Toast to Moms

Mother’s Day has a special place in my heart.. especially since I grew up with Nani living with us. We always celebrated Nani and Mom at the same time. We usually would have a cup of coffee and give them gifts. This year was different. This year my, not so little, baby sister is a mom too! We decided we would have a “toast” bar for all the moms in our lives ūüôā

I hope you enjoy my toast recipes and get to try them at your next event too.

So, first I sliced a baguette into 1/2 inch slices, put them on a baking tray and drizzled olive oil with a sprinkle of salt. Into the oven they went at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes… until they’re golden.

I made three different types of toast… avocado toast, goat cheese and honey toast, and tomatoes and feta toast.

avocado toast

. 2 whole avocados, mashed
. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
. salt and pepper to taste
. grated parmegiano reggiano for topping


1. In a small bowl, mash all ingredients together until your desired consistency. I like mine chunky… so I barely mashed mine.
2. Once mashed, serve a tablespoon of the mixture onto a piece of the toasted baguette and top with parmegiano reggiano.

goat cheese and honey toast

. 5 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
. fresh thyme leaves
. fresh oregano leaves
. honey


1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients together and serve a tablespoon of the mixture onto a piece of the toasted baguette. Drizzle with honey.

tomato and feta

. 4 sliced tomatoes
. crumbled feta cheese
. dried oregano


1. On each piece of toasted baguette, place 3 slices of tomato.
2. Crumble the feta cheese on top. Season it with dried oregano and EVOO.


Salmon Tartare

Salmon tartar… a dish some people either love or don’t even want to try. It’s just like sushi, and if you don’t like sushi, you’re totally missing out. Salmon is one of my favorite fish to eat raw. If you get really good quality, it should just melt in your mouth.

I know that a very typical tartar is tuna, but because I love salmon so much, I decided to go with it. I made little cannoli out of Lavash Bread to bring my own culture into it and I finished it off with a dollop of Lebni (kefir cheese- learn to make it HERE). This is a very elegant but easy dish to make  and it serves well for bigger parties too.

You will want to make sure to get sashimi/sushi grade skinless salmon filet and the best part is from the thickest part. Give this recipe a try and let me know your thoughts!

. 8-ounce boneless salmon fillet, skinless chopped into 1/9 of inch cubes
. 1 shallot, finely chopped
. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
. 1 sprig of fresh Thyme
. Juice of 1/2 an orange
. 1 tbsp EVOO
. salt to taste

1. 5 hours before serving, add all ingredients in a bowl and mix.
2. Place a piece of of plastic wrap directly over the mixture, to keep moisture from getting to it and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
3. Either serve with pita chips or a baguette that has been sliced and toasted.


Red Wine Caramelized Onion Pizzette

Red wine makes everything taste better. I found this recipe online and decided to try it. Super simple, fast, and easy. You only need 5 ingredients: red wine, onion, fresh thyme sprigs, feta or goat cheese, and puff pastry sheets.


Cut the puff pastries into like circles or squares and bake them at 356 Fahrenheit for 20 min. While that’s baking, chop an onion into slivers.


Heat a pan of olive oil and add the onions. When they start to get soft, add about 1/4 cup of red wine to deglaze the pan. Cook the onions for about 5 min on medium heat and then add salt, pepper, and one sprig of thyme leaves. Add another 1/4 cup of red wine and reduce heat to low/medium heat. You want the onions to become really soft and really purple in color.


By this time, the puff pastries should be ready. Take them out of the oven, brush the edges with milk and add the onions to each pizzette with some crumbled cheese on top and a small sprig of thyme.


Then continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Once they are golden around the edges, they are  ready to come out of the oven and to enjoy warm.


My parents and Nani enjoyed these thoroughly. The lovely red wine adds a delightfully sweet taste to the onions and you get the creamy cheese on top with fresh herbs. I think it’s the perfect appetizer! Anush everyone.

Sartu Di Riso

This is such a delicious dish to prepare¬†ahead of time¬†for a fun gathering with family or friends. It looks fancy, tastes amazing, and really fun to make. It’s also great for those that are gluten free. With some time the day before you serve, you can prep a whole dish just to pop in the oven and done!

Sartu di Riso is a traditional Italian dish that comes from Naples. There are two types, rosso (red) and bianco (white). There are so many stories as to which is the correct and traditional way to prepare this dish, so I just made it my own and went green. I love pesto, as you can tell, so I made the sartu with a white bolognese sauce and topped it with pesto.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes with a comment!


2 cups Arborio Rice
3 cups water (you can substitute this with low sodium chicken broth too)
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
3 eggs
3 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 pound ground pork
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup peas
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 thyme sprig
1 small rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
3 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pink peppercorns
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg  
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped pancetta
1 finely chopped shallot 
1 finely chopped peeled carrot 
3 tablespoons ricotta
  1. Put everything for the rice in a pot and bring to a boil. After its come to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook the rice for 20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  2.  If serving this the same day, preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the EVOO and add the garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, add the shallots.
  4. Add the frozen peas until they have cooked through.
  5. Using the same saucepan, cook the pancetta until its crispy.
  6. Next add the chicken until it is golden. Then add the ground sausage and pistachios. Cook through.
  7. Add the wine and cook over moderate heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the cream and chicken stock to the pan, then stir in the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, pink pepper, nutmeg and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper. Bring just to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  9. Once the sauce has thickened, mix in the ricotta and set aside.
  10. In a separate bowl put the rice and mix it with the eggs until it is very sticky.
  11. You will need a bowl filled with water for your hands. Using a generously olive oiled bundt pan, add 2/3 of the rice and push it against the walls and bottom of the pan creating 1 inch thick walls.
  12. Spoon the bolognese mixture into the well.
  13. Spoon the rest of the rice on the top and press against the rice along the edges.
  14. drizzle the top with EVOO and put in the oven for 40-45 minutes – until the edges and top are a golden brown.
  15. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes when you take it out of the oven.
  16. Place a plate upside down on the bundt pan and flip the bundt pan over to put the Sartu di Riso onto the plate. Top it with pesto and serve.