Appetizers Boston Restaurants Italian

Piattini’s new Fig Jam preserves the last memories of warm Boston

This fall, Piattini, located on Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay, is bringing a taste of seasonal Italy to its menu with its new fig jam. Served as an accompaniment to its popular cheese plate featuring rotating imported cheeses ($14.95), Piattini’s fig jam is a sweet treat meant to preserve and celebrate the final tastes of summer. Created for sharing, guests can select a glass of red or white wine from Piattini’s extensive list, featuring over 30 selections of wines by-the-glass, while sampling selections of cheese and the complementing jam. For those looking to do a little preserving of their own, Piattini’s five-step recipe below is as simple as it is scrumptious.

Fig Jam


  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of fresh or dry figs- stems cut
  • 2 cups of water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 4-5 cups of sugar


  1. Wash figs, cut stem, and chop into small pieces
  2. Add figs to water and bring to boil
  3. Reduce heat, stir in sugar, honey, and lemon juice
  4. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring constantly
  5. Let cool and place in mason jar
  6. If you want to use right away, there is not need to boil the jar, but if you choose to consume at a later date you must seal the jar by boiling it in water for 10 minutes.
  7. Optional: You may add white raisins to jam to add texture and flavor.
Appetizers Featured Recipes Mexican

Bacon Pineapple Guacamole

National Guacamole Day (September 16) is almost upon us!

Today’s avocado-based recipe comes to us courtesy of Uncle Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant that focuses on taking traditional Mexican dishes and presenting them in new and delightful ways. (Just check out their signature Swirl – frozen margarita mixed with frozen sangria… delicious!)

Now, instead of your boring, typical guacamole, you can create your own version of Uncle Julio’s pineapple-bacon guacamole using the recipe below:


Pineapple Bacon Guacamole


  • 1 cup guacamole (check out some simple recipes here)
  • 2 tbsp pineapple (diced into ¼” x ¼” pieces)
  • 2 tbsp cooked bacon (chopped into ½” x ½” pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp diced red bell peppers

For Garnish:

  • 1 piece green leaf lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp cooked bacon (chopped into ½” x ½” pieces)
  • 2 tsp queo fresco
  • 1 tbsp pineapple (diced into ¼” x ¼” pieces)
  • 1 lemon wedge


  1. Place guacamole in mixing bowl.
  2. Add pineapple, bacon, and red bell pepper to mixing bowl and fold into guacamole carefully.


  1. Place a piece of Greenleaf on a small plate for decoration
  2. Place guacamole on center of plate.
  3. Sprinkle additional Tbsp of bacon and queso fresco on top of the guacamole
  4. Place additional Tbsp of diced pineapple on one side of guacamole for taste & aesthetics.
  5. Place lemon wedge on other side of guacamole.  Squeeze the lemon on guacamole before eating.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.

And of course, if you’d rather have someone serve you your guacamole instead of making it yourself, stop by Uncle Julio’s anytime (list of locations) on September 16 for all-day food and drink specials in honor of the occasion.

  • $2 small guacamole, made in-house with fresh avocados (regular price: $5.39)
  • $4 Julio’s Gold Margarita (regular price: $8.29)
  • $4 Swirl, a frozen margarita layered with homemade frozen sangria (regular price: $7.99)
  • $4 house frozen margaritas (regular price: $7.79)
Appetizers Featured Recipes Middle Eastern Recipes

Quinoa Tabouleh

So fresh and so green, green!
So fresh and so green, green!

2 cup chicken stock
1 cup quinoa
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 tbsp green onion, diced
1/8 cup of red onion, diced
1/8 cup of bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup parsley, minced
1 tsp fresh dill, minced

I used my rice cooker to make the quinoa: 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of chicken stock. If you’re using a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, mix all other ingredients in a bowl. Stir in cooled quinoa.

The longer it sits, the better it gets!

