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Labor Day Skewers!

Local foodie blogger Jenny with the Good Eats is back with more tasty recipes featuring our ingredients! Take a look:

Summer sure did fly by and it is ALREADY time to start planning your Labor Day bash!

Have no fear, we here at Russo’s are ready to help you throw a successful and delicious holiday party.

Instead of spending hours preparing foods and tending to a grill. Recruit some helpers to make these easy skewers. Preparing ready-to-eat skewers will allow you to enjoy those last few precious moments of summer with friends and family. These skewers will hold their quality for 24-48 hours, therefore can be made in advance for your party. If that wasn’t enough good news, these skewers are also easy to make, which can be a great kid-friendly activity.

For dessert, an easy olive oil cake is the perfect sweet treat to the end of a great meal. This olive oil cake is easy to make and refreshing. Not to mention, it’s made with heart healthy olive oil and topped with fresh berries. This olive oil cake can be made ahead of time and topped with powdered sugar and blackberries right before serving.  

 

Melon and Prosciutto Skewers

Makes 8 skewers

Ingredients:

  • 8 watermelon chunks or balls
  • 8 cantaloupe chunks or balls
  • 4 slices of prosciutto sliced in half
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 8 mozzarella pearls

Preparation:

  1. Cut melon into small 1 inch chunks or use a melon baller to create round shapes
  2. Cut prosciutto slices in half
  3. Layer watermelon, prosciutto, basil, mozzarella and cantaloupe on each skewer.
  4. Serve and Enjoy!

 

Cheese Tortellini Skewers

Makes 8 skewers

Ingredients:

  • 24 tri-colored cheese tortellini (cook ahead of time and refrigerate)
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 basil leaves, julienned 

Preparation:

  1. Alternate 3 tortellini and 2 cherry tomatoes per skewer
  2. Drizzle finished skewer with olive oil
  3. Top with fresh basil
  4. Serve and Enjoy!

*Also great with marinara or pesto dipping sauce!

 

Antipasto Skewers

Makes 8 skewers

Ingredients:

  • 8 whole black olives, pitted
  • 8 whole green olives, pitted
  • 8 artichoke hearts
  • 8 slices of salami
  • 8 slices of pepperoni
  • 16 mozzarella pearls

Preparation:

  1. Alternate placing olives, artichokes, salami, pepperoni and 2 mozzarella pearls per skewer.
  2. Serve and Enjoy!

 

Lemon Olive Oil Cake with fresh blackberries

Makes 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup blackberries

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whip eggs and sugar together until the mixture doubles in volume. Approximately 5 minutes with a stand mixer.
  3. While egg/sugar mixture is whipping, combine sifted cake flour, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil and lemon juice.
  5. When egg/sugar mixture has doubled in size, fold in olive oil and lemon juice mixture slowly.
  6. Incorporate dry ingredient mixture slowly, folding into wet mixture gently.
  7. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Let cool on cooling rack. When cooled, top with powdered sugar and fresh blackberries.
  10. Enjoy!
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Grilled Pizza, A New Fourth of July Favorite

It’s time to get those grills hot because Fourth of July is right around the corner! This year try something out of the ordinary to impress your guests. Nothing gets the party started quite like a grilled pizza. Grilling your pizza will create a beautiful rustic appearance and the flavors will be unlike any oven baked pizza.

Having a pizza topping station will have your guests engaged and able to make their own creation. Russo’s has an extensive deli section filled with plenty of options for pizza toppings. But fear not, if you need some ideas, we have four flavorful and easy to make pizzas. These creations will definitely please every palate at your gathering. For the breakfast lovers, we have But First, Brunch, this is a breakfast style creation topped with fresh eggs. Your guests with a sweet and salty preference will love Wine Country, which is a pizza topped with blistered grapes, prosciutto, and finished with a honey drizzle. There is not one person at your grill out that can resist The Classic, which is topped with plenty of Russo’s Italian sausage and pesto. Last but certainly not least, we have The Mediterranean. This pizza is filled with delicious Mediterranean flavors that are fresh and flavorful. This recipe is also vegetarian friendly!  

All pizzas were made on a gas grill preheated to 500 degrees. A pizza stone was placed on the grill to preheat for approximately 10 minutes. It is important to use metal utensils for transferring the pizza, as plastic will melt on the grill.

Happy Fourth of July!

But First, Brunch

Makes 1 10” pizza

Ingredients:

  • ½ thawed Russo’s pizza dough ball
  • ½ cup peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • sliced scallions for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Place stretched out dough on a pizza stone, cook 1 minute with the lid closed.
  2. Add crushed peeled tomatoes to dough and sprinkle red pepper flakes on top of the sauce.
  3. Top with mozzarella and crack 2 eggs on top of the pizza.
  4. Close lid and cook approximately 5-7 minutes. The pizza is done when crust is brown, cheese is melted, and egg whites are set.
  5. Remove from grill and garnish with sliced scallions.

