Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Restaurant (Re)creation: Kokkari's Watermelon Salad with Pine Nuts, Feta + Basil

This salad is amazingly simple and refreshing (not to mention, BEAUTIFUL). Watermelon is in season right now and this salad is the perfect way to showcase it. Kokkari nailed this recipe with the salty feta, touch of basil and crunchy pine nuts. You can also swap the basil for mint if you prefer. Either way, you can't go wrong!

Serves 6


  • 2 1/2 lbs watermelon, chilled
  • 1/4 lb Greek feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Optional- freshly ground pepper


-Cut the watermelon into 1-inch cubes and arrange on a serving platter.
-Crumble feta all over the watermelon.
-Sprinkle with pine nuts and torn basil.
-Drizzle with olive oil and top with a twist of freshly ground pepper.
-Serve immediately.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Recipe (Re)creation: Grilled Peach + Prosciutto Pizza

I just took a fabulous cooking class at Sur La Table and we focused specifically on grilled pizzas.  The hands-down winner of the night was a grilled peach and prosciutto pizza.  I ended up eating two of them (yes, two) and was determined to make them at home.  I added mozzarella, caramelized onions and some lightly dressed arugula leaves to the top and had myself a culinary masterpiece.  While we did learn how to make our own dough (I will post this later), it is a little time consuming and must be made a few days in advance, so I used Whole Foods store-bought dough.  The key is the leave it out so it is room temperature when you are ready to start forming the crusts.  That way it will be much easier to work with and you will be much happier with your results.  You don't even have to own a BBQ to make these pizzas- any grill pan or griddle will do!

Serves 1-2


  • Vegetable oil (for brushing peaches and grill)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large white peach, pitted and sliced
  • 8 oz. pizza dough, room temperature
  • flour (for forming crusts)
  • 2-3 sliced prosciutto, torn
  • 2-3 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1 3/4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar


-Preheat your grill or grill pan over high heat and brush with olive oil.
-Heat a large non-stick skillet and add 1 tbsp olive oil.
-Add the yellow onion slices and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
-Remove the caramelized onions from heat and set aside.
-Next, brush peach slices with oil and place on grill.
-Cook until they develop grill marks, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
-Carefully remove peaches from grill and set aside for later.
-With floured hands, form the pizza dough into a ball.
-Pinch the dough with your thumbs and forefingers to stretch it out.
-Once it is round and flat, place the dough on a floured surface
-Brush one side with oil and place the oiled side down on the grill.
-Cover, and cook until grill marks appear (about 3 mins).
-Then oil the top and flip again until the other side also has golden grill marks.
-Remove from heat, top with torn mozzarella, prosciutto and peaches.
-Return pizzas to the grill, cover, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
-Mix the arugula and remaining olive oil and balsamic in a small bowl.
-Top the pizza with caramelized onions and arugula salad.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Recipe (Re)creation: Green Gazpacho with Marcona Almonds

This creation was inspired by a lovely marcona almond gazpacho I had at Contigo recently.  While mine is not a white gazpacho, I did decide to add marcona almonds to a more traditional green gazpacho.  I adapted a recipe that I came across in Bon Appétit and the final result will not disappoint.  Serve as an appetizer or as a light lunch.  It is the perfect chilled summer soup!

Serves 4


  • 1/3 cup marcona almonds, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 1/2 cups ciabatta, torn and crusts removed
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 tomatillos, husked and sliced
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • kosher salt


-Whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, yogurt, and 1/2 cup oil in a bowl.
-Add the bread, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatillos, scallions, jalapeños, garlic & almonds.
-Toss to coast, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
-Purée the mixture in a Vitamix or high powered blender until very smooth.
-Transfer to a large bowl and season with salt, as needed.
-Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the remaining almonds.