Appetito Foods – Olive Oils & Balsamic Vinegars

Appetito Foods – Olive Oils & Balsamic Vinegars

Appetito Foods is a local importer of olive oils and balsamic vinegars based in Providence, RI. Chef Joseph, Appetito Foods’ chief executive chef, travels to Europe in search of the world’s finest healthy foods for the company’s product line.

Appetito Foods is a local importer of olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

Appetito Foods is a local importer of olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

O2 is a premium organic extra virgin olive oil from the Naupaktia region of central Greece. It is a medium fruity olive oil whose aroma becomes clearer and more distinct as time passes.

O2 is a premium organic extra virgin olive oil from the Naupaktia region of central Greece.

O2 is a premium organic extra virgin olive oil from the Naupaktia region of central Greece.

Appetito makes their aged balsamic vinegars with traditional artisan techniques used for centuries in Modena, Italy. The grapes are pressed and reduced into syrup. It is then aged for 12 years in wooden barrels, rotating every two years to a new barrel made of a different wood. The balsamic vinegar comes in four gourmet flavors: Tradizionale and three infused fruit flavors – fig; pear; and cinnamon and pomegranate.

Appetito makes their aged balsamic vinegars with traditional artisan techniques used for centuries in Modena, Italy.

Appetito makes their aged balsamic vinegars with traditional artisan techniques used for centuries in Modena, Italy.

I received a sampling of the O2 olive oil and a bottle of Appetito’s Tradizionale aged balsamic vinegar. In addition to using the two as a dressing for various salads, I also used them in roasting cauliflower steaks.

Roasting cauliflower steaks with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese.

Roasting cauliflower steaks with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese.

After slicing the cauliflower into steaks, I drizzled it with olive oil and balsamic. Then, I sprinkled on some Parmesan cheese. Roast it in a 400-degree oven for 60 minutes (30 minutes covered with foil and the remaining 30 without). You know the steaks are cooked when they are fork tender.

The cauliflower steaks tasted amazing and made for a perfect side dish or you can use them on top of pasta.

The cauliflower steaks tasted amazing and made for a perfect side dish or you can use them on top of pasta.

I just love the caramelization created from the sugary balsamic vinegar. The steaks tasted amazing and made for a perfect side dish or you can use them on top of pasta.

Right now, Appetito Foods products are offered mostly in specialty food retail stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. You can purchase them online through their website.

 

Have you ever tried artisan olive oils or vinegars?

What’s your favorite flavor of balsamic vinegar?

 

Disclaimer:  While I was provided with a complimentary sample of Appetito Foods products, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Feta

Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Feta

Each week as part of my CSA farm share, I come home with a sack full of “fresh from the farm” vegetables. Part of the fun in having the CSA is figuring out what to do with your weekly harvest. One of the easiest side dishes you can create with them is a medley of roasted vegetables. This method of cooking them in a very hot oven gives them a caramelized exterior, which brings out the sweetness of the vegetables, while keeping the inside moist and tender. This roasted eggplant and tomato with feta recipe can be a perfect side dish, or you can serve it as a vegetarian entrée on top of a bed of couscous, quinoa or orzo pasta.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Feta

Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Feta

 

Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Feta

1 large eggplant cut into 1” cubes

4 large plum tomatoes, cored and cut each into 8 equal-sized chunks

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

2 tbsp. dried parsley

2 tbsp. dried basil

1/3 c crumbled feta cheese (fat-free is okay to use)

Salt & black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place all ingredients except the feta cheese in a bowl and toss together.

Place all ingredients except the feta cheese in a bowl and toss together.

Place all ingredients except the feta cheese in a bowl and toss together.

Roast on parchment-lined baking sheet for 40 minutes.

Roast on parchment-lined baking sheet for 40 minutes.

Roast on parchment-lined baking sheet for 40 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with feta cheese. Serve warm. Yields 4-6 servings.

This recipe can be a perfect side dish, or you can serve it as a vegetarian entrée.

