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pasta salad with roasted chickpeas

pasta saladI’ve had this package of multicolor farfalle (Italian for butterfly) pasta for weeks now and every time I open the pantry door, there it is, waiting for me to do something with it.  The colors of the butterfly pasta are all natural using beetroot, spinach, turmeric, paprika and black squid ink.  I wanted something special to salute this gorgeous pasta with and wasn’t quite sure what.  The can of chickpeas in my pantry sparked an idea.  I have, for longest time, wanted to try roasting chickpeas and somehow the two would come together.  Continue Reading →

Warmed Marinated Feta Cheese

warmed marinated feta cheeseCheese lovers take note…this dish is a cinch to make and unbelievably delicious! Marinating and then warming the feta cheese in olive oil topped with roasted tomatoes and herbs makes for a winning appetizer.  Serve this individually and let your friends dig in.  Their taste buds will be greeted by a touch of heat from the chili, sweetness from the tomatoes, citrus notes from the lemon, and the spreadable feta will calm any heat from the chili.  And presentation-wise, it’ll set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Serves 4
adapted from Cuisine

feta, cut into 4 chunks
4 small fresh bay leaves (you can also use marjoram or oregano)
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
zest of 1 lemon
black peppercorns
garlic cloves, finely sliced
red chili, finely sliced (optional)
slow-roasted tomatoes
extra-virgin olive oil

Place a chunk of the feta into 4 small ovenproof jars or ramekins. Add one of each of the herbs and divide the lemon zest, peppercorns (3 to 4 per jar), garlic and chili (2 to 3 slices per jar) among the jars. Place a few slow-roasted tomatoes in each jar (if using large tomatoes cut into small pieces) then cover with olive oil. Marinate for a few hours before using.  To serve, preheat the oven to 250f and heat the jars until warmed through, about 8 or so minutes.  Serve immediately with bread.

marinated feta by The Culinary ChaseThe Culinary Chase’s Note: WOW! This starter was amazing!  Have extra bread slices on hand to mop up the flavored olive oil.  You can keep this in the fridge for a few days but should be brought back to room temperature before heating. Enjoy!