Monday, November 20, 2006


Movie night munchies
As recent host of "movie night" I served ricotta and olive crostini, lentil soup with lots of organic veggies, green herb dip with corn chips and root beer floats made with Starbuck's Coffee/toffee ice cream. I'll have to admit it was all very delicious and the crostini and the green herb dip were memorable and the recipes well worth passing along, so here you go!

1) Ricotta and Olive Crostini - first of all, before I made this delicious little tidbit, I learned the difference between a crostini and a bruschetta. Though both are "little pieces of toast", bruschetta is basically a grilled piece of toast and crostini is a baked piece of toast. The bruschetta is quite smokey and flavorful. The crostini has a more subtle flavor and is suitable for milder cheeses like the ricotta I'm using here.

To make your crostini, first you need to pick out your baguette at your bakery. Try to find a long, skinny one with lots of sesame seeds for more flavor. Ask your baker to slice it for you. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush olive oil on the top side and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes in 350 degree oven with the olive oil side up. Crostini will be perfectly golden with just the right amount of crunch. set aside.

To make the olive topping, go to the local 'olive bar' at your grocers and scoop up pitted Sicilian olives, pitted Kalamata's (this is the Greek spelling for this olive) and 2 or 3 sweet cherry peppers. Back at home, chop all the olives (and cherry pepper) into small pieces (but not too small) and mix with a few leaves of chopped fresh basil and chopped fresh parsley. Add a drizzle of red wine vinegar (hardly any), and black pepper, preferable freshly ground (you can also add a dash of red pepper flakes if you want to give it a little zip). Stir it all up and add a drizzle of olive oil. Stir again. set aside.

Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese on a crostini and top with some of the olive topping and pop one in your mouth to make sure it tastes exactly how you want it to taste. You many want to adjust it a bit, add more of the ricotta, or a little more pepper to the olives. Assemble your crostinis and serve at room temperature.

2) Green Herb Dip This is a recipe from Ina Garten aka The Barefoot Contessa.
Makes 2 cups.
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
1/2 cup good mayonnaise, such as Hellman's
3/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (3 scallions)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* place everything in order listed into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for 10 to 12 times, until just blended but not pureed. Serve at room temperature with corn chips and fresh vegetables. Delicious!

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