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July 27, 2015

Grandma’s Garden

Pic 6

This is the time of year when grandma and I love to wake up in the morning, grab my cup of coffee and walk outside to see how the garden is doing. It gets me so inspired looking at grandma’s bountiful harvest. I have already been enjoying the lovely tomatoes and zucchini flowers. What a beautiful time of year!

July 22, 2015

Summer Salads to Beat the Heat

Lidia Bastianich

When the weather is hot and you don’t feel like opening the stove why not try this Raw Garden Salad. It is a great way to prepare vegetables in the summer when produce is abundant, it stays crisp and crunchy in the refrigerator for quite a while. I use these pickled vegetables on a buffet table as a side dish with grilled meats, or toss them in a salad. They also work wonderfully well topped with canned tuna or a sliced chicken breast, and they make a great addition to a sandwich. As you use the giardiniera vegetables, make sure you also use the oil they are packed in. Enjoy!

July 2, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!

Pork and Prune Kabobs (4)

For a great barbeque and outdoor American holiday like Fourth of July why not try my Pork and Prune Kabobs. The savory and sweet combination of fruit and meat together satisfies me; the fruit renders the meat lighter. Here I use prunes – Italians love prunes. Of course, you can substitute your favorite dried fruit, or fresh fruit in season. In the recipe, I suggest cooking them on a medium-hot grill. Start with the grill covered, then uncovered for the last few minutes. These will be sure to satisfy everyone at your party. Enjoy!

June 24, 2015

Summer Grilling Tips

Grilling is one of the most important ways to cook in America. There is nothing like a great piece of meat served hot off the grill. So with a big American holiday like Fourth of July approaching I thought it might be great to give you some of my tips for grilling meats on your barbeque that are stress free. For grilling a certain thickness, marbling, and fat content are important. It’s best to start at a high initial temperature to mark the meat, followed by an even medium temperature to cook it properly on the inside. Foremost it is important to select the best piece/or cut of meat. If possible select a prime or top choice that has been aged for two to three weeks. Lastly I prefer to season my meat after it has been grilled and I like to rub it with a mixture of anchovy, rosemary and coarse sea salt and allow that mixture to gently steep into the meat as it rests. Hopefully these tips will help make your summer barbeque easier. Enjoy.

June 19, 2015

Happy Father’s Day

Back Camera

Happy Father’s Day to all. As I look back and reflect that without my father, I would not be the person I am today. As I mention in my book Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy I thank my father and mother for having the courage to go forth and migrate to America. They made it possible for me, my brother, Franco and our families to build wonderful new lives full of opportunities, values and freedom. So in  his honor I leave you with a great seasonal recipe that happens to be one of his favorites and you can surprise your father with Grilled Sea Bass

June 10, 2015

Delicious Light Salads

Lidia Bastianich

Italians are known for their hot pastas, steaming risottos, luscious braised meats and simmering soups.  But the salad repertoire is equally enjoyed and just as diverse on the Italian table. I can recall as a young child when the sun traveled along the mid-afternoon sky, the temperature rose and the “orto” or house garden was lush and green with all kinds of leaves. Those were the days when a salad was the meal.  It would vary from assorted to single fish salads, to boiled meat salad, to rice salads or just tossed greens—steamed or fresh and crunchy. That being said this is a perfect time of the year to try the endless array of salads out there. My Boiled Zucchini Salad with Tuna is perfect for those warm nights that you just want a light meal and don’t feel like turning the oven on.

May 29, 2015

Perfect Weather for a Picnic

Lidia Bastianich

This is the perfect time of year for a picnic. I like the heat of July and August especially for visiting the beach, but right now its pleasantly warm and it’s exciting to see the abundance of fresh summer produce at the market. My Raw Summer Tomato Sauce for Pasta is great at room temperature and travels well to bring for a picnic. The sauce actually develops in the hour or two that it marinates. Enjoy!!

May 22, 2015

Memorial Day Celebration

Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella (2) 800px

What do you think is the prefect dish to kick off your Memorial Day? Personally, I love a good hamburger to start the barbecuing season, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to stick to your usual recipes. As an Italian-American chef with a foot in both worlds, let me tell you that there’s nothing wrong with going Italian on Memorial Day weekend! My Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella is a great pasta dish I like to make this time of year; it’s simple enough to prepare and I’ve found it’s a real crowd-pleasers. Enjoy!    

May 14, 2015

In and Around Sardinia

Sardegna (30)lobster catalana

As the summer months are approaching I can’t help but think of Sardinia an island known for it’s great natural beauty. Most people come to enjoy nature, and during the summer months its beaches are full of vacationers. Alghero, famous for its lobster dish called Aragosta alla Catalana, is the city in Sardinia with the strongest Spanish influence, having been colonized for a long period of time. In the town of Alghero, craftsman working in their shops turn coral into delicate pieces of jewelry. Not far from the city is Neptune’s Grotto, an elaborate complex of sea-level stalagmite and stalactite, which offers a fun excursion for the whole family.

May 8, 2015

Happy Mother’s Day

p 26 Sweet Ricotta Dumplings with Strawberry Sauce

I am fortunate enough to have four generations around me at all times, so Mother’s Day takes on a truly special meaning in my family. Favorite dishes are always being altered according to what is available in the market and what is the best in quality- especially when I’m cooking. Family meals together are near and dear to my heart, and I am always looking for a reason to cook a big meal to share with my grandchildren, children and Mother’s Day is a great time to do that. I am sharing one of  Grandma’s favorite desserts Sweet Ricotta Dumplings with Strawberry Sauce. Enjoy!


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