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Sunday, June 26, 2011

StoneGable's Menu Monday

Often times you will find me in the kitchen with
delights from our local gourmet carry-out establishments,
where I will transform them into my own versions.

For Yvonne's 1st party I thought I would make, 
all by myself, 
Italian Crostini's 
for our little appetizers.

In my kitchen, as with my jewelry designs, I always
 say "it's all in the presentation" and know even the simplest
things can be beautiful as well as tasty.

A few basic ingredients and some baguettes &
you'll be on your way to deliciousness a bit out of 
the ordinary...and all SO simple.

Each recipe begins the same, with the bread:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
Drizzle the bread with olive oil and put on a baking sheet.
 Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack, 
flip, and bake for another five minutes or until the bread is crisp and toasted. 

Roasted Fig & Ricotta Crostini with Balsamic Vinegar

This simple combination makes the most of what the ingredients have to offer: 

Sweet earthiness, rich creaminess, and a pop of pungency to brighten it up.

For six crostini:
5 figs
3/4-cup fresh ricotta
6 slices Italian bread or baguette
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar for drizzling

 After removing the bread,  turn the oven up to 400 degrees. 

Slice the figs into quarters and place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the figs for about 20 minutes, or until bursting and colored. Smooth two tablespoons of ricotta onto each crostini (the toasted bread) and top with three or four pieces of fig. 
Grind a little pepper over it and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Wine pairing
2010 Saetti Lambrusco, $17.
This is a great dry lambrusco that pairs naturally with balsamic vinegar—
they both come from the Emilia Romagna region in Italy.

The Fancy Ham & Cheese: Sauteed Swiss Chard with Prosciutto & Gruyère 

Something about this earthy, hearty combination

 with the pop of parsley makes this crostini the perfect snack—
or for a summer party to really knock your guests' socks off.

Makes six crostini
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped into 1/4-inch wide pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
6 slices of prosciutto
6 thin slices of Gruyère
1 tablespoon parsley leaves
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

 Prepare the bread. 

In a sauce pan over a medium flame, add about two tablespoons of olive oil 
and add the Swiss chard with a large pinch of salt and pepper. 
Saute for about two minutes, or until just wilted, and add the garlic, 
cooking for a few minutes more. 
Pile the Swiss chard onto the crostini and add the slice of prosciutto and cheese. 
Top with a few parsley leaves.

Wine pairing: 2010 Lioco Indica Rosé, $17.
Rosé is fantastic with cured meats and cheeses, 

and will stand up to the saltiness of both the prosciutto and Gruyère.

Fava Bean & Roasted Cherry Tomato Crostini with Burrata & Basil    
  Light, simple, and the perfect dish to celebrate summer. 
Plus, BURRATA! *

Makes six crostini:
1/2-pound Burrata (one ball), cut into six slices
1/2-pound fresh fava beans, shelled (if they're hard to hunt down, fresh peas would also work)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons basil, finely julienned
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Prepare the bread.
  Turn the oven up to 400 degrees.
 Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet with a silicon pad or parchment, 
drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
Roast the tomatoes for about 20 minutes, or until bursting and colored. 
Meanwhile, boil a small pot of well-salted water and prepare a small ice bath. 
Add the fava beans to the water and cook for about 90 seconds, until they bob to the top.
 Immerse them in the ice bath and peel the rubbery outer shell away. 
Smooth a slice of Burrata onto each crostini and top with about 10 fava beans 
and six cherry-tomato halves. 
Grind a little pepper over it, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the basil.

Wine pairing
2010 Chidaine Touraine, $13.50.
A Sauvignon Blanc always pairs well with fresh green herbs 
and will add dimension to the soft fava beans and creamy Burrata.

* Burrata is a special mixture of mozzarella & heavy cream

Sauteed Mushroom Crostini with Roasted Garlic, Jimenez Sherry Vinegar, and Truffle Oil

Earthy, almost meaty, mushrooms with sweet roasted garlic 
make this vegetarian option a slam-dunk for any entertaining occasion. 
Plus, the pungent acidity of vinegar and that wow-factor of truffle oil 

Prepare the bread.
  Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. In a saute pan over a medium flame, add about two tablespoons of olive oil and brown the shallot. Add the mushrooms and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are browned and just getting soft. Add the thyme and cook for a minute or two longer. Add the vinegar and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and drizzle with a little truffle oil (a little goes a long way). In the meantime, wrap the peeled garlic in aluminum foil with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes until soft and deep golden brown. Smear a roasted clove on the crostini and pile with mushrooms. Finish with a few fresh thyme leaves.really elevate this dish to something truly special.

For six crostini:
1 pound of mushrooms, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Jimenez Sherry Vinegar
6 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Truffle oil

Wine pairing
2007 Alois Settimo, $17.
The red-cherry hints in this wine is a match made in heaven with the earthiness of the porcini and thyme.

I hope you enjoy these little crostini's, the fig one is my favorite, but when
I cannot find figs I'll go with any or all of the others. 
All fresh ingredients and just a bit more pizazzy than the
sun-dried tomato crostini we usually see.