This recipe can be a perfect side dish, or you can serve it as a vegetarian entrée.

 

What’s your favorite summer “fresh from the farm” vegetable?

Have you tried roasting vegetables?

Santa Barbara Popcorn Company

Santa Barbara Popcorn Company

The gourmet popcorn business has been rapidly expanding partly because of the convenience snack factor and also due to the growth in varieties available. Whether your preference is for sweet or savory, traditional or non, there is probably a popcorn flavor for you.

Santa Barbara Popcorn began over a decade ago while Christopher Pollastrini was in college. Over the years, the now high school teacher has continued experimenting with original recipes and vetted them with family and friends. The popcorn is 90 to 100 percent organic, GMO- and gluten-free, vegan, whole grain and California grown. It also does not contain any artificial ingredients or trans fat.

Santa Barbara Popcorn Company

Santa Barbara Popcorn Company

Santa Barbara popcorn is hand made in small batches. They source their ingredients as close to home as possible. In fact, Pollastrini gets his kernels from a family-run organic corn farm in California. The popcorn comes in five main flavors: maple and brown sugar, honey Dijon, balsamic vinegar and Italian herb, jalapeno jack, and sea salt and olive oil. In the sampling I received, I also was provided with the cocoa and coffee, and cracked black pepper flavors.

Friends and family all enjoyed the tasty snack.

Friends and family all enjoyed the tasty snack.

I received an ample sized sampling of Santa Barbara popcorn in both the larger and smaller-sized bags.

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Santa Barbara popcorn comes in both the larger and smaller-sized bags.

Santa Barbara popcorn comes in both the larger and smaller-sized bags.

I had many try the flavors, bringing it to several venues, as well as lots of snacking here at home. Friends and family all enjoyed the tasty snack. Personally, I liked the non-sweet flavors, especially the sea salt and olive oil best.

Right now, Santa Barbara Popcorn is only sold in specialty stores in California.  You can purchase them online through their website.

Right now, Santa Barbara Popcorn is only sold in specialty stores in California. You can purchase them online through their website.

Right now, Santa Barbara Popcorn is only sold in specialty stores in California. You can purchase them online through their website.

 

Have you ever tried Santa Barbara Popcorn?

What’s your favorite popcorn flavor?

 

 

Disclaimer:  While I was provided with a complimentary sample of Santa Barbara Popcorn, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience.

Quick “Cowboy” Chicken Chili

Quick “Cowboy” Chicken Chili

Comfort foods can be perfect for the warmer summer months if you can find less time consuming versions that use a few “convenience foods” that save time but don’t sacrifice flavor (e.g., canned beans and tomatoes). This quick cowboy chicken chili recipe does just that. It can be a perfect entrée over rice, or it can be a great hamburger or hotdog topper.

Quick “Cowboy” Chicken Chili over brown rice

Quick “Cowboy” Chicken Chili over brown rice

Quick Cowboy Chicken Chili

1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 lb. ground chicken

1, 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies, with liquid

1, 14.5 oz. can petite-diced tomatoes with liquid

6 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1-cup reduced-sodium canned beef broth

2 cans pinto or kidney beans (low-sodium), rinsed and drained

2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley

Salt & black pepper to taste

Add the olive oil to a medium-sized stockpot at medium heat. Once warm, add the onion and cook until soft. Add ground chicken and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon or potato masher until no longer pink. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, broth, garlic, parsley and black pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add the beans and salt. Cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Top with your favorite – shredded cheddar cheese, sliced onions, or sour cream. This chili is a mild version. Feel free to spice it up to your taste by adding red pepper flakes or hot sauce. Yields 4-6 servings.

Top the chili with your favorite – shredded cheddar cheese, sliced onions, or sour cream.

Top the chili with your favorite – shredded cheddar cheese, sliced onions, or sour cream.

 

 

What’s your favorite summer comfort food?

Do you like your chili spicy or mild?