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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Daily Archives: June 20, 2011


The recipe might look complicated but once you get into the rhythm of preparing the
vegetables it really moves right along.

2 Pounds of Eggplant, Italian or other
1 Large Red Onion 3/4″chopped
2 Celery Stalks 3/4″ slices
1 Sweet Red Pepper 3/4″ diced
1 14 Ounce can of diced tomatoes drained, retain the liquid.
3/4 Cup of Olive Oil, EVOO always preferred.
2 TB of toasted Pine Nuts
4 TB of Balsamic Vinegar
1 TB of sugar
2 TB of large Capers if available
24 Green Olives, pitted & halved
4 TB of finely chopped Italian Parsley


1. Cut all theVegetables into the 3/4″ dice.
2. Heat 3/4 of a cup of Olive Oil & brown the Vegetables in singular batches, adding additional Oil as needed. Remove each to its individual bowl.
3. In the same pan add the Pine Nuts to refresh & lightly brown. Remove and add to one of the bowls.
4. Add the diced Tomatoes & 1/4 cup of the retained Tomato juice.
5 Return all the vegetables to the pan with the Tomatoes & simmer for about 10 minutes until quite dry.
6. Season well with S&P.
7. Add the Vinegar, Sugar, Capers & Olives to the pan & cook for another 6 or so minutes.
8. Remove the finished mixture from the heat & leave to cool.
9. Taste & rectify seasoning if desired & fold in the Parsley.
10. You now have cooked the classic Sicilian Caponata. And it is a taste treat.

Serves 2
A CookTale

Sunday a day without shopping & a salad is required as a part of the dinner.
Our garden Arugula has gone to seed. Digging through the fridge I came away with four satisfactory ingredients to compose a salad. The one ingredient that was labor intensive was preparing the fresh Baby Artichokes. Actually,frozen Artichoke Hearts would have worked as well. With a well seasoned vinaigrette we had ourselves a worthwhile side dish. And it sat on a bed of slivered Romaine Lettuce.


1 Box of Frozen Artichoke Hearts
1/2 A Fennel Bulb finely sliced on a Mandolin
6 Asparagus spears shaven with a vegetable peeler
Parmesan Cheese shaven with a vegetable peeler
A Vinaigrette of EVOO, Lemon Juice & Salt & Pepper
4 Romaine leaves sliced to a chiffonade (optional)


1. Defrost the Artichoke Hearts
2. Shave the Fennel bulb & Asparagus spears.
3. Shave the Parmesan Cheese
4. Prepare the EVOO & Lemon Juice Vinaigrette
5. Gently toss the vegetables together & add
1 TB of the Vinaigrette. Or to taste.
6. Toss again & plate


A Slider Is Nothing More Than A 3 ounce Burger Until It’s Gussied Up

Serves 2A CookTale

Divide 12 ounces of Sirloin & Chuck Steak in half. The following ingredients were added to each half. Grated Cheddar Cheese, Crumbled Bacon, Seasoned Salt, Black Pepper & a dash of Olive Oil. To the other 6 ounces, Portobello Mushroom, Finely diced Red Onion, Kosher Salt & Black Pepper & a dash of Olive Oil. I
Lightly mix them into shape, careful not to compact them, if so they’ll arrive at the table looking like hockey pucks & tasting like I don’t know what. Awaiting their turn on the dining table was Mayonnaise, Horseradish Mustard, Sliced Red Onion, Dill Pickle spears, sliced Tomato & Chili Sauce.

Though gussied up, they were still simply 3 ounce Burgers on slider buns.


The instructions in A CookTale describes the preparation procedure.


1. Separate 12 ounces of Sirloin & Chuck into 6 ounces each.
2. Handle the next six ingredients as instructed.
3. Divide the ingredients evenly into the meat.
4. Form the patties, place on a cookie sheet & refrigerate until ready to pan grill.
5. Assemble the condiments in separate bowls.
6. Heat a cast iron grill pan to smoking, form the patties & grill for 1-1/2 minutes per side for rare. 2 minutes per side for med rare. Beyond that—-
7. Ad to the slider buns & embellish