Homemade Pesto Bruschettas with Jambon de Bayonne et Mozzarella

Going early to the Saturday Market its have a larger option in fresh fruits and vegetables. Every time I try to go as early as possible to look around and choose my fresh products.

My mom laugh about me because of that, she says that I’m the Grandma’s fierce rival! How mean!! LOL, but thinking it well, I totally am!

Well, I’ve being kind off sick and wasn’t very motivated to go to the market, my hubs pulled me out of bed, he knew that will make me feel better and of course he wants a good lunch. So few minutes later we were heading to my paradise ‘fresh fruits market”.

Oh! I found the most wonderful variety of tomatoes, melon, strawberries, cheese, beans, Ham and more.. I picked Bayonne Ham, some mozzarella, beautiful cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.
My usual merchant knows me well, and he totally made my day giving me some basil branches with their roots, so I could plant it back home. How great is that?

I decided to go Italian Provençal style and prepare some homemade Pesto and  Bruschettas. Yumm!

For the Pesto you will need:

  • 50 Handpicked Basil Leaves
  • 25 cl of Olive Oil
  • 60 gr of grated Parmesan
  • 70 gr of Pine Nuts (Pignons de Pain)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • salt

In a food processor, combine the basil in with the pine nuts. Process for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic cloves and start to incorporate the olive oil little by little, in a constant stream while the food processor is on.

Once in a while stop the food processor and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.

Add the grated cheese (Parmesan or Reggiano) and pulse again until blended.

Add a pinch of salt to the pesto. I personally likes to season the pesto with a lil of ground black pepper, for me it just taste better. (It’s totally up to you)

Serve your fresh pesto with pasta, or like me spread over the bruschettas.

To prepare the Bruschettas you will need:
(Serves 2)

  • Fresh French Baguette or Italian Bread
  • 4 slice of Jambon de Bayonne or Jambon Serrano
  • Mozzarella
  • Sliced Olives
  • Fresh Pesto
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh herbs
  • Olive Oil

Slice the baguette or the Italian bread, diagonal to make thick slices.

Spread one side of each slice with fresh pesto.
In each bread bruschetta, place a slice of jambon de Bayonne or Serrano.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in 4 pieces, the mozzarella in dice and the green olives, place them whole in top of the ham.
Season with a thind thread of olive oil and some fresh herbs.

Preheat the oven at 180°C.
Place the bruschettas on a cooking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

Serves as an appetizer. Or 3-4 for lunch with red wine.

I was so proud of my pesto and the bus loved it. I hope my basil plants will grow soon 🙂

What I loved the most about this bruschettas is the simplicity of the recipe. You just put the ingredients and they do the whole work. Flavors are just perfect.

Have a lovely day,

Bon appétit,

Sara

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French Mini Quiches!! [Tomato-Basilic & Carrot-Goat Cheese]

Does anyone loves mini quiches? Being in France for almost 4 years has made me a big Mini quiches sucker.
I just found them super cute and delicious. At home, we eat one at least once every 2 weeks, I like to do them cause the combination of ingredients is infinite. I love all! Carrot, leeks, pepper, tomato basil even the traditional ones make a easy, fast and great meal.

Today I will be sharing with you 2 of my dearest mini quiches recipes.
The carrot-goats cheese and the tomato-basil ones.
I promise you they will become your new favorites.

For the mini quiches you will need:
Makes 6

  • 1 bIg tomato
  • 2-3 Carrots
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Basil leaves
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 1 roll of puff pastry
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon of dried herbs
  • 100gm goats cheese

Preparation

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Peal and slice the carrots. In a small casserole filled with water and a little bit of salt, bring the carrots to a boil or until soft and well cooked.
Slice and place tomatoes on a baking tray cover with parchment paper. Sprinkle the tomatoes with dried herbs, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (just a pinch).
Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until tomatoes have slightly softened and charred.

