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Braised Sweet Peppers
Bruschetta with Melanzane al Fungho
Beef Carpaccio

Broccoli Rabe Crostini

My Bruschetta


Devils on Horseback
Duck Spring Rolls

Gambas a la Plancha
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Grilled Sweet Peppers

Mascarpone Puff Pastry Delight
Mozzarella al forno con olive
Mushroom and Chinese Cabbage Spring Rolls

Pizza with Phyllo and Broccoli Pesto
Prosciutto with Melon

Prosciutto Rolls With Arugula And Figs

Salmone Affumicato con Ricotta
Sausage Stuffed Radicchio Cups

Seafood Antipasto alla Venezia

Shrimp with Garlic
Smoked Carpaccio

Smoked Salmon with Ricotta

Vietnamese Summer Rolls


Bruschetta with Melanzane al Fungho

6 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 medium eggplant, long, thin, halved lengthwise and cut 1/4-inch half moons
Salt and pepper
2 bunches Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/2 cup
8 slices peasant bread
Preheat grill or barbecue

In a 10-inch to 12-inch sauté pan, heat oil until smoking. Add onions and cook until lightly browned or softened. 
Add garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add eggplant and cook, stirring regularly until golden brown and soft, 
resembling mushrooms. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper and allow to cool. Add parsley and mix well.

Grill bread on grill or barbecue. Divide eggplant mixture over bread and serve.

Yield: 4 servings


Mixed Mushroom and Chinese Cabbage Spring Rolls

1/4 pound regular mushrooms
1/4 pound Shiitake mushrooms
1/4 pound Portobello mushrooms
1/4 pound Oyster mushrooms
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
8 large Napa cabbage leaves

Clean and slice all mushrooms into 1/2-inch pieces.
Sauté the mushrooms in a large sauté pan in the sesame oil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Add shallots, garlic, parsley and ginger. Cook for another 6 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill.
Blanch the cabbage leaves in 1 quart of boiling water and immediately chill in ice water.
Dry the cabbage leaves on paper towels.
Place 1/8 of the mushroom mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf, fold the side of the leaf and roll.
Serve with light soy sauce for dipping.

Yield: 4 servings


2 medium-large eggplants (about 3 pounds) 
Coarse salt 
1 cup olive oil plus more, if needed 
1 large onion, sliced (1/4 moon) 
6 ribs celery, cut into 1/2 inch lengths, blanched for 1 minute 
1 cup Sicilian green olives, pitted and sliced 
1/2 cup capers, rinsed and drained 
1 cup fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (can substitute canned plum tomatoes, drained 
3 tablespoons tomato paste, imported if possible, diluted with a little water 
1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
2-3 tablespoons sugar or to taste 
3 tablespoons dark raisins, optional 
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted 

Peel the eggplants and cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Sprinkle with coarse salt and drain in a colander, weighted, for one hour. Rinse well, and dry in a kitchen towel. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large sauté pan and fry the eggplant in batches until golden on all sides, adding more oil if necessary. Drain on paper towels. 

Sauté the onion in a 1/2 cup olive oil, stirring to coat, cover and cook until just tender but not brown. Remove cover, add the blanched celery, and cook a minute longer. Add the olives, capers, tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar and the optional raisins. 

Stir in the eggplant and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Cool and refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature, sprinkled with the toasted, slivered almonds. 

Yield: 6-8 servings 

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms -Italian Style

4 large Portobello mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
I tablespoon Balsamic vinegar 
2 large garlic cloves, crushed and minced to a paste 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as thyme leaves, chives. tarragon or basil, or a combination 

Arrange mushrooms in a shallow glass dish. 

In a bowl whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. 
Add the oil, a little at a time, whisking until combined well. Stir in the herbs. Pour dressing over mushrooms, turning to coat, and marinate for 15 minutes. 

Heat grill pan until hot. Add mushrooms and grill for 3 minutes on each side, basting with marinade, or until just firm.

Yield: 4 servings

Mascarpone Puff Pastry Delight

2 (4-inch) diameter puff pastry shells (available at most groceries) 
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese 
2 ounces pancetta, browned and rendered of excess fat 
2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts 
1 tablespoons fresh chopped chives 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 cup asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces (or fiddlehead ferns, cleaned) blanched and cooled 
1 tablespoon chopped shallots 
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes 
1/2 cup chicken stock 
Salt and pepper 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake pastry shells for 4 minutes. 
Combine the mascarpone, pancetta, hazelnuts, and chives. Season with salt 
and pepper, and fill the two puff pastry shells with the mixture. 
Place on a sheet tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. 
Meanwhile, heat a medium sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter, 
add the asparagus and shallots. Cook for 2 minutes. 
Add the tomatoes, and stock, boil and reduce for 2 minutes. 
Stir in the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. 
Ladle this mixture onto your plates. 
Remove that lovely thing from the oven and place atop the vegetable ragout. 

