Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad


Tri-color Rotini

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July celebration with lots of delicious food. 🇺🇸 It’s been a while since I posted a new recipe (I’ve taken a little hiatus in the kitchen), and thought I’d share this one I made yesterday. It can be a nice main or side dish, and is yummy both warm or chilled. I kept this pretty simple which made it quick and easy, but you can add your favorite vegetables, and/or chicken or tofu… lots of possibilities. I used tricolor rotini, but feel to go with whatever pasta you’d like (bowtie, penne, small shells, etc.).

The sun-dried tomatoes are used to make a “pesto”, which I decided to do without the use of a food processor. It was a little more work, but I wanted chunkier bits incorporated into the salad and I think it was perfect.

This serves 3-4, so double the ingredients if needed.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. (about half a box) of tri-color rotini
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Basil, for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine your finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, garlic, olive oil and balsamic in a bowl and stir very well.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Drain pasta and reserve some of the cooking liquid.
  4. Toss the pasta with the tomato pesto, and season with salt & pepper, to taste.
  5. Fold in 1 1/2 oz. goat cheese, until melted and well incorporated, and add the cherry tomatoes.
  6. Crumble the remaining goat cheese and sprinkle on top.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil.

Sun-dried Tomato Rotini

 

 

Marinated Goat Cheese Appetizer


Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July holiday! I went to an amazing party with out-of-this-world food, and zoned in on a goat cheese appetizer that was insanely delicious… which I made a significant dent in since I wholeheartedly love the combination of goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar!!! Fortunately, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely woman, Alicia, who brought the dish and quite ironically, after I attempted to recreate it last night, she contacted me on here. So I now have THE recipe for this incredible appetizer, which she kindly shared with me. She’s also a blogger, so check out her site by clicking on her name or going to my Blogs I Like page, and clicking on What Manhattan Beach Needs Is link.

Enjoy!

Shown here with roasted pecans.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 oz. goat cheese log
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 5 whole sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
  • Roasted pine nuts

Directions

  1. Place goat cheese in a bowl, set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, add balsamic and honey, and warm in microwave just enough to stir.
  3. Add sun-dried tomatoes and basil to balsamic mixture.
  4. Pour over cheese and top with pine nuts.
  5. Marinate for about an hour. *
  6. Serve with crackers (I like Trader Joe’s sesame thins) or thinly sliced bread.

* If you marinate in the fridge, make sure to let stand at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.

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Goat Cheese, Fontina & Arugula Quiche with Hash-Brown Crust


I saw a picture of this quiche on Pinterest from another food blogger, and knew that I just HAD to make it. It is originally adapted by Martha Stewart, but in my opinion, her recipe is a bit bland (sorry Martha) as it only contains goat cheese and scallions as the flavor points. The other recipe, which added the fontina and arugula, seemed like it would be much tastier. I adjusted it slightly, added a few additional ingredients that suited my fancy, and wow… it is insanely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. Arugula (this may seem like too much but don’t be concerned… it shrinks up in the microwave)
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1 pound package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1-½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 6 oz. grated Fontina cheese
  • 2 oz Goat cheese, crumbled
  • 5 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion slice, chopped
  • 2 sausage links, crumbled

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place arugula in a microwave safe container and sprinkle lightly with water (just a little sprinkle with your hand). Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and allow to cool.
  3. Brush 9-by-2 1/2-inch springform pan with butter. Line the sides of the pan with strips of parchment paper (the same height as pan); brush paper with butter (this part is essential, as it will give you the lovely golden crust and keep the crust from sticking to your pan).
  4. Squeeze excess moisture from hash browns using paper towels.
  5. Remove hash browns from paper towels and place in a bowl with butter, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  6. Pat into bottom and up sides of prepared pan, using your hands. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Take cooled arugula and remove excess moisture/liquid using paper towels and squeezing.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk 7 remaining eggs, sour cream, half and half, Fontina cheese, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, sausage, ½ teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until well combined.
  9. Pour into crust, and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese, incorporating some into the mixture.
  10. Bake until set, 45 to 50 minutes.
  11. Remove outer ring of springform pan, and gently peel off parchment paper.

Note: This is a great recipe to tailor to your personal preference. Feel free to substitute your favorite cheese, leave out the sausage, or use bacon, and/or add some of your go-to spices.

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