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Chianti region of Tuscany yields flavors for oil used in bruschetta dish

  • COURTESY R. FIELD WINE CO.
  • COURTESY WHOLE FOODS
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The following recipe uses Badia Extra Virgin Olive Oil, produced in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy. Its flavor profile exhibits grassy notes with a slight fruitiness and a peppery finish that can linger on the palate. 

WHITE BEAN AND ITALIAN SAUSAGE BRUSCHETTA

Courtesy Chef Royce Arakaki, R. Field Wine Co.
1/3 cup Badia Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or preferred olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup round onion, chopped
1 link Italian sausage, chopped
1/2 cup canned Roma tomatoes
1 14-ounce can cannellini beans
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
4 sweet basil leaves
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
8 crostini, sliced from baguette

Heat half of oil in sauce pot. Over medium, saute garlic and onions until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sausage and heat thoroughly, then add tomato and beans and reduce heat to low.

Continue to cook until liquid has evaporated and mixture is thick. Remove from heat, add butter, basil, Parmigiano Reggiano and thyme. Season to taste. Set aside.

From a French baguette, cut 8 slices roughly 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Brush with olive oil and toast until crispy.

Warm bean mixture, then place spoonful on crostini. Garnish with herbs and cheese if desired. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy. Serves 3 to 4.

Approximate nutritional information (based on 4 servings and not including salt to taste nor drizzle of olive oil): 450 calories, 28 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 750 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 13 g protein

BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH WILTED SPINACH AND BLUE CHEESE

Whole Foods Market
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach
4 cups cubed and roasted butternut squash, warmed

Use fork to mash together blue cheese and lemon juice in large bowl to make dressing. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook, tossing often, until slightly wilted and warm, 1 to 2 more minutes.

Transfer contents of skillet to bowl with dressing, add squash, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional information: 220 calories, 7 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 740 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 5 g protein
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