July 25, 2007

Just a few recipes

Just wandering thru some of my cookbooks and my personal pile of recipes and thought Id post a few today. The first one is Kalamata Olive Pesto that I created for the restaurant where I worked. We served it as an appetizer over scallion fettuccine. You could make this and just use regular fettuccine and toss in fresh sliced scallions to approximate the flavor. My ex and I were out one day and the car radio was on. There were food reviews and restaurant reviews on at that time and Narsai David was reviewing some. He is a local famous chef and celebrity out here. I got so excited because suddenly I realized he was reviewing my dish from the restaurant! And he just loveddddddddd it . omg omg omg Boy did that make my day! So here it is. .....

9oz. black Kalamata olives, pitted
1 fresh red chili 2in. long. or chili flakes
2 garlic cloves
2 shallots
3/4 tsp. minced fresh thyme
3/4 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4c. lemon juice
1 small bunch of chives
If olives are not pitted, remove pits first. Stores are now carrying pitted Kalamata olives tho so that would save tons of time if you can find them. Put all ingredients into food processor and blend well. Refrigerate. Use on french bread with goat cheese or on pasta.

I made a Greek style appetizer out of this one time for a party at my house. I set this out in one of those divided dishes... one had the olive pesto in it, one had dried tomatoes in oil in it and another had crumbled feta cheese in it. You could also just use roasted red peppers too instead of the tomatoes. I had a basket next to it filled with plain sliced baguette and everyone made their own nibbles. It was a huge hit.

But this could be used on pasta with maybe artichokes in it or as a spread on sandwiches too. Or roll it up in some puff pastry from the store and bake it for appetizers. Or you could make it into a nice tart for lunch or a party. Just make a pastry crust and line it with some olive pesto and top with fresh garden tomatoes, a lil S&P, some fresh thyme sprigs and drizzle with more olive oil, then bake.....yum. You could even roll out some bread dough and spread this on it , roll up and bake for an awesome bread for your meal.

Another thing this would be good on is this next sandwich. I found this years ago at a Trader Joes Market out here. I had it once and never saw it again. But I loved it so much as I ate it I dissected the ingredients and made a list so I could make it myself later on. It was a Greek Salad Sandwich, and its vegan ,,,,,no meat! and trust me you wont even miss it. I'm not a vegan but I don't mind eating that way once in a while. This was awesome tho.

For each sandwich you need:
1 ciabatta roll, it needs to be crusty peasant type bread like this if you cant find ciabattas.
feta cheese, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, sliced Kalamata olives, chopped green peppers, sliced red onion, chopped pepperonicini peppers, Basil, Mint and Oregano.
Equal parts lemon juice and olive oil for a dressing.
Slice bread, layer all veggies on it. Top with cheese. Make dressing with lemon juice, olive oil and herbs. Drizzle over sandwich and put top of sandwich on and eat. You could also stuff this into a pita pocket. It would be really tasty too with leaves of fresh basil in it.
This would be a great sandwich to use that olive pesto in instead of sliced olives.

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