Yield: 2 appetizer portions 

Salmone Affumicato con Ricotta

1/2 pound / 250 g sliced fresh smoked salmon - 8 slices large enough to roll
1/2 pound / 250 g fresh Ricotta cheese
juice of 1/4 orange
1/2 Tbsp. / 8mL Dijon mustard
1/4 cup / 75mL chopped fresh chives
salt and white pepper to taste
4 whole leaves of butter or Boston lettuce
16 thinly sliced red onion rings
2 1/2 Tbsp. / 25mL drained capers
2 1/2 Tbsp. / 25mL extra virgin olive oil
8 thin wedges of lemon


Lay each slice of smoked salmon on a large sheet of waxed paper and set aside. Mix Ricotta cheese, orange juice, mustard and chives together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon Ricotta cheese mixture on top of each slice of smoked salmon to fill the slice cross wise, then roll each slice.


For 4 individual plates; Put 1 whole leaf of lettuce on middle of plate and lay 2 rolls of smoked salmon, side by side, seam down, across each leaf of lettuce. Garnish each roll of smoked salmon with 2 red onion rings and 1 Tsp. / 5mL capers. Drizzle rolls with olive oil. Garnish with lemon wedges - one wedge per roll.

For platter service; on a large serving platter lay few leaves of lettuce to one side of platter and add all smoked salmon rolls on top. Garnish each roll of smoked salmon with 2 red onion rings and 1 Tsp. / 5mL capers. Drizzle rolls with olive oil. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Prosciutto with Melon

1 honeydew melon or cantaloupe, sliced lengthwise in eight
4-6 oz. / 100-170 g. prosciutto, sliced paper thin
fresh ground black pepper to taste


Slice melon or cantaloupe 1/2 to 1 inch / 1 to 2.5 cm. thick from each end between melon and rind. Lay 2 slices of prosciutto over each piece of melon or cantaloupe. Grind pepper to taste over prosciutto slices.


For 4 individual plates; use small salad plates and add 2 pieces of melon or cantaloupe with prosciutto to each plate.

For platter service; on a large serving platter add prosciutto and melon along side smoked salmon rolls.

Braised Sweet Peppers

2 Tbsp. / 30 mL olive oil
2 medium red pepper, quartered
2 medium green pepper, quartered
2 small onion, diced large
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 clove garlic, finely chopped
2/3 cup / 175mL tomato sauce (See Index)
1/2 cup / 125 mL coarsely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C. In a medium - sized skillet, sauté the peppers and onion in the oil over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the peppers and onions to an oven - proof casserole dish and sprinkle with the garlic. Pour the tomato sauce over and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Place the casserole dish, uncovered, in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.


For 4 individual plates; use as a vegetable side dish alongside main course.
For platter service; on a large serving platter add alongside smoked salmon and prosciutto. For platter service the Peperonata can be served hot or cold.

Grilled Sweet Peppers

6-8  red, yellow or orange peppers, whole
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 clove garlic, through press
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place peppers on hot grill and cover.  Turn periodically until the peppers are
black.  Remove and place in a closed container or paper bag for about 15 minutes.
Remove, halve, and clean the insides out.  Peel off the skin and slice the peppers into
strips.  Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Mozzarella al Forno con Olive

1 lb. / 500 g fresh mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. / 30 mL chopped fresh basil
Approximately 5 Tbsp. / 75 mL extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 pieces of French bread sliced about 1/3 inch / 9 mm thick
4 Tbsp. / 60 mL black olive paste
1/4 cup / 50 mL Tomato Concasse 
4 fresh basil leaves


Preheat the oven to 400`F / 200`C. Cut the mozzarella into 1/3 inch / 9mm slices and arrange on a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle the basil over the cheese slices and drizzle with 2-3 Tbsp. / 30-45 mL of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Brush the bread slices with the remaining 2-3 Tbsp. / 30-45 mL of olive oil, arrange on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the toasted bread from the oven and allow to cool. Spread each slice of toast with 1 Tbsp. / 15mL of olive paste and place a slice of mozzarella on each. Return toast to the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until cheese starts to melt.

Serve on hot plate, garnish with tomato concasse and basil leaves.

