Friday, May 26, 2017

The Office Food Day

Who loves the Office Food Day? Lots of people, apparently, because we sure do have them a lot! It's actually quite fun- it's a great chance to share good food with the people you spend most of your life with, exchange recipes, try some new things, and break up the monotony of another day in the office. Our office has food days for all kinds of reasons, holidays, seasons, new or departing employees. Sometimes we have a theme- like Cinco de Mayo and all Mexican foods, and sometimes we don't. I've tried all kinds of different foods at food days, from ethnic baked goodies to pulled smoked lamb.

I've always been a fan of appetizers for food days. Sometimes I'll drag a crockpot filled with hot apps to the office, and sometimes I go with something cold, even better if it can sit at room temperature for a couple hours. It makes it easier for coworkers to graze throughout the day with small plates of goodies instead of piling everything on a flimsy paper plate at one time. For this food day I went with a cold app that can hold at room temp and actually tastes better that way. I grabbed a couple bakery baguettes to slice and toast and threw together a quick bruschetta topping and a slightly kicky tapenade made with Peppadew peppers- not hot like jalapenos or habaneros, but just a slight kick in the taste buds.

The bruschetta topping is a riff on Caprese salad, with diced fresh Roma tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella pearls- little balls of fresh mozzarella that are so creamy. You always want to use fresh mozzarella in any Caprese dish. The more common blocks of mozzarella for shredding just don't have the right texture for this. I amp it up with some minced garlic and scallion, a little olive oil and Balsamic vinegar for an authentic flavor. Sinful Food's wonderful infused olive oils bring a big flavor impact to these toppings and make the baguette toasts extra delicious!

Get your Sinful Food oils and Signature Seasoning by clicking HERE.

Toasted Garlic Baguette with Two Toppings

Caprese Topping
4 Roma tomatoes
1 cup fresh mozzarella pearls, drained
1 scallion
2 cloves fresh garlic
small handful fresh basil leaves
Sinful Food Signature Seasoning
2 tablespoons Sinful Food basil olive oil
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

Cut the Roma tomatoes into small dice, discarding the seeds and soft insides. Place in medium bowl.

Cut the mozzarella pearls into quarters, add to tomatoes in bowl. Finely mince the garlic and add to bowl. Cut the scallion in half lengthwise, then chop crosswise. Add to bowl. Cut the basil leaves into chiffonade and add to bowl.

Drizzle the olive oil, and vinegar over. Season with Signature Seasoning. Toss to coat everything, cover and chill.

Peppadew Kalamata Tapenade
1/4 Peppadew peppers, drained
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and drained
1/4 cup pitted green olives
2 cloves garlic
1 scallion
small handful fresh parsley
juice of one lime
one tablespoon Sinful Food olive oil, garlic, basil or Italian herb
ground black pepper

Finely chop the peppers, olives, garlic and scallions. Place in small bowl.

Remove parsley leaves from stems and chop; add to bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over, drizzle with olive oil, add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine all ingredients. Cover and Chill

Toasted Baguette Slices
2 long French baguettes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup Sinful Food garlic olive oil
Signature Seasoning

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
 Arrange the bread slices on two large baking sheets. Brush with the olive oil; sprinkle with Signature Seasoning. Bake in oven until toasted and lightly golden. Cool before storing in airtight container.

To serve, arrange the toast slices on a platter. Place the Caprese topping and tapenade in bowls. Allow everyone to top their own bread so the toast stays crunchy.

This is the perfect party snack or appetizer, especially for larger groups.  I have made this recipe many times for wine tastings and holiday parties and catered events. It's always a very popular item on the buffet table and I've shared the recipes with lots of friends. The Caprese topping is great for all kinds of other uses and the tapenade is mandatory when making muffaletta or Italian sandwiches.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." As a Brand Ambassador, the company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift or something of value. Regardless,  I only recommend products or services I believe are of good quality and safe. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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