Friday, June 1, 2012

Tour of Italy ~ Day 1... The Why!

       I have always been fascinated with the Italian Countryside and several years ago when we were perusing our dreams of owning our own restaurant, I was given an older copy of a "BON APPETIT" magazine dated May 1997. I have treasured it all these years, knowing that some day I was going to cook and love my way through it. Then, we left the restaurant business and not to long after, I started enjoying the benefits of the "Biggest Loser" plan. Next came our move to the beach and I enveloped myself with the styles and charms of the southern comfort foods of the Carolina's. So, while going through one of my old boxes last month, I came acrossed my magazine and decided that since June was my Birthday month and I have some extra daylight hours to spend in my kitchen, I am going to spend the month on a luscious tour of the Italian Countryside. And I would like to bring you all along with me... Why you ask? Because Italian food is always better when shared with family and friends. So let's have some fun in the kitchen together and let's start off with some yummy

Tomato & Broccoli Tapenade


  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2-4 small white button mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 narrow Italian or French loaf of bread
  • 1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise


  1.   Place chopped tomatoes, basil & mushrooms in a large saute pan. Stir in the 2 tablespoons olive oil, (save the other 2 for bruschetta), red pepper, garlic, basil, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar and mix well, warm up on low for 2 minutes. Cover and chill for at least four hours before serving.
  2.   To make the bruschetta base: Slice the loaf of bread, on the bias, into 1/2-inch slices, (about 12-15 per loaf). Rub each slice   with fresh garlic clove and then brush with olive oil. Place bread in oven on sheet pan, bake on 350 until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side. Serve warm with chilled Tapenade.
  3.    To serve: Fold feta into Tapenade, Place bread slices on serving dish, spoon 2 tablespoons of Tapenade onto each slice of bread and serve.

Nutritional Information 

Serving size is 2 pieces... 
Amount Per Serving:   Calories: 114 / Total Fat: 11.1g / Cholesterol: 8mg / Sodium 110mg / Protein 2.0g

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