Category Archives: Sides

Sicilian Culinary Delight: Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs Recipe

Roasted Peppers
Whenever I visit my Sicilian brother-in-law, I’m treated to a culinary masterpiece that rarely graces Italian restaurant menus—Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs. This delectable dish holds a special place in his heart as it’s his mother’s cherished recipe, bringing a taste of Sicily to our lunch gatherings. Today, I’m excited to share this authentic Sicilian delight with you, complete with the tantalizing aroma of roasted peppers, the richness of breadcrumbs, and a symphony of flavors that make it the perfect side dish.


To recreate this Sicilian gem in your own kitchen, gather the following ingredients:

  • 4 or 5 red or yellow bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow raisins
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios or walnuts
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan grated cheese

Cooking Instructions

Now, let’s dive into the culinary journey of crafting Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs.


Begin by preheating to 400°F. This ensures the peppers achieve that perfect roasted tenderness

Begin by preheating to 400°F. This ensures the peppers achieve that perfect roasted tenderness.

Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs
Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs

Roast, Peel, and Slice the Peppers

Roast the red or yellow bell peppers until their skins char and blister. Once roasted, carefully peel and slice them, revealing their smoky-sweet flavor that forms the foundation of this dish.

Sauté the Onion

In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the thinly sliced onion with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook until the onions become soft and translucent, infusing the kitchen with enticing aromas.

Combine Peppers and Onions

Add the roasted peppers to the sautéed onions, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. Allow them to mingle and cook together for approximately 10 minutes, letting the sweetness of the peppers complement the savory undertones of the onions.

Add Raisins and Nuts

Introduce 2 tablespoons of yellow raisins and 2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios or walnuts to the pan. This addition brings a delightful contrast of textures and flavors, elevating the dish to new heights.

Sprinkle Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

As the aroma intensifies, sprinkle ¼ cup of breadcrumbs over the mixture, ensuring they absorb the savory juices. Follow this with a generous ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese, enriching the dish with a cheesy goodness that ties everything together.

There you have it—Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs, a Sicilian culinary delight that captures the essence of family, tradition, and the rich flavors of Italy. Whether served as a side dish or the star of the meal, this recipe is a testament to the artistry of Sicilian cuisine. Try it in your kitchen, and let the vibrant flavors transport you to the sun-kissed landscapes of Sicily. Buon Appetito! Craving Sicilian flavors? Contact us now to embark on your culinary journey with the Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs Recipe!Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs

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Grilled Vegetables Recipe: Elevate Your Outdoor Cooking Experience

Grilled vegetables recipe

Who says grilling is just for burgers and steaks? If you’re looking to add a burst of flavor and a dose of health to your outdoor cooking repertoire, grilled vegetables are the way to go. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a novice with a grill pan, this simple and versatile Grilled vegetables Recipe is bound to make your taste buds dance.

The Vegetable Medley

Let’s start with the colorful cast of characters – 1 eggplant, 1 bell pepper, 2 zucchinis, and 1 onion. Chop them into bite-sized pieces; after all, you want each forkful to be a symphony of flavors. Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, a dash of black pepper, and if you’re feeling

adventurous, half a teaspoon of cumin. Drizzle with the liquid gold of the kitchen – olive oil. Now, give it a good toss. This is your vegetable medley in the making.


  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ½ tsp, cumin (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Balsamic vinegar

Grilled Vegetables

The Grill Dance

Whether you’re firing up the outdoor grill or embracing the convenience of a grill pan, the next steps are crucial. Picture this: the sizzle of vegetables hitting the hot surface, the aroma wafting through the air. Lightly brush your heated pan or grill grates with oil – a sneak peek into the secret behind those perfect grill marks.

Place your veggies on the grill with care, and let them dance with the flames. A quick turn is all they need to get those beautiful grill marks on both sides. This is where the magic happens – the smoky char mingling with the inherent sweetness of the vegetables. It’s a symphony of flavors that’ll have you questioning why you haven’t grilled vegetables sooner.

Dressing Up the Delight

Sure, the Grilled vegetables recipe are already a star on their own, but why not add a touch of glam? Enter the garlic-infused dressing. Take a head of garlic, slice it in half, and wrap those golden cloves in foil with a generous pour of olive oil. Let them roast at 350°F in your preheated oven for 20 minutes. The result? Garlic that’s transformed into a creamy, caramelized delight.

