mediterranean bruschetta


i love bruschetta. LOVE. (yes, even though i am usually a tomato-hater. odd, isn’t it? )
and who doesn’t love a good, salty kalamata olive?
and possibly no (normal) human can turn down feta cheese.

i have this recipe that i jotted down years ago for mediterranean bruschetta (no clue where it came from). it involved canned tomatoes and a cup of mayonnaise. i so could NOT go there.
and it just didn’t sound that appetizing. but the name and most of the ingredients did.
i consider myself a big mediterranean food fan, so i figured i could tweak it a bit and make it awesome.

and i did, if i say so myself.
the first experience is the crunch of the bread, with it’s cheesy, garlicky flavor. then the topping floods your mouth with mediterranean flavors. it’s super fresh and light, then the saltiness of the feta and the kalamatas hits you. and the flavor in your mouth rounds out and finishes with the parsley.
quite likely one of the most perfect appetizers.
or snacks.
or dinners.
bruschetta for breakfast, anyone?

*recipe updated 7.10.13*

mediterranean bruschetta

ingredients

3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

4 large roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped (*see tip below)

1 tsp italian seasoning

1/4 tsp pepper

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 skinny french or italian baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick

parmesan cheese, freshly shredded

directions

1. in a medium-sized bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, feta, olive oil, oregano (or italian seasoning), pepper, and parsley. mix well. place in refrigerator to chill.

2. set the oven on broil.

3. place flatbread or baguette slices on a cookie sheet in a single layer. spread about 1/8 tsp of minced garlic on each slice and top with parmesan, about 1/2 tbsp or so. place under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes – watch them carefully – until the cheese is melted and the crusts of the bread are just starting to turn golden brown.

4. remove toasts from the oven and place on a serving platter. put bruschetta mixture into a serving bowl and serve alongside the toasts.

*tip on seeding the tomatoes:
use a grapefruit spoon! it makes it super easy – after you have cut the tomatoes in half, just scoop out all of the insides with the jagged spoon.

*note on ingredients:
if you are out of italian seasoning, you can sub dried oregano.

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halibut with artichoke & olive caponata

halibut with artichoke & olive caponata

when i made this recipe last week, it received a 10. from me.

now i like food. a lot. maybe more than most people (or more than most humans should). but for it to get a perfect 10 rating by yours truly, that is exceptional.

i made this for girls night (sadly, the hubby does not like fish – his loss) last week and we barely spoke as we devoured this dish. as i ate, i am sure i made some noises that might have been awkward if i had been amidst other company.

this recipe is so full of flavor and wonderful texture. i love the combination of the olives and the artichokes mixed with the red wine vinegar and the crunch of the celery (which is usually not my favorite vegetable) is fantastic. also, i ended up having some of the caponata left over and it was great served as bruschetta on crispy french bread.

halibut with artichoke and olive caponata
serves 3-4

ingredients for the caponata:

3-4 tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

2 small celery stalks, chopped

8 oz. artichoke hearts, chopped (you can use jarred whole or frozen that you have thawed)

1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices

1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp sugar (if you like less vinegar taste, up the sugar to 1/2 tsp)

1 tbsp capers

coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

for the halibut:

3-4 four or five ounce halibut or tilapia filets, about 1-inch thick

extra virgin olive oil

salt & freshly ground black pepper

directions:

to make the caponata:
in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. add the celery and artichoke hearts and cook until soft and the artichokes are lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. add the tomatoes with their juices and olives to the pan. simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, 15-20 minutes. stir in the vinegar, sugar, and capers and season with a pinch of sea salt & a few grinds of pepper, to taste. let cook another 5 minutes or so.

to make the fish:
preheat the oven to 400. pat the fish filets dry, then place on a rimmed baking sheet (or dish) lined with foil. drizzle the fish on both sides with olive oil and season on both sides with salt & pepper. roast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. (you can also cook the fish on a grill. grill until the flesh flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.)

arrange the fish on a serving platter or individual plates and top generously with the caponata.
enjoy!

adapted from the lovely giada de laurentiis

olive my love potato salad


this ain’t your grandma’s potato salad, y’all.

i made this gloriousness you see the other night and it was a big hit with the husband.
and my stomach.
it’s not mayo- or mustard-based, so it’s lighter and refreshingly saltier.
i am a big sour-taste fan and i love olives… and this potato salad made all my dreams come true. 
the recipe came from our good friend and it was written not as a recipe, but as a friend would tell you how to make it.
so i sort of put it into a recipe the way i would make it. and i do encourage you to check out her post (called the farmer’s market potato salad) about it to see what all you could do with it, if you’re feeling adventurous.
oooh, and if you’re wanting a pasta one night, i think this would be great as a pasta dish. just replace the cooked potatoes with a veggie rotini or even orzo pasta.

olive my love potato salad
ingredients

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tbsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp caper brine (just straight out of a jar of capers)

1 tsp capers

1/3 cup (or so) spanish green sliced olives

1/3 cup (heaping) pitted, halved kalamata olives

28 ounces potatoes (i used ruby sensation, but you could also use a small red or gold – or mixed), chopped into bite-size pieces

directions

1. put the cut up potatoes into a pot and cover them with water. add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. cook until fork-tender (about 12-15 minutes).

2. while the potatoes are cooking, make the vinaigrette: put the first 7 ingredients into a jar and shake (or into a bowl and you can whisk them together).

3. drain the potatoes once they are done cooking and put them back into the pot. toss with the vinaigrette. (i started with about 1/4 cup of the dressing to begin with – dress. then taste. and add as much as you like. and you’ll have leftovers of the dressing for a salad tomorrow.)

*if you are able, toss the potatoes with the vinaigrette and then refrigerate overnight to let the potatoes really absorb the dressing.

4. if not, toss with the olives and pour into a serving dish and enjoy!