Sunday, November 9, 2008
White Bean Crostini
2 cans of cannolini beans (drained and rinsed)
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
1 to 1-1/2 tsp. chili pepper flakes (to taste)
1 lemon, zested (then the juice of half)
3 Tbs. olive oil
balsamic vinegar to drizzle
salt and pepper to taste
1 french baguette, sliced into rounds, brushed lightly with olive oil, and toasted in oven (350 for about 5 minutes)
In a medium-sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the balsamic. Using the back of a fork or spoon, lightly mash the beans while keeping the majority of them whole. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of white bean mixture onto the toasts and finish with a tiny drizzle/drop of balsamic vinegar.
Devour with good friends and a spicy, fruity glass of red wine (Recommended: Malbec).
Grilled Calamari over Tomato, Olive, and Red Onion Salad with Balsamic Drizzle
Serves 4 as Appetizer
¾ lb. Fresh Calamari, Cleaned (insides removed)
3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
¼ cup parsley, chopped (+ ¼ cup for the tomato salad)
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped (+ 1/3 cup chopped for salad)
1 orange, zested (reserve one half for juice)
1/3 cup olive oil
4 plum tomatoes (or 6-7 campari tomatoes), seeded and chopped
¼ red onion, finely diced
salt and pepper
For Balsamic Drizzle:
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 sprig of rosemary
In a medium-sized, shallow dish, add the garlic, parsley, orange zest and juice, the first half of the parsley, and the first half of the chopped olives. Stir to combine and add in olive oil and salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust from there. Add in the calamari; lightly toss them in the marinade. Cover the dish in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for about an hour or two. (*Note: Due to the acidity of the orange juice in the marinade, it’s important not to let the calamari marinate for too long or it will begin to cook in the juices!)
While the calamari marinates, prepare the tomato salad. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chopped tomato, onion, parsley, and olives. Dress lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.
For the balsamic drizzle, add balsamic, garlic, and rosemary to a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat. When the balsamic comes to a boil, immediately knock back the heat to low/medium-low and allow to reduce for about 5-6 minutes until it’s syrupy.
After the calamari has marinated, heat up the grill to medium-high (or a large cast iron skillet or grill pan, on the stove at medium-high). Brush the grill with a little olive oil. Grill the calamari on both sides (only turning once!) for about a minute or so. Do not cook for more than 2 minutes as the calamari will become rubbery. Remove from grill and serve over the tomato salad. Drizzle with balsamic syrup and serve immediately.