• TOMATO AND CREAMY CHEESE APPETIZER

    I couldn’t wait to post this Tomato & Creamy Cheese Appetizer recipe because it is one of my all-time favorites and I have been making it routinely since the early years of my marriage.  It is one I make every summer when the tomatoes are ripe and delicious, the basil is growing robustly in my garden, and the outdoor gatherings are plentiful.

    I still remember fondly the days when our young neighborhood was filled with loads of little ones and on warm evenings families would gather in our front yards at the end of a work day.  I would often serve this fresh tomato appetizer with a glass of cool crisp wine to the parents as we watched our children play and enjoyed the summer season.

    The creaminess from the base of cheese topped with fresh tomatoes, crisp red onion and herb flavors from the pesto are an amazing combination.  Finish it off with crunchy Italian flavors from Umbria nut & spice mix  and you’ll find you have an appetizer difficult to step away from.

    Margie Bruner
    owner of Glory Kitchen

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    Tomato & Creamy Cheese Appetizer

    Ingredients

    • Umbria nut & spice mix
    • mascarpone cheese, 8 oz.
    • fresh mozzarella cheese, 1 ½ cup, shredded
    • roma tomatoes, 2 (about 1 cup), chopped
    • red onion, ½ cup, chopped
    • fresh basil pesto, 6 oz. (homemade or store bought)
    • kosher salt
    • fresh cracked pepper
    • Carr’s Crackers or a simple, crisp cracker

    Instructions

    1. Chop tomatoes and set aside. Chop onion and set aside.
    2. Allow the mozzarella and mascarpone cheeses to come to room temperature. In a bowl, mix the two cheeses together with a spoon. Although it is messy, I often use my hands to meld these two cheeses and mix them thoroughly.
    3. Using a small, shallow bowl/serving plate with about a 2 inch side (see photo), press the cheese mixture into the bottom of the plate and spread evenly across the bottom.
    4. Top with a layer of pesto. Next layer the fresh tomato, then the onion and finally sprinkle with a generous amount of Umbria nut & spice mix. Top with fresh oregano, basil or any other herb you have on hand.
    5. Serve with crackers.

    Notes

    This recipe is great for outdoor gatherings in the spring or summer using freshly harvested ingredients.
    Would also be great with Mumbai, Cairo or San Miguel blends.

    Tomato & Cheese Appetizer
    Tomato & Cheese Appetizer
    Tomato & Cheese Appetizer
  • SALUMI SANDWICH

    Cold cuts in Italy are referred to as Salumi.  This term can cover a vast array of Italian cured meats but a few include salami, prosciutto, pancetta and sausage.  

    The combination of one or more of these salty, smoky meats and a few additional ingredients can create a delicious and satisfying sandwich.  Top it all off with mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and a bit of Italian crunch with a sprinkle of Umbria nut & spice blend.

    Italian Sandwich

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    • Umbria nut & spice mix
    • good bread, an Italian loaf or baguette
    • Italian meats: salami, prosciutto, pancetta, sausages or smoked turkey
    • red onion, sliced thin
    • arugula
    • fresh mozzarella cheese
    • fresh tomato, sliced into thick slices
    • fresh basil leaves
    • olive oil
    • balsamic vinegar

    Instructions

    1. Slice a loaf of bread or french baguette in half, brush both sides with olive oil and toast in the oven until lightly browned.
    2. Mix together 1 part balsamic vinegar to two parts olive oil. Drizzle the oil & vinegar mix on each side of the bread. Begin to layer arugula, Italian meats (salumi), red onion, tomato, mozzarella cheese, tomato slices and basil leaves. Drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette and a generous amount of Umbria nut & spice mix.
    3. Slice and serve immediately or wrap in parchment paper, tie with baker's twine and pack in a basket for an outdoor picnic.


  • ROASTED BROCCOLINI

    Broccolini cooked in a clean and simple manner, seasoned and topped with crunchy spices from our Umbria nut & spice mix is one of the best ways to enjoy this wonderful vegetable.  The bright green color and crisp stalks served on a bed of creamy lentils or rice are veggie perfection.

    Margie Bruner - Glory Kitchen

    Margie Bruner
    owner of Glory Kitchen

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    Roasted Broccolini

    Ingredients

    • Umbria nut & spice mix
    • 1-2 bunches Broccolini
    • 2 red onions, sliced
    • olive oil
    • kosher sea salt
    • cooked rice, lentils, quinoa or other grain to serve vegetables over

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and position the broccolini on one side and the red onions on the other. If you prefer, place each veggie on its own separate sheet tray. Drizzle both vegetables lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and toss each with your hands to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and a generous amount of Umbria nut & spice mix.
    2. Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and tender. Remove from the oven and serve over a bed of lentils, rice or quinoa. As a finishing touch, garnish with a bit more Umbria nut & spice mix.

    Notes

    This recipe would work well with any of the Glory Kitchen nut & spice mixes.

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