Serving suggestions:

  • Great on its own!
  • Combine some tabouleh, hummus and balsamic glaze in a wrap
  • Pitas stuffed with tabouleh, feta, hummus and falafel

Simple Minestrone Soup

Minestrone SoupMany kids had chicken noodle soups served to them when they were feeling ill but minestrone soup was the only cure I needed. This recipe is both simple and enjoyable and the flavors are subtle. It encompasses a variety of vegetables and is also a flexible recipe. You can add as many more vegetables or spices even as you’d like to better suit your preferences.

Simple Minestrone Soup


  • 230g beef
  •  2 large carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • Celery
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cabbage
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • White pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • Ginger
  • Salt


  1. Over medium heat, boil the meat for approximately 4 minutes. Drain it.
  2. Chop the meat into smaller pieces
  3. Using the ginger, sauté the beef to create flavors
  4. Boil the beef in boiling water for an hour and add white pepper
  5. Chop the remaining vegetables.
  6. Using the tomato paste and garlic, fry the vegetables. Then add it to the boiling pot.
  7. Boil for 45 minutes. Add salt.
  8. Serve in a bowl.
Appetizers Featured Recipes Italian

The Virtuous Wife’s Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

This is the MOST POPULAR recipe tutorial on my blog! I actually learned it frm my Pampered Chef consultant, Reesa Boudreaux.

Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread


  • 1 can of refrigerated Grands biscuits
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning (I omitted)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Throw the cold 1/2 stick of butter in a bundt pan and let it melt in the preheating oven.

While the butter melts, cut the Grands biscuits into quarters. In a bowl, toss the biscuit pieces, garlic, Italian Seasoning, and Parmesan cheese together.

Once the butter is melted, add the biscuit mixture, sprinkling with any cheese and garlic that gets let behind in the bowl.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20- 22 minutes until golden brown. Turn out on a dish and enjoy!

Appetizers Asian Autumn Boston Restaurants Origins Recipe Sources Recipes

China Blossom Pumpkin Dumplings

This recipe is from David Yee, General Manager at China Blossom Restaurant & Lounge in Andover. Adding a traditional fall flavor to this classic Chinese dish results in pure pumpkin perfection. These dumplings are easy to whip up on a weeknight and fancy enough to serve at a special event.

Pumpkin Dumpling Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg

Cooking Instructions
1. In a small bowl, mix egg and pumpkin puree. Beat in flour, a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add nutmeg and stir to incorporate.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place several tablespoons of the dough on a cutting board and spreading until it is ¼ of an inch thick.

3. Slice ¼-inch-thick and 3-inch-long strips and drop into boiling water. The dumplings will take shape as they hit the water.

4. As the dumplings rise to the surface, cook another minute and then remove from water with a slotted spoon. Place cooked dumplings into a bowl of ice water, then drain.

5. Before serving, sauté dumplings in butter and season with salt and pepper.

Featured Recipes Soup

Red’s Cape Cod Clam Chowder

Here’s a great recipe from our friends at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth!


  • 1 pound fresh chopped littleneck clams
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 cup Chablis wine
  • 1 bunch celery diced small
  • 1 large celery root diced small
  • 1 large Vidalia onion diced small
  • 5 cloves garlic sliced thin
  • 4 large Maine potatoes diced ¼” by ¼”
  • 1 pound Portuguese chorizo diced small
  • 1/2 3 apple smoked bacon diced small
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 4 fresh laurel leaves (bay leaves not dry)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 quarts extra heavy cream
  • Tabasco to taste


You will need a heavy gauge pot with a thick bottom. Begin by sautéing the bacon, chorizo, onions, celery and garlic together with the butter. Take the thyme and fresh bay leaves and wrap them with cheesecloth (this is a called a bouquet garni.) Add the bouquet garni and cook until bacon and sausage have been rendered down and the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the flour andnd continue to sauté until flour is completely incorporated in the fat of the pan. Add wine, clam juice and potatoes and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. The potatoes should be tender and the liquid reduced by half. Add the cream, salt, pepper, Tabasco and chopped clams. Cook for another 20 minutes on low heat.

