Nutrition

Focusing on essentials in the kitchen

One way to make every minute in the kitchen count and provide crowd-pleasing food is by using wholesome, quality core ingredients like olive oil, fresh bread, cheese and artisan chocolate to create flavorful dishes that are easy to prepare, and leave you with more time to enjoy what matters most: moments with the ones you love.

One of the best-kept chef secrets to hosting the most memorable at-home parties is keeping the food simple and adding small details to make it special. After all, a host who isn’t hard at work in the kitchen is a host who can spend more time with guests.

One way to make every minute in the kitchen count and provide crowd-pleasing food is by using wholesome, quality core ingredients like olive oil, fresh bread, cheese and artisan chocolate to create flavorful dishes that are easy to prepare, and leave you with more time to enjoy what matters most: moments with the ones you love.

When it comes to cooking, focus on the essentials and the highlights of each dish. Building recipes around quality ingredients makes it easy to create show-stopping dishes time and time again. Planning ahead is key to entertaining, but when it comes to cooking, make things quick and easy with a little help from powerhouse ingredients that lend themselves well to a variety of flavors and preparations.

In keeping things simple, use olive oil to add a little extra zest and create dishes that pop off the plate, like this recipe for Beet Hummus. Or if you’re looking for something comforting and wholesome, indulge in this creamy Tomato Soup with Olive Oil Croutons. For a larger event, try Mushroom Carpaccio and Creamed Spinach Au Gratin, which can leave a lasting impression on your guests. To top it all off, go for this Bitter Chocolate and Pistachio Cream Dessert for a perfect way to end a meal.

Tomato Soup with Homemade Olive Oil Croutons
Prep time: 10 minutes

4          tomatoes
3          grilled red bell peppers in oil
1          shallot
1/2       cup Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for brushing on bread 
3          tablespoons sherry vinegar
1          clove garlic
10        basil leaves
            salt, to taste
            pepper, to taste
4          slices crusty bread

Cut small cross in bottom of tomatoes and submerge in boiling water 30 seconds. Let tomatoes cool in ice water 30 seconds then remove skins.

In blender, blend tomatoes, red bell peppers, shallot, extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper, to taste, until mixture is smooth. Add mixture to large pot and heat, stirring frequently.

Cut bread slices, brush with olive oil and grill 2 minutes per side over medium-high heat until visible grill marks have formed.

Healthy Beet Hummus
Prep time: 15 minutes

3          beets
                 salt, to taste
                 Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
     2          cups canned chickpeas
     2          tablespoons sesame seed paste or tahini

Heat oven to 375 F.

Peel beets and boil until soft; season with salt and olive oil.

Puree beets with chickpeas and sesame seed paste until a uniform paste forms. Transfer to oven-safe serving dish. Bake 10 minutes and serve.

Mushroom Carpaccio and Creamed Spinach Au Gratin
Prep time: 15 minutes

Mushroom Carpaccio:
     2 1/4    cups cremini mushrooms
                 Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
                 salt, to taste

Creamed Spinach:
     2 1/4    cups spinach
     1/2       cup heavy cream
                 salt
                 pepper
                 Parmesan cheese

To make Mushroom Carpaccio: Heat oven to 400 F.

Clean mushrooms and cut into thin slivers.

Season with olive oil and salt. Set aside.

To make Creamed Spinach: Boil spinach 2 minutes, strain and place it into saucepan, over cream. Cook 5 minutes.

In blender, puree mixture and pour over Mushroom Carpaccio.

Grate Parmesan cheese over entire dish; bake 5 minutes.

Bitter Chocolate and Pistachio Cream Dessert
Prep time: 15 minutes

1/2       cup, plus 1 tablespoon, sweetened condensed milk
1/2       cup brown sugar
1 1/2    tablespoons Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for pistachio cream
4          ounces dark chocolate
1 1/4    cups shelled pistachios

In saucepan, combine condensed milk and sugar; cook over low heat, stirring until mixture takes on toasted color.

Add olive oil and dark chocolate; continue to stir until fully combined.

Line 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spread mixture into pan. Refrigerate until fully set.

To make pistachio cream: Blend pistachios and olive oil until smooth paste forms.

Remove dessert from pan and cut into slices. Serve with pistachio cream on top.

Make every moment count and find more simple recipes at Bertolli.com.

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