Tuesday, May 28, 2019


This makes an excellent side dish (contorni) or lunch with a glass of red wine.  No need to salt eggplant before baking.  They get deliciously crisp with just a little oil.

Tomato-Basil Salad
1 cup cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 small bunch basil, rolled up like a cigar and thinly sliced (chiffonade)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 medium eggplants, washed
1 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
1 ½ cups Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated Italian cheese (your favorite)
¼ t red pepper flakes

8 slices fontina cheese

In a small bowl add the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and a third of the basil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir to combine, cover and set aside on your counter.

Cut the two rounded sides off of the eggplant and then slice each one into four slices, lengthwise, leaving stem on.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet with oil and set aside.
Place flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.
In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
In a third shallow bowl, add the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and red pepper flakes.

First, dip a slice of eggplant in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess.
Next, dip it into the egg mixture, coating both sides and finally into the breadcrumb mixture; pressing down on each side to coat completely.

Arrange them on the baking sheet and drizzle with a little more oil and place in the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and flip over with a spatula and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and add the fontina cheese to each eggplant slice.  Place back in the oven and bake for another 2 to 4 minutes, just until the cheese has melted, but not browned.
Transfer to a serving platter and spoon on the tomato mixture and garnish with the rest of the basil.

Friday, May 17, 2019


Portsmouth, Virginia 1947


Caprese salad is one of the simplest and most delicious salads to make. Be sure to use good quality extra-virgin olive oil.

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
1 chunk whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced
3 leaves basil, sliced
Italian black olives (Ligurian or Gaeta)
Extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Layer the tomatoes and mozzarella on two plates or one platter.

Add basil and olives.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 2

Monday, May 6, 2019


Frittate are Italian open-faced omelets. Use any smoked fish you prefer, such as tuna or trout.  Frittate is plural for frittata.

4 large eggs
¼ cup half-and-half or milk
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T unsalted butter
2 scallions, diced
¼ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil
¼ lb. alder smoked Pacific salmon
2 oz. goat cheese, torn into chunks
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

In a bowl whisk together eggs and half-and-half.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a small nonstick omelet pan over medium heat.
Add scallions and sun-dried tomatoes and sauté 2 minutes.
Tear salmon into bite-size pieces and scatter in pan.
Pour egg mixture over and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and dot with goat cheese.
Place back in oven and bake another 5 minutes.
Garnish with torn basil and transfer to a cutting board and cut in half.

Serves 2