Once cooled, squeeze the roasted cloves into a bowl. Now, it’s time to play chef. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Give it a stir, and voilà – you’ve just whipped up a dressing that elevates your grilled vegetables to a whole new level

Grilled Vegetables

A Symphony of Flavors

Picture this: a plate piled high with vibrant grilled vegetables, each piece infused with the smokiness of the grill and the richness of the garlic dressing. The fork effortlessly glides through a medley of textures and tastes – the tender eggplant, the crisp zucchini, the sweet bell pepper, and the caramelized onion. It’s not just a meal; it’s a symphony of flavors celebrating the union of simplicity and sophistication.

The Verdict

Grilled vegetables aren’t just a side dish; they’re a culinary masterpiece. They’re proof that healthy eating can be a festival of flavors, a celebration of textures, and an ode to the art of grilling. So, the next time you fire up the grill, let your creativity run wild. Experiment with different vegetables, tweak the seasonings, and make it your own. Because in the world of grilled vegetables, there are no rules – only endless possibilities for deliciousness.Grilled VegetablesGrilled vegetables transcend the realm of side dishes, becoming a culinary masterpiece. This symphony of flavors, enhanced by a garlic-infused dressing, celebrates the union of simplicity and sophistication. Embrace the endless possibilities in the world of grilled vegetables; let your creativity flourish on the grill. For more culinary inspiration, contact us today.

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Mint’s Refreshing Twist in Sicilian Orange Salad Recipe | Robertiulo

sicilian orange salad recipe

When it comes to the vibrant world of salads, few dishes encapsulate the essence of Sicilian cuisine like the Sicilian Orange Salad. Picture this: succulent orange slices, punctuated with the sweetness of currants, the crunch of pistachios, and the aromatic touch of mint. This delightful concoction is a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds, leaving you craving for more. In this journey through the realms of Sicilian gastronomy, join us as we unravel the secrets behind the perfect Sicilian Orange Salad recipe and explore the enchanting role that mint plays in this citrusy delight.

The Heart of Sicily on a Plate

Different families have different recipes for the Sicilian Orange Salad, each with its own unique twist. For those who appreciate a hint of pungency, thinly sliced red onions can be a stellar addition. The beauty of this dish lies in its flexibility—substitutions are not only allowed but encouraged. Swap currants for chopped dates, pistachios for walnuts, or experiment with the aromatic notes of rose water instead of orange flower water. The proportions are a canvas, and your palate is the artist.

Ingredients That Create Symphony

Before we delve into the magical role of mint, let’s gather the ingredients for this Sicilian masterpiece:

  • 3 large oranges
  • ¼ cup currants, rehydrated and chopped
  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp. orange flower water
  • Juice of ¼ large lemon
  • A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of salt and a light sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar

The Art of Assembly

Using a very sharp knife, peel the oranges with precision, leaving no trace of pith. Slice the oranges into thin rounds, then cut them into half-moons, arranging them artfully in a serving dish. Don’t let any precious juice escape—pour it over the slices for an extra burst of citrusy goodness.

Sprinkle the vibrant canvas with currants, pistachios, and the star of our show—chopped mint. Mint brings a refreshing coolness to the salad, elevating the overall flavor profile. It’s not just a garnish; it’s an integral part of the symphony we’re composing.

Drizzle the orange flower water, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil over the ensemble. The orange flower water adds a fragrant touch, the lemon juice adds a zesty kick, and the olive oil lends a luscious richness. Finish with a pinch of salt and a delicate sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar—these seemingly contrasting elements come together to create a harmonious balance.

The Minty Elixir: Elevating the Flavor Profile

Now, let’s talk about the unsung hero of this Sicilian Orange Salad—mint. Beyond its role as a mere garnish, mint infuses the dish with a burst of freshness that complements the citrusy sweetness of the oranges. As you take a forkful of the salad, the mint leaves release their aromatic oils, intertwining with the other ingredients to create a sensory experience that transports you to the sun-kissed orchards of Sicily.

Mint’s cool and invigorating essence acts as a palate cleanser, preparing your taste buds for the next delightful bite. Its subtle yet distinctive flavor weaves seamlessly into the tapestry of the salad, providing a counterpoint to the sweetness of the currants and the nuttiness of the pistachios.

Serving Suggestions: Chilled or at Room Temperature

Once your Sicilian Orange Salad masterpiece is assembled, the choice is yours—serve it chilled for a refreshing summer indulgence or let it grace your table at room temperature for a comforting winter delight. The beauty of this dish lies not just in its taste but also in its adaptability to different occasions and seasons.


