Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan

This Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan is a slight take on Italian eggplant Parmesan.  The combination of the black rice along with all the other ingredients is superb.  This is a hearty dish that I start off by brushing sliced eggplant with a shallot vinaigrette then roasting them under the broiler for a couple minutes.  This step not only adds flavor, it also helps ensure that the eggplant will stay firm and not become mushy.

 Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan The older I get, the more I appreciate my long time friends who are still in my life.  My friend Janelle is one such friend.  How we met is somewhat of a funny story.  Janelle and I met through our mutual friend Paulina.  I met Pauling when I was 8 years old living in Playa del Ray.  Janelle also lived in Playa del Rey at the time, however, we didn’t know each other back then.

Years later, Paulina asked me if I wanted to go to a party with her and her friend.  I enthusiastically said yes!  I was really excited because I was only 14 and had never been to a real party before.  As soon as Janelle and I met, we hit it off right away. We arrived at the party and proceeded to get drunk off of cheap wine.  This was also my first time getting drunk and it was the last time for a while.  Janelle’s mom and her friend picked us up after the party and unfortunately, the motion of the car made me dizzy and I threw up in the car.  I was mortified and I have yet to live that day down!  Janelle, her mom and her mom’s friend had an inside joke about that event where they would say “Stephie’s chunky style” and laugh.  I only found out about it some years later! Haha!

3U9A7232 Another couple of years would pass before I would see Janelle again.  I had enrolled myself into a school called S.M.A.S.H. (Santa Monica Alternative School House).  On my first day, I was in class and when I turned around, I saw her and I gave her a confused look because she looked familiar.  Later that day, I was in the bathroom when Janelle came in and she asked me in a mean voice “why the hell were you giving me dirty looks??” She was acting as though she was going to kick my ass.  The funny thing is, Janelle is not really the type of girl that would start a fight!  I told her that I wasn’t giving her dirty looks but that I recognized her and her whole demeanor instantly changed.  We figured out where we had met and we were instant best friends.  I treasure our friendship to this day.  She is one of the most loving, loyal, sweetest, will do anything for you kind of friend!!

This eggplant dish reminds me of a loyal old friend, as in it will comfort you and make you feel safe.

3U9A7282 copy This dish pairs nicely with a crisp glass of Soave or your favorite dry white wine.

3U9A7249 Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan Recipe:

6 – 8 servings

  • 1 Black Rice Recipe – recipe below
  • 1 Dressing Recipe – recipe below
  • 1 Eggplant – recipe below
  • 1 Bunch Basil
  • 2 Large Tomato – diced
  • 1 Container Fresh Mini Mozzarella Balls – quartered
  • 1 1/2 Cups Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Reggiano – finely shredded
 Black Rice
  • 1 Cup Forbidden Black Rice
  • 1 3/4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Garlic Clove (Optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Eggplant
  • 1 Eggplant – peeled – cut 1/4 to 1/2 slices

Dressing

  • 1 Tablespoons Shallot – minced
  • 1 Small Garlic – minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Instructions:
Rice

 In a small saucepan add the rice, water, garlic and salt.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer in-between medium-low and low for 30 – 40 minute.
Check at 30 minutes, if you still see a bit of liquid cook for 5 – 10 more minutes.  Or until water is gone.
Eggplant

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together for the dressing.

Peel and slice the eggplant about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Brush both sides of the slices with the dressing while laying them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place under the broiler and broil for about 3 minutes then turn the slices over and broil for 1 to 2 more minutes.

Casserole

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees

While rice is cooking, slice the mozzarella ball into quarters and finely shred the pecorino.  Set aside.
Core tomatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes and when the rice is finished cooking, let cool then mix in the tomatoes.
Spread 1/3 of the rice/tomato mix on the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart (I used a 12.2″W x 7.48″D x 2.28″H) casserole dish.
Add a layer of basil leaves making sure to cover rice completely.
 Evenly sprinkle on a 1/3 of pecorino and spread out a 1/3 of the mozzarella balls with space in-between.
Repeat the steps above.
For the top layer, add another layer of pecorino and arrange the last 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Sprinkle a few of the tiniest basil leaves on the top.  (Optional)

 Bake on the middle rack for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden.