Wine Country

Makes 1 10” pizza

Ingredients:

  • ½ thawed Russo’s pizza dough ball
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 5-6 slices of prosciutto
  • ½ cup red and black grapes
  • drizzle of honey to taste
  • parsley for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Place stretched out dough on a pizza stone, cook 1 minute with lid closed.
  2. Brush olive oil onto the dough.
  3. Top oiled dough with mozzarella and gorgonzola.
  4. Top cheese with prosciutto and grapes.
  5. Close lid and cook approximately 5-7 minutes. The pizza is done when crust is brown, cheese is melted, and grapes have blistered open.
  6. Remove from grill and drizzle with honey and parsley.

The Classic

Makes 1 10” pizza

Ingredients:

  • ½ thawed Russo’s pizza dough ball
  • 1/3 cup peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 6oz Russo’s Italian sausage (precook first before using)
  • 2 tablespoons Russo’s homemade pesto

Preparation:

  1. Place stretched out dough on a pizza stone, cook 1 minute with lid closed.
  2. Add crushed peeled tomatoes to dough.
  3. Add mozzarella cheese on the top of the sauce then add cooked Italian sausage.
  4. Close lid and cook approximately 5-7 minutes. The pizza is done when crust is brown and the cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from grill and drizzle with pesto.

The Mediterranean (Vegetarian)

Makes 1 10” pizza

Ingredients:

  • ½ thawed Russo’s pizza dough ball
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup feta
  • 1/3 cup canned artichokes
  • 1/3 cup assorted olives
  • fresh dill for garnish
  • lemon zest

Preparation:

  1. Place stretched out dough on a pizza stone, cook 1 minute with lid closed.
  2. Top dough with olive oil.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes then top with mozzarella cheese.
  4. Top with artichokes, olives, and then feta.
  5. Close lid and cook approximately 5-7 minutes. The pizza is done when crust is brown and cheese is melted.
  6. Remove from grill and garnish with fresh dill and lemon zest.
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GR Now: Summer Wine Frappe Recipes

Summer is meant for frozen spiked beverages, right?

Ok – Summer does include other things but they are all much more enjoyable with a beverage of the alcohol variety.

Sweeten up your summer by trying our unique, thirst quenching, wine frappe recipes (Hint: Frappe means “slushie” in Italian).

Even if you are not a wine drinker, you need to try Russo’s has a wine frappe recipe. All recipes call for minimal ingredients, yet pack loads of freshness (and fruitness) making these recipes perfect for West Michigan’s fleeting summer.

Strawberry Frose Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of dry Rose (Russo Recommendation: Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rose)
  • 2 cups of frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • Ice

Instructions:

*Blend all ingredients together. This will allow the ingredients to form a thicker consistency, similar to a frappe or slushie. Garnish the beverage with a mint leaf. Serve.

 

Peach Pinot Grigio Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bottle of Pinot Grigio (Russo Recommendation: Benvolio Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 cups of frozen peaches
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Ice

Instructions:

*Blend all ingredients together. This will allow the ingredients to form a thicker consistency, similar to a frappe or slushie. Garnish the beverage with fresh strawberries. Serve.

 

Raspberry Cabernet Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon (Russo Recommendation: Fourteen Hands Cabernet)
  • 2 cups of raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Ice

Instructions:

*Blend all ingredients together. This will allow the ingredients to form a thicker consistency, similar to a frappe or slushie. Garnish the beverage with fresh raspberries. Serve.

To view one of the largest wine selections in West Michigan visit our location at 2770 29th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512. Don’t want to leave the house? Don’t worry. We also offers wine delivery (Yes, wine can be delivered right to your doorstep). For more information on wine delivery services, call (616) 942-2980.

*If the mixture is too thick, add a splash more liquid. If it’s too thin, add a few ice cubes.

This article was originally featured on GRNow.com. To view this article in its original state, click here.

 

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A Twist on Caprese Salad

The summer heat calls for light meal options. Try out our delicious and unique caprese salad recipes for your next meal-in, or gathering with family and friends! These dishes can be made in a matter of minutes, and are sure to be a fan favorite: 

(Hint: All of these ingredients can be found in our store, too!)

