Summer’s Bounty

Kara and Marni Powers are twin sisters cooking, dining and blogging their way through Boston and beyond. Five years ago, they started Twin Tastes, a fabulous food and entertaining blog. The twin sisters see the act of cooking and entertaining as a form of creative expression, an art that encourages the mixing of flavors, spices, techniques and stories.

Their interest in cooking dates back to their Greek grandmother’s open-arms approach, letting them taste her delicious creations like her famous spanakopita. This fascination with food and culture continued during their travels abroad in Europe where they experienced firsthand the limitlessness of cooking. Kara and Marni’s collaboration flourished in their shared, tiny North End, Boston kitchen and continues in their respective locations today…

Kara and Marni are excited to share their favorite easy-entertaining recipes with the Peachy community. Here are a few more of their favorite summer recipes and a refreshing cocktail. 

stone fruit and cheese crostini

Crostini with Sliced Apricots, Blue Cheese and Agave Nectar Drizzle 

A vibrant appetizer

Makes 16-18 pieces

1 artisan baguette sliced into 1/2-inch slices
Extra virgin olive oil
4 small apricots, thinly sliced
2 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Agave nectar
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush both sides of the sliced bread with extra virgin olive oil and set on top of a grill or in an oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Arrange the toasts in a single layer on a platter. Layer each piece with a small bunch of arugula and a few sliced apricots. Sprinkle with blue cheese, slivered almonds, a drizzle of the agave nectar, and salt and pepper. The amount on each is really up to you.

shrimp bruschetta

Shrimp and Feta Bruschetta

While the grilled baguette smothered in toppings is delectable, you could also toss the flavor-packed topping in pasta or serve it atop bigger cuts of toast for a starter or lunch entree.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for sautéing plus 2 tablespoons for dressing
1 pound medium-sized raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 clove garlic, cut in half
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
2/3 cup crumbled feta
Salt and pepper throughout
1 baguette sliced into 1-inch pieces (I used Iggy’s sourdough)

In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until slightly golden, about thirty seconds. Next add the shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool slightly.

Add the chopped tomatoes, herbs, lemon juice, remaining extra virgin olive oil, kalamata olives, and feta to the shrimp bowl, toss and let meld for at least twenty minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. While I like the filling at room temperature, feel free to let the mixture meld in the refrigerator for a chilled version.

While the topping is marinating, heat the grill to medium-high heat. Brush the baguette slices with remaining extra virgin olive oil. Grill the bread until slightly charred, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove the toasts from the grill and arrange on a platter. Rub both sides of the baguette slices with the halved garlic clove. Spoon the shrimp mixture generously over each baguette slice. Garnish with extra feta and serve!

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Posted in Entertaining, Food, Guest Blog