As we conclude our journey through the enchanting world of Sicilian Orange Salad, we invite you to embark on your own culinary adventure. Experiment with the ingredients, let your creativity shine, and savor the symphony of flavors with every bite. The magic of mint in this recipe is a testament to the versatility of this humble herb, transforming a simple salad into a culinary masterpiece that captures the spirit of Sicily.

In every plate of Sicilian Orange Salad lies a story—a story of tradition, innovation, and the shared joy of good food. So, gather your ingredients, channel your inner chef, and let the minty magic unfold in your kitchen. Sicilian Orange Salad isn’t just a dish; it’s an experience—a celebration of flavors that dance on your palate, leaving an indelible mark. Enjoy the journey, and bon appétit!


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Ceasar Salad 2

Caesar Salad 2

Caesar Salad
In 1924 Caesar Salad was created by an Italian American chef, Caesar Cardini, at the Caesar Hotel in Tijuana. It’s possible that anchovies weren’t used in the original recipe but there was definitely no mayonnaise or vinegar. I posted a Caesar Salad recipe in the past but this one is a little more authentic.

Caesar Salad

  1. 1 clove of garlic
  2. ½ tsp black pepper
  3. 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  4. 5 anchovies finely chopped
  5. 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  6. 1½ tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce
  7. ¼ cup Parmigiana cheese
  8. 1 egg yolk
  9. ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  10. A day-old loaf of Italian bread
  11. 3 tbsp olive oil for croutons
  12. Salt and pepper to taste
  13. 2 medium heads of romaine lettuce with the outer leaves removed
  14. Extra Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to grate onto the salad
Dressing: (ingredients 1 to 9)
Mash the garlic clove, black pepper, mustard and anchovies in a mortar and pestle until it forms a paste. When it’s well mashed, add in the Parmesan a bit at a time until well incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix in the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.Caesar Salad
In another bowl, separate the egg yolk from the egg white and beat the yolk.
Mix the beaten egg yolk in with the rest of the ingredients that you’ve already mixed together. Mix in the ½ cup of olive oil into the other ingredients.Caesar Salad(You can double the amount of ingredients and refrigerate half of the dressing for use at another time.)

Croutons: (ingredients 10 to 12)
Cut or tear the bread into ½ to 1-inch cubes and place in a bowl (about 3 cups). Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix the bread with the oil, tossing until it is all well coated.Caesar SaladSpread the coated bread in a single layer in a pan and cook over medium high heat, shaking the pan a few times, for about 5 to 8 minutes until the bread pieces are crisp and slightly browned.
Caesar Salad

Assembly: (ingredients 13 & 14)
Remove some of the outer leaves and cut the Romaine into one-inch strips. Add it to a salad bowl and pour in enough of the dressing to coat the lettuce. Add the croutons, some grated cheese, toss again and serve.Caesar Salad

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Generally known as Cubanelles, some people refer to them Italian green peppers and my mother called them “frying peppers.” They’re easy to prepare and are good as a side dish, with fried eggs, and cold or room temperature in an antipasto or in a sandwich.

Cut the stem end off the peppers and remove the core and seeds. Slice them in half or quarters lengthwise.
Heat the oil and add the two crushed garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the garlic starts to brown.
Discard the garlic and place the sliced peppers in the pan. Weigh them down to flatten them. You can use a dish and tomato can (or whatever weight you like) and fry for a few minutes on each side.
When they’re done, place them in a container layered with the sliced garlic clove. Add a little extra oil if it’s to dry.  It’s good to let them marinate in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

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Roasted Marrow Bone

Roasted Marrow Bone

Roasted Marrow BoneThis is a one ingredient recipe. You put the beef bone in the oven, heat and eat. The femur is the largest bone in the steer, and it has the best marrow to bone ratio. My butcher ties a few sprigs of fresh oregano on the bone to make a better presentation in his display case. Even salt and pepper aren’t really necessary, but it can’t hurt.
Roasted Marrow BoneSince marrow is mostly fat use a high heat for a short time, so it doesn’t all melt away. Place the bones in an oven proof dry pan in a 450-degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve with good bread. If you love steak, you’ll love a roasted marrow bone.Roasted Marrow Bone

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Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant

I know people who said they didn’t like eggplant until they tried it done like this. Grilled eggplant can be served room temperature or chilled as a part of an antipasto, side dish or on a sandwich.

