Skillet Chicken & Green Beans with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Tahini originated from ancient Persia over a thousand years ago. A staple ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisines, the protein packed paste is made from ground sesame seeds and used to make hummus. We tweaked a recipe using chicken breast, fresh green beans, Spanish onions & tahini paste. Serve with orzo, quinoa or rice for an easy weeknight dinner.

Serves 4

Easy Ingredients:

• 8 organic skinless chicken breasts or skinless, boneless chicken thighs

• 2 tablespoons Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olio Nuovo Olive Oil

• 1 ¼ cups organic chicken broth

• 8oz. fresh or frozen green beans, trimmed

• ½ cup Tahini paste

• 1/4 cup lemon juice

• 4 shallots peeled & quartered, we used Spanish onions since we had no shallots on hand

• 1 tablespoon ground cumin

• 2 teaspoons paprika, we substituted with crushed red pepper flakes

• 2 teaspoons, fresh dried thyme, crushed

• ¼ teaspoon sea salt

• ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Simple Directions:

1. Season chicken with salt & pepper. Sprinkle cumin, thyme & paprika onto meat, rub in with fingers.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high.

3. Add chicken & cook 5-7 minutes or until well-browned, turning once. Remove & transfer to a plate.

4. Return heat to medium. Add green beans, shallots, 1/2 teaspoon salt.

5. Cook 3 minutes or until shallots are browned & beans soften, stir occasionally.

6. Return chicken & juices to skillet. Add 1 cup broth. Bring to a boil, simmer, uncovered, 6-8 minutes or until chicken is done (170°F).

7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken & vegetables to a plate.

8. Whisk tahini, remaining 1/4 cup broth, and the lemon juice into liquid in skillet. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

9. Return chicken & vegetables to skillet; heat through.

10. Sprinkle dish with lemon zest, enjoy with Villa Graziella Organic Bianco Toscano IGT.

Click here for inspiration recipe!

Amy Wright
Fromage Fort Spread
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We gathered Asiago, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano & even Gouda cheese ends & rinds to make a tasty spread. Modifying a recipe from a great resource we previously shared; SaveTheFood.Com, we used Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a touch of our 8-year aged organic balsamic vinegar & Villa Graziella Bianco Toscano IGT white wine made with organic grapes. Prepare ahead, so flavors fully blend & enjoy as a cozy winter appetizer or snack. Makes 2 cups.  

Simple Ingredients

1 lb assorted cheese rinds and ends, cut in ½ -1-inch chunks or pieces

3/4 cup Villa Graziella Bianco Toscano IGT white wine

2 Tablespoons Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra to flavor

½ Tablespoon unsalted butter

1 Teaspoon Villa Graziella 8 year aged Balsamic Vinegar Di Modena

1 small shallot clove

½ teaspoon dried thyme

Easy Directions

  1. Set up a food processor with the chopping blade.

  2. Peel shallot clove & mince in the processor

  3. Add cheese to processor, grate

  4. Add olive oil & butter to processor, blend

  5. Add vinegar, wine & thyme to the processor, blend until smooth

  6. Season to taste with salt & pepper

  7. Remove ingredients & place in an airtight bowl or covered ramekin

  8. Refrigerate overnight & up to 1 week

  9. Top on baguette slices & heat in the broiler or on crackers

  10. Serve & enjoy with Villa Graziella artisan crafted Bianco Trebbiano IGT wine made with organic grapes

Tried, Tasted & True!

At Villa Graziella Organic our team tries & tastes every recipe we feature.  While we love to share our family recipes & those of talented home cooks & chefs, sometimes we adapt them so they are even easier to make. As with our products, our goal is for you to have a healthy & delicious experience using Villa Graziella recipes. So try them out in your kitchen, feel free to tweak them & please tell us what you think. We welcome your comments & feedback!

