This is an amazing summer dish that I can’t recommend enough, especially now that we’re at the height of tomato season. I originally paired California black figs with this, but now that I’ve tried some more figs, I think that tiger figs might actually have gone better. (I’ve never tried figs before this summer. I’m still learning.)  Throw these roasted tomatoes in with burrata, and the end result is goddamn amazing. 

Marinated Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Burrata and Toast

Ingredients

  • .25 c olive oil
  • 2.5 c cherry tomatoes of various types, halved
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • dash of thyme (fresh if you have it, dried if you don’t)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • dried Greek oregano to taste
  • fresh figs, halved, to taste
  • 2-3 balls burrata
  • slices of sourdough, roasted garlic, or crusty bread of choice
  • olive oil and garlic clove for the toast

Preheat your oven to 225, and half your cherry tomatoes. drizzling with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Slow roast the tomatoes for three hours, until they’re nice and wrinkly and juicy. Then, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper, basil, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, and greek oregano. Add in your tomatoes, toss to coat, and marinate for 2-4 hours at room temperature, or just toss them in the fridge to absorb the flavors. 

When you’re ready to eat them, take your slices of bread, rub them in olive oil and a halved garlic clove. Hold your toast over an open flame, or in a grill pan, and heat until it’s lightly charred on each side, about 2-3 minutes a side. 

Slice your figs, layer them in a bowl with the burrata ball, layer the cherry tomatoes on top, and have a piece of toast on the side to dip into all the various juices, and enjoy the resulting amazingness!

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This is a lovely little breakfast sandwich – there’s a bit of assembly involved, and I’m not sure if I could manage it in the mornings before work (though I’ll try it one of these days), but it’s definitely worth it. If you can get some good strawberries, prosciutto, and brie, you’re all set. Just a lovely little sweet taste of summer, this.

Strawberry, Basil, and Crispy Prosciutto Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 croissant, halved
  • sliced brie to taste (I used a bunch of apricot jam layered brie that a farmer at one of the farmer’s markets makes)
  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • 2-3 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced into circles
  • 1 egg
  • basil leaves to taste, torn
  • honey, to drizzle

Preheat your oven to 450. As it preheats, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and layer your bottom croissant (make sure it’s thick) with the brie and strawberries, and place the prosicutto slices just to the side of the croissant. Once the oven’s heated, bake for 8 to 10 minutes (I believe picture 2 was after 8 minutes), until your brie is good and melty, and the prosciutto is crispy. 

While the bottom half of the sandwich cooks, cook your egg to your preference (I typically go for sunny side up eggs). 

Once the bottom half is done, drizzle the strawberries lightly with honey, layer the crispy prosciutto and egg, and then sprinkle with more salt, pepper, and honey. Lay the torn basil on top, put the croissant top on, and then tuck in!

Looking for something quick, cheap, simple, and full of cheesy carby goodness? Behold, this beauty. Literally, all this is is canned biscuit dough, gorgonzola, feta, melted butter, and a bit of oregano, thrown in the oven for a half hour. But the cheesy carbiness is just from the angels. Just trust me on this.

Blue Cheese Feta Biscuit Thingy

Ingredients

  • 1 can biscuit dough (1 used 16 oz generic)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 4 oz gorgonzola crumbles
  • 2ish oz feta crumbles
  • Greek oregano 

Preheat your oven to 375. Take your biscuits, and cut them into quarters, putting them in a 12″ round cake pan. Take your melted butter, and toss the biscuits with it. Sprinkle the gorgonzola and feta and Greek oregano over the top, and bake for about a half hour, until the tops are golden brown and the cheese is good and bubbly. 

Looking for a quick dinner to throw together in under a half hour – or, if you’re me, the night before you roll out to a vacation you only just got approved for the day before? Or for something super simple? Or super cheap? Or summery feeling? Really, you can’t go wrong with this. I didn’t quite have all the ingredients for this, or follow the directions exactly, but it still worked out pretty damn well, I’d say. 

Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spaghetti (if you can find pot-sized spaghetti, it’s going to help lots)
  • sea salt
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced (about .5 c lemon juice)
  • .25 c olive oil
  • .25 c heavy whipping cream (I tried to substitute just milk, forgot to add melted butter to thicken it, whoops)
  • .5 c grated Parmesan cheese (or parmigiano reggiano, if you have it on hand)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • dried Greek oregano

Heavily salt your water, bring to a boil, and cook according to your pasta’s directions. While the water comes to a boil/the pasta cooks, zest and juice your lemons. 

Once the pasta’s done, drain your pasta, but retain about 1.5 c of pasta cooking water (I didn’t do this. whoops.)  Take the same pot you made the pasta in, dry it out, and then boil the olive oil, whipping cream, lemon zest, and 1 c of the reserved cooking water together for two minutes. Return your drained pasta to the pot, and toss until completely coated. Add the cheese and lemon juice back in, and toss to coat completely again, adding in a bit of extra sea salt, pepper, and the oregano, if you’re so inclined. 

