alice's heart healthy recipes for spring
(return to food)
(*) vegetarian, (**) vegan
ANTIPASTI - APPETIZERS
(*) Sicilian Olive Salad
This recipe can be prepared in 45 minutes or less but requires addtional
2 1/2 cups large green olives (about 1 pound)
3 celery ribs
1 small red onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup drained caperberries
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons crumbled
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a large sieve rinse olives and drain well. Thinly slice celery, carrot,
onion, and garlic and in a bowl stir together with remaining ingredients.
Marinate salad, covered and chilled, at least 1 day and up to 3 days.
Bring salad to room temperature before serving.
Serves 6 to 8 as an antipasto.
(*) Artichoke Antipasto - Antipasto di Carciofi
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16-ounce) can roma tomatoes, or the equivalent in ripe tomatoes, coarsely
1 stem fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound small, tender, young artichokes, trimmed, cut in half
Salt and pepper
Wash and trim the artichokes.
Heat the oil in a saute pan.
Add the garlic and saute until soft, 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and oregano.
Cook about 5 minutes, stirring and mashing the tomatoes until well blended.
Add the wine and artichokes.
Cook until artichokes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with country-style bread.
Savory Olive Onion Pie
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp chervil
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1/2 cup sweet peppers (purple, yellow, green...) diced
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chervil
1 teaspoon parsley
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, butter, fennel seeds, and salt. With a
fork, stir in the water, Shape the dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate
until chilled, Roll dough into a 14-inch round. Place dough into an 11-inch
tart pan with removable bottom. Trim edges. Prick dough all over with a
fork. Line with aluminum foil and fill with weights. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove foil and weights, and bake 20 minutes longer, or until the pastry is
slightly golden. Cover and cook the onions, garlic, olives, and peppers in
oil until the onions are translucent. Beat the eggs, heavy cream, milk,
mustard, salt, pepper, chervil, and parsley until blended. Stir in cooled
onion mixture. Line bottom of tart shell with parmesan. Spoon onion mixture
evenly into tart shell. Bake 45 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with chopped
MINESTRE E ZUPPE - SOUP
(*) Pappa al Pomodoro - Tomato and Bread Soup - Baked
6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 bunches chopped basil
3 lbs. ripe, peeled and seeded tomatoes, cut in large pieces
2 loaves day-old peasant bread, cubed
1 pt.vegetable broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a saucepan, heat 4 Tbs. olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic and half the
chopped basil at low heat. Do not brown the garlic. Add the tomatoes and
cook far 20 minutes and set aside. In a baking pan, mix 1 Tbs. oil, and the
rest of the garlic with the cubed bread. Salt and pepper to taste, and
bake until golden. Add stewed tomatoes to the bread and the broth, cook for
10 more minutes. Serve on individual rimmed soup plates with the rest of
the basil and a touch of extra virgin olive oil.
Acqua Cotta - Tuscan Vegetable Soup
1 large red onion or 1 leek, roughly chopped
1 1/2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lb. Swiss chard, cleaned and torn in half, or 1/2 oz. porcini mushrooms,
soaked and drained
Half of a peperoncino or any hot red pepper, fresh or dried
1/2 cup tomato pulp (seeded, juiced, and chopped if fresh or drained and
diced if canned)
3 cups simmering water
2 eggs (preferably organic)
2 slices rustic, country-style bread, lightly toasted
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Tuscan pecorino cheese
Place the toasted bread in two soup bowls.
Place the onion and celery in a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive pot.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and stir to coat. Cook over a medium-low
heat, or until the onion is translucent but not brown. Add Swiss chard (or
porcinis, if using) and stir briefly to wilt. Add hot pepper, tomatoes, and
simmering water. Season lightly with salt and cook over a low heat (barely a
simmer) for 20 minutes, until vegetables are very soft.
As vegetables are cooking, bring about an inch of water and a half teaspoon
of salt to a boil in a deep skillet. At the end of the vegetables' cooking
time, turn the skillet heat down to a gentle simmer. Add the parsley to the
Break the eggs into a small bowl, one at a time, and slide them into the
simmering water. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the whites are set, but the
yellow is still runny. When done, use a large slotted spoon to place one egg
on each toast slice in bowls. Ladle broth and vegetables over each egg and
top with a generous sprinkling of the cheese.
(*) Bucatini al Finocchio e Pomodoro - Bucatini with Fennel and Tomato
2 tender fennel bulbs
2 medium-sized tomatoes
1 lb. 1 1/2 oz. bucatini pasta
8 tbsp. extra-vergine olive oil - salt
Clean the fennel bulbs, removing all tough leaves.