Grazie da Team VILLA GRAZIELLA ORGANIC

clientservice@villagraziellaorganic.com

Lemon & Sage Chicken
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Looking for an easy spring dinner recipe? Why not try lemon sage chicken?! We tweaked a recipe from The Spruce cooking chicken breasts on the stove top for a healthy & delicious dinner. Our version uses Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, fresh sage, lemon & shallot. Serve with orzo, quinoa or rice, sliced in a salad the next day for lunch. Serves 4-6.

Easy Ingredients: 

  • 2 pounds of fresh skinless chicken breasts or chicken pieces

  • ¼ cup Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage chopped

  • 1 clove of shallot crushed & chopped (or substitute with garlic)

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Simple Directions:

  • Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, sage, shallot, salt & pepper, set aside.

  • Lightly pound chicken breast on each side between 2 pieces of wax paper.

  • Pour the marinade into a container with cover or a glass baking dish.

  • Add the chicken to the container, turning pieces once to coat with the marinade.

  • Cover & refrigerate for 1 hour, turning the pieces once every 15 minutes.

  • Brush a large skillet with olive oil, set over medium heat.

  • Arrange chicken onto the hot skillet & discard the marinade.

  • Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side.

  • Chicken will be done when the thickest part is firm to the touch & tests 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  • Serve hot as an entree & enjoy!

Tried, Tasted & True!

At Villa Grazellai Organic our team tries & tastes every recipe we feature.  While we love to share our family recipes & those of talented home cooks & chefs, sometimes we adapt them so they are even easier to make. As with our products, our goal is for you to have a healthy & delicious experience using Villa Graziella Organic recipes. So try them out in your kitchen, feel free to tweak them & please tell us what you think. We welcome your comments & feedback!

Grazie da Team VILLA GRAZIELLA ORGANIC

clientservice@villagraziellaorganic.com

Roasted Winter Carrots with Thyme
Ingredients

Carrots are enjoyed throughout the world. Originally from Afghanistan around 900AD, they traveled to the middle east & Spain. By the mid 1300’s carrots were grown in gardens all over Europe.

Hearty, versatile veggies, carrots freeze in the ground and are harvested through the cold winter months. The sugars become more concentrated with a sweet, delicious flavor. When cooked, carrots are rich in beta-carotene compounds to boost the immune system, help eyesight & even promote healthier skin. Using Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil we tweaked a recipe for a tasty & nutritious cold weather side dish. Makes approx. 6 servings

Easy Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of medium, organic carrots,

  • 2 tablespoons Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 2 tablespoons for drizzling

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 teaspoon fresh whole black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Simple Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F

  2. Wash, peel & cut carrots on the diagonal into ½ inch thick slices

  3. Toss carrots in oil & thyme in a large bowl

  4. Sprinkle with salt & pepper

  5. Spread carrots in a single layer on a parchment lined backing sheet

  6. Roast carrots until tender & browned, approximately 40 minutes

  7. Stir occasionally

  8. Season to taste with pepper & sea salt

  9. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil

  10. Serve & enjoy!

    Click here for our recipe inspiration!


Tried, Tasted & True! At Villa Graziella Organic our team tries & tastes every recipe we feature. While we love to share our family recipes & those of talented home cooks & chefs, sometimes we adapt them so they are even easier to make. As with our products, our goal is for you to have a healthy & delicious experience using Villa Gabriella recipes. So try them out in your kitchen, feel free to tweak them & please tell us what you think.

We welcome your comments & feedback!
Grazie da Team VILLA GRAZIELLA
clientservice@villagraziellaorganic.com

RecipesAmy WrightComment
Mulled Winter Wine

March 8th is International Women’s Day! Gathering first in 1911 to campaign for women’s equality, today, the global celebration recognizes women’s cultural, social, economic & political achievements. Not just for the holidays, we’re celebrating with a warm & cozy mulled winter wine. Makes 4 servings

Easy Ingredients

  • ½ bottle, 12.5 ounces of Villa Graziella Chianti DOCG made with a blend of organic Cabernet