Tomato Concasse

2 medium-sized tomatoes
3 Tbsp. / 45mL extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. / 15 mL balsamic vinegar


Core the tomatoes. Make a small X on the the bottom with a sharp knife. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, then immediately immerse in ice water. Peel the tomatoes, cut in half and carefully squeeze each half over a bowl to remove seeds and juice (leave the tomato pulp intact as much as possible). Cut the tomatoes into 1/4 inch / 5mm cubes. Whisk the olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl, add the tomato cubes and toss. 
Makes approximately 1 cup / 250 ml.

Duck "Spring Rolls" with Sesame Dipping Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Studio Cafe, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2 pounds confit of duck leg* (about 4 legs) 
1 large carrot 
2 ribs bok choy with leaves 
2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 1/4 head) 
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage 
1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts 
6 tablespoons hoisin sauce 
Eight 9 to 10-inch flour tortillas 
Olive oil for brushing rolls 

For sesame dipping sauce:

3/4 cup mayonnaise 
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil 
3 tablespoons soy sauce 
1/3 cup honey 

Garnish if desired:

Julienne strips of red bell pepper and scallions, or a few salad greens 

*available at some butcher shops and by mail order from D'Artagnan, tel. (800) 327-8246 or (201) 792-0748 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a shallow baking pan. 

Shred duck meat, discarding skin and bones, and transfer to a large bowl. Peel carrot and cut into fine julienne strips. Thinly slice bok choy. Add carrot, bok choy, cabbages, sprouts, hoisin sauce and salt and pepper to taste to duck and toss to combine. 

Top each tortilla with 3/4 to 1 cup duck mixture and roll tightly, folding in ends. Arrange rolls, seam sides down, 2-inches apart in pan and brush with oil. Bake rolls in top third of oven until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Make sauce: In a small bowl whisk together sauce ingredients until smooth. 
Cut rolls in half crosswise and arrange 2 halves on each of 8 plates, standing rolls up on cut sides. Garnish rolls with vegetables or greens and serve with dipping sauce. 

Yield: 8 first course servings 

Sausage-Stuffed Radicchio Cups

1 head radicchio 
1/2 cup, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar 
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
2 ounces diced Pancetta 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1/4 cup minced shallots 
1/2 cup diced red pepper 
1 teaspoon minced garlic 
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped 
Salt and pepper 
6 ounces Italian hot sausage, casings removed 
Chopped scallions, for garnish 
Gently pull leaves from radicchio head to form 6 cups. Rinse and gently pat dry. 
Chill while you prepare filling. 

In a small saucepan reduce 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar in half. Stir in brown sugar and continue to cook just until sugar melts. Set aside. 

In a sauté pan brown Pancetta in olive oil. Add red pepper and shallots and cook until wilted. Add garlic, sage, salt and pepper. Add sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon until crumbly and browned. Add remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and deglaze pan, scraping bottom to incorporate any browned bits. 

Lightly brush inside of radicchio cups with sweetened balsamic glaze. Divide filling among them and garnish tops with scallions. Serve immediately. 

Yield: 6 Servings 

Smoked Carpaccio with Grilled Potato, 
and Watercress

16 ounces center cut fillet 
16 red bliss potato, cut in half 
2 pounds pencil thin asparagus 
4 bunches watercress 
2 ounces butter, at room temperature 
Dry Rub #10 
2 ounces Dijon mustard 

Rub the fillet with dry rub, reserve the remaining rub. Rub the potatoes with the butter and season with the reserved dry rub. Rub the asparagus with the butter. 

Heat the grill to 375 degrees and cook potatoes for 15 minutes. Place water tray inside and add soaked wood chips, allow to smoke. Add beef and cook for 25 minutes. Add asparagus and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove meat and vegetables. Slice meat and serve on top of watercress and serve with vegetables and mustard. 


1/2 cup dried, crushed, New Mexican chilis 
1/2 cup dried Anchos, ground 
3 tablespoons salt 
1 tablespoon fresh thyme 
1 tablespoon dry mustard 

Combine all the ingredients and reserve. 

Seafood Antipasto alla Venezia

6 medium shrimp, cleaned and peeled 
6 small mussels, bearded and scrubbed 
6 large clams, bearded and scrubbed 
6 small razor clams, bearded and scrubbed 
6 large mussels, bearded and scrubbed 
6 small calamari, cleaned and gutted 
1 small (1 pound) lobster 
1 pound crab meat 
1 cup extra virgin olive oil 
Juice and zest of 4 lemons 
1 tablespoon hot chili flakes 
2 bunches Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/2 cup 

Bring 6 quarts water to boil and set up ice bath. 

Cook shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes and plunge into ice bath. Cook calamari 1 minute and do the same. Cook lobster for 8 minutes and then cool in ice bath. 

