CategoriesSides Vegetables

Roasted Spring Vegetable Medley

A seasonal vegetable medley that uses all fresh vegetables. Fresh sugar snap peas and peas are easier to find during the spring time. Feel free to make this medley with other kinds of spring vegetables that are in season.

What you’lll need:

16 oz Fresh Sugar Snap Peas

12 oz Fresh Peas

Small Head of Cauliflower

Medium Red Onion

Single Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Medium or Robust Intensity

Traditional Dark Balsamic (Optional)

Garlic Powder

Sea Salt

Pepper

Red Chili Flakes (Optional)

Parchment Paper (This is to keep the vegetables from sticking to the baking sheet.)

Here’s how:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut and core the cauliflower into florets and thinly slice the florets. Cut the red onion in half and cut the halves into thin slices. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Spread the snap peas, fresh peas, sliced cauliflower and onions on the baking sheet with the parchment paper. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and mix it. Sprinkle the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili flakes according to your taste. Then mix the vegetables again, making sure to spread it evenly. Add more seasoning if needed. Get a sheet of aluminum foil and just lay it lightly over the vegetables (no need to tuck it). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. When serving the vegetables drizzle with the Traditional Balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

CategoriesAppetizers Salads

Valentine’s Caprese Salad

Here is a cute Valentine’s Day take on Caprese Salad. You will need a small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out the fresh mozzarella.

What you’ll need:

1/2 lb. to 1 lb. of fresh mozzarella

Tomatoes on the Vine

Pesto sauce

Tradtional Balsamic Vinegar

Fresh basil, sliced

Here’s how:

Slice the tomatoes and lay them in a single layer on a plate. Slice the mozzarella. Then press a heart shaped cookie cutter on to each mozzarella slice. Take the heart slices and lay them on top of each tomato slice. Scoop about a teaspoon of pesto sauce on top of each mozzarella heart. Drizzle the Traditional Balsamic over the entire salad. Then add the fresh basil.

CategoriesSauces

Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

Smoky, tangy, and sweet, this balsamic barbecue sauce can literally be put on anything. It’s great on chicken, steak, ribs, meatballs, tofu, you name it. It’s that good! We sauteed the onions in the olive wood smoked extra virgin olive oil and added a smoked sea salt to give this sauce a smoky flavor. Our traditional balsamic compliments the sweetness of the brown sugar and molasses by giving it the right amount of tang. You can use any dark flavored balsamic for another depth of flavor. Make this sauce more or less spicy. You really can’t go wrong.

What you’ll need:

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 cup Traditional Balsamic or any flavored dark balsamic

2 tablespoons Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil or any other UP extra virgin olive oil of your choice

1 small white onion, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown mustard

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more for a spicier sauce)

2 teaspoons smoked sea salt or (2 teaspoons smoked paprika + 2 teaspoons sea salt)

fresh ground pepper to taste

Here’s how:

In a small sauce pan, simmer onion in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, brown sugar, molasses, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes. Allow it to cool down for a few minutes. Transfer sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. It can be used immediately or pour it in a glass jar and refrigerate for later use. Sauce is good for a month.

CategoriesMain Dish

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Chicken

What you’ll need:

1 1/2 pounds free-range, boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast tenders.

1 large sweet onion sliced thin

8 oz. assorted wild mushrooms, sliced

4 inch fresh thyme, stem discarded

1/4 cup Traditional Balsamic

2 tablespoons of fruity-floral Hojiblanca, Picual, or Koroneiki, or Wild Mushroom Sage olive oil

1/2 cup heavy cream

sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Here’s how:

Season the chicken on both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to a pan or cast iron skillet and allow it to heat for a minute over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute for a few minutes until golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate and reserve. Add the onions to the drippings in the pan. Cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently until the onions become a soft golden brown. Add the mushrooms. Saute for approximately three more minutes over medium high heat until the mushrooms are browned and slightly caramelized. Add the fresh thyme leaves and balsamic to the mushrooms and onions, de- glazing the pan by scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Cook to reduce for a minute. Add the cream and stir to combine. Add the reserved chicken. Allow the pan to come to a simmer. Cook for another two minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens. Season generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve over pasta, rice, or cooked whole grains.

CategoriesAppetizers

Baked Feta Tomato Medley

I call this a true summer dish because it’s a great way to show off the many tomato varieties available in the summer. Not only that, it’s a no fuss, carefree recipe that anyone can make. Rosemary and thyme gives it nice earthy rustic flavor and a robust extra virgin olive olive oil help to bring out the flavors. Any tomato variety may be used; whether it’s from your garden, local farmer’s market, or even the grocery store, it really does not matter. You can add more herbs, use less garlic, add more olives, whatever inspires you.

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What you’ll need:

1 lb. block of feta, sheep’s milk recommended

6 cups of tomatoes, multiple variety

1/2 cup of green olives, non-oil cured, cut in half

Cloves of one garlic, peeled

3 tablespoons Robust Intensity Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling

2 tablespoons Traditional Balsamic

3 – 4 rosemary sprigs

5 – 6 fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Fresh ground pepper

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cut feta in 1/4 inch slices and lay on large baking sheet, leaving about an inch space between each slice. Slice smaller tomatoes in half, quarter the larger tomatoes, and place in a large bowl. Add olives and garlic cloves to the tomatoes. Remove and roughly chop the leaves from the rosemary and remove thyme leaves by sliding leaves down the stem. Then add rosemary and thyme to the bowl. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Add the tomato mixture in between and on top of the feta allowing a portion of the feta to remain uncovered.

Place in preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. It’s done when feta is slightly golden brown on top. Drizzle on some more olive oil and enjoy with a fresh loaf of crusty Italian bread!

CategoriesSides

Roasted Squash with Balsamic Reduction

One thing I love about winter squash is how versatile it is; from soups to desserts, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes just keeping it simple is the way to go and this recipe is all about that. Just cut up the squash into even sized wedges. No need to peel. Then place it on the pan with a drizzle of olive oil and pop it in the oven to roast.  Balsamic reduction and toasted pecans give it a more fancy touch, which is especially great for the holiday season.

What you’ll need:

Winter Squash (I used Carnival Acorn, Delicata, and Kabocha)

3 tablespoons Varietal Olive Oil such as Picual or Coratina (high intensity)

2 teaspoons sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup pecan pieces

Balsamic Reduction

1 cup So Olive Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in wedge like pieces. Lay on sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pan in oven and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until squash is tender.

Balsamic Reduction

Pour balsamic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow balsamic to come to a gentle boil until it is reduced by half. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat so it can cool, making sure that it does not become to thick to drizzle.

Lightly toast pecans in a toaster oven or in a pan.

When squash is done roasting, drizzle the balsamic reduction over the squash, and sprinkle with the toasted pecans.