So now you love organic, fresh olive oil and quality balsamic vinegars, but you want ideas for what to do with them (other than eat them straight from the bottle)? Find inspiration below and by all means, experiment yourself!  Please share any successful delicacies you come up with.  We’d love to hear!

Balsamic Pear Appetizer

  • flatbread cracker
  • thinly sliced red pear
  • Mussini Pear & Quince Compote ( available exclusively @ Kanon Gallery )
  • Place thin slice of pear on cracker and top with dollop of pear and quince compote.

Red Creamy Onion Appetizer

  • wheat cracker
  • whipped cream cheese spread
  • small, thinly sliced beet
  • Mussini Red Onion Compote ( available exclusively @ Kanon Gallery )
  • thyme garnish
  • Spread crackers with cream cheese, top with slice of beet, red onion compote, and optional sprig of thyme.

Cherried Tomato Appetizer

  • cherry tomatoes
  • small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Mussini Cherry Compote ( available exclusively @ Kanon Gallery )
  • fresh arugula leaf
  • mini toast
  • Scopp seeds from tomoatoes, cut mozzeralla balls in half and put in tomoato shells on mini toast. Top with a dollop of Cherry Compote and a small piece of arugula.

Sweet Salmon Appetizer

  • bagel bite crackers
  • whipped cream cheese
  • Mussini Pear & Quince Compote ( available exclusively @ Kanon Gallery )
  • smoked salmon
  • sprig of fresh dill
  • Spread crackers with cream cheese, cover with pear and quince compote, and top with slice of smoked salmon and small sprig of fresh dill.

Strawberry Melon Appetizer

  • mini toasts
  • ripe orange melon
  • prosciutto
  • Mussini Strawberry Compote ( available exclusively @ Kanon Gallery )
  • Spread strawberry compote on mini toasts. Wrap bite size pieces of melon with proscuitto and place on compote.

Cheesy Fig Appetizer

  • crostini
  • mozzerella cheese, shredded
  • parmesan cheese, grated
  • Mussini Fig Compote ( available exclusively @ Kanon Gallery )
  • Top crostini with mozzeralla, parmesan and dollop of fig compote. Place under broiler until lightly browned.

Pepe e insalata di olive – From the kitchen of Marvin Leeth

Equal amounts (about 1/3 cup) each:

Mix and coarsely chop olives and peppers.  Drain any remaining brine or juice from the mix.  Drizzle about one teaspoon of Taggiasca extra virgin olive oil over the salad.

Use as a topping  for hors d’oeuvres with fresh Mozzarella cheese or as a dressing for grilled prosciutto and sharp cheddar cheese sandwiches.

JOE’S REAL LIGURIAN PESTO – From the kitchen of Joe Bozzano


  • 4 bunches basil
  • 1 ounce pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmeggiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 1 1/2 ounces of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup Taggiasca extra virgin olive oil, perfect due to it’s fruity tones

Stem the basil, wash, and dry on a tea towel or paper towels, being careful not to squash the leaves. When the leaves are dry, put them in the mortar, add the garlic and the sea salt, and crush with a wooden pestle. When a pasta forms, add the pine nuts and continue crushing until well incorporated. Drizzle in the olive oil, continuing to mix using the pestle. Stir in the cheese and taste for seasoning. Add another pinch of salt if necessary. If serving with pasta, reserve some of the pasta cooking water and add with the pesto when dressing. (Traditional pesto pasta is served with boiled potatoes and green beans.)

Please, if at all possible, make this pesto in a mortar. The resulting flavor will be markedly better. If you want to grow your own basil, plant Genovese basil seeds; for obvious reasons, this variety makes the best pesto. In finishing this recipe, if for some reason the flavor isn’t as bright, as you want, a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice can help.


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