Quarter the bulbs and carefully wash the pieces. Cut the quarters, across
their width, into thin slices. Wash the tomatoes, remove the seeds and
cut into cubes. Put the fennel slices and tomato cubes in a large soup
bowl. Cook the bucatini al dente in salted water. Drain and blend with the
fennel and tomato in the bowl. Pour in the olive oil, salt to taste and
Ricotta and Red Chard Cannelloni
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3/4 pound red Swiss chard (about 8 large leaves), stemmed, chopped
2 15-ounce containers ricotta cheese
2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 26-ounce jar prepared tomato pasta sauce (about 3 1/4 cups)
12 Cannelloni or 12 lasagna noodles (from 1-pound package), freshly cooked
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic;
saut� until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chard; toss until wiled and
almost tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl; cool 10
minutes. Mix in ricotta and 1 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread 3/4 cup sauce over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place 1
lasagna noodle on work surface. Spread 1/3 cup filling over noodle. Starting
at 1 short side, roll up noodle jelly roll style. Place filled pasta, seam
side down, in prepared dish. Repeat filling and rolling remaining lasagna
noodles. Arrange in dish. Pour remaining sauce over cannelloni. (Can be made
1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate. Uncover; let stand at
room temperature 30 minutes before continuing.)
Preheat oven to 350�F. Cover dish loosely with foil. Bake cannelloni until
heated through, about 45 minutes. Let stand uncovered 10 minutes. Serve
with remaining 1 1/2 cups Parmesan at the table.
RISO E RISOTTI - RICE AND RISOTTI
(*) Riso al Limone e Pinoli - Lemon Pinenut Rice
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup red bell peppers, seeded and chopped small
1/4 cup green bell peppers, seeded and chopped small
1/4 cup yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped small
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
4 scallions, minced
1 1/2 cups white long grain rice, cooked
1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 lemon, cut into wedges
6 fresh parley sprigs
In a large skillet, place the butter and heat it on medium until it is
melted and hot. Add the pi�on nuts and saute them for 3 minutes, or until
they are lightly browned.
Add the bell peppers, garlic, and scallions. Saute the ingredients for 5
minute, or until the vegetables are crisp and tender.
Add the cooked rice and mix it in well.
Add the lemon juice and minced parsley, and mix them in.
Garnish each serving of rice with a lemon wedge and parsley sprig.
(*) Risotto con Verdura e Fagioli Rossi - Bean and Green Rice
2 14 1/2-ounce can vegetable broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 large onion, chopped
1 large leek (white and pale green parts), chopped
1 cup short-grain white rice for risotto
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 15 to 16-ounce can red beans or kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 large head radicchio or 1/4 head curly endive, thinly sliced (about 2
2 arugula bunches, thinly sliced (about 1 cup) or 1 cup sliced curly endive
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Bring broth and wine to boil in heavy large saucepan. Add onion, leek, rice
and garlic and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered
until rice is tender and mixture is thick and creamy, stirring occasionally,
20 - 30 minutes.
Mix beans, radicchio and arugula into rice and cook until vegetables wilt,
about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
SECONDI PIATTI - SECOND COURSE
Red Pepper Tart
3 medium red peppers
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 plump garlic clove
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
1 1/2 cups mozzarella, shredded
10 Roma tomatoes, ripened and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup basil, finely minced
1 cup Parmesan shards (shards are made by using a cheese shaver to peel
off curls of Parmesan)
Prepare red pepper pesto by roasting peppers. Preheat the broiler. First
wash the peppers and slice in half. Cut the stem, membrane and seeds out.
Cut 1/4 inch vertical slits, 1 inch apart around the bottom of the cleaned
pepper half and flatten with your hand.
Broil the halves, skin side up, about 4 inches from the heat source, until
completely blackened. Place the peppers in a large brown paper or plastic
bag and close tightly. Allow to steam 15 to 20 minutes. Cool and peel off
In a blender or food processor, pure� the peppers. Add all of the remaining
ingredients, adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time and tasting, as some
peppers are sweeter than others. Blend until smooth. The pesto will keep for
one week if refrigerated.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out two 9x9 inch pieces of puff pastry to
fit a 16 1/2 x 12 x 1 inch baking sheet. Cut and piece together, seaming
with water if necessary. Make certain tart crust sides are even or higher
than sides of baking sheet.
Evenly spread 1/2 cups of Red Pepper Pesto on the puff pastry. Sprinkle
mozzarella evenly over Pesto, then place tomato slices in rows atop
mozzarella. Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan, and then the basil. Top with
Parmesan shards. Bake for 45 minutes until cheese and tart crust has become
golden. Serve immediately.