3U9A7297 Health benefits:
Black rice contains a high amount of anthocyanin like blood oranges.  The research has found that just a spoonful of black rice coating “bran” has more anthocyanin antioxidants than in a spoonful of blueberries, less sugar, more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.  It is valuable for reducing inflammation and for its anti-aging properties. It is also for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer and helps protect the nervous system from degeneration.

Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce over Brown Rice Spaghetti

This Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce is a bright luscious sauce packed with flavor and versatility!  I added fresh cherry tomatoes and basil on top of individual servings for an added freshness.  I chose to serve it over pasta but it is also great served by itself with a loaf of crusty bread and a glass of a crisp wine.

3U9A2080 This last week was so much fun, to say the least.  Robby had to go to L.A. for work and lucky me was able to tag along for the ride.  We stayed at the Marriott in Marina del Rey with an awesome view of our old hometown.  I have never seen the Westside from that perspective before; it was pretty cool!  After we arrived, we freshened up and went to meet our longtime friends, Maggie, George, Christine and Jonny at a fairly new Italian inspired restaurant called Scopa.  There was a lot of great conversation and laughter involved as usual!

I was really looking forward to the next day because I had made plans to meet up with Adam and Ryan who are fellow food bloggers from Husbands that Cook.  We met in Venice at The Butcher’s Daughter for lunch and they were just as sweet as I imagined them to be.  We had so much to talk about during the relatively short time we spent together.  Unfortunately, we barely scratched the surface of all the things we wanted to learn about each other but that just gives us more reason to meet up again!

3U9A2048 Later that day, I went to visit one of the old school Venice families who still hold down the old Venice vibe, which is slowly but surely disappearing!  When I use to live down the street from the Massie’s, I would give Ms. Massie a back massage every time I stopped in.  Well, this time was no different and I gave her one on this visit as well!  It is always so great to see everyone!  Robby had text me when he was off work and we decided to meet George at Charcoal Venice for dinner.   My good friend Josiah is the owner/chef of Charcoal and he told me he was going to be working that night.  The food was phenomenal; I highly suggest you try it if you are ever in the area.  And there are surprisingly a lot of vegetarian options.

3U9A2096 The next day my dad drove down to meet me for lunch.  We ate at Cafe del Mar that happens to be a few buildings east of the Marriott.  The food was really good and they had a great view of the Marina but that’s all I’m going to say about the restaurant.  My dad left shortly after lunch and I went back to the hotel to meet my friend John for a glass of wine before heading to dinner at Cast and Plow with Robby’s coworkers.  Cast and Plow is a restaurant at Ritz Carlton that also overlooks the Marina.  I had a great time meeting and chatting with Robby’s coworkers!

3U9A2118 I always make it a point to go to the 3rd St. Promenade to do a little shopping whenever I am in LA, so I snuck in some quick shopping the next morning before I met up with Maggie for lunch.  We met at a wine bar called Local Kitchen and Winebar, which was located where Marty’s Liquor store use to be.  Marty’s was in that location for almost 50 years, which was in the neighborhood I grew up in.  This is the liquor store that Maggie and I managed to get beer from when we were teenagers!  Haha.

After lunch with Maggie, I went to meet up with another friend Janelle.  We met at her boyfriend’s furniture shop Stansbury where she also happens to work and we decided to go to a Spanish tapas restaurant down the street called Manchego for dinner.  We shared 5 varieties of tapas along with a really nice bottle of Rueda Verdejo and we talked and talked and talked!  This had to be one of the best times I have had in LA in a very long time!

3U9A2142 Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce Recipe:

4 – 6 Servings

  • 7 Large Tomatoes – cored – cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • Marinade – recipe below
  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine – I used Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Marinade

  • 6 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme
  • 1/2 Packed Cup Fresh Basil leaves – finely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dry White Wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Sea Salt

Garnish

  • Cherry Tomatoes – room temperature – quartered
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
Instructions:
Sauce

Preheat oven to 325 F

  In a bowl, mix together the garlic, thyme, basil, oil, wine and salt.  On a large baking sheet or 2, lay out the tomatoes in a single layer and spread the marinade over the tomatoes.

Put the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes depending on the size of the tomato, the tomatoes will start to look a little shriveled up.  The tomatoes will produce water and you will want to keep it.

 Turn oven up to 400 F for 20 minutes to slightly caramelize the tomatoes.  Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, although a little brown is okay and they will have the roasted sweetness that gives these tomatoes the yummiest flavor!

