Tuesday, July 24, 2012


As I was having my friend Emily over for dinner, who is of Sicilian origin, I decided to make this traditional side dish.  I was a little nervous as I have never made it before - how arrogant to presume to serve a Sicilian a traditional dish without having ever created it before?!  However, Emily assured me that her mother would approve!  I think you will too as it is super-easy and super-tasty!!  It is lovely the next day heated up to compliment your scrambled eggs at breakfast!

1/2 cup EVOO
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 bell peppers (2 red, 2 yellow, 2 green) roughly chopped into 2" dice
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 bunch fresh basil, torn
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Heat the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in a Dutch oven or a large skillet.  Saute the onions, garlic, and bay leaves over medium heat until the onion is soft (approx. 6 minutes).  Add the tomato paste, salt and black pepper.  Continue stirring until the tomato paste turns a dark, brick red colour.
  • Add the bell peppers and saute until they are softened (approx. 10 minutes).  Add the wine and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook the peppers for a further 20-30 minutes.
  • Uncover, increase the heat to medium and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated 20 to 25 mins.  Remove the bay leaves and add in basil leaves, balsamic vinegar and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Broccoli Craisin Salad

Our Summer/Fall CSA boxes are in full swing with all the wonderful weather we've been receiving.  This week we got a box brimming with spring onions, broccoli, basil, zucchini and more!  Since I had purchased broccoli (as I didn't expect it to appear in the box for a few weeks, but with the warmer weather it ripened sooner!) I decided that dinner tonight was going to feature a broccoli salad.  I'm fortunate that my children enjoy broccoli and moreso because it came straight from the Cooper's!!!  This is a breeze to put together and so colourful and delicious you might make it a regular part of your family's dinners!!!

4 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped red peppers
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup Craisins
1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
4 spring onions, diced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp dark agave syrup
  • In a large serving bowl, combine the first six ingredients.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and agave syrup until well combined.  Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.