French-style Hors Doeuvre with Toasted Baguette and Tapenade Spread

Ingredients

24 thin baguette slices
nonstick olive-oil cooking spray or olive oil
sweet pepper strips for garnish (optional)

Tapenade

1-1/2 cups pitted mild brine-cured green olives such as Luques or picholines, black Niqoise olives, or a combination of several kinds
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1-1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. To make the tapenade, combine the olives, anchovies, capers, parsley, garlic, Cognac, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper in a food processor. Pulse once or twice to combine roughly, then add the olive oil and pulse briefly, stopping to scrape down the bowl sides once or twice. The texture should be chunky, rather than a smooth puree. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  3. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and coat them lightly with the olive oil spray, or brush lightly with olive oil. Bake until golden, 10-15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the toasted baguette slices to a serving platter. Spread each one with about 1 tablespoon of the tapenade, then, if desired, crisscross 2 small strips of sweet pepper on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 24 bites.

Source: Hors Doeuvre

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Luscious Toast with Macerated Berries

Ingredients

1 cup strawberries, hulled, about 4 oz
1/3 cup blueberries, about 2 oz
1 teaspoon sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
2 thick slices of brioche
fresh mint leaves, to serve

Method

  1. Cut the strawberries in half, if large, and put in a bowl with the blueberries. Sprinkle with the sugar, then add the Grand Marnier and let macerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Just before serving, put the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and stir in 2-3 teaspoons of the macerating juices from the berries.
  3. Lightly toast the brioche on both sides, then spread with a thick layer of mascarpone and spoon the macerated berries and all the juices on top.
  4. Top with fresh mint leaves before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: On Toast

Vegan Wrap with Classic Middle Eastern Tabbouleh and Guacamole

Ingredients

1 cup bulgur wheat
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 large lemon
salt and ground black pepper
4 wheat tortillas, to serve
flat leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)

Guacamole

1 avocado, stoned (pitted), peeled and diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 red chilli, seeded and sliced (optional)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 red (bell) pepper, seeded and finely diced

Method

  1. To make the tabbouleh, place the bulgur wheat in a large heatproof bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave for 30 minutes until the grains are tender but still retain a little resistance to the bite. Drain thoroughly, then place back into the bowl.
  2. Add the mint, parsley, green onions and cucumber to the bulgur wheat and mix thoroughly. Blend together the olive oil and lemon juice and pour over the tabbouleh, season to taste and toss well to mix. Chill for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle.
  3. To make the guacamole, place the avocado in a bowl and add the lemon juice, chilli and garlic. Season to taste and mash with a fork to form a smooth puree. Stir in the red pepper.
  4. Warm the tortillas in a dry frying pan for about 20 seconds on each side. Serve the tortillas either flat, folded or rolled up with the tabbouleh and guacamole. Garnish with parsley if using.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Ultimate Book of Vegan Cooking

French Toast with Orange Cream

Ingredients

1/4 cup light cream
2 egg yolks
freshly grated zest of 1/2 unwaxed orange
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter
2 thick slices of panettone, cut in half
icing sugar, to dust orange zest, to decorate

Orange Cream

3 tablespoons sour cream or heavy cream
1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Method

  1. To make the orange cream, put the sour cream, sugar, and orange and lemon juices in a bowl and stir until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. Put the light cream, egg yolks, orange zest and juice, and sugar in a wide, shallow dish and beat well.
  3. Heat the butter in a large, nonstick skillet. Dip each slice of panettone in the custard mixture, coating each side well, then carefully arrange in the skillet. Spoon any remaining custard mixture over the toasts, and saute for about 2 minutes until golden underneath.
  4. Very carefully, flip the toasts over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until golden.
  5. Put 2 slices of French toast on each plate, then dust with confectioners’ sugar, drizzle over the orange cream, and top with strips of orange zest.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: On Toast

Low-fat Burgers with Turkey

Ingredients

2 pounds ground turkey
6 tablespoons minced fresh sage, or 2 tablespoons crumbled dried sage
3 tablespoons minced fresh thvme, or 1 tablespoon crumbled dried thyme
3 tablespoons grated or minced orange zest
salt
freshly ground black pepper
whole-Wheat Hamburger Buns, split
vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
jellied cranberry sauce, melted for brushing on patties
fresh sage leaves for garnish

Condiments

whole berry cranberry sauce or relish, preferably freshly made
mayonnaise
tender, young spinach leaves

Method

  1. In a grill, prepare a medium-hot fire for direct-heat cooking.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, minced or crumbled sage and thyme, orange zest, and a little salt and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into round patties to fit the buns.
  3. When the fire is ready, brush the grillrack with vegetable oil.
  4. Place the patties on the grill rack, brush the tops with the melted cranberry sauce, and cook until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes.
  5. With a large spatula, carefully turn the patties and cook, brushing frequently with the sauce, until the patty tests opaque when cut into with a small, sharp knife, about 4 minutes longer. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill to toast lightly.
  6. Transfer the patties to the bottom halves of the buns and cover with the bun tops. Garnish plates with the sage leaves. Offer the condiments at the table.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: James McNair’s Burgers