  • Sauvignon & Sangiovese grapes

  • 12 ounces of water

  • 5 tablespoons organic sugar, sugar in the raw

  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

  • 10 cloves

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 organic orange-Moro blood orange, Mineola

Simple Directions

  1. Wash, dry & slice oranges, do not peel, set aside

  2. In a pot add wine, water, sugar, vanilla extract, cloves, cinnamon sticks

  3. Slowly simmer, uncovered

  4. When the wine first comes to boil, reduce heat to a gentle simmer

  5. Add 2-3 orange slices to mixture

  6. Simmer for 5-10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally to melt sugar

  7. Do not boil wine, the longer it cooks, the more alcohol dissipates

  8. Stir wine & ladle into wine glasses or mugs

  9. Decorate glasses with additional orange slices

  10. Serve hot or warmed, enjoy with your favorite lite bites or small plates

Click here for our recipe inspiration!


Tried, Tasted & True! At Villa Graziella Organic our team tries & tastes every recipe we feature. While we love to share our family recipes & those of talented home cooks & chefs, sometimes we adapt them so they are even easier to make. As with our products, our goal is for you to have a healthy & delicious experience using Villa Gabriella recipes. So try them out in your kitchen, feel free to tweak them & please tell us what you think.

We welcome your comments & feedback!
Grazie da Team VILLA GRAZIELLA
clientservice@villagraziellaorganic.com

CAPER & SUNDRIED TOMATO CROSTINI

We tasted delicious crostini at the Ortigia market on Via Trento. A symphony of smoky-salty-tangy flavors with capers, sundried tomatoes, garlic & paprika, we vowed to make these delicious toasts once stateside. Serve with healthy Mediterranean veggies; artichoke hearts, peppers & olives for a crowd-pleasing antipasto. Enjoy with beer, cider or wine. 4-6 servings.

Simple Ingredients

  • 4-5 Fresh garlic gloves

  • 3-4 Tablespoon Villa Graziella Organic extra-virgin olive oil + extra for drizzling

  • 4-6 oz fresh goat cheese

  • 1 1/2 tsp Spanish paprika

  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes dried

  • 3-4 Tablespoons capers, packed in salt-rinsed & dried or in water drained & dried

  • 1/2 Crusty baguette bread

Easy Directions

  1. Remove goat cheese from refrigerator & allow warm to room temperature.

  2. Heat oven to 350F˚ degrees, place garlic cloves, unpeeled on a pan, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top, roast garlic until soft approx. 12-15 minutes.

  3. Remove, set aside & allow to cool.

  4. Cut bread into 1/3-inch slices, brush olive oil on both sides, place on parchment lined baking sheet.

  5. Toast bread until golden brown, remove from oven, set aside.

  6. Combine softened goat cheese & paprika in a bowl, mix thoroughly.

  7. Squeeze roasted garlic into mixture, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, paprika, season to taste & mix. Spread cheese mixture on each slice of bread.

  8. Arrange sun-dried tomatoes & capers onto each slice of bread.

  9. Drizzle with olive oil, transfer to serving plate.

  10. Serve & enjoy with Villa Graziella Organic Rosso or Bianco Toscano IGT

Helpful tips* Soak sundried tomatoes in warm water 15-30 minutes until soft, drain & pat dry. Keep liquid to boil pasta, add flavor to stocks or sauces.

Rinse capers of salt by soaking them in tepid water for 5-10 minutes. Gently rinse them in a sieve, repeat process several times & gently pat dry. Double the recipe & seal remaining cheese mixture in a covered container, will keep for 1 ½ weeks.

Adapted from thespruceeats.com/goat-cheese-with-paprika-recipe

RecipesAmy WrightComment
Postcard from Ortigia

Located on the eastern coast of Sicily, the Greek colony Siracusa or as we know it Syracuse, was founded in 734 BC. The 1st settlement was on the island of Oritgia, just off shore from “mainland” Siracusa. Named for the ancient Greek word for quail, the Corinthians thought the island resembled the shape of a bird. Because of its’ key geographic location surrounded by water, it was “visited” by ancient Romans, Spanish, Arab & Germanic civilizations. Each represented in the architecture, Baroque monuments, authentic traditions and of course food.

