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Barefoot Contessa
How Easy Is That?:
Fabulous Recipes and Easy Tips

Copyright © 2010 Ina Garten
Clarkson Potter/Publishers  NookBooks Logo - 234 x 60


The Barefoot Contessa says,
"This book is all about saving you time
and avoiding stress."
What's not to love?
La Belle Cuisine cannot urge you strongly
enough to buy this jewel of a cookbook!


How easy is that? page 1
How easy is that? page 2
How easy is that? page 4

Continued (page 3)

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

“One day I invited some friends for lunch and we had a grilled cheese
‘throw-down’. It was so much fun – everybody got to build their favorite
sandwich. My friend Barbara Liberman reproduced her mother’s grilled
cheese sandwich with a mustard and mayonnaise sauce, and it won hands
down! We used three different cheeses: salty Parmesan, nutty Gruyère,
and sharp Cheddar. Grating the cheeses ensures that they melt evenly. If
you don’t have a Panini press, which makes this so easy – no turning! –
you can always cook them in a frying pan.”

Serves 6

12 slices thick-cut bacon, such as Nodine’s
applewood smoked [or your personal favorite]
1 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 white Pullman loaf or sourdough bread,
sliced 1/2 inch thick (12 slices)
6 tablespoons salted butter,
at room temperature
6 ounces aged Gruyère or Comté cheese
6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, such as
Cabot or Shelburne Farms

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees [F]. Arrange the bacon on a baking
rack set over a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 20 to 30 min-
utes, until nicely browned. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels
and cut in 1-inch pieces.
Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Parmesan, salt and
pepper in a small bowl. Lay 12 slices of bread on a board and spread
each one lightly with butter. Flip the slices and spread each one gen-
erously with the mayonnaise mixture. Don’t neglect the corners!
Grate the cheeses in a food processor fitted with the largest grating disk
and combine. Distribute the bacon evenly on half the slices of bread.
Pile 1/3 cup grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon and top with
the remaining bread slices, sauce side down.
Meanwhile, heat an electric panini press. When the press is hot, cook
the sandwiches for 3 to 5 minutes in batches until the bread is toasted
and the cheese is melted. Allow to cool for 2 minutes. Cut in half and
serve warm.


Tuna and Hummus Sandwiches

Makes 6 sandwiches

“I love Belgium – their style in food and design is the perfect balance of
country and elegance. In fact, the design of the barn where I work was
inspired by Belgian country farmhouses. I also love the restaurant chain
‘Le Pain Quotidien’, which started in Belgium and now fortunately has
restaurants all over the world. I had a delicious sandwich there recently
and it inspired this recipe. Who would think tuna and hummus would be
such a good combination?”

14 ounces jarred or canned Italian tuna in olive oil
1/4 cup minced celery
2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced cornichons
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons good mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sourdough bread, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
Hummus, store-bought or homemade
(recipe follows)
Fresh radishes, sliced

Drain the oil from the tuna, reserving the oil. Place the tuna in a mixing
bowl and flake it with a fork. Add the celery, onion, cornichons, lemon
juice, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil, the mustard, salt,
and pepper and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow
the flavors to develop.
Toast the bread and spread each slice with a layer of hummus. Spread
the tuna salad on each piece of bread, garnish with slices of radish, and
serve immediately. 


Makes 2 cups

2 cups canned chickpeas, drained,
liquid reserved (15.5-ounce can)
1/3 cup tahini or sesame paste
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed
lemon juice (3 lemons)
8 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
2 teaspoons kosher salt 

Place the chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid, the tahini,
garlic, lemon juice, hot sauce, and salt in the bowl of a food pro-
cessor fitted with the steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.
The hummus should be moist and thick; add more lemon juice or
reserved chickpea liquid to thin, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate
for several hours for the flavors to blend. Taste for seasonings.


Easy Parmesan “Risotto”

“While not technically a classic Italian risotto, this sure is easy. I found
the process for this recipe in a book by Donna Hay, the wonderful cook-
book writer from Australia. I make it with my homemade chicken stock,
lots of freshly grated Parmesan, and frozen peas. Risotto in the oven?
You have to make this to believe it!”

Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably
homemade, divided
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees [F].
Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven, such
as Le Creuset. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid
is absorbed and t he rice is al dente.
Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to
3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the peas and stir
until heated through. Serve hot.  [Amazing!]


Scalloped Tomatoes

“Sarah Chase [of The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook fame] is not
only a dear friend, but she’s also one of my cooking inspirations. Her
food is delicious and easy to make. The secrets to these scalloped
tomatoes, inspired by a recipe in her book ‘Cold Weather Cooking’,
are first, that you can use grocery-store canned plum tomatoes, and
second, that you can prepare the dish in advance and bake it before
dinner. Great summer flavors – tomatoes, basil, and garlic –
all year round!”

Mercy, mercy, mercy! Scalloped tomatoes = COMFORT in my
book! These are definitely the best I’ve ever tasted. [MG]

Serves 6

5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced bread from a
round rustic bread, crusts removed
[I love to leave the crusts on for the
chewiness! MG]
3 pounds plum tomatoes, 1/2-inch
diced (14 to 16 tomatoes)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves,
lightly packed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over
medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook
over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until
the cubes are evenly browned.
Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a
large bowl. Add the tomato mixture to the bread cubes and continue
to cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Off
the heat, stir in the basil.
Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6- to 8-cup baking dish.
Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with the
remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until
the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm.


Tomatoes Roasted with Pesto

“This is a very flavorful tomato dish made with garlicky pesto,
so it needs a quiet partner on the plate – like roasted fish – to
balance it. It’s a wonderful way to give boring grocery-store
tomatoes that delicious summer flavor. I freeze extra pesto in
small batches so I always have some on hand.”

Serves 6

2 to 2 1/2 pounds large red tomatoes (see note)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade
(recipe follows)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees [F].
Core the tomatoes and then slice them across (not through the stem),
in 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a sheet
pan. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle with the
oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper.
Bake the tomatoes for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven,
spread each slice with pesto, and sprinkle with t he Parmesan cheese.
Return the tomatoes to the oven and continue baking for 7 to 10
minutes, until the Parmesan is melted and begins to brown. Using a
flat metal spatula, put the tomatoes on a serving platter, sprinkle with
extra salt, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Note: Because these tomatoes are roasted, I choose firm ripe tomatoes.
Heirloom tomatoes fall apart when they’re roasted, so they’re best served
fresh in a salad.


Makes 4 cups

1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons diced garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed [see note]
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food pro-
cessor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the
basil, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour
the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until
the pesto is puréed. Add the Parmesan and purée for a minute.
Use immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin
film of olive oil on top.

Note: To clean basil, remove the leaves from the stems, swirl them in
a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store
them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long
as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.

How easy is that? page 1
How easy is that? page 2
How easy is that? page 4

Featured Archive Recipes:
(from the Barefoot Contessa, of course!)
Banana Crunch Muffins
Coffee and Granola
Croque Monsieur from
'Barefoot in Paris'

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Satay Dip
Indonesian Ginger Chicken
Parmesan Chicken Sticks
Roasted Vegetable Torte
More favorite cookbook recipes:
Pure Tomato Confit:
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
(Patricia Wells)

Risotto 101 (Lidia Bastianich)
Risotto Porcini Casserole
Stewed Creole Tomatoes and Shrimp
(Commander's Palace)

Tomato Pie (Laurie Colwin)

La Belle Cuisine/a>

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