European Tuscan

As seen on Firstlight.......

​ ​ ​

Onion Herb Focaccia Bread

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 1/4 c. warm water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 c. unbleached white flour
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 medium red onion, sliced in very thin slivers
½ tsp. rosemary leaves
½ tsp. thyme leaves
¼ tsp. oregano leaves
  1. Sprinkle yeast into 1 cup warm water and stir with fork to dissolve. Let sit for five minutes. Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast and oil.
  2. Mix in the flour a little at a time. Add the additional water one tablespoon at a time, to form a soft sticky dough. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time if needed. Dough should not be dry.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Brush top of dough with olive oil and cover with dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes. Punch down and divide the dough into two pieces. Place on cookie sheet and stretch dough into rectangular shape approx. 6" x 12" each.
  5. Let rise again until double, approx. 30 minutes, then use finger tips to gently press into the surface of the dough to form "dimples" about 1/2 inch deep. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and onions slivers.
  6. Bake in preheated 350ºF (180ºC) degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Yield: 2 loaves (12 x 13")
Onion Herb Focaccia Brread

White Bean Dip with Pita Bread

3 c. cooked northern beans
¼ c. Tofutti Sour Supreme (Dairy free sour cream)
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ c. water
pita or crackers
fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Put all the above ingredients except for the parsley and pita into a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Fold in the parsley. Serve hot or cold with pita bread, pita chips or your favorite cracker.
Yield: 8 quarter cup servings
(Substitute smooth Tofu for the Tofutti)

White Bean Dip
​Back to top of the page

Caponata over Polenta

1 large orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 large onion, cut into thin strips
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small eggplant, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 small zucchini, sliced
2 small yellow summer squash, sliced
2 c. sliced grape tomatoes
2-3 Tbsp. snipped fresh basil
1 Tbsp. dried chervil or parsley
2 Tbsp. VegeSal or all-purpose vegetable seasoning
salt to taste
5-6 c. prepared polenta
  1. Place hot polenta in a 9" x 13" baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick baking spray. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. To prepare caponata, in a large saucepan, cook the onion, garlic and peppers until onion is clear. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover. Simmer on medium to low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally.
  3. To serve, cut polenta into single serving squares and place on each individual plate. Spoon warm caponata over the polenta and serve immediately. if desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 14 half-cup servings
Caponata over Polenta


Stuffed Tomatoes

1 ¼c. cooked brown rice
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, finelydiced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
¼ c. onions, finely diced
¼ c. water
6 medium fresh tomatoes
½ c. stewed tomatoes
  1. In a skillet, sauté 1 teaspoon fresh garlic and ¼ c. fresh diced onions in ¼ c. water. Scoop out the centers of the tomatoes and cut this into small pieces. Add the small pieces of tomato chunks to the garlic and onion. Cook until the onions are tender.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Add the garlic and tomato mixture and stir together until well mixed. Stuff each tomato with ¼ cup of the rice mixture. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Serve with fresh Italian bread, green beans, vegetable salad and your favorite dessert.
Yield: 6 stuffed tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes
​Back to top of the page

Florentine Risotto

1 carton of firm tofu
1 small package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, saving the juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 box risotto (2 ½ cups)
5 c. water
3 Tbsp. vegetarian chicken style seasoning
  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the tofu, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons spinach juice, and salt, until smooth and creamy.
  2. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil until clear.
  3. Add the risotto and continue to sauté for 3-4 minutes. Mix the chicken style seasoning into the 5 cups water and add to the risotto mixture. Add the blended tofu mixture along with the thawed spinach and stir well.
  4. Put a lid on the pan and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Mixture will be creamy and risotto will be "al dente" or soft yet chewy. Serve hot.
Yield: 10 servings
Florentine Risotto


Tuscan Eggplant Roll-Ups

2 large eggplants
1 medium onion, finely minced
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 c. fresh baby spinach
2 c. seasoned bread crumbs or stuffing mix
1 pack of firm tofu
½ tsp. salt
1 c. hot water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
4 c. spaghetti sauce of your choice
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC) degrees. Slice eggplant into ¼ inch slices lengthwise. You should get at least 7 slices, discarding each outside slice. Place in boiling water for 1 minute and remove. Do not overcook as eggplant will fall apart and be too mushy to roll.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté onion in olive oil until clear. Add fresh garlic and spinach. Add salt. Cook until leaves are wilted. Turn heat off and add tofu, onion, and stuffing mix. Dissolve 1 bouillon cube in 1 cup hot water, then add to above mixture. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Pour four cups spaghetti sauce into bottom of 9" x 13" glass baking dish. Spread spinach mixture over each eggplant slice and roll up. Place in baking dish seam side down. Continue until all eggplant slices have been rolled. Brush tops of eggplant rolls with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
  4. Serve over angel hair pasta.
Yield: 14-15 roll-ups
Tuscan Eggplant Roll-Ups
​​Back to top of the page ​ ​ ​​ ​​ ​