Tag Archives: Mozzarella

Apricots and tomatoes create grilltopia!

The summer fresh bounty of fruits and vegetables in our part of the country leaves me drooling on so many fronts – the colors, the smells, the textures and most of all the possibilities for creating countless combinations of dishes that play magic on the tongue.

This week, two such ingredients created magic for me – apricots and Aleppo pepper. Here’s what I pulled together to assemble a plate of the most amazing, melt in your mouth salad.

2 small apricots, pitted and sliced

4 small tomatoes, sliced

4 balls of bocconcini, sliced,

4 basil leaves shredded

A couple of turns of freshly ground salt

A heaped tsp of Aleppo pepper

I grilled the apricots and tomatoes and arranged them on a plate along with the sliced bocconcini.  I spread the basil leaves over the assembled veggies and cheese.  The final touch was a couple of turns of really good salt and a sprinkling of my new culinary find….Aleppo pepper.

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Giovanni’s – A Lip Smacking Dining Experience in Covent Garden, London

By Lakshmi:

It was our first visit to the Covent Garden area.  Yes, in all our visits to London, we had never visited this hip and happening spot, till a friend from the US suggested we meet up there for dinner.

From the moment you emerge from the tube station, the energy of the area just draws you in.  Well dressed youth milling around in animated conversations, elegant opera goers, dapper business folks and tourists all make the area a totally fun place for people watching.  Amid this hustle bustle, we decided to scout out our place to hang for the evening.  We were too late to watch Daniel Radcliffe, too hungry to eat fast food, did not want to go into any of the pretentious looking places that charged a gazillion pounds, passed on Koshary as too much of a quick bite and finally settled on Giovanni’s.  The restaurant was small, the menu enticing and the atmosphere cosy.

A sixty year old institution in a fabled old area, the people and the food at Giovanni’s made for a perfect evening.  We decided to share three dishes accompanied by the mandatory prosecco!  Here are the dishes that made us savor every bite and not leave even a morsel on our plates.

Pappardelle “Maestro Pavarotti” – Pappardelle (ribbon pasta) with broad beans, garden peas, spring onions and parmigiano with a little fresh chilli pepper

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This was the perfect summer dish.  The pappardelle ribbons making the perfect bed for the fresh summer veggies.  A light pasta dish so perfect for al fresco dining experiences.  A pasta I had never tasted stateside and yet appeared so easy to create.

Bufala di Aversa – 100% Bufala mozzarella served with sliced beef tomato, fresh basil leaves and cold pressed olive oil

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Eating really fresh mozzarella is a subliminal experience and this salad with the summer fresh tomatoes and basil drizzled with really good olive oil could not go wrong in any way.

Orecchiette con Broccoli – Shell shaped pasta with broccoli, garlic and chilli

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If there was a “crowning glory” to our meal, it would have to be this dish.  A pasta dish so simple, with good for you ingredients, that a recreated version now features on our dinner plate at home.  The orecchiette was tossed with finely chopped steamed broccoli and flavored with just olive oil, garlic and chilli.  Simply perfect – with the only regret being not having enough room in our belly to tuck in a second plate!

We ended our meal with a Tiramisu and espresso, emerging in a blissful state into the throngs of folks leaving the opera.  Our meal was the music for our soul that evening.

To learn more about Giovanni’s please visit their website at

http://giovannislondon.co.uk/

Naked Pizza- A Guiltless Venture for the Taste Buds

Naked Pizza Crust Menu
(http://nakedpizza.biz/)

By Siddhi: 

Since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in the beginning of the year, the search for gluten-free pizza that tastes and feels like the real deal as opposed to just a bland attempt at reproducing its wheat based counterparts has been a tough quest. Throughout spring semester of college in New York, I searched for a pizza experience that would make me forget that I had a gluten allergy because the food so authentic. I ended up eating at a handful of Italian restaurants that had a Celiac-friendly menu. But it was only when I got back home to Princeton to that I discovered that a franchise that had recently exploded on the health food scene made my gluten-free pizza experience worth every penny.

Founded in New Orleans, Naked Pizza now has 450 locations and markets itself on four key health benefits: digestive health, bone health, weight management, and glycemic response. There are no preservatives or additives in any of the food and the doughs made of over ten different grains capitalize on the nutrient value of the multigrain approach. Every pizza has prebiotics and heat-immune probiotics and promise a high-protein and low-fat alternative to the other pizzas on the commercial food market. Basically, all the scientific terminology aside, it’s the healthiest your pizza can get when you’re not making it at home.

You can choose your pie in one of three sizes (10 inch, 12 inch, or 14 inch) and one of three crust types (the original Ancestral blend made of ten grains with tomato and mozzarella, the skinny version of the Ancestral blend, and the gluten-free crust). Once you’ve chosen your base, you can choose your toppings, including a delicious set of farmers market fresh tasting vegetables. There are also several menu choices pre-customized with toppings that you can decide from. The “cheesy breadsixx” side isn’t gluten-free, but the spinach salad is of course a safe option and rings with the flavor of blush wine vinaigrette and incredible bell peppers.

I am fairly health conscious, and Naked has been one of the only pizza manufacturers to date that doesn’t give me the post-meal feeling of carrying a ton of lead around in my stomach. In fact, even after scarfing down half a pie of Naked, I feel totally refreshed and can go for a long bike ride without feeling any the unpleasant after effects of oil or cheese weighing me down.

Eating pizza tends to be a universally glorious experience when you’re really, really craving it. In a society with an ever-escalating emphasis on eating right, it’s truly a gift to be able to take the guilt out of eating pizza and enjoy it as a healthy meal rather than an indulgence.

To learn more about Naked Pizza and find a franchise near you, visit their site here:

www.nakedpizza.biz