In a large sauté pan, place mussels and clams with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and steam, removing each shellfish as it opens until they are all done. Discard those shellfish which do not open. Keeping each open shellfish separate, dress each individually with 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, a touch of lemon juice, a pinch of chilies and 1 to 2 tablespoons parsley. Do the same with the crab meat. Arrange all the seafood on a big platter. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve. 

Yield: 4 servings 

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Shrimp and Ground Pork

1/2 pound fatty ground pork 
2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced 
1 thin scallion, finely minced 
3 1/2 tablespoons nuoc mam (plus extra for sprinkling) 
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar 
1 egg, beaten 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
8 medium shrimp, about 1/4 pound 
8 square sheets of banh trang, 8 1/2 inches per side* 
1 cup shredded lettuce 
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts 
1/2 large carrot, shredded 
4 teaspoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts 
One large bunch fresh mint 
One large bunch fresh cilantro 

In a bowl, mix the pork with the garlic, scallion, 1 1/2 tablespoons of nuac mam, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, egg, and cornstarch. Leave in refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the charcoal fire (or heat indoor grill). 

When grill is heated, shape the pork mixture into 6 balls. Lightly oil a steamer tray and steam balls for 5 minutes. Transfer partially cooked balls to a hot grill fire. Cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally, so all sides of the pork balls get golden brown. Remove pork balls from fire, cut them in half, and return them to fire, cut side down. Grill for 5 minutes. Remove pork and, when cool enough to handle, cut in shreds roughly 1 1/2 inches long and 1/4-inch thick. Reserve. 

Bring a few quarts of salted water to a boil. Plunge the shrimp into the boiling water then turn the heat off. Remove shrimp from water when just cooked (about 2 to 3 minutes). In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons fish sauce and remaining tablespoon of sugar. When shrimp are cool enough to handle, peel and slice them in half the long way (cutting the shrimp into 2 thin, C-shaped pieces). Reserve shrimp and fish sauce mixture. 

Dip one sheet of banh trang into a basin of warm water, keep it submerged for 2 to 3 seconds, then remove it immediately from the water. Try to dip all of it into the water simultaneously, and handle it carefully so it doesn't tear. Place the sheet on a dry towel. 

About 1-inch above the lower edge of the sheet, spread out 1/8 cup of shredded lettuce. Leave a 1 1/2-inch gap between the left edge of the sheet and the lettuce, and a 1 1/2-inch gap between the right edge of the sheet and the lettuce. Define a rectangle with the lettuce that's about 5 
inches wide and 3 inches in the other direction (towards the center of the sheet). Now evenly top the lettuce rectangle with 1/8 of the bean sprouts, 1/8 of the carrots and 1/8 of the peanuts. Evenly distribute 1/8 of the pork over the rectangle. Tear 5 to 6 mint leaves and an equal amount of cilantro, and distribute over the rectangle. Top everything with a few sprinkles of nuoc mam. 
Carefully pick up the right edge of the sheet, and fold it leftward toward the center of the filling. Make sure the folded sheet is even and uncreased everywhere. Do the same with the left edge of the sheet. The rectangle of the filling should now be covered by the folded sheet. Pick up the bottom edge of the sheet, and start rolling away from you, towards the top edge, making sure to tuck the filling in tightly as you roll. When you have rolled about halfway to the top of the sheet, dip the shrimp halves in reserved fish sauce/sugar mix. Place 2 shrimp halves along the cylinder that you have half-rolled, and keep on rolling until a fully rolled cylinder is formed. Place under a wet towel. 

Repeat process 7 more times. Serve immediately, or cover rolls with wet towels and save at room temperature for several hours. Serve with Vietnamese peanut sauce. 

*Banh trang, or Vietnamese spring roll wrappers, come in both round and square shapes. The square is easier to work with when making summer rolls. The product I use is manufactured in Singapore, and called K&M; each sheet measures 8 1/2 inches per side. 


4 tablespoons Lee Kum Kee Chili Garlic Sauce 
4 tablespoons water 
4 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts 
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce 

Mix ingredients together. Let stand 1 hour. 

My Bruschetta

12 slices of Italian or French style bread 
Lots of garlic, through a press
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
1 very ripe tomato chopped fine
Basil, Mint, and any other herbs you like minced
Red Onion, minced 
Salt and pepper 
Grated Parmesan

Rub the bread with the whole clove of garlic to lightly flavor the bread. 
Brush the bread with olive oil and place in the oven or on the grill. 

