Tag Archives: basil

Tuna & Veggie Sandwich

So I’ve actually noticed the recipe for this sandwich over a year ago, but haven’t had a chance to make it.  I like tuna, but not very frequently.  But when a craving hits me, I have to have it now.

The original recipe is titled Pan Bagnat.  Which is a French sandwich, made out of white bread, which has raw vegetables, hard boiled eggs, anchovies, and tuna.  And the recipe, which I found here playing off of the Pan Bagnat, instructs you to put the whole sandwich together to be eaten the next day.

Although it’s a great idea to think about tomorrow’s lunch, I wanted the tuna today.  So a little spin, and some additional veggies had to be added!  This is very filling, so a great light dinner (and fast to make) or a bigger lunch.

Tuna and Veggie Sandwich
Inspired by: Waverly at Food 52

3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz of tuna, drained
1 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
6 oz artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 ciabatta square buns, halved lengthwise

In a large bowl, toss together: garlic, tuna, Kalamata olives, black olives, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion, parsley, artichoke hearts and basil.  Stir well so all of the ingredients are combined.

In a small bowl whisk together: lemon juice, olive oil and pepper flakes.  Once combined, pour over the tuna and vegetable mixture.  Add the salt and pepper, and then stir to combine all of the ingredients.

Finally, add the tuna and veggie mixture into each ciabatta bun.

Heat wave & tomatoes

Temperatures are soaring all over the US.  Tomorrow will be extremely hot in DC (100°F or more).  The humidity does not help.  And if you’ve been to DC in the summer before, you know how sticky it gets here.  So with the temperatures soaring, all of us are melting into puddles.  Non-cooking dishes do not only sound fantastic- they are essential for our survival.

What I do like about summer are tomatoes.  Especially tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market.  Have you ever really looked a tomato?  Up close?  Aren’t they beautiful?

And what do you do when you have delicious looking tomatoes and it’s hot outside?

Tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil.

Yum!

I hope all of you go out and get some beautiful tomatoes, and enjoy them.  All you will need is:

tomatoes (depending on size about 1-3)
fresh mozzarella (2-3 small balls)
basil (5-10 leaves)
Salt & pepper

Cut the tomatoes into slices.  Arrange them nicely on a plate.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Chiffonade the basil, and sprinkle over the plate.  Lastly, slice the mozzarella, and place a piece on each tomato slice.  You can drizzle the dish with olive oil, but I preferred the earthy flavor of the tomatoes.  Serve and enjoy.  A fresh baguette and butter are a fantastic addition.

And to leave you with something more to read, rather than just looking at the delicious pictures, here’s an interesting article.  It discusses how the tomato flavor and production in the US has changed over the last 50 years.

How Industrial Farming ‘Destroyed’ the Tasty Tomato

Stay cool!

Roasted Vegetable Soup

I’m having a love affair with farmers market tomatoes this summer.  I can’t get enough of the juicy taste, and tomatoey smell (there are no words for it!).  I’m searching for recipes with tomatoes in them just to eat more.

Although no one would want to turn on the oven and make soup during this heat, we did have a couple of days which were a little cooler last week.  So we took advantage of the cool days and tried this recipe.  The roasted flavors were amazing, and I can’t wait to make this one again.  Using fresh vegetables with this soup will make all of the difference since it will give it a heightened flavor.

Another way to make this delicious soup- for those with barbeques (and yards)- feel free to heat up these veggies there.  It might not be as long, and then you won’t have to heat up your house with the oven.  Let me know if it works!

Roasted Vegetable Soup
Adapted from: Fresh365

1 onion, thinly sliced
5 large tomatoes, quartered
1 lb carrots, washed & halved
8-10 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
3/4 cup basil
1 cup water
1 cup soy milk (or other milk)
1/2 cup tomato juice

Preheat over to 400°F.  Place the onion, tomatoes, carrots and garlic on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables, and then sprinkle the salt and pepper.  With your hands, mix around the vegetables in the olive oil, so all of them are covered.  Roast the vegetables for 55 minutes, until all of them are softened.