Grilled Eggplant

  • 2 medium to large eggplants
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt, black, and red pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
Trim the stem ends off the eggplants and slice lengthwise, about ¼-inch thick. Grilled EggplantLay the eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle salt on both sides. Wait 15 minutes and blot up moisture.

Prepare the marinade:

Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant
Heat the oil in a small pan, add salt, black and red pepper and lightly sauté the chopped garlic. Add the herbs, lemon zest/juice, and the garlic/oil mixture to a blender, food processor or if you need the exercise use a mortar and pestle.
Grilled Eggplant

While you heat your grill (charcoal, gas, or a grill pan), use a brush to lightly coat each eggplant slice with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the eggplant slices on the grill oil side down and add oil, salt, and pepper to the top side of the eggplant. After you get nice grill marks on one side, turn and grill the other side. They cook fast so watch them.Grilled Eggplant

Prepare a large serving platter with some of the marinade on the bottom. Layer the eggplant slices as they are done and spoon some of the marinade on each layer. Leave them for an hour at room temperature to marinate, then cover and refrigerate.

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Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

This is a big recipe. You can serve half of it hot, and the next day serve the remainder as a salad.

Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

  • 2 broccoli heads (about 1 ½ lbs.)
  • Olive oil for frying and drizzling
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 6 cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. anchovy paste or 5 anchovies
  • 1 large lemon cut into 8 thin rounds and 1 tbsp.  juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Trim the broccoli into small florets with some stem remaining. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli. Blanch the broccoli for 5  minutes, drain and set aside.
Bring about 5 tbsps. of oil to medium heat in a frying pan and add the peppers. Fry for 10 minutes, add the garlic and anchovy paste. Blend and cook for 5 more minutes. If you’re using whole anchovies, cook until they break down.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Heat a well-oiled grill pan. Toss the blanched broccoli with 3 tbsps. oil. Once the pan is hot, grill the broccoli, turning so there are grill marks on both sides.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Grill the lemon slices for 1 – 2 minutes on each side to get a nice char. Chop the slices and add to a bowl with the parsley, 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 2 tbsps. olive oil.
Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Place the broccoli in a large bowl and add the pepper mixture and the lemon/parsley mixture and toss.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Arrange in a serving platter and serve hot or if you prefer, chill and serve as a salad.

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Mushroom Dutch Baby

Mushroom Dutch Baby

Here’s something a little different – a Dutch baby.  I don’t know how it got its name but it’s basically a sort of airy pancake that’s served with various sweet or savory toppings. For sweets you can top it with powdered sugar, maple syrup, fresh fruit, apple sauce, etc. I made a mushroom Dutch baby based on a recipe that I got from the New York Times. I made some changes to the original replacing bacon, butter, thyme, and cheddar with pancetta, olive oil, oregano, and fontina as noted in the ingredient list below.

Mushroom Dutch Baby

  • 1 lb. sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)
  • ¼ lb. sliced pancetta (or bacon)
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp. oregano (or thyme)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil divided (or butter)
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 oz. grated fontina (or cheddar)
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
Pre-heat the oven to 450o.
Sauté the pancetta in one tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and oregano and cook for approx. 20 minutes adding the garlic for the last 5 minutes.

Mushroom Dutch Baby

For the Dutch baby – In a blender add the eggs, flour, milk, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cornstarch, salt. (This is the basic Dutch baby batter recipe for the various toppings. You can use butter instead of oil.)Mushroom Dutch Baby
Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Wipe it out and add 1 tablespoon of oil while it’s still warm. Pour in the Dutch baby batter, place in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes until it’s lightly browned and puffy. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes.Mushroom Dutch Baby
When done spread the melted cheese around the top, then add the mushrooms and sprinkle the scallions and parsley over it. Slice and serve.Mushroom Dutch Baby


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Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

The last time I had fried green tomatoes in a restaurant was over two years ago in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They’re not too common in New York restaurants so we have to make our own. It’s really very simple recipe but the hard part is finding firm, unripe green tomatoes. 


Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 3 or 4 large unripe tomatoes cut crosswise into ½-inch slices
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup corn meal
  • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun Spice Mix
  • Salt and black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
Fried Green TomatoesPut the flour in one dish, the beaten egg and milk in a bowl and the corn meal/breadcrumbs/Cajun seasoning, salt and black pepper in another dish.
Fried Green TomatoesPut  a half inch of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. After patting them dry, dip each tomato slice first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs, letting any excess coating drip off. Fry them in batches and don’t let them touch in the pan.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Cook until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes on each other side. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Fried Green Tomatoes

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