The dinner following my little crostinis would go something like this:

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Fig Preserves
Fingerling Potatoes
Green Salad garnished with 
Feta Crumbles, Artichoke Hearts & Mandarin Oranges

cut your tenderloin into medallions
re-stack on heavy aluminum foil 
drizzle fig preserves over entire length
add fresh rosemary to taste
pepper to taste
close aluminum foil and grill over hot coals
meat will brown inside foil covering

beautiful on your plate
very uncomplicated and not at all heavy

Happy Menu Monday!

all food photos taken by me
wine photos from the Internet



  1. Your apps are absolutely beautiful! I'm sure everyone loved them:@)

  2. Marsha,
    These look divine. I must try them soon for our ladies group gathering! Thank you for sharing these recipes with all of us @ On The Menu Monday. Stop by again soon, dear!

  3. Hi Marsha,
    I am so excited to find a fellow Texan! I simply must sample all of these wonderful recipes. Your presentation is very inviting. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!
    Happy 1st Menu Monday,
    Miz Helen

  4. HI!!! So nice to meet you! WOW, your crostini are all wonderful! I think the mushroom would be my favorite, I love mushrooms!!!! We, too, do pork loins in foil on the grill. YUMMMMMM! I love that you suggested wine pairings too! Great post, thanks!!!! XO, Pinky PS, I will be your newest follower!

  5. Ummm...these look so pretty and so delicious. I love that you've included wine choices, too.

  6. Wow, Marsha!
    These look delicious! I didn't realize you loved to cook. I could just skip dinner and be very happy with these instead. As a matter of fact... ..

  7. Hi, Marsha! Congratulations again. I just popped over via the link I included on linen and lavender to make sure it was indeed working and to obtain your email address for sending you the gift certificate. LOVE this crostini and wine pairing post. Yum. I agree with Ann, I could be happy just with the crostini for dinner. (And, well, the wine of course.)
    All the best to you ~LeAnn :)

  8. Marsha, I am in total SHOCK! I did not realize you were such a foodie, and a food stylist, and a great food writer! WOW! Each and every thing on this post will end up at my table.
    Your food is so sophicated (no surprise there) and your ingredients in each recipe make me drool! Just amazing, my friend!
    Thank you for participating in ON THE MENU MONDAY and for bringing your impeccable style!
    xo Yvonne

  9. I am filing this post in my recipes file. I love the crostini ideas, simple and delicious! And the pork looks wonderful. I will be trying all of these. Thanks for the inspiration. x Sharon

  10. Hhm - very delicious! You must be a special 'chef de cuisine', Marsha!
    Well - Bon Appetit!

    And thanks so much for all the recepies, will try some during the summer.

  11. Hello from Frog Hollow Farm and thanks for stopping by my menu post! Your post just blew me away - everything looked so delicious and I loved your narration of the menu! Definitely a keeper for me - can't wait to try some of these recipes - especially the figs with the ricotta! Ciao, bella! xxoo

  12. Mouth watering!
    I love a good bruschetta - and think I could much down at least one of each of these yummy ones!!

    Love the meat dish too. All looks yum yum!!

    Big hugs

    xx C

  13. Wow. They do look like jewels on a plate.

  14. What lovely food ideas! I am inspired to add some "upgrades" to my menu. Thanks for sharing the wine pairings too...I always need help with that.

  15. I'll take it all to go Marsha and, wrap up all of the bottles of wine as well !!!! haha.
    They all look delicious and just my type of food. XXXX

  16. Oh, these all look so good! I could live on appetizers and finger foods! I want to try the fig recipe... yum! xo

  17. Hi Marsha! These look totally delectable and will try some as I love figs etc. Also I must post my sexy fig salad for you to enjoy!! No cooking and it looks amazing! Think I will do that for next Monday. The pork also looks yum!


  18. Bruschetta is one of my favorites, and it is obvious you know all about creating very tasty ones. These recipes look yummy, and the pictures make them look even yummier. You are quite the cook. Nice work. Genie

  19. Hi Marsha,

    These recipes look fabulous! I will definitely be trying these out sooner than later! And by the way...I checked out your jewelry line and it is quite stunning! Absolutely beautiful pieces. I have a few designs of my own that I'm hoping to get completed and posted soon.

    Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  20. Dear sweet Marsha

    Wow, these look so delicious! I love good food - and I love bruchetta!
    Think I'll try to serve your recipe for grilled pork for my husband, it looks fantastic!

    Lots of love from Lene

  21. Everything looks delicious, and professionally presented. I'm sure people went crazy for them.

  22. OMG!!! I just wanted to dive right in!! Fabulous presetation!

  23. All looks beautiful and delicious. I'll be trying this. Your amazing! Mona

  24. Marsha!!!! How in the world did I miss this post? OMG, this is calling my name.The pictures are so fabulous, I wanted to reach in and grab one of those scrumptious little crostinis! How wonderful looking they are. I can only imagine what a HUGE hit they were...i could literally live on these little yummies, for breakfast lunch and dinner. Forget "meals" just give me a bevy of tapas and I won't say a word!
    Wonderful!! Added you to my blogroll today.;.you know I love coming here!!

  25. I love anything with figs so you can imagine how much I loved this post!! I don't eat bread much these days as I try to avoid gluten - but I could find a non gluten variety or crackers!! These all looks simply delicious!!


Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, each of them mean so much to me. After all, the interaction is the reason we blog. xx's