bruschetta
Serves four

Although authentic Italian bruschetta is grilled over a wood fire, a stove top grill, ridged cast iron skillet or toaster oven also work well and are more practical for most of us.

½ loaf crusty bread, like Italian sourdough
4 large garlic cloves which have been peeled and put through a garlic press
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Take ¾ inch slices of bread, cut diagonally, and grill until both sides are brown. Remove from grill, spread pressed garlic on each slice and drizzle with olive oil. Arange on a serving platter then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional olive oil on the side, or with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a dipping bowl on the side.
Italian bruschetta

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Mediterranean salad

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Mediterranean-style salad


1 can artichoke hearts (15 ounces)
1 can white beans (15 ounces)
¼ to 1/3 cup of red onion, thinly chopped
1 cup red peppers, roasted and chopped
½ to ¾ cup fresh mint, chopped
Red pepper flakes
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Fresh squeezed Lemon juice
About 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Open and drain each can. Rinse the white beans and artichokes by placing it under running water. Using a cutting board, chop the hearts into quarters. Set aside. Chop the red peppers. Dice the red onion very finely. If you are using fresh mint, take a handful and chop it. Mix all of these into a mixing bowl. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Cut the lemon into half and add the juice of one half into the bowl.Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for some spiciness. Stir all ingredients together. Before serving, add some crumbled feta cheese. You may wish to
add some kalamata olives, pitted and sliced.

Mediterranean salad


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Selecting Gourmet Olive Oil

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Selecting the kind of olive oil you want is similiar to choosing a fine wine. In fact, olive oils are also similar to wine when it comes to the terms used. Different kinds of olive oil also have different color, thickness and richness. There is a range of oils you can choose from – starting from extra virgin to extra light. Like choosing wine, it is important that you select the best oil that will complement your food. For instance, when choosing wine, it is vital that you come with the right pair, such as port paired with a sumptuous desert or an excellent Chardonnay acting as the perfect counterpoint with shellfish.

Your choice of olive oil says something about you and the tastes you have, in the same way that you select a sharp tie or a pretty evening dress. The oil should also dress up the dish and bring out its flavor. The oil can dress up and improve the flavor of the salad or bring out the taste of duck breast. Oils you can choose from include:

Extra virgin oil: This is the best of olive oils. It is also the least processed olive oil and is made by pressing the olives. A genuine extra virgin olive oil is like melted butter in that it covers your mouth with a certain thickness. It also has a peppery taste.

Virgin Olive Oil: This is made with olives that are pressed two times. If you want to do some cooking, this oil is the oil you should use.

Pure Olive Oil: This is the most processed kind of oil. It is made of oil from pressed olives. The oil is also refined and filtered.

Extra light virgin oil: This does not refer to the calories or the amount of fat it has. This is considered light because of its flavor, which is very mild. There is also organic oil, which is also light in color and flavor.

olive oil, selecting olive oil, olive oil grades


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Italian Bruschetta Crostini

Friday, April 04th, 2008

Bruschetta Crostini

Bruschetta is more than Italian bread garnished with chopped tomatoes. The word bruschetta literally means to refer to a bare slice of toasted Italian bread which has been rubbed with garlic and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil. Crostini usually referrs to small pieces of toast garnished with diced tomatoes, pesto sauce, cheese, and mushrooms, and/or any of numerous other topping possibilities. Depending on the application, crostini and bruschetta are almost interchangeable.

Italian Bruschetta

one loaf French baguette, cut into half-inch slices
one half cup garlic infused olive oil
two cloves garlic peeled and roasted
four red ripe tomatoes diced into small pieces
one half cup extra-virgin olive oil
one half cup chopped basil leaves

alternative additions can be: grated mozzarella cheese, sliced Kalamata olives, sliced mushrooms, or an olive paste or spread.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Arrange bread slices in a single layer over a large baking sheet. Drizzle bread slices with garlic olive oil or rub the slices with roasted garlic cloves. Drizzle well with olive oil. Place baking sheet in the oven and toast bread until slightly brown. Depending upon your oven, turn the bread slices over in about 2 1/2 minutes. Brown both sides, but be careful not to burn the toasted bread slices.

