Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tickle Your Tastebuds Tuesday

I thought I would share a couple of favorite recipes with you today - one is by request since I had mentioned that I love olive tapenade in an earlier post. The other is because it's National Linguine Day and I happen to have a favorite linguine dish recipe I'd love to share.

This olive tapenade makes a wonderful appetizer when served with garlic crostini or bruschetta, although it can also be used as an accompaniment for any pasta - just like you would use a pesto. I'm not a huge fan of capers or hairy fish (anchovies) so this may not qualify as a "traditional" tapenade, but I will vouch that it's yummy! For an extra special treat, add in some artichoke hearts (chopped finely or minced) for a superb taste and texture.

1 cup pitted green olives (any mixture of olives will work - I personally love good green Italian olives and kalamatas mixed together)
1/2 cup pine nuts (you can use walnuts in a pinch, but pine nuts are much better)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup olive oil ( I prefer really good extra virgin olive oil - it's worth the extra cost)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 large cloves of garlic

(the easy way) - Put all ingredients in a food processor. Use on/off pulses about 5 times just so everything holds together, but is not pureed.
(the better way) - Finely chop or mince the onions and garlic. Saute them until they are just beginning to caramelize (turn golden around the edges). This releases the natural sugars and I think really improves the taste. Remove from heat and let cool. While it's cooling, finely chop or mince the olives and add it to the cooled olive/garlic mixture along with the rest of the ingredients. You can add a bit of fresh rosemary if you'd like as well. Serve as a topping for crostini or bruschetta or toss with pasta for a wonderful side dish. This only lasts for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but chances are good it will go quickly!

This next recipe is one of my favorite ways to have linguine. The pasta is easy, simply cook al dente per the package directions... and top with this!

Shrimp and Scallops with Garlic in White Wine

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 pound bay scallops
1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2/3 cup white wine
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook just until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the scallops and shrimp and cook 1 minute longer. Add wine and simmer for 2 minutes, or until scallops and shrimp are just cooked through. Stir in mustard and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve over linguine.

If you still have room for dessert, a frosty light granita or gelato is perfect and easy on the calorie budget!


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