And then, enjoy your simple, citrusy, summery pasta!

Butter chicken is one of my favorite things to make. Cheese is also another favorite thing of mine. So, when I originally found this recipe, I thought it would be neat to try a variation. However, when it finally came time to make it, I realized that I hadn’t gotten everything like I thought I had, and a few things were missing in my pantry, and I was kind of hilariously broke, so going and getting the proper ingredients wasn’t an option. My solution was to try and meld elements of the first recipe with the recipe I already use for butter chicken, and see what I got.

The result is probably going to be my default recipe for butter anything now. It’s a perfect blend of spice and creaminess, and perfectly filling, too. And, if you have a well stocked pantry, all you should need to pick up is the cheese, the diced tomatoes and tomato paste, and maybe the whipping cream and greek yogurt, for a ridiculously cheap dish. I’m also kind of ridiculously proud of how this turned out, as this is my first real attempt at cobbling together a recipe to make my own.

Butter Paneer
Lasts four meals

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil (ghee if you can find it)
  • 1 14 oz block paneer cheese, cubed
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 t curry powder 
  • 2 t Thai red curry paste
  • 2 T garam masala
  • .5 t tumeric
  • pinch cayenne
  • pinch sea salt
  • 5 T butter
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • .25 c greek yogurt

Heat your olive oil in a pot over medium. Take your paneer cubes, and fry in the pot until they turn a nice golden brown on each side (see picture 2). Remove the paneer from heat once it’s done, and put it in a nice bowl to sit while the rest cooks.

Add a bit more olive oil and your garlic and ginger to the pot, cooking until fragrant (a few minutes tops), and then add your curry powder and paste, garam masala, tumeric, cayenne, and sea salt, and stir into the garlic and ginger, cooking a few minutes until it starts to smell really good. Then, add your butter, and melt it in the pot. As soon as the butter melts, add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and honey, and stir until combined. Simmer for twenty minutes, until the color becomes a nice, deep red (see picture 5), and stir occasionally. Then, add your heavy whipping cream and greek yogurt, and stir until combined, simmering another twenty minutes and stirring occasionally.  Then, add in your paneer, and stir for about five minutes, so that it warms through. 

Pick up some naan for dipping, and enjoy your ridiculously awesome dish. 

Looking for a quick, delicious side dish that features the amazingness that is a good ball of burrata surrounded by garlic and tomato? Of course you are. Because look at this. This is amazing.  It would probably be even better if I had some homemade tomato sauce on me, but hey, this works just as well. 

And if you can get access to a local cheesemonger who does their own burrata, even better. (Seriously, there was a dish done at a local chef’s festival this summer that featured homemade burrata, heirloom tomatoes, and balsamic that I still dream of.) Hell, you could probably add a bit of balsamic drizzle to this and make it even better.

Burrata, Garlic, and Tomato Appetizer (there has to be a better name for this, help me come up with one)
Lasts 2 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 burrata ball (I bought BelGioso burrata, it came with 2 so I used both)
  • 1 c tomato sauce (I used a local marinara I really like, homemade is probably best here)
  • 6 to 12 garlic cloves, peeled (I used about 9 large ones)
  • .25 c olive oil
  • sea salt, pepper, basil (fresh if you can find it but dried if it’s the middle of winter like now) for garnish
  • optional: bread to serve with (I went with a roasted garlic loaf because of course)

Heat your olive oil in a small skillet over medium low while you peel the garlic, and then add the cloves to the oil, cooking until they become a nice golden brown. (See final pic for what this should look like.)  Pour off onto whatever you’re serving/storing it in, and separate off the garlic cloves.  Then, add your tomato sauce and warm over medium low. 

Once warmed, pour the tomato sauce over the olive oil, put the burrata on top of it, and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and dried basil, and put the cloves into the tomato sauce. Maybe a bit of balsamic, if you’re so inclined. And then enjoy the amazingness that is this side.

Some days, all you need is some comfort food. And man, do these meatballs ever count. Cheese stuffed anything is a good route to go, especially in winter. These were originally a slow cooker recipe, but I used the alternative baked method as I just didn’t have the time to throw these all in and leave them yesterday. Still turned out pretty good.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Makes appx 10 to 18 meatballs, depending on the size you make them

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 c panko
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 T Italian seasoning
  • 1 t sea salt
  • .5 t black pepper
  • 1 small ball fresh mozzarella, cubed

Cube your mozzarella, and freeze for a half hour minimum on a small plate.  Preheat your oven to 400.  While the mozzarella chills, combine all other ingredients in a bowl with your hands until you have a single mass of meat. Remove the mozzarella from the freezer, and taking chunks of meat, place the cheese in the middle of the meat chunk and roll the meat around it (see pic 2 for an example of what putting the cheese in looks like, and what the final meatball looks like. 

Bake for 20 minutes. There will likely be cheese oozing out of the meatballs at the end of the bake time; this is normal, and a sign you did it right. 😛 

And then, dip in some marinara, and enjoy!