Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dede's Table - Non solo caffé

If you're a subscriber to Ciao Chow Linda and have received this post twice (or more), please excuse the extra email. I prepared some posts prior to my departure for vacation, but there have been some snafus in publushing them. I hope to avoid that in the future.
Regular readers of Ciao Chow Linda know that I am part of a group of women who meet weekly to chit-chat in Italian. We always serve coffee and dessert, and sometimes a lot more. The food is one of the highlights of the gathering. But you never know if six or 16 will show up on a given week, so having enough to serve can be tricky. My friend Dede hosted the group recently and set forth an extravaganza of goodies on her table, including the bulgur salad, above. 

 Presentation is an art in itself and look how beautifully Dede arranged this platter of mozzarella, tomatoes and avocado in a serpentine fashion. 

She served these savory treats with a bread containing sun-dried tomatoes and black olives. Another winner -- and it paired perfectly with the two offerings above. It's a wonder we had room for the two cakes that followed (sorry, no photos), but we did. 

Mediterranean Bulgur Salad

printable recipe here

This recipe is fluid - meaning you don't have to follow it to the letter. Add or subtract ingredients that suit your palate.

1 3/4 c. boiling water

2 t. salt

1 t. finely minced rosemary

1 1/2 c. bulgur

3/4 c. cooked farro

4-6 T. fresh lemon juice

1/4 t. pepper

1/4 c. olive oil

a few squirts of balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup cut up grape tomatoes

a handful of Kalamata olives

1/2 lb. diced mozzarella cheese

1/2 c. chopped parsley

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 c. coarsely chopped marinated artichoke hearts, drained well

1 (15 1/2 oz) can garbanzo beans, dained

1/4 c. small, diced white onion

Bring water, 1 t. salt and rosemary to boil; immediately stir in bulgur. Remove from heat; cover; let stand 1 hour or until water is absorbed. Uncover and let cool. Mix remaining 1 t. salt, lemon juice, pepper and oil. Add tomatoes, parsley, onions, artichokes, garbanzo beans, onion, scallions, olives, cheese, and cooled bulgur. Mix well until all ingredients are coated with dressing. Taste it and adjust seasonings. Makes 8 cups.

Sun-dried Tomato and Black Olive Bread

printable recipe here

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 t. baking powder

3/4 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

4 large eggs

1 1/2 c. sour cream

10 halves sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely copped

4 ounces oil-cured black olives, pitted and halved

2 T. basil leaves, coarsely chopped and loosely packed

2 t. reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 t. black pepper, freshly ground

olive oil for pan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 9 inch round pan with olive oil. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs to combine yolks and whites. Use a large spoon to stir in sour cream, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil, reserved oil and pepper. Stir in the flour mixture until it is blended completely and a sticky dough forms. Scrape dough into the prepared pan. Smooth the top slightly. Bake until the top is golden brown and feels firm, about 45 minutes.

Place on a wire rack about 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a sharp knife and turn out onto wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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