Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Tomato and Ricotta and Basil Focaccia Bruschetta

Summer is the best time to eat tomatoes. I love them. I think that during the warm Summer months when things are a little freer and time slides by a little slower it's only fair to say the the produce makes the season. And I think that tomatoes in particular are an amazingly special gift with their sun kissed skins nearly bursting with juicy deliciousness.

So these little beauties are the star of my summer evening table. I love making bruschetta in general. But when faced with the choice of ingredients I go for the gold with these.

The other obvious part of bruschetta is of course the bread. So the choice for a base is important. I am choosing focaccia because I love it's flaky soft juicy texture and when crisped it is tremendously delicious.

So here's a quick recipe for your backyard this summer. Enjoy!


Fresh Grape or Cherry Tomatoes halved
Ricatta Cheese full fat about 8 oz
between 1 and 2 tablespoons of basil pesto ( you can make or buy this at your grocer)
How much you put in depends on how strong you want the basil flavor
Fresh basil about a bunch
Good quality olive oil ( a great olive oil really makes the difference, spend the money)
1 small loaf of focaccia bread


Cut bread into rectangular segments about 4 inches by 12 inches then slice bread into square slices about 1/2 in thick.
Heat oven to 375
Place bread on a baking sheet and then drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt flakes
Bake until the bread is a little brown and toasty
Remove from the oven and let cool
Mix the ricotta cheese and pesto together till smooth and creamy
Cut the basil leaves into chiffonade
Mix the tomatoes and basil with just enough olive oil to coat nicely
Top the bread with a good smear of the riccotta
Top the bread slices with the tomatoes and basil mixture
Sprinkle with a little sea salt and serve

Friday, June 12, 2015

Gruyere, Swiss cheese and Dill Pickle Quesadillas with Tomato Soup Crema

One of the best things on the planet to me is any kind of grilled bread and cheese. I mean who doesn't love a really great grilled cheese. Buttery crispy browned goodness mixed with melty smooth delicious creamy cheese. It's delicious.

Well the Mexican version of that great grilled cheese sandwich is or course the quesadilla. Usually stuffed with chili flavored ingredients and other fixings melded together with melted soft delicious cheese.

So having to make lunch the other day I discovered this blend of grilled cheese ingredients with a tortilla shell. I had a few things in the fridge and decided to experiment. Well it came out deliciously. It's a bit of a strange flavor combo I admit. But all together it really is quite amazing. Especially if you like dill pickles.

Gruyere Swiss Cheese and Dill Pickle Quesadillas with Tomato Soup Crema

10 tortillas ( large burrito sized flour)
12 oz grated swiss and gruyere half and half mixed together
6 oz softened cream cheese
6 oz boursin cheese
1 jar dill pickle chips
1 tablesoon dijon mustard


In a small mixing bowl beat cream cheese, boursin and mustard together
Divide evenly on five of the tortillas and spread evenly
Place dill pickle chips around the tortillas about 8 to 10 per tortilla
Sprinkle each with the cheese mixture dividing among the tortillas
Press another tortilla on top of each

In a non stick skillet place a little oil or spray pan with oil spray
Cook each quesadilla till slightly browned and the cheese is well melted
Place on baking tray and keep warm in low oven
Repeat with all the quesadillas
When ready to serve slice each into 8 wedges and plate
Serve with tomato soup crema

Tomato Soup Crema

1/2 can tomato soup concentrate
8 oz of sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese


Mix all ingredients together and let sit for at least 2 hours before using so flavors mary together