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Seared steak sandwich with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil and Sweet Corn Mayo

4-5 oz. strip loin steak
Salt & pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup roasted corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped herbs (such as parsley, chives, basil, tarragon)
4 1-inch slices Challah bread
4 tablespoons butter, plus extra for spreading
3-4 heirloom tomatoes
2 cups arugula
4 oz. Parmesan cheese

Bring steak to room temperature before searing (this will help with even and consistent cooking). Season steak with salt and pepper. Sear on high heat 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare (use a cast iron pan to give the steak good caramelization). Let steak rest 10 minutes, and then slice. Combine the mayonnaise in a bowl with the corn and fresh basil. Stir and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta with the mixed herbs.

Spread each slice of challah bread with butter, toast in pan until golden brown. Spread extra butter on the bread. Spread some ricotta on each slice of bread. Add some of the corn basil mayo, sliced tomato, then slices of steak. Top with arugula and shaved Parmesan.


Tomato Basil Jam

 5 pounds or approximately 12 cups of tomatoes
 1 tablespoon salt
 3 cups sugar
 1/2 cup loosely chopped basil

Wash and slice cherry tomatoes, or chop large tomatoes.  Toss and massage with salt.  Allow the tomatoes to sit for 30 minutes to let juices from tomato flow out. Sterilize your jars and lids in hot water while you wait.

Discard the juice, and dump strained tomatoes into a large, wide, shallow pan. Add sugar and lemon juice. Simmer with lid off on medium-low heat. Check and stir occasionally. Once tomatoes start to thicken, watch and stir more often that it doesn’t burn.

When it’s thick to your liking, anywhere to between a syrup or jam consistency (I like mine thicker), remove from heat and stir in the basil.  Spoon the jam into sterilized jars, wiping brims of any jam residue before applying lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool. You will hear the lids pop as they seal vacuum tight. Any jars that don’t seal properly can be stored in the fridge and used first. The rest will last up to a year stored in a dark cool place.

 Adapted from Food in Jars, makes 5 half pint jars

Pasta Tossed with Brie, Tomatoes and Basil

4 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 pound Brie cheese, rind removed, torn into irregular pieces
1 cup cleaned fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 cup best quality olive oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds linguine (sometimes I use angel hair, because it’s Emma’s fave)
freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese (optional)

Combine tomatoes, brie, basil, garlic, 1 cup olive oil, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Prepare at least 2 hours before serving and set aside, covered, at room temperature

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the linguine and boil until al dente, about 10 minutes.   Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato sauce. Serve immediately.

From: The Silver Palate Cookbook

Greek Salad Sandwich

12 ounces small tomatoes, cored, halved, thinly sliced
6 cups
spinach leaves, stems trimmed
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pitted black brine-cured olives (such as Kalamata)
16 large fresh
basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 5- to 6-inch-diameter pita bread rounds, toasted

Place tomato slices in strainer; drain 15 minutes. Combine tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, feta cheese, olives and basil in large bowl. Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 teaspoons lemon juice and minced garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
Cut pita bread rounds in half crosswise. Divide salad mixture among 8 pita halves and serve.

From: Bon Appetit May 1995




Baked Eggplant and Zucchini

2 cups tomato sauce
1 small eggplant, cut into long slabs
2 small zucchini, cut into long slabs
1 cup each shredded fontina and parmesan
1/3 cup torn basil


Spread 1/2 cup sauce in 9-by-13-inch baking dish; top with eggplant, zucchini, 3/4 cup sauce and half of each cheese and basil; repeat. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees .


Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches

1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 6 slices
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 (2-ounce) ciabatta rolls, split and toasted
8 large fresh basil leaves
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Place zucchini in a shallow dish. Add 2 teaspoons oil and garlic; toss to coat. Arrange zucchini in grill pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Cut each zucchini piece in half crosswise. Return zucchini to shallow dish. Drizzle with vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Brush bottom halves of rolls with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Top evenly with zucchini, basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella.

Brush cut side of roll tops with remaining liquid from shallow dish, and place on sandwiches. Heat the sandwiches in pan until warm.

From: My

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