Place the chopped tomatoes with the basil leaves in a medium mixing bowl. Add garlic olive oil and toss until well blended. Use about a spoonful of the tomato mixture on each bruschetta toasted bread slice. After all bread slices have topping applied, return the baking sheet to the oven and heat for about one minute. If you’re using any of the alternative toppings be sure to sprinkle these on top of the bread slices before reheating in the oven. Serve hot. 

bruschetta, crostini


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Additional Italian herbs and spices

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Additional herbs and spices for the Italian Kitchen

Chillies come in many different varieties and they are occasionally used in the preparation of some Italian dishes. Chillies come in many different varieties and strength of heat that will be imparted on the dish they are used in. Italians use them to invigorate and complement dishes such as sauces stews and seafood.

Fennel seeds are reminiscent of liquorice or aniseed and are included in not only some fish and meat dishes but are frequently used in the creation of meatballs and sausage. By lightly toasting the fennel seeds much
of the flavour will be released when used in the preparation of recipes.

Chives are used as much for their flavour as for their appearance. They are easily cultivated and have a mild onion flavour and attractive green fine stemmed appearance. They can be used fresh or dried and are included in pasta sauces, salads, casseroles, soups and stews.

Marjoram is an aromatic herb that is consistently found in Italian recipes and is used frequently in many meat, poultry or vegetable dishes, particularly salad dressing, soups and stews.

Thyme has a strong flavour and aroma. Like sage and rosemary it is often used for stuffing and marinades. It also lends itself well to poultry, meats, seafood and fish.

Bay leaves have a very intense flavour and are generally used in their dried form. Most recipes calling for the use of bay leaves, call for just one to flavour an entire dish. Bay leaves are usually used to season stews,
casseroles, soups and grilled and roasted meats and poultry.

Onions are an essential ingredient in most Italian recipes and can be used in various different forms. For convenience and speed, dried, flaked, powdered or granulated can be used. Soups, sauces, dressings and casseroles all call for the use of onion either fresh or dried.

Nutmeg is a richly flavoured spice that is used in many pasta dishes in Italian cooking particularly ravioli and tortellini. The flavour of Bolognese sauce and stews are also enhanced by using this spice.

more Italian herbs and spices


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Italian Herbs and Spices, the essentials

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Herbs and Spices essential to the art of Italian cuisine

Each region of Italy has its own culinary specialities and different and unique ways of presenting and preparing some of the most commonly known Italian dishes. However, though there may be additional ingredients that are particular to a certain region there are some generic herbs and spices that are used in almost all Italian cuisine.

One of the most well used a distinctively flavoured herbs used in Italy is Basil. Along with Oregano it is used to flavour many different recipes and dishes. It is the main ingredient in pesto, adds distinction to salads, and salad dressing. It is also used in the preparation of breads, and most traditional Italian pasta sauces, not to mention in marinades.

Italian herbs and spices


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Pantry Essentials for Italian Cooking

Friday, March 21st, 2008


Italians use garlic extensively in the preparation of many of  their recipes. Garlic is actually packed with essential vitamins that help maintain a healthy heart and help the body resist other infections. The content of vitamins A, B, and C are extremely beneficial. Garlic is an onion like plant cultivated in southern Europe and is bulbous in shape and breaks into cloves when opened. It has a distinctive powerful aroma and flavour. Garlic can be bought in quantity as it is easy to store in a fridge or cupboards for a length of time.

Olive Oil

The mainstay of Italian cuisine is olive oil and it is most widely used in Mediterranean countries. Extra virgin olive oil is high quality oil which is due to the means by which it is processed. Extra virgin olive oil is naturally quite expensive and it is use is preferred to other olive oils. However, as this is somewhat of a luxury item you may prefer to use ordinary olive oil if it is more affordable, but always ensure you choose the best quality you can find. There are many different types and quality of oil and it is important to choose the right one. A dedicated chef specialising in Italian cooking will never compromise on the type of oil he use. The recipes contained in this book include the use of extra virgin olive oil. Though preference is given to the use of butter by some chefs they will often add a little olive oil because of its authentic sublime flavour.

Herbs and Spices

In an Italian kitchen, the use of herbs and spices is essential and they will always be prevalent. Basil, Italian flat leaf parsley, all of the fresh variety, and oregano which can be used dried or fresh, are the most widely used in Italian recipes. Herbs such as basil and parsley are so often needed in the preparation of recipes that it is a good idea to have plenty in your kitchen, or even cultivate them yourself. They can easily be grown in pots or planters on a shelf as long as there is plenty of natural light. In Italy oregano is sold dried on the stem and it is the only herb that it is preferable to use in its dried state. This should be stored in an airtight container for the best results. Rosemary is another herb that is very aromatic in the use of Italian cooking and works well in many recipes.  If you need to create a spicier dish you should consider dried red pepper flakes.

Italian cooking spices

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