While the tomatoes in the oven, line 6 mini quiche tins with the rolled puff pastry.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes (optional) I only do this when I have time.
In a small bowl combine eggs with some oregano, salt and pepper.
Now we will assemble the quiches.

For the carrot ones: Place some goats cheese in the bottom, 1 teaspoon of cream seasoned with salt and pepper, cover with carrots , more goat cheese dots a little cream, few carrots for decoration sprinkled with pepper and pour a little of egg mixture.

For the tomato basil ones: Place Goat cheese first, teaspoon of cream seasoned, few slices of roasted tomatoes in the centre of each pastry shell, basil leaves (2 medium), again cheese and cream, tomatoes for decoration and a spoon of egg mixture to almost fill the pastry shell.

When all quiches ready, place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until  set and golden.

Serve warm with a green salad and wine.

Decor the tomato ones with a little fresh basil leave.

If you have people over, this little french quiches will conquer your guests hearts!

Wishing you a lovely day,

Bon appétit,

Sara ❤

So Fresh Salad. Apple, Cucumber, Spinach and wallnuts!

It’s been so hot in Paris lately, mmm maybe not hot, “heavy” or “lourd” as we say in French. I was so not in the mood of cooking or baking something that will take me long, and to cook for myself wasn’t very encouraging either.
As I told you, my husband left to Strasbourg on tuesday, so I’ve being here all by myself trying to not get bored. Good thing he is coming back tonight 🙂 yeii !

So long story short, I decided to do a salad.. but no a regular salad, I wanted something fresh, sweet and crunchy, something to refresh and feel summery.

I checked my fridge and bingo! a cucumber was saying hello, then an apple and the delicious spinach. What else I could ask for? well, I wanted to keep it simple but refine, so grabbed some wallnuts, Modena balsamic vinegar and 100% natural homemade honey from my in laws farm in Cantal. I was singing all excited cause those ingredients got me inspired.

For the So Fresh Salad you will need:
(Portion for 2)

  • Half cucumber (cut in dice)
  • 1 apple (I chose red one for the sweetness)
  • a bunch of walnuts
  • Spinach (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Moden Balsamic Vinegar (or the one of ur preference)
  • Honey
  • salt & pepper
  • olive Oil

Cut in dices the cucumber and the apple. Clean and slice the spinach with your hands. Chop the wallnuts in 4 pieces (be generous).
In a bowl add some olive oil (1 tbsp for me), the tablespoon of Modena balsamic vinegar and the spinach, Mix until well coated. Season with salt and pepper.
I do not add the apples and cucumber to the bowl cause I don’t like when they get soak in vinegar. Add them before to serve so they look fresh and clean.

Serve the spinach in a plate. add some cucumber and apple dice. Add some wallnuts a. With half teaspoon full of honey, season your salad and enjoy!

You can do this in no time. My favorite thing of this salad is the texture, the crunchy nuts and apple are a plus, and the good vinegar and honey makes the salad well refine. Definitely one of my new favorites ❤

Hoping you feel as refresh as me,

Bon appétit!

Love,

Sara

Bresaola and Spinach Eggs en Cocotte!

We all know the difficulties of translating from a language to another. In my particular case I juggle between Spanish (mother tongue), English (2nd tongue) and French (3rd tongue) pfff!

To explain you a little my everyday brain function and understand my casual mistakes, you should know that I think in Spanish, write in English and talk in French. Exhausting right? So how the heck can I translate Oeufs Cocotte?…. I will do my very best so you can understand.

Bea, from La Tartine Gourmande defines the Cocotte in a pretty accurate way, so, “a cocotte is an oval or round casserole with a lid and two hand grips on each side used for stewing or boiling”. Cristal clear right? Now we use ceramic ramekins, small crock pots or even tinny silicon casseroles.