The traditional Caprese Salad:

  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • Cracked pepper
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Add either: Fresh basil, truffle salt and extra virgin olive oil -or- Villa Russo homemade pesto, drizzled onto salad
  • Serve with French Bread, sliced or crostini

 

Caprese di Frutta:

  • Peaches, sliced
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella pearls
  • Cracked pepper
  • BLiS Tahitian Vanilla Infused Fleur de Sel sea salt
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Fresh basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil

 

Spiedini Caprese:

  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh mozzarella pearls
  • Fresh basil
  • Truffle salt, lightly sprinkled
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Skewers
  • Optional: Villa Russo homemade wine & cheese sausage

 

Pasta Caprese:

  • Farfalle pasta
  • Portobello mushrooms, sautéed in Riesling or Pinot Grigio, olive oil and onions
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • Cracked pepper
  • Acetum blaze glaze
  • Add either: Fresh basil, truffle salt and extra virgin olive oil -or- Villa Russo homemade pesto, drizzled onto salad

Cooking Instructions:

  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • In a food processor combine the first 6 ingredients and process until smooth. This is the pesto sauce. 
  • Combine the cooked pasta with the pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella. Serve chilled.

 

Caprese Pizza:

  • Villa Russo traditional pizza dough
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • Cracked pepper
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Roasted garlic cloves
  • Add either: Fresh basil, truffle salt and light extra virgin olive oil -or- Villa Russo homemade pesto, drizzled or used as base sauce

Our expert wino, Dave Russo, also recommends pairing these fresh salads with a glass of (2015) Stefano Massone Massera, Gavi, wine. Russo says, “This is a gorgeous, textured white; laced with perfumed apricots, peaches, mint and flowers. This soft, caressing Gavi shows wonderful finesse in a soft, generous style that has a nice mineral-like finish.”

For more delicious food and drink recipes, visit our blog page. For updates on our expansion to downtown Grand Rapids, visit: russosgr.com/downtown.

 

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Shop With Jenny

If you are looking for healthy and delicious dinner options, have we got a treat for you. Food blogger, Jenny with the Good Eats, will be sharing her tips and tricks tonight at 5:30 p.m. Stop by and learn how to shop smart and cook amazing meals.
 
Below are the recipes she will be sharing with all of you:
 

Italian Style Eggs in Purgatory

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 garlic cloves
14oz of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons of Kalamata olives, chopped
¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese
1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
 
Serve with 1 loaf of Russo’s ciabatta bread (with Kalamata olives and feta)
 

Preparation:

  1. Chop ¼ cup parsley, olives, garlic until finely minced together.
  2. Add in oregano and red pepper flakes to mixture.  
  3. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add olive oil to the pan.
  5. Add parsley, garlic, olive, and seasoning mixture to pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add crushed tomatoes to pan. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Make 4 indents in sauce to place eggs into.
  8. Sprinkle with half the parmesan and half the feta.
  9. Cover with lid and cook 5 minutes, you will want the egg whites to be set.
  10. Finish dish with addition olive oil drizzle, the rest of the cheeses, and the remaining parsley.
  11. Serve with warmed Russo’s bread. 
 

Russo’s Grilled Cheese

Makes 1 sandwich 

This recipe is simple, flavorful, and vegetarian. This dish is high in unsaturated fatty acids from the olive oil and pine nuts in the pesto. Roasted red peppers have a high vitamin C content, which is important for boosting immunity.
 

Ingredients:

2 slices of Russo’s Italian Bread (½ inch thick)
3 slices ¼ inch thick of fresh mozzarella
1 Tablespoon Russo’s Homemade Pesto
1 Whole roasted red pepper, sliced
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Serve with balsamic vinegar on the side for dipping (optional)
 

Preparation:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan
  2. Spread both slices of bread with 1 tablespoon of pesto
  3. Place mozzarella slices on the bread, then top with sliced roasted red peppers
  4. Place sandwich in the pan over medium heat, cover with lid.
  5. Cook until both sides slightly brown, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.  
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy.
 

Crispy Prosciutto and Arugula Pasta

Serves 4
 
This recipe emphasizes the simplicity of good ingredients. The whole wheat pasta and fresh arugula provide the dish with fiber to help keep you full for longer. The dish is seasoned with fresh herbs and spices to help keep the sodium content down. The sauce of this dish is extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is an unsaturated fatty acid that may help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
 

Ingredients:

1 package of whole wheat fettuccine
¼ lb of prosciutto, crispy
2 cups of baby arugula
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
Zest of 1 lemon  
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup pasta water
1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
 

Preparation for crispy prosciutto:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 depress.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and lay prosciutto flat.
  3. Bake until crispy (approximately 10-12 minutes).
  4. Let cool to room temperature and break into pieces.
 

Preparation:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Pour ½ cup olive oil into a sauté pan, heat over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic to heat olive oil and cook for 30 seconds, do not brown the garlic.
  4. Add in ¼ cup pasta water, 1 cup parsley, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Take off heat and mix in pasta.
  6. After pasta is coated in sauce, plate into bowls.
  7. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan.
  8. Top pasta with baby arugula and crisp prosciutto.
  9. Zest lemon over pasta.   
  10. Serve immediately, pairs well with a simple Caesar salad. 
 
Let us know what you think!