Italian Potato Salad

When I was growing up my mother would make Italian Potato Salad during the summer months. This potato salad is lighter and healthier than traditional potato salad with mayonnaise, and you don’t have to worry about the mayo going bad in the heat.

This dish reminds me of July 4th celebrations during my childhood. I grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. The town was built around a steel mill that extended the length of the town, which is about 1 1/2 miles long. We lived on the Main Street of town, and on July 4th the parade was held there. People came from all over Beaver Valley and even from parts of Ohio to watch the parade. Everyone lined up along the Main Street to watch as the floats and marching bands went by, and the children waited anxiously to grab the candy and treats that were thrown into the crowd by the fire trucks.

Our prime location for the parade route turned our house into the place to be. Family and friends came from all over to celebrate the holiday with us. Mom put on a big spread and the celebration lasted from morning until after the fireworks that night. It was a special day.

Make your celebration special, and try this recipe.

Ingredients:
28 – oz. baby red potatoes
1 – cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
1/3 – cup diced red onion
1 – cup grape tomatoes
1 – tsp. chopped fresh lemon thyme
1 – tsp. salt
1/2 – tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 – cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 – cup red wine vinegar
4 – fresh basil leaves
1/2 – tsp. dried oregano
1/2 – tsp. garlic powder

Directions:
Clean the potatoes in cold water. Bring a pot of water to a boil then add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the potatoes and boil them whole for about 10 minutes until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and let cool until you can handle them.

Dice the onion, slice the tomatoes in half, and cut the pepper into thin slices. Add the vegetables to a large bowl.

 

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, salt, black pepper, oregano, and thyme.

Now slice the potatoes in half or in quarters if they are a little bigger.  Add the potatoes to the bowl with the vegetables. Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and mix well.  Roughly chop the basil leaves and toss in to the potato salad.

Let stand about one hour before serving.
For the best flavor serve at room temperature.

Buon appetito!




Frittata with Bell Peppers and Onion

Frittata con peperoni e cipolle

Frittata is basically an Italian omelette. It can be made on the stove top or in the oven. The frittata makes a great main dish or can also be used as an appetizer. There are countless combinations of vegetables, meats, and cheeses that can be used to make the frittata flavorful, such as asparagus, spinach, mozzarella cheese, sausage, bacon, and many other options.  It also makes a good vegetarian option.

Today I am making the frittata on the stove top with bell peppers and onion, the way my mother did.  She used to make this meatless meal for us on Friday’s during Lent. Serve it with a salad and some crusty Italian bread and you have a delicious meal. I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients:
1/2 – red bell pepper
1/2 – orange bell pepper
1/2 – medium onion
6 – whole extra-large eggs
1/4 – tsp. salt
1/8 – tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 – cup parmigiano cheese
1 – tbls. olive oil

Directions:
Slice the red and orange peppers lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices and set aside. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Place the flat side down and make thin lengthwise slices of one-half of the onion.

Add one tablespoon olive oil to a well-seasoned 8″ iron skillet (or a non-stick skillet) and heat oil on a medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add the peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Now add the onion, stir and continue to sauté the onion and peppers until they start to brown about another 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and stir occasionally.

In a large bowl, add 6 eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Whisk the eggs thoroughly, then pour them over the peppers and onions. Make sure the egg is evenly distributed in the pan.

Sprinkle evenly, the grated parmigiano cheese over the top of the egg mixture.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Let cook about 8-10 minutes.

Run a knife or spatula around the edges of the skillet to loosen the frittata from the sides. Place the skillet lid upside down on the counter. Pick up the skillet, and with the help of the spatula, lift the frittata out and slide it onto the lid. Be very careful with the hot skillet.

Using an oven mitt, pick up the lid by the handle underneath. Now take the skillet by the handle (be sure to use an oven mitt) and turn it upside down on top of the lid.

Flip it over to return the frittata to the skillet. Return the skillet to the flame and cook about 2 minutes more.

Remove the frittata onto a round platter. It should slide out of the pan with ease. You can use the spatula to help guide it.

Serves 4 people.

Buon Appetito!