Category Archives: Appetizers

Baked Chickpeas

Canned chickpeas are a staple ingredient in my pantry. In the middle of February, I rely on a lot of staples when I start to get sick of all the cabbage and root vegetables available. I like to make these baked chickpeas as a nice change from hummus.
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Shishito Peppers

It’s not too late in the season to find these peppers at the farmer’s market. All you need to do is heat olive oil in a pan, let the peppers blister and add sea salt. Be warned because while shishito peppers are mostly sweet, about one our of every ten can be very hot.
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Roasted Asparagus

When I was in Hamptons, on top of the best clams I’ve ever had, we also had some amazing asparagus. There are so many farms out in Long Island with great produce, especially in the summer and we made sure to take advantage of that. We had a great weekend of eating, lots of drinking and beach going. My friends mom made this delicious asparagus which is pretty much the only way I ever want to make asparagus again. We ended up snacking on this before dinner and the whole plate was gone in about two minutes. It’s salty, lemony, and the Parmesan adds a great nuttiness.
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Rosemary Foccacia

Focaccia is a simple yeast bread that is best right out of the oven and dipped in some good quality extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Foccacia is a very light and airy flatbread and can be topped with Sundried tomatoes, olives or any other ingredient you choose. It’s best paired with a salad or dipped into a soup but can also go really well with a piece of fish or meat.

A note about kneading bread: Aside from being extremely satisfying, kneading bread is essential for building gluten in the dough which is a protein that gives body to the bread so you have a light and airy loaf rather than a dense and chewy bite. To knead, fold the dough over and push down on it with the heels of you hands, curving your fingers over the dough. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process of folding and pushing down until dough is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle flour over the dough during the kneading process when it begins to get sticky.

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Whole Wheat Herb Bread

I love making bread and this is one of my favorite recipes as you can add almost any kind of herb you prefer and it doesn’t take much experience in bread-making to get it right. Most of the ingredients are common pantry items and there’s no bread machine or starter required. It’s best right out of the oven with a good quality extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some grated parmesan cheese. The recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens ‘New Baking Book.
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Sundried Tomato Hummus

Hummus is a great spread and delicious on crackers, pita chips or spread on a pita in a sandwich. Its creamy and salty and can take on many different flavors. I decided to make this sundriend tomato hummus because I had some in my refrigerator but you could also substitute roasted red peppers. Sundried tomatoes typically have a very strong flavor and tend to overwhelm dishes that they’re used in but this recipe has just enough of the tomato flavor without being too strong. Also, there is absolutely no cooking required, just throwing some ingredients in a food processor.
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