Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Baked Feta in Tomato Sauce and a Simple Green Salad

Lee was out of town last night, so I was on my own for dinner and I was craving Italian food. I had some leftover Publix 5-grain Italian bread, plenty of tomato sauce (I buy it in bulk from Costco)and then I went back to Publix to pick up some fresh basil, feta cheese (pasteurized since I'm pregnant), spring salad mix, and some other goodies.

This was a really quick and yummy dinner to throw together.

Baked Feta in Tomato Sauce

Prepared tomato sauce (I used a little over half a 14 oz can)
Fresh basil, torn into small pieces (2-3 large leaves or equivalent in small leaves)
Red pepper flakes, 1/4-1 tsp depending on how hot you like it
Minced garlic, about 1/2 tsp
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Small chunks of feta cheese, 1/4-1/2 cup
Extra-virgin olive oil, a tsp or so

Crusty bread for dipping

Preheat oven to between 375 to 400 degrees F or use a toaster oven like I did (no preheating required).

Place the first five ingredients in an oven-proof casserole dish (mine was about 3 1/2 to 4 inches wide) and stir. Place feta cheese on top of tomato sauce and drizzle with olive oil. Heat in the oven for 15 or 20 minutes. Stir and enjoy with pieces of crusty bread (I like to toast my bread for a few minutes on each side first).

This is one of my favorite ways to dress spring salad greens. The vinaigrette recipe below is appoximately what I made last night and was enough to dress 2-4 salads. You don't need much...just enough to lightly coat your greens.

Simple Green Salad

Juice of one large lemon
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, about 2 tsp
Spring salad mix
Freshly shaved parmesan cheese

Combine the first three ingredients in a small bowl (I usually mix my dressings in my 2-cup glass Pyrex measuring cup). While you whisk the first three ingredients, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. This is your vinagrette.

Top your spring salad mix with the vinaigrette, capers, and some freshly shaved parmesan cheese. Simple but delicious.

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