Magazine article Working Mother

Now That's Italian

Magazine article Working Mother

Now That's Italian

Article excerpt

Warm spinach salad with bacon vinaigrette

Serves 4 * Prep Time 5 to 7 minutes * Cook Time 5 minutes

Spinach is one of the first signs of spring, so what better compromise than to serve it warmed a bit to take the edge off any residual winter chill?

¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 thick-cut bacon slices, cut into ½-inch strips

1 medium shallot, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

pinch of sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

5 ounces baby spinach, rinsed and patted dry

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1in a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add bacon strips and cook until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. take the skillet off the heat and transfer bacon to a bowl; set aside. to the skillet, add shallot, vinegar, sugar, mustard and the remaining oil and whisk until blended. transfer the dressing to a large salad bowl.

2 Add spinach to the salad bowl and toss with the warm dressing (the salad will slightly wilt). Divide among 4 dishes, season with salt and pepper, and top with the reserved bacon strips. Serve immediately.

Cookbook of the Month

Julia della Croce serves pasta along with succulent baked chicken to soak up the intensely flavored pan juices. This is just one reason we love this new cookbook. As students who have taken her classes around the world know, Italian food is seasonal cooking at its best. Excerpted from Italian Home Cooking, by Julia della Croce. Recipes reprinted with permission by Kyle Books. Copyright © 2010.

farro salad with tomatoes, mozzarella and herbs

Serves 4 * Prep Time 10 minutes * Cook Time 20 minutes

Farro, a rice-like grain from italy, has a hearty bite and nutty flavor. As the weather gets warmer, this dish makes a lovely main course salad for dinner.

1 cup farro

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, drained and diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup chopped fresh basil, flat-leaf parsley and chives

1 in a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil; add farro. reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until farro is tender, about 20 minutes. remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes, then drain.

2 meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper to make the dressing.

3 in a serving dish, toss together farro, cheese, tomatoes, herbs and dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

oven-fried tilapia with fennel Crust

Serves 4 to 6 * Prep Time 15 minutes * Cook Time 10 minutes

A crunchy coating with grown-up yet kid-friendly flavors makes these healthy fish nuggets a win-win for the whole family.

1¼ cups panko or coarsely textured breadcrumbs, lightly toasted

1 teaspoon ground fennel seed

½ teaspoon crushed dried thyme

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 tilapia fillets (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces

4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2 in a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, herbs and oil. in a deep bowl, toss fish and mustard to coat well. Dredge fish pieces in the breadcrumb mixture and transfer to prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch or so between pieces.

3 Bake until cooked through but moist and tender, about 10 minutes.

note: try this dish alongside the Zucchini Fritters (opposite page) for a fresh twist on fish and chips. …

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