When it is hot and steamy outside, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven. But that doesn’t mean that delicious food needs to take a backseat! My version of classic Caprese Skewers is easy, breezy and beautiful, exactly what summer should be all about! Flavorful, ripe San Marzano plum tomatoes pair perfectly with a ribbon of fresh basil and creamy little Bocconcini mozzarella. Assembly could not be easier! In this version, instead of chopping basil as you would in a traditional caprese salad, I take a single leaf and roll it like a little cigar and slide it onto the skewer. Follow with the mozzarella, and spritz gently with my secret ingredient, fresh lemon juice! Not what you would expect, but it adds an amazing burst of citrus that enhances the overall freshness of this dish. Finish with a sprinkle of fleur de sel and freshly cracked black pepper, and you have a backyard soirée superstar that will disappear in no time!
Recipes & Entertaining Ideas
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It’s a cold and snowy day here in Chicago, which is the perfect weather to stay home and test recipes! So many of my days are spent in the kitchen cooking and baking. Because of the chill in the air, I am making my FAVORITE sauce, Home-Style Tuscan Tomato Sauce.
I’m going to serve it over roasted baby brussels sprouts with big shavings of Parmesan cheese, perfect for a hearty but healthy dinner. This particular sauce is bursting with fresh vegetables, basil and cinnamon, which adds a bit of “warmth” to the overall taste. ENJOY!
Home-Style Rustic Tomato Sauce
Ingredients (makes 8 cups)
San Marzano Tomatoes – 3 (28-ounce) cans, crushed
Yellow Onion – 1 small, ¼-inch diced
Red Onion – 1 small, ¼-inch diced
Yellow Bell Pepper – 1 small, ¼-inch diced
Red Bell Pepper – 1 small, ¼-inch diced
Garlic – 6 cloves, minced
Kosher Salt – 2 teaspoons
Black Pepper – 2 teaspoons
Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons
Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted
Cinnamon – ⅛ teaspoon
Basil – 2 cups, freshly chopped
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot.
Add the onions, red and yellow bell peppers, salt, and black pepper to the hot pan and sauté over medium heat until translucent, or about 8 to 10 minutes.
Next, add the garlic and cinnamon and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and basil and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.