We are big fans of Olive Garden restaurant, and we don’t get to go too often. So, I decided I would try to make a couple of my favorites at home. It worked out perfectly with some of the things I had gotten from Bountiful Baskets recently. For the bruschetta, I used the Italian olive oil bread that my friend gave me this week, plus tomatoes from this week, then fresh garlic, fresh basil, and fresh parsley from the Italian themed veggie pack the week before. For the chicken, I used part broccoli, part cauliflower from this week’s basket. I wasn’t able to find the exact kind of pasta they use at Olive Garden, so I used medium shells. I think that next time I will only use half a box of pasta instead of a whole box or double the sauce, because I felt like there wasn’t enough of the sauce to really get the full taste. However, it still was very good.
Based on recipes here and here
What you need:
4 tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf Bountiful Baskets Italian olive oil bread, or french baguette, sliced
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dries parsley
How to make it:
Toss together the tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 450 F. Combine Parmesan cheese and parsley. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and pinch some of the Parmesan cheese mixture over each slice. Toast in oven for 5 minutes or until bread starts to crisp.
Spoon some of the tomato mixture over each slice to serve.
Garlic Herb Chicken with Broccoli and Cauliflower
Based on recipe here.
What you need:
Spice Mixture for chicken
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded to 1/2 inch thickness)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 box medium shell pasta
1 pint half and half
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 cups broccoli and cauliflower florets
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese
How to make it:
Combine ingredients from spice mixture. Rub onto the chicken breasts. Cook chicken in the olive oil until browned, set aside and keep warm.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli and cauliflower for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, return to pot.
Melt butter in a sauté pan and add garlic. Cook until garlic starts to brown, then stir in the half and half and cornstarch. Simmer for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, until it thickens to a sauce. Add additional salt, if necessary. Pour over pasta and vegetable mix in pot, coat evenly. Remove from heat.
To serve, place pasta and vegetable mixture on a plate, then place a chicken breast on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.