It’s hard not to become smitten with Ortigia; a daily cadence of morning coffee & late afternoon aperitivi, the surrounding Tyrrhenian sea, the daily golden hour with a brilliant descending sunlight. Add exploring the narrow streets & discovering a hidden courtyard treasure and the gracious hospitality of the locals. Then there’s the food; lunch, dinner & even breakfast were fresh, delicious and truly embodied Ortigia’s rich culinary traditions.

We were fortunate to tour the local Ortigia food market on Via Trento. A feast for the senses is an understatement; pungent aromas of wild oregano, the fishmonger’s sing-song local dialect, proudly displayed deep red tomato estratto, fresh field greens with a bite, local almonds, figs, pistachios & prickly pear worth the work to open & savor.Our culinary lesson included fresh caught fried fish, local cheeses & cured meats, an astounding array of amari liquors, capers, olives & spices, ricotta salata, classic spaghetti alla Norma & the local granita specialty.

Less than a mile long and only 657 yards across, the compact island of Ortigia is rich with +2,700 years of edible education, we can’t wait to go back for more lessons.

TravelAmy WrightComment
Sulfites Simplified

There's lots of confusion regarding sulfites - they get bad press & actually are a useful ingredient in the winemaking process.

WHAT ARE SULFITES?
Very simply, sulfites (also known as sulfur dioxide) help preserve wine and slow chemical reactions which cause wine to go bad.

Sulfur was used in winemaking (instead of just cleaning wine barrels) in the early 1900s to stop bacteria and other yeasts from growing.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATURAL AND ADDED SULFITES?
Natural sulfites are just that, completely natural compounds produced during fermentation of all wine. Sulfite-free wines simply do not exist. Added sulfites preserve freshness and protect wine from oxidation, unwanted bacteria and yeasts.

ARE THERE SULFITE LIMITS?
Wines are labeled “contains sulfites” if they contain more than 10ppm (parts per million). Legal limits in the United States are as high as 350 ppm for conventional wine and most range between 50-150 ppm. For comparison sake, a can of soda contains 350 ppm.

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Often, red wines contain less sulfites than white wines and dry wines contain less sulfites than sweet wines. Also in most cases, lower-quality wines contain more sulfites than higher-quality wines.

DON’T SULFITES CAUSE HEADACHES?
The primary causes of wine headaches are not sulfites – it’s histamines or dehydration!

The FDA estimates that less than 1% of the U.S. population actually have a sulfite allergy, and those who do are most likely asthmatic. Many foods contain sulfites, most significantly more than wine.

Researchers maintain it is actually histamines, a byproduct of yeast during fermentation, intensify allergy like symptoms after drinking wine; coughing, head aches & sneezing.

Staying hydrated can help to deter wine headaches - don’t forget to drink plenty of water! It’s suggested to drink a full 8-oz (250 ml) glass of water with every serving of wine.

DO ORGANIC WINES CONTAIN LOWER AMOUNTS OF SULFITES?
In the US, an organic wine must be made with organically grown grapes and no added sulfites. In the EU, organic wines may contain natural sulfites but with lower maximums than non-organic wines. The EU legal limit for sulfites in organic wines is 100 milligrams per liter.

VILLA GRAZIELLA WINES - OUR ORGANIC COMMITMENT:

  • Our wines contain a maximum sulfite level of 40 ppm

  • No commercial yeast added, only ambient or indigenous sulfites.

  • No added artificial dyes or colors.

  • No synthetic fragrances added to enhance the aroma.

  • No sugars or flavor agents used to “improve” the taste, texture or mouth feel.

  • No oak chips or oak powder.