Mix the tomato, onion, herbs, oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cover each piece of
bread with the mixture. Top with parm and serve

Yield: 4 to 6 tasting portions

Gambas a la Plancha 
(Shrimp with Garlic)

12 shrimp (U15 size)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges 

Peel and devein shrimp and discard shells. Heat oil over high heat in a 12inch to 14inch sauté pan. Add garlic and cook until, light golden brown. Add shrimp and, tossing quickly, sauté until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add parsley, toss to coat, season aggressively with salt and pepper and serve immediately. 

Yield: 4 as Tapas 

Devils on Horseback

Chicken livers, trimmed 
Cayenne pepper 
Prunes, stoned 
Rashers of streaky bacon, cut in half 

Gently saute the livers in butter, then cut into thin slices and dust lightly with cayenne pepper. Stuff the prunes with chicken livers. Stretch the bacon pieces with a flat knife. Wrap a piece around each prune and secure with a wooden cocktail stick. Grill until the bacon is crisp. 

Phyllo Pastry Pizza with Broccoli Pesto,
Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

7 sheets phyllo pastry 
Olive oil cooking spray 
4 teaspoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided 
1 tablespoon Broccoli Pesto, recipe follows 
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped 
6 imported black olives, chopped 
4 large basil leaves cut chiffonade 
2 ounces goat cheese, frozen (for easy grating) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Cut the 7 sheets of phyllo into large circles using the pizza screen as a guide. You can cut all the sheets at the same time. Spray the screen with olive oil cooking spray. Place the first sheet of phyllo onto the screen, spray again lightly, and sprinkle on approximately 1/2 teaspoon of the Parmesan cheese. Place the second sheet on top and repeat the same procedure with the spray and the cheese until you have placed the seventh sheet. Spread the Broccoli Pesto on top, arrange the tomatoes and basil, and grate frozen goat cheese over top. 
Bake in oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Beef Carpaccio

1 pound beef sirloin, trimmed of all fat and sinew
3/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
8 large shallots, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
Julienned Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives, for garnish


Chill 8 serving plates. Place meat in freezer about 10 minutes.

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and reserve.

Slice cold beef across grain into 1/8inch slices. Then place each slice, one at a time, between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and, using the smooth side of a meat pounder, flatten by gently pounding and pressing back and forth. Work from center out. Keep turning to flatten it evenly to about 1/16 inch. (You should spend about a minute on each slice.)

Entirely cover each chilled plate with thin slices of beef. (At this stage, you can cover with plastic wrap and reserve in refrigerator for several hours.) Carefully spoon reserved dressing over meat to evenly cover. Garnish with Parmesan strips and chives, and serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings

Broccoli Rabe Crostini With Crotonese
And Black Pepper-Oregano Oil

1/2 pound broccoli rabe, rinsed and dried 
4 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin 
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 1/2 cup 
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
Salt and pepper to taste 
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper 
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves 
12 slices Italian country-style bread 
1/2 pound Crotonese cheese or other semi-soft sheeps milk cheese 

Bring 6 quarts water to boil. Set up an ice bath with 4 cups water and 4 cups ice in a large mixing bowl. 
Submerge broccoli rabe in boiling water and cook 3 minutes until bright green and fork tender. Remove from boiling water and plunge into ice bath and allow to cool (about 5 minutes). Remove rabe from ice bath and drain well. Remove florets and cut remaining stalks into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in mixing bowl and add garlic, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and crumbled dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. In a blender, mix 2 tablespoons black pepper, fresh oregano and a half cup extra virgin olive oil until smooth and dark green. When ready to serve guests, toast bread on both sides over the grill. Spoon 2 tablespoons broccoli rabe over each piece of bread and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper-oregano oil. Shave a piece of crotonese over with a peeler and serve still warm. 

Yield: 4 servings

Prosciutto Rolls With Arugula And Figs

Prosciutto slices are usually paper-thin-but for this dish be sure they are not too thin or they will tear when you spread the cheese on them.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
12 thin slices prosciutto (not paper-thin)
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), room temperature
16 dried black Mission figs, quartered
4 large bunches arugula, stems trimmed

Whisk oil, lemon juice and peel in medium bowl to blend. Lay prosciutto on work surface, spacing slices 2 inches apart. Spread cheese evenly over prosciutto. Arrange figs over cheese, dividing and spacing evenly. Drizzle lemon mixture over. Sprinkle with pepper. Arrange 6 arugula leaves atop each prosciutto slice, alternating stems and tops and allowing tops to extend 1 inch over long sides of prosciutto.

Starting at 1 short end of each prosciutto slice, tightly roll up as for jelly roll. Cut rolls crosswise in half. Transfer to platter. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover with damp paper towels, then plastic; chill.)

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