In several batches, add the vegetables, the basil and water into a food processor or blender.  Puree until smooth, and pour into a pot.  Then add the milk and tomato juice, and bring to a simmer over low heat.  Finally, ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Sam’s Summer Pasta Sauce

One of the first meals that Sam had made for me was this sauce, and I loved it!  He’s been perfecting this baby for years, so it is delicious.  I couldn’t wait until the tomatoes were in season, since this pasta is significantly better with deep red fresh tomatoes.

It’s finally tomato season!  Hopefully, my pasta sauce recipe will help you figure out how to use them.

It looks like a lot, but really, this one is pretty easy.  I developed this recipe over a couple years of trial and error.  Originally, I prepared the sauce as noted below, but then simmered it for about an hour over the stovetop.  I’ve found that omitting this last step and serving it with the tomatoes and herbs in their raw state gives the sauce a really nice, fresh-from-the-garden flavor.  I hope you like it.

Sam’s Summer Pasta Sauce

1 box, dry pasta (I recommend penne or rigatoni)
3 large, ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 zucchini, slice length-wise & chopped into chunks
2 squash, slice length-wise & chopped into chunks
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced thickly
5 garlic cloves, minced
handful of fresh basil
6 sprigs of fresh oregano
¾ can, drained, pitted, black olives
Dry red wine (a nice Chianti works well)
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter together with the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Then add the squash, zucchini, and onion together with the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Now is a good time to start boiling your pasta.  I recommend cooking in liberally salted boiling water until al dente.  When done, drain and rinse in cold water to ensure it doesn’t continue to cook.

When the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms and garlic.  Continue to sauté until the mushrooms soften but still have a bit of a bite.  Remove from heat.

In a large food processor, add quarter of the sauté mixture together with the tomatoes, oregano, basil, olives, and a splash of wine and olive oil.  Pureé and add more salt, pepper, and olive oil as necessary.

Serve the sauce with the remainder of the squash mixture over the cooked pasta and top with a little fresh, grated parmesan (not that powdered stuff!).  Oh, and don’t forget to drink the remainder of that wine!

Buon appetito!

Tomato Soup with Basil

As the days get warmer, and the sun shines longer, no one wants to be stuck in the kitchen.  Especially with the oven on…too hot!  As I mentioned before, I try to search out recipes that are fast, simple, and require very minimal cooking.  But just because you want a simpler recipe, does not mean that flavor has to be lost.

This is a very simple soup, although I’ve noticed I say that quite a bit!  Nonetheless, it’s hearty enough to fill you up (thanks to the rice)- but not too much that you feel stuffed.  And, it’s easy since I cooked it between going for a run.  Once all the ingredients were boiling, I grabbed my shoes for a quick run around the Mall.  By the time I came back, the soup was done cooking.

We let it cool off a bit before we ate, a bit more “gazpacho” style.  And even though it was cooler, it still had the great flavor.  Tomato season hasn’t started yet, but this would be a great one to do with fresh tomatoes rather than the canned.  It would give the soup more flavor.  But that’s something we’ll have to wait for, and enjoy over the summer.

We bought some bread from the Farmer’s Market, and ate it with the soup.  The bread was dense, and it absorbed some of the liquid from the soup, giving it a little more flavor.  Yum!

Tomato Soup with Basil
Adapted from: A Chow Life Blog

4 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans whole tomatoes (28 oz each)
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 chicken bouillon
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1/4 cup rice

In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, let it sauté for about 8 minutes, until the onions are translucent.  Then add the tomatoes, basil, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Then add the bouillon, broth and water.  Stir in the rice, and cover the pot until the soup is boiling.

Let it simmer for 15-25 minutes.  Remove the tomatoes from the soup and add them to a food processor (or blender).  Blend until it turns into smaller chunks (choose the consistency to your liking).  Pour back into the pot, cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes.

When serving, feel free to sprinkle some basil as a garnish.