Posts Tagged ‘basil’

Bruschetta.jpgJ. and I attempt, but don’t always succeed, to have a date night once a week. We usually head out to a nice restaurant or a movie but last week we were beat and just wanted to stay home. I had baked some wonderful crusty Italian style bread earlier in the day and we had found some beautiful tomatoes at the farmers market… Bruschetta was the answer.

I decided to make 2 different versions and after a quick trip to Wholefoods for some delicious meat we were set to go. I didn’t just want to make an ordinary tomato combination for the top. It was date night after all, I wanted something a little different and unusual. I went with garlic roasted tomatoes on Tomato and basilsoppressata or prosciutto with jalapeno lime white balsamic vinegar to finish it off.

First off I put the tomatoes into the oven to roast. I only wanted them cooked for a very short time with some garlic and olive oil to really bring out the sweetness in these gorgeous tomatoes we found. I wanted them to hold their shape and keep the firm texture, not go all mushy.

ProscuittoWhile the tomatoes were in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes, I sliced some chunky bits of our Italian crusty bread and smeared them will olive oil. I heated up our grill pan and toasted these on both sides. I tried to get nice crusty grill marks on the bread. I did ok for the most part but there were some slightly crispier parts.Soppressata

Once these were grilled I just rubbed them with some garlic and set them aside to dress. I did a few of each meat for J. and I. Layer 1 being either soppressata or prosciutto. To be honest a few slices of each magically disappeared between the two of us… I love that stuff!

Basil leavesAfter the first layer of meaty goodness I added some fresh basil leaves. We had also picked the basil up at the market since our basil plant hasn’t survived it’s first (and only) Arizonan summer. By this stage the tomatoes were out and cooling down.

I cut the tomatoes in half and put them in a bowl, seasoned them with plenty of salt and pepper and then generously drizzled jalapeno lime white balsamic vinegar over them. I mixed them together and placed them on each piece of bread.

After pouring some wine J. and I sat down to a yummy, simple dinner. I had some goats cheese on the side as well for us to eat with the bruschetta. The creamy rich flavor worked so well with the freshness of the bruschetta. J enjoyed it so much we actually had something similar for dinner the next night. The tomatoes were extremely sweet and juicy. I was happy with how crusty and delicious the bread was as well. Such an easy, quick date night dinner. A good way of keeping my boy J. happy too!



Last week I had a craving for red meat, like a crazy I’m going to hurt someone if I don’t get a steak, kind of craving. I dug around in our freezer and found some giant lamb chops that were going to be perfect. The only problem, J was carb loading for the 1/2 marathon he was running in Vegas. What to do about a side!?

Pasta was the answer! Well it was J’s anyhow.

Garlic in olive oil.jpg

When we were first dating J made this for me. I think it was actually the first thing he ever cooked me. It is a very plain, simple pasta dish that is perfect as a side with something else.

In a large pot put your pasta on to cook, obviously once the water is boiling. While your pasta is cooking, in a pan heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Finely chop 4 large cloves of garlic and throw these into the hot oil. Cook the garlic, making sure not to burn it. So we were both Throw in the pasta.jpggoing to be happy with dinner… me with my red meat and J with his mountainous pile of pasta.

When the pasta has cooked, drain and add it to the garlic in the pan. Mix the garlic and olive oil through the pasta so it is completely covered. I had chopped up an entire bunch of fresh basil (about 1 cup) while the pasta was cooking. J added the basil and some salt and pepper to the pasta. He also sprinkled in some dried oregano.

Last thing he did was just mix everything through so it was evenly coating the pasta. J recommends putting inAdd the basil.jpg some red chili flakes too if you have some floating around in your pantry.

This was a really yummy meal. Such an easy quick thing to do, with ingredients I always have around the house. I didn’t have too much pasta but J loaded up which was perfect. Ready for his ½ marathon. The lamb was cooked perfectly on our little grill pan and it definitely fed my red meat craving. Though as I am writing this I am now thinking a big juicy steak would be fabulous!