07/30/14 Onion and Ricotta Omelette

"Mangiare per vivere e non vivere per mangiare." (Eat to live and not live to eat.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Fresh Herbs and Greens Salad with Fried Eggplant
  -Onion and Ricotta Omelette
  -Roasted Branzino in Salt With Arugula

"Ciao, ragazzi!" Everyone up at the busy farm sends you thanks for your participation with us through our newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and we will continue to find more Italian recipes to be helpful in your kitchen. Please share this newsletter, if you found it useful. Enjoy the rest of your summer season!

Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Fresh Herbs and Greens Salad with Fried Eggplant

Fresh Herbs and Greens Salad with Fried Eggplant
Insalata con Erbe Fresche e Melanzane Fritte


1 cup (loosely packed) small fresh basil leaves
1 cup (loosely packed) torn fresh sorrel or baby spinach leaves
1 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves
1 and 1/2 cups (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 and 1/2 cups (loosely packed) arugula, torn if large
1/3 cup (loosely packed) 1-inch pieces fresh chives
1/3 cup (loosely packed) fresh chervil leaves (optional)
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon (or more) ground sumac (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
7 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Two 10 to 12-ounce eggplants, stems cut off
Coarse kosher salt


Whisk shallot, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon sumac, and cumin in small bowl.

Gradually whisk in 4 tablespoons olive oil.

Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Combine herbs and greens in large bowl.

Using vegetable peeler, remove eggplant peel in vertical strips every 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches, making striped pattern.

Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/3-inch thick rounds.

Place rounds in large colander.

Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and toss to coat evenly.

Let stand until rounds soften and release moisture, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour.

Rinse rounds, 1 at a time, and press to release excess moisture.

Arrange rounds in single layer on several layers of paper towels.

Pat dry with additional towels.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Working in batches, fry eggplant until golden and soft, adding more olive oil by tablespoonfuls as needed, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer eggplant to paper towels to drain.

Overlap eggplant rounds on platter.

Sprinkle with pepper and more sumac, if desired.

Toss herbs and greens with dressing.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mound salad atop eggplant and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Onion and Ricotta Omelette

Onion and Ricotta Omelette
Cipolla e Ricotta Frittata


8 large eggs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese
3 large fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
3 large fresh sage leaves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese


Preheat oven to 400?F.

Whisk first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add onion.

Saute until soft, about 6 minutes.

Reduce heat to low.

Stir in egg mixture.

Spoon dollops of ricotta evenly over.

Cook until omelette begins to set, about 2 minutes.

Place in oven.

Bake until just set, 7-9 minutes.

Slide the frittata onto a platter.

Cut into wedges.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Roasted Branzino in Salt With Arugula

Roasted Branzino in Salt With Arugula
Arrosto Branzino Al Sale con Rucola


For the Fish:
One 3-pound box coarse kosher salt
5 (or more) large egg whites
Two 1 to 1 and 1/2-pounds whole gutted branzino, loup de mer, or sea bass
8 fresh parsley sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs
4 thin lemon slices

For the Green Sauce:
1 lemon
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons drained small capers
2 tablespoons sliced pitted brine-cured green olives

3 cups arugula


Prepare the Fish:
Preheat oven to 400?F.

Stir salt and 5 egg whites in large bowl, adding more egg whites as needed to form grainy paste.

Press 1/4-inch layer of salt mixture (large enough to hold both fish) onto large rimmed baking sheet.

Stuff cavity of each whole fish with half of herb sprigs and lemon slices.

Place fish atop salt mixture on baking sheet.

Pack remaining salt mixture over fish to enclose completely.

Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of fish registers 135?F, about 20 minutes.

Let stand 10 minutes.

Prepare the Green Sauce:
Using small sharp knife, remove peel and white pith from lemon.

Working over bowl, cut between membranes to release segments.

Cut each segment into 3 pieces.

Add lemon pieces and next 6 ingredients to bowl.

Using back of large spoon, gently crack open salt crust on fish.

Lift and discard salt layer.

Pull skin from top of 1 fish.

Carefully lift top fillet from bones and transfer to plate.

Lift and discard bones.

Gently lift second fillet from skin and transfer to second plate.

Repeat with second fish for a total of 4 plates.

Spoon green sauce over fish, leaving juices in bowl.

Add arugula to bowl.

Toss to coat.

Divide among plates. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure, a sample of today's edition:

Sheep Upset Over Police Seizure of Marijuana

L'Aquila - October 2, 2013 - Italian police inspected a piece of farmland where a flock of sheep grazed on more than just the usual grass. The land was also used to cultivate marijuana plants.

The landowner had admitted to being the owner of the marijuana plants that were immediately eradicated and seized. The sheep lived and grazed where the marijuana plants were grown, and became accustomed to grazing on them.

When a drug police squad moved in on the sheep owner's land in Coppito, L'Aquila and started to remove the marijuana plants, the sheep suddenly became nervous and jittery. They followed the police officers carrying the 2-foot plants away and attempted to eat whatever they could.

Poor "coglione". Doesn't he remind you of the scene in Peter Pan when Tinkerbell's little light was dimming and going out. There's his brain. Battery going...down.

You know, when you think about how huge the planet is and how it's just a fraction of the size of the sun, which is just a speck of dust in the entire universe...you begin to realize why it's easy for this Italian to rationalize making cash from growing illegal plants around free roaming sheep.

Obviously, something went wrong in the sheep owner's super plan and he could have used good business advice from one of our subscribers:

1) Raise and groom sheep on farm all day (no longer profitable, need cash fast).
2) Buy shrimp boat.
3) Eat chocolate at bus stop (while figuring out where to get money for boat).
4) Grow and sell pot (sun, soil, water, seeds, southern exposure).
5) Use sheep as cover.
6) Fence in sheep to keep away from crops (OPTIONAL).

And how well could have sales gone?

Dealer: "I need enough 'spinelli' for the 6-day weekend."
Sheep owner: "'Tranquillo'...I can get it to you in two shakes of a lamb's tail."
Dealer: "Aren't you always blabbering that lambs have no tails?
Sheep owner: ...
Dealer: "'Figlio di puttana', where are you going with this?"

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