Heirloom Tomato, Basil, & Brie Pasta

It may officially be Fall, but it’s still tomato season!  This dish accentuates the wonderful heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil.  The warm noodles will slightly melt the brie cheese creating a creamy, delicious pasta.  It’s easy to make, perfect for a meal or a side dish, and can be served warm or at room temperature.

Heirloom Tomato, Basil, & Brie Pasta

1 lb. heirloom tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil leaves
~5 ounces Brie cheese

Mince garlic cloves.
Chopped Garlic

Roughly chop a handful of basil leaves.
Basil

Chop tomatoes into bite size chunks.
Heirloom Tomatoes

Add garlic, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.  Stir to incorporate ingredients being careful not to crush the tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut (or pull apart with your fingers) the brie into small pieces and add to bowl.

Cook pasta according to package.  I prefer using a wider noodle, such as linguine, but any shape pasta will work. Drain pasta and let cool for a couple minutes.  While pasta is still warm, add to bowl and toss with tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato, Basil, & Brie Pasta

Enjoy!

Homemade Pesto

It’s that time of year when my basil plants are turning to weeds, which is definitely not a bad thing. I LOVE pesto and will eat it on pretty much anything. This recipe is basic, but delicious. Additionally, pesto freezes wonderfully and can be used throughout the winter in pastas, crostini, or soups.

Pesto Pasta

2 cups basil
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Wash basil and set aside to dry.

Basil Leaves

Meanwhile, roughly chop the garlic and place in the food processor. Pour a small amount of the 3/4 cup of olive oil into the food processor and pulse to mince the garlic. Add the basil leaves, salt, and remaining olive oil and blend until smooth.

Basil

Finally, mix in Parmesan cheese and transfer to an airtight container.
Enjoy!

Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

Marinading meat truly makes all the difference in a world. Marinades can help tenderize meat and lock in moisture, preventing meat from drying out and toughening up. Plus, research has shown that marinating meat reduces the amount of carcinogens produced when the meat is cooked at high temperatures, like in grilling.

Marinated Flank Steak

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup beer
4 garlic cloves, minced
Chopped parsley, roughly chopped
Pepper

In a large plastic bag, add a good amount of soy sauce, a generous splash of beer (I also use tequila when Jay’s not around to drink the rest of the beer), garlic cloves, parsley, and a big pinch of pepper. I typically do not add salt as the soy sauce is already quite salty. Add the meat to the bag and shake (make sure the bag is zipped closed :) ) to mix ingredients. Depending on the size of your flank steak, this recipe can be doubled to ensure the meat is well covered. Ideally the meat should marinade for several hours, but can be done up to an hour before.

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

Enjoy!

Creamy Caesar Salad

Oh summer, when will you be over? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a summer hater, but it’s to that point of summer that I’m ready for it to be oooover. On days like today, when it’s just too hot to turn on the oven, salads make a perfect meal. Chicken or shrimp can also be added. Also, this recipe makes lots but keeps wonderfully in the refrigerator for salads throughout the week!

Creamy Caesar Salad

8-10 anchovy fillets
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons spicy mustard
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves
1 egg
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Romaine lettuce
Baguette

Combine the anchovy fillets, red wine vinegar, mustard, and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Add the egg and incorporate. Next, add the oil. I like to pour some of the oil the anchovies are packed in into the measuring cup first and finish with vegetable oil. Pulse the food processor until emulsified. Transfer to storage container /jar and add Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Place dressing in the refrigerator and chill at least 30 minutes allowing dressing to chill and thicken.

Meanwhile, cut baguette into bite-sized pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown at 400 degrees.

When ready to eat, tear washed and dried lettuce leaves. Toss with dressing until leaves are coated. Garnish salads with croutons and remaining Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!