Check seasoning and serve with a few littlenecks lightly steamed in the shell, some toasted bread and a nice chilled glass of a buttery Chablis or Chardonnay. Enjoy!


Vermont Creamery Toasted Bijou Salad

This article comes from our friends at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, which Blast is proud to sponsor!


  • 4 leeks, the white and light-green section only, cut in half lengthwise and washed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Bijou, cut in half horizontally
  • 8 slices French baguette, ¾ inch thick
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed, and spun
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half


  1. Pat dry and toss leeks with a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil in the oven for about 5 minutes until tender but not mushy! Let the leeks cool, then chop thinly and put in a medium-size bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing. Mix together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and leeks, and let sit for 4 hours to 1 week.
  3. Put a medallion of the Bijou, rind facing up, on each baguette piece and place under the broiler until the cheese is soft to a little runny. The rind should be slightly golden (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  4. Serve immediately over mixed greens tossed in the leek vinaigrette and the tomatoes.

Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocado

This year, Redwood Creek Wines joined the Arbor Day Foundation in planting thousands of trees in the nation’s forests. You can celebrate Arbor Day (or any day!) with a signature recipe from Redwood Creek Wines: Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocado. The recipe pairs perfectly with Redwood Creek’s fruity Pinot Grigio, which has notes of ripe red apple, pear and citrus.

Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocado Paired with Pinot Grigio


  • 3 medium Haas avocados
  • 1 lb. medium raw shrimp
  • 6 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 ½ tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish

Bring 2 qts. lightly salted water to a rolling bowl with 2 tbs. lemon juice and 1 bay leaf. Add shrimp, reduce heat to low and simmer covered 3-5 minutes or until shrimp have turned pink. Reserve ½ cup of cooking liquid. Drain and let cool. Peel and clean shrimp. Place shrimp in food processor with reserved liquid, lemon juice, tarragon and mayonnaise. Pulse mixture until shrimp have broken into small chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Keep cool until ready for service.Cut each avocado in half lengthwise, working around pit. Split avocado apart and discard pit. Carefully peel avocado and make a few slices ¾ of the way up each half, slightly fanning out each half over dressed greens. Spoon shrimp salad onto each avocado and garnish with paprika. Serve over lightly dressed salad greens. Pair with Redwood Creek Pinot Grigio.

Also try Redwood Creek’s Tri-Tip with Cabernet Sauvignon Marinade.

Boston Restaurants Featured Recipes Soup

Red’s Signature Wellfleet Oyster and Spring Gazpacho “Shooters”

Blast’s editor fell in love with Falmouth’s Sea Crest Beach Hotel last fall with its breathtaking ocean views and authentically-done renovation/restoration job.

Another thing you may enjoy about Seacrest is the dining — and the drinking! Or how about a little bit of both?

Here is a recipe for Wellfleet Oyster and Spring Gazpacho “Shooters” from Red’s restaurant at the hotel.

Red’s Signature Wellfleet Oyster and Spring Gazpacho “Shooters”


  • 1 dozen fresh shucked Wellfleet oysters
  • 1/4 bottle Grey Goose Vodka
  • 3 vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 1/4 red onion
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1/2 small jalapeño
  • 4 sprigs cilantro
  • 2 limes
  • Aged sherry vinegar (to taste)
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Old bay seasoning
  • Celery sprouts


  • Begin by shucking the oysters.
  • Place oyster meat and oyster liquor in a small container, reserve.
  • In a blender, add all the vegetables and juice of the limes, and puree until smooth.
  • Check the seasoning adding salt and pepper, then add the cilantro leaves and vodka.
  • Continue to puree until smooth.
  • Take your shot glasses and lightly rub a lime on the rim of the shot glass.
  • Dip the rim in the old bay seasoning.
  • Drop one oyster in each glass and pour the gazpacho over the oyster.
  • Garnish the top with a couple sprigs of celery sprouts. Enjoy.