Seasonal Recipe Idea – Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Cheese Salad

I walked into Whole Foods this week and could not help but notice the beautiful selection of heirloom tomatoes as I entered the produce section.  The bright red, yellow, orange, and green fruit looked beautiful so I picked up a pound to bring home with me.  When heirlooms are in season, I love making this Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Cheese Salad.  The recipe originated in Epicurious.  I have tweaked it a bit over the years and reduced the portion size since I normally make it for 2-4 people.  The recipe may seem a bit simple, but trust it…it will come out delicious!

The finished product
The finished product

Ingredients

Assorted Heirloom tomatoes (About 1 – 1 1/2 lbs)
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4-5 ounces of burrata cheese
Balsamic vinegar

Preparation

Cut tomatoes into 1 inch wedges and place into large bowl.  Add oregano, basil, and olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Let stand for an hour.

Scoop and place buratta cheese in the center of a plate (or scoop into four smaller circles for individual platings); fan the tomatoes around the cheese.  Drizzle with dressing from bowl.  Finish with a very light drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Wine Pairing

Pair with a dry, sparkling wine or Vermentino.

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Simple Fig Jam Recipe

I bought some beautiful, organic figs over the weekend and decided to make fig jam for an upcoming wine tasting party I am hosting.  A few people asked me for the recipe so I wanted to share it.  It is an adaptation from a recipe I found in Food and Wine Magazine.  I altered the sugar a bit (lowered it from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup and used raw, cane sugar) and cooked it a little longer.  The jam turned out great and I can’t wait to serve it with goat cheese and crostinis!

From fresh figs to fig jam...pretty delicious!
From fresh figs to fig jam…pretty delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of fresh, purple figs (remove stems and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 1 1/4 cups of sugar (1 1/2 cups if you prefer sweeter jam)
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup of water

Directions

  • In a large, nonreactive saucepan, combine the fig pieces with the sugar and let stand until the sugar is mostly dissolved.  Stir occasionally.  This should take about 15 minutes
  • Add in lemon juice and water.  Allow mixture to come to a boil then cut down to a simmer.  Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a syrupy liquid (fruit will be very soft).  This took me about 25 minutes.
  • Spoon the jam into 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top.  (I made 3 with a little bit left over in the pan). Close jars and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate and store for up to 3 months.
  • (Actual recipe – http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fig-jam)

This is an excellent pairing with sparkling wine.  If you try it out, let me know what you think!

 

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Easter Brunch Recipe- Baked French Toast

This is an easy recipe that I usually make Easter morning and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  This recipe is great, especially when you have company joining you, because all the prep work is done the night before.  I have shared this recipe with family and friends and they have all come back with rave reviews. Try to use a freshly baked french loaf, high quality maple syrup, and organic vanilla extract…it makes a huge difference in the flavors!  Serve it with mimosas…a nice dry Cava will pair the best with OJ and this dish.  Let me know what you think if you have a chance to make it!

Ingredients

  • 1 french loaf
  • ¼ stick of butter softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • A dash of cinnamon (to taste)

 Directions

  • Cut bread into ¾ inch slices
  • Spread butter evenly on tops of bread,
  • Arrange in ungreased pan butter side up
  • Whisk all ingredients together
  • Pour the ingredients mixture over bread
  • Soak overnight (most if not all of the mixture will soak into the bread by morning)
  • Bake for 30-40min at 350 degree and serve with maple syrup on the side!
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