SOURCES:
BON APPETIT
WINE FOLLY

Amy WrightComment
Tuscan Ragù Sauce
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In Italian cuisine, ragù is a meat-based sauce that is commonly served with pasta. Ragù was created by Alberto Alvisi in the 18th century.

In northern Italian regions, including Tuscany, ragù typically uses minced, chopped or ground meat, cooked with sauteed vegetables in a liquid. The meats may include one or more of beef, chicken, pork, duck, goose, lamb, mutton, veal, or game. The liquids can be broth, stock, water, wine, milk, cream or tomato, often in combination. If tomatoes are included, they are typically limited relative to the meat, making it a meat stew rather than a tomato sauce with added meat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot

  • 2 celery stalks

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley

  • 2 large yellow onions

  • 2 cans San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, 28 oz each

  • 1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz each

  • 1 tomato paste, 6 oz

  • 3 cans tomato juice, 11.5 oz each

  • 1 lb ground veal

  • 1 lb ground chuck

  • 1 lb ground pork

Instructions:

  1. Chop celery and carrots in food processor

  2. Sauté the celery and carrots in olive oil (adding more oil as needed) in large sauce pan

  3. Chop onions and garlic in food processor, sauté with carrots and celery

  4. Add all meat to sauté mixture, cook until browned while incorporating meat into vegetable mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste (1 tablespoon salt, 1 tsp pepper)

  5. Chop parsley in food processor.

  6. Once meat is fully browned, add parsley to mixture. Mix for 1 minute.

  7. Add can of tomato paste to mixture, incorporate into meat.

  8. In a blender, puree cans of whole tomatoes 1 at a time. Pour into meat mixture and stir.

  9. At can of diced tomatoes to sauce.

  10. Add 3 cans of tomato juice to sauce.

  11. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally.

  12. Heat to boil, turn heat down, place lid on and simmer for at least 1 hr

  13. Serve with pasta of your choice and enjoy with Villa Graziella Organic wine.

History Source

Amy WrightComment
WALNUT BISCOTTI
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Biscotti, known also as Cantuccini, are Italian biscuits that originated in the city of Prato. They are twice-baked, oblong-shaped, dry, crunchy, and traditionally dipped in coffee. Because they’re baked twice and very dry they could be stored for long periods of time. Such nonperishable food was particularly useful during journeys and wars, and twice baked breads were a staple food of the Roman Legions.

The traditional recipe has morphed over time and varies across many kitchens. Whether they include almonds, walnuts, cinnamon, or other spices, they are always delicious and make a great cookie for the holidays.

Ingredients:

  • 7 Eggs

  • 1 ½ Cups of Sugar

  • 1 ½ Cups Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 3 Teaspoons of Baking Powder

  • 2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

  • 5 Cups of Flour

  • 1 Cup Chopped Nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix all wet ingredients together including sugar

  2. Sift all dry ingredients together, add to wet mixture 1 cup at a time

  3. Mix in nuts by hand

  4. In large spoonfuls, drop on an ungreased cookie sheet

  5. Continue to add spoonfuls in a row, connecting to each other

  6. Complete 2 rows on one cookie sheet, each about 2-3 inches wide

  7. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree, preheated oven

  8. After 20 minutes, remove from over and let sit for 5 minutes

  9. Cut into slices, and place back onto cookie sheet

  10. Bake the cookies for another 15 minutes

Enjoy with coffee, hot chocolate or on their own!

Tried, Tasted & True! At Villa Graziella Organic our team tries & tastes every recipe we feature. While we love to share our family recipes & those of talented home cooks & chefs, sometimes we adapt them so they are even easier to make. As with our products, our goal is for you to have a healthy & delicious experience using Villa Gabriella recipes. So try them out in your kitchen, feel free to tweak them & please tell us what you think.

We welcome your comments & feedback!
Grazie da Team VILLA GRAZIELLA
clientservice@villagraziellaorganic.com


History Source

Amy WrightComment