 While tomatoes are cooking saute the onions in the olive oil until soft.  Add the wine and reduce until syrupy.

Set aside until tomatoes are finished cooking.

When tomatoes are finished cooking, let them cool and peel off the skins.

Put everything into a food processor or blender, including tomato water and puree.  Pour back into the pan and simmer until it thickens up to desired consistency.

 Drizzle a little olive oil over it.

Pasta

While sauce is simmering, add pasta to a pot of salted and oiled water.  Cook according to the package.

Mix a little sauce into the pasta then top individual servings with more sauce.  Top with fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

3U9A2183 Health benefits:

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes break down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zeaxanthin in them helps to filter harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zeaxanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to your water or tea.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup

This Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup is bursting with flavor!  The combination of the roasted peppers and sesame is out of this world good!  The shiitake mushrooms add an earthy quality and all the herbs and vegetables give it a freshness and crunch.  And the soba noodles tie it all together.  It’s a fun and entertaining meal to enjoy with a few friends!
 *
 While making this soup I started to think about the kitchen gadgets I adore and use all the time.  Seriously, I couldn’t live without my Cuisinart food processor which I use almost daily or my 600 watts All clad immersion blender.  I love my immersion blender because it is stainless steel, has turbo action with adjustable settings and did I mention it’s 600 watts?  Most are only 200 watts.  Last but not least, my beautiful 5 1/2 quart green enamel Le Creuset Dutch oven.

Then, I started to think about what would I have in my dream kitchen.  There are a few things that I would love to have but most of all, I would love a high quality 6-burner gas range.  I’m in love with so many from BlueStar, like this one or this one.  We currently have an electric range, which I don’t want to say I hate because it’s what I have now and I am grateful but come on, who doesn’t want a gas range?  I became a little spoiled at our prior house because it had a beautiful gas range.  It was almost like I had to learn to cook all over again when we moved to our current house.  Ok, I know that’s a little dramatic, but it really is totally different.  Electric stoves take so long to heat up and when you add veggies or pasta to boiling water the water stops boiling and takes the time to come back to a boil.  That doesn’t happen with a gas range so you are less likely to lose nutrients to the water while cooking.  A range with open burners is awesome because there are no hotspots on your pans which happens to me all the time and I am constantly having to turn my pans.  What would you like in your dream kitchen?

*This is not a paid advertisement and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Roasted-Red-Pepper-Sesame-Soba-Noodle-Soup

I enjoyed this soup with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc but it would also go great with a Riesling, Pinot Gris or a nice Sake.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup
Recipe: 2 to 4 servings
Broth
  •  4 Red Bell Peppers – roasted – deseeded – destemmed – pureed
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1/2 Cup + 3 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Rice Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Tamari Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger – peeled – microplaned
  • 1 – 2 Serrano Chilis – optional
Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Shallots – about 1 tablespoon – minced
  • 1 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 2 Cups Shiitake – thinly sliced
 The Rest – You can add or subtract any vegetable you want.
  • 1 Cup Basil – whole or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro – whole or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Green Onion – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Red Cabbage – minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – cut into thin strips
  • Scallion Micro Sprouts – or your choice
  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • Lime Wedges
  • 1 Package Soba Noodles
 Other garnish ideas
  • Radish
  • Carrots
  • Avocado
Instructions
 Roasted pepper sesame sauce
 Roast peppers on the stovetop at medium-high heat.  A gas stove is best but it will also work on electric.

Char peppers on all sides turning with tongs.  When good and charred, steam for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut so the steam won’t escape.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.  Cut the peppers into smaller pieces and mix with toasted sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, tamari sauce, sea salt, Serrano chilis and ginger and puree with an immersion blender or a food processor. Set aside.

Add the onions to a large pot or Dutch oven with the olive oil and saute on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue cooking for 5 – 7 more minutes until the garlic starts to brown.  Add the white wine and cook until wine is reduced and syrupy.  Add the sauce to the onions and blend with an immersion blender or dump everything in batches into a food processor and puree all together.  Set aside

Broth – Mushrooms
 Wash and cut the stems off the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.

Put the 4 cups of water and mushroom stems in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

While stem broth is cooking, thinly slice mushroom tops and set aside in a bowl.