(*) Verza Ripiena - Stuffed Cabbage
1 head of cabbage
2 cups uncooked brown rice
chopped green pepper,onion,sundried tomato
1 can diced tomato
1 can tomato paste
shredded soy cheese
garlic, lemon pepper, oregano
Steam the head of cabbage and cook the brown rice. Mix together the rice,
green pepper, onion, sundried tomato,garlic,lemon pepper. Peel the cabbage
and fill the leaves with the rice mix. Mix the diced tomato and the tomato
paste together into a sauce and put a spoonful into each leaf. Roll the
leaves and place side by side in a 9 x 12 baking pan. Spread the remaining
tomato mix on top, sprinkle with shredded soy cheese and breadcrumbs and
oregano and bake at 325* for about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot. Filling is
enough for 12-13 rolls, but can be easily adapted to make more or less.
INSALATA - SALAD
Insalata di Barbabietola, Noci e Gorgonzola - Beet, Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad
6 small beets, trimmed (about 18 ounces)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon Sherry wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, pressed
Pinch of sugar
12 cups mixed baby greens
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (about 2 ounces)
Preheat oven to 400�F. Wrap beets in foil, enclosing completely. Bake until
beets are tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Peel
and slice beets. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Whisk olive oil, Sherry wine vinegar, garlic and sugar in medium bowl to
blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine mixed greens, sliced green onions and beets in large bowl. Pour
dressing over and toss to coat. Divide salad among 6 plates. Sprinkle with
Gorgonzola cheese and toasted walnuts and serve.
(*) Bollito Misto di Verdure - Mixed Boiled Vegetables
About 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3-4 carrots, peeled
1/2 pound or more beets
1/2 pound baby zucchini
1/2 pound string beans, ends snapped off and strings removed
Whatever other vegetables strike your fancy
Olive oil to taste
Salted capers to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil, or better yet, steam all the vegetables. Since they cook at different
rates you will want to do them in separate pots; the potatoes, beets and
carrots in one pot, the zucchini in another, and the string beans in a
When the vegetables are fork tender they will be done; remove them from
their pots and let them cool. Peel the beets at this point, then chop all
the vegetables into bite-size pieces and combine them in a bowl. If you are
using capers, stir them in. Then season with olive oil , to taste, keeping
in mind that the vegetables shouldn't be dry, but they shouldn't be
swimming in condiment either. Check seasoning, chill, and the vegetables
Alice's Bean Salad
one jar of 3 bean salad
some olive oil
Nice but not necessary:
artichoke hearts in oil
Drain beans and artichokes in a collander
cut cucumber once lengthwise and then across to form chunks
chop parsley fine cut artichoke hearts.
Put all in a salad bowl and mix with olive oil
DOLCI - DESSERT
(*) Frutta con Grappa - Fruit Poached in Grappa
2 Anjou pears
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
cinnamon stick, cracked
4 whole cloves
2 julienne strips lemon zest
2/3 cup dried apricots
1 cup raisins
4 to 6 tablespoons grappa
Peel, quarter, and core the pears, then sprinkle them with the lemon juice.
In a saucepan or shallow skillet, combine the water, sugar, cinnamon
stick, cloves, and lemon zest. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the
heat and simmer the syrup, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until
it is clear. Add the pears, cover with a round of wax paper, and cook at a
bare simmer, turning from time to time, for 5 minutes. Add the apricots and
raisins and simmer the fruit, covered, for 10 minutes more, or until the
pears are just tender.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to a serving dish. Strain the
poaching broth into a small saucepan and reduce it to a 1 cup over high
heat. Stir in the grappa. Pour the syrup over the fruit and let it cool.
Serve warm or chilled.
(*) Peaches and Raspberries in Spiced White Wine
1 bottle (750ml) Italian dry white wine, such as Pinot Bianco or Pinot Grigio
1/2 cup sugar
4 3/4 x 2-inch orange peel strips (orange part only)
3 cinnamon sticks
2 1/2-pint baskets raspberries
Combine 1 cup wine, sugar, orange peel and cinnamon in small saucepan. Stir
over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; simmer 15 minutes.
Remove from heat; add remaining wine.
Blanch peaches in large pot of boiling water 20 seconds. Transfer to bowl of
cold water, using slotted spoon. Drain. Pull off skin with small sharp
knife. Slice peaches and transfer to large bowl. Add raspberries and wine
mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 6 hours
ahead. Stir occasionally.) Divide fruit and wine among glass goblets. Serve
If you would like more focaccia recipes, please feel free to post your request in the