Another one of my “go-to” meals are stuffed meatballs – spicy Italian sausage meatballs, sweet Italian sausage meatballs or chicken meatballs topped with an easy pesto-tomato sauce. Several years ago, I was introduced to this easy-to-make sauce while watching a cooking show on the Food Network and it’s still a staple in many of my dishes today. Last night I didn’t have sausage in the refrigerator however I had ground turkey, fresh herbs, cheese and bread crumbs – voilà!
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Extra parsley for garnish
1 tub bite size fresh Mozzarella balls
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except the oil and Mozzarella balls, in a bowl. To form each ball, take a handful of the mixture and wrap it around a piece of mozzarella. Drizzle olive oil over the meatballs and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and are evenly browned. Top meatballs with homemade pesto-tomato sauce and garnish with extra parsley.
1 tub good quality fresh pesto (or homemade pesto)
1 can quartered or halves tomatoes
Salt & pepper, to taste
Add the tomatoes to a saucepan over medium heat and mash with a potato masher. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for about 8 – 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in a 1/2 cup of pesto. Serve over meatballs with your favorite red wine. Some excellent wine choices would be a Super Tuscan, Sangiovese, Rioja or even a Merlot.
Over the weekend I spent some time working in the garden with my pops – weeding, picking oranges, checking sugar levels on the wine grapes and harvesting a large batch of heirloom tomatoes.
I absolutely LOVE heirlooms due to their refreshing and sweet flavor and unique colors and shapes. Now what to do with this batch of colorful beauties? Recently I experience a delicious dish from French Blue in St. Helena, California which inspired tonight’s appetizer. They offer this irresistible house made farmers cheese over grilled bread topped with strawberries and tomatoes. It’s to die for. So, that is the inspiration to this Heirloom, Peach and Fresh Mozzarella crostini. Sweet and savory, this is the perfect summertime appetizer.
3 – 4 small / medium heirloom tomatoes (or 1 large one), sliced
1 large peach, thinly sliced
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Baguette of your choice (I used Casa LaBelle Rustic Baguette)
Salt & Pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice baguette into 1/2 inch slices and coat with olive oil. Season lightly with salt & pepper and bake them for about 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove crostini’s from the oven and layer with a peach slice, tomato and mozzarella. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Casa LaBelle Bread – Casa LaBelle is a small bakery located in the tiny resort town of Monte Rio in Sonoma County.
Peach, Mozzarella and Sweet Basil – Mike’s Truck Garden (one of my favorite local produce stands)
Heirloom Tomatoes – homegrown and straight from the garden.