When stem broth is done, remove from heat and strain into red pepper sauce.  Discard stems. Set aside until you start the noodles.

Next mince shallots, add to a sauté pan on medium heat, saute with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil until soft and golden.  Make sure to stir frequently.  (about 6 – 8 minutes)

Add mushrooms and sprinkle lightly with salt, stir until moisture is gone. (about 15 to 20 minutes) Make sure to stir

Add the minced garlic to the mushrooms in about 10 minutes after mushrooms are halfway cooked.

Veggies

While mushrooms are cooking prep the green onions, cabbage, bell pepper, basil, cilantro.

Noodles and Serving
 Heat up the red pepper broth on medium heat and cook the soba noodle according to package instructions.  Place the noodles into 4 bowls top with veggies of your choice and with the red pepper broth.
Serve with cilantro, basil, sesame seeds and a lime wedge.
*
Health Benefits:

Red Bell Peppers are matured green bell peppers and have more nutrition as they mature.  They are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin.  Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.

Kale Persimmon Salad with a Red and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

This gorgeous Kale Persimmon Salad seems so simple yet the flavors are absolutely outstanding!  Honestly, I am completely hooked!  There is a lot of texture going on from the burrata to the pomegranate seeds and the red and white balsamic vinaigrette really steps it up a notch.

Christmas is over and the New Year starts tomorrow.  I don’t know about you, but I had my fair share of holiday treats and I am ready for lots and lots of salad!  This salad is loaded with vitamins and minerals from the kale, pomegranate seeds, basil and persimmons making it the perfect winter salad!

Kale Persimmon Salad Tomorrow is the start of a new year and I’m looking forward to a very productive, inspiring and all around awesome year!  How about you?  This is the time to move forward and let go of all that which is not serving you.  It could be almost anything like a job, where you live, your diet or even a relationship.  It can sometimes be scary to bust a move, but if it’s the right move, you will be amazed at how your life can change for the better!  A sign of when it is time for a change is usually when bad things or feelings continue to occur over and over again.

 I was in a 14-year relationship before I moved back to California.  It wasn’t a bad relationship, it was just that we were growing apart and wanted different things in life.  Although it wasn’t easy for me to leave, I knew I had to move on if I wanted to grow.  As soon as I made the decision, everything fell into place.  I left with $1,200 to my name and a free plane ticket.  I sold some old silver clippings from my jewelry business to a gold and silver dealer; I sold a bunch of beads to the local bead store and I sold some vintage clothing to a vintage clothing shop.  My dad’s friend had a plane ticket that was going to expire in a month so I got a free plane ticket.  My dad had an extra car for me to use when I got back to California so I had a car waiting for me.  I had talked to my friend Janelle about how I was going to need a place to stay and she invited me to stay with her for the first month while I looked for a job.

After a couple weeks, I saw my friend Sam and I told her that I was in need of a job and the next thing I knew she called to tell me she had arranged for me to meet the manager of a small shop on Abbot Kinney.  The manager hired me and when I told her I was looking for a place to live she said she might know of a room for rent.  Her friend Brian came into the shop to meet me and it turned out that I knew him from back in the day.  I firmly believe that everything was falling into place because I had faith and decided to act on my intuition!  And this was just the beginning of all the amazing things that was about to happen after I made that scary decision!

Kale Persimmon Salad

I love a light Pinot Noir with this salad, preferably an Oregon varietal.  It is also wonderful with a Riesling, Pinot Gris or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Kale-Burrata-and-Persimmon-Salad

Kale Persimmon Salad:
4 – 6 servings
Salad
  • Red & White Balsamic Vinaigrette – drizzle to taste – (recipe below)
  • 1 Head Dino Kale, stems removed, leaves chopped into thin strips (about 6 to 7 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Handful Basil Leaves – roughly chopped or torn
  • 2 -3 Fuyu Persimmons – thinly sliced – halved or quarterd
  • 1/2 Cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1 Ball Burrata – torn in pieces
  • 1/2 Cup Salted Pistachios – roughly chopped
Red & White Balsamic Vinaigrette – for whole recipe click here
  • 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons  White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Stone Ground or Dijon Mustard – or to taste
  • 1 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • Dash of Black Pepper
Crostini – optional
  • 1/2 Baguette Crostini – 12 thin slices
  • Approx. 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions:

 Vinaigrette
*
 In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegars, garlic, salt and pepper.  Next slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Or use a hand held blender to emulsify.
Salad
*
Wash the kale and remove main rib by holding the end of the steam and pull down with your other hand.  Discarding the main rib.  Chop kale into thin strips, add to a large bowl along with the tablespoon of olive oil and massage the oil into the kale.
Mix in the basil, persimmon, pomegranate seeds and pistachios.  Mix everything together or arrange it nicely on a platter.  Add dressing to individual salads and top them off with burrata and crostini.
Crostini
*
Slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices.