Lets pass to the recipe. I didn’t had much time to make lunch, my husband was leaving to Strasbourg at 3 pm, I was helping him pack when I realize that I haven’t  prepare anything for him. OMG! I ran to the kitchen, checked my fridge and there wasn’t much to cook… I did had some eggs, spinach (he is not a fan), a little of Bresaola and cheese. Voilà that was it.
I went to look online for an easy, fast recipe, and I found it. Eva from ça croustille had the perfect one. I inspired myself from her recipe and changed a few things. Result: Magnifique!

For the Bresaola and Spinach Eggs en Cocotte you will need:
(I did a couple)

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Spinach leaves cut in medium size pieces
  • 4 Slices of Brésaola (Italian dry meat)
  • 4 tbsp of heavy cream
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 tbsp of shredded emmental cheese
  • 1/4 cup of red pepper cut in dice
  • bread sticks

Preheat the oven at 180°C. Butter the ceramic ramekins and sprinkle with salt & pepper, I always do this to avoid a tasteless cocotte buttom.
Cut in 1cm dices the Bresaola slices.
Put to a boil 1 litter of water, while you’re preparing the ramekins.

Add 1 1/2tbsp oh heavy cream in each rameking, cover with some spinach, half of the bresaola, shredded cheese, a little of red pepper. Repeat this procedure twice to have 2 spinach/bresaola layers.
Gently, crack an egg in each ramekin (do your best t not break the egg yolk).
Cover with a litle more of cream, shredded cheese and few pepper dices for decoration.
Season with salt & pepper.

Place the 2 ramekins in a baking pan (those you use o do gratin) filled till the half,with the boiling water. The water must reach half of the ramekins high.
Place the whole in the oven, cook for 12 – 14 minutes.
The egg yolk have to be slightly cooked but still runny.

Serve hot with the bread sticks or toasted bread.

Super easy to make and tasty. My hubby left home happy and well fed.
Hope you all enjoy.
Bon appétit,
Sara

Canneloni… Mamma Mia

From time to time, here at home we have that crazy craving for some italian food. This week we were victims of this craving again, thing that led me to do the delicious Zucchini boats and now the Cannelonis.

Its kind of the same principle but ever simpler I guess. For me it’s confort food, last week was difficult for me and  the only thing I wanted to do was cook rich meals… and italian is my guilty pleasure… Thinking all the time about lasagnas, pizzas, calzones and cannelonis. Probably I’ll get a few pounds more but I’m guilt free. they worth it!

So, I’m sharing with you this simple recipe, that everyone will love:

  • 1 box of pre-cooked canneloni shells
  • 400 gr of Napolitane sauce (or the one you prefer)
  • 400 gr ground meat
  • half onion
  • half red pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 300 ml milk
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 1/2 tsp of Nutmeg
  • Parmesan

Preheat the one at 180°C

Prepare the meat first. Macerate the ground meat with the smashed garlic, salt and pepper and some englsh sauce. let it rest for 20 min to absorb all the aromas.
Cook in a large pan for 5 mins.

Chop is small dices the onion, tomato and pepper. Sauté them in a pan with some olive oil. Cook for a little. When the onion starts to become transparent, remove from fire.

Mix the ground meat with the sautés vegetables. Cook until the meat is well cooked but not dry. Try to conserve some juice.

Mix the  Napolitan sauce with he ground meat, and cook in medium fire for at least 15 min. Stir from time to time. When the sauce has thickened, remove from fire and set aside.

For the Bechemel: Pour the milk in a medium sauce pan on medium-low fire, add one tbsp of flour first and stir gently with a wooden spoon. When lump free, add the second spoon of flour and keep stirring . Add some salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
When the bechamel starts to be thick (not too runny), remove from fire.

Assembly:

Fill up the canneloni shells with the ground meat and place them (one next to the other) in a grill oven plate. Cover the cannelonis with the bechemel sauce and some parmesan. Place in the oven for 25-30 min.

Serve hot and enjoy.

Love,

Sara