07/29/09 Bell Pepper and Onion Crostini with Pesto

"Meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani." (Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Bell Pepper and Onion Crostini with Pesto
  -Roasted Yellow Pepper Bruschetta
  -Antipasto Salad with Basil Dressing

Enjoy the recipes and have a happy and healthy summer season!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Bell Pepper and Onion Crostini with Pesto

Bell Pepper and Onion Crostini with Pesto
Peperone e Cipolla Crostini con Pesto


For the Toasts:
1 (18 to 22-inch-long) baguette, cut into 60 (1/4 inch thick) slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Peppers and Onions:
6 assorted red, yellow, and orange bell peppers (3 lbs), cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
2 large onions (1 and 1/2 lbs), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

For the Pesto:
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the Toasts:
Preheat oven to 350F.

Put baguette slices on 2 large baking sheets, then brush tops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake in batches in middle of oven until pale golden, about 10 minutes.

Cool on a rack.

Prepare the Peppers and Onions:
Cook bell peppers, onions, and garlic with salt in olive oil in a wide 4 to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until softened, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cover pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and just starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. Stir in vinegar and remove from heat.

Prepare the Pesto:
Pulse all pesto ingredients except olive oil in a food processor until finely chopped.

With motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream and blend until combined well.

Assemble the Crostini:
Put about 1 tablespoon pepper mixture on each toast and top with about 1/4 teaspoon pesto.

Note: Pepper mixture and pesto can be made 1 day ahead and chilled separately, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Roasted Yellow Pepper Bruschetta

Roasted Yellow Pepper Bruschetta
Bruschetta di Peperone Giallo Arrosto


1 cup diced seeded plum tomatoes
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large yellow bell peppers

Four 1/2-inch-thick slices country-style bread (each about 5 x 2 and 1/2 inches)
One 3-ounce piece Asiago cheese, shaved into strips
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Blend first 3 ingredients and 3 tablespoons olive oil in small bowl.

Season topping with salt and pepper.

Char bell peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.

Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes.

Peel, seed, and slice peppers.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Arrange bread slices on baking sheet; brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Top bread with peppers and cheese shavings.

Bake until Asiago melts, about 12 minutes.

Transfer bruschetta to plates.

Spoon on tomato topping; sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese. Makes 4 first-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Antipasto Salad with Basil Dressing

Antipasto Salad with Basil Dressing
Antipasto Insalata con Salsa di Basilico


2 large red bell peppers

1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
Two 8-ounce balls fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, thinly sliced into rounds
4 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
6 hard-boiled eggs, shelled, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1/4 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted, coarsely chopped


Char peppers directly over gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides.

Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes.

Peel, seed, and slice peppers thinly.

Combine basil leaves, garlic, and salt in processor and blend to coarse puree.

With machine running, gradually blend in olive oil.

Transfer basil oil to small bowl. (Peppers and basil oil can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.)

Arrange prosciutto around edge of platter.

Arrange cheese slices within circle of prosciutto and tomatoes within circle of cheese.

Tuck in egg slices; top with pepper strips.

Sprinkle salad with olives; drizzle with some basil oil.

Serve with remaining basil oil. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure, a sample of today's edition:

Spouse of Six Months Dies At 101

Imperia - December 23, 2008 - A 101-year-old Italian man who married his 98-year-old French sweetheart last summer after more than 50 years together has died after six months of wedlock, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Giuseppe Rebaudi, a retired surgeon, died "in the arms of his housekeeper," the daily said.

Rebaudi met his future wife, Sylvie Basain, in Marseille in 1952. They were together for 56 years before she persuaded him to become man and wife. Their wedding on the Ligurian Riviera on June 26 attracted a lot of media attention.

Basain, a former employee of a French newspaper, told reporters: "We've only been together for 50 years. Marriage is not a step to be taken lightly".

Rebaudi said: "I'd never thought about tying the knot but Sylvie convinced me, even though it's a bit late".

Amore between two people can be beautiful. But, "porca vacca", this is not!

When she persuaded him to marry her, did he almost change the expression on his face?

"We've only been together for 50 years. Marriage is not a step to be taken lightly". Absolutely. If you read between the lunacy, she actually makes sense. After all, one wants to be positively sure he or she is the one.

- Would her future husband consider wife swapping seeing that one in four Italian couples indulge in it?
- Would he help count the silverware?
- Wear matching socks?
- Stop saying that France's contribution to world cuisine was not just the "souffle", or as he claims, something puffed up with a lot of hot air and full of fattening crap?

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!

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 Italian humor and news; visit and subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 56 governments in 50 years!
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