Place slices onto a baking sheet and coat both sides with olive oil.

Place on the top shelf of the oven and broil for 1 – 2 minutes then flip them over and broil for about 1 more minute.  Make sure and watch close, they can burn fast.

I usually put the timer on for 1 minute and check then put on for 1 more while watching.  They cook faster on the 2nd side because they are already hot.

Kale-Persimmon-Salad

Health benefits:

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which helps detox the liver. It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma.  Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol.  It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.)  More on kale

Persimmons Latin name means “food of the gods.”  They are high in fiber helping to maintain a healthy digestive system. Due to their bright orange skin they are an excellent source of vitamin A that nourish the eyes and help prevent age related macular disease. They help to detoxify the large intestine, and increase immunity. They have an excellent source of anti-oxidants that helps reduce high blood pressure and are a very good source of vitamin C, especially native Chinese and American persimmons, which provide 80% of the daily requirement. They give the body energy and help symptoms of stress, fatigue and tiredness.

Italian Style Purple Potato Salad

This is such a beautiful, vibrant and colorful Italian Style Purple Potato Salad, not to mention extremely flavorful.  It’s perfect alongside a sandwich, or  to serve at your next potluck or picnic.

Purple-Potato-Salad I saw these gorgeous purple potatoes at the farmer’s market and couldn’t resist bringing some home.  I wasn’t sure what to make with them at first, but when I found out Robby’s co-worker Jeff was leaving to Vietnam for his 5 year sabbatical I thought, a potato salad.  I knew it would be perfect alongside his turkey sandwich.

 It felt good to make him something nice for lunch.

Italian Style Purple Potato Salad This salad is great with a Soave, Pinot Gris or a Temperino.

Italian Style Purple Potato Salad Italian Purple Potato Salad Recipe:

6 – 10 servings

  • 2 1/2 Pounds Purple Potatoes – 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar – (helps to keep potatoes intacket)
  • 1 Recipe Basic Italian Vinaigrette – recipe below
  • 1/2 Red Onion – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper – roasted – diced
  • 1 Small Orange Pepper – diced
  • 1 Small Yellow Pepper – diced
  • 1 Container Cherry Tomatoes – halved
  • 1 Cup Aged Asiago Cheese – finely shredded
  • 1 1/2 Cupc Fresh Basil – chiffonade or roughly chopped
Basic Italian Vinaigrette
  • 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 – 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Black Pepper
Instructions:
Potatoes

Dice the potatoes into half inch chunks and put in a large pot covered in water.  Add the vinegar and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium high heat.  Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until opaque and soft.   Make sure and check on them a few times, you don’t want to hard or mushy potatoes.  The best way is to taste them.  When the potatoes are tender, pour into a colander, drain and let cool.

Vinaigrette

Mince or press the garlic in a garlic press and add to a jar.

Measure all other ingredients and add to the jar.  Shake well.

If you have an immersion blender it will help emulsify it.  Just blend everything together then stir in the garlic.

Roasted pepper

Roast peppers of your choice on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.

Assemble

Add the onion, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, basil and dressing to a big bowl and stir well.

When the potatoes are cooled, gently fold in the vegetables.

Italian Style Purple Potato Salad Health Benefits:

Purple potatoes are originally from their origins in Peru and Bolivia.  They contain 4 times as much antioxidants as Russet potatoes. The deep blue or purple color produces an flavonoid antioxidant called anthocyanin which helps boost the immune system, the same that can be found it blueberries, blood oranges,  pomegranates and black rice.  They are high in potassium and have anti-inflammatory properties.  Purple potatoes have a high concentration of phytochemicals and one called chlorogenic acid and has been linked to lowering blood pressure.  They are also a good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin C, folic acid and iron.