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Cristina Ferrare's 'Big Bowl of Love' recipes

Posted April 6, 2011 7:26 a.m. EDT

6 to 8 servings

I love citrus on chicken and savor the delicate yet full-bodied flavor that oranges bring out in any dish. I particularly like this recipe because you can serve it hot off the grill or at room temperature for your buffet table. You can make it year round and enjoy it in the fall and winter months served with roasted root vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, or rice.Come spring and summer, serve it with different kinds of salsa, couscous, grilled vegetables, or salads.

3 organic chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded to ¼ inch thick (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
¼ cup orange marmalade
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil

Place the chicken in a container large enough to hold the chicken and about 1 cup of liquid.

To prepare the marinade, in a glass bowl whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, marmalade, red pepper flakes, ginger, garlic, and olive oil.

Pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover the container, and refrigerate for 8 hours or, even better, overnight. This will tenderize the chicken.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt.
Heat a grill pan or heavy skillet until hot, or fire up your outdoor grill. Brush the surface of the grill with 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Turn down the heat to medium-high. Place the chicken pieces on the grill, 3 inches apart. Do not place chicken pieces too close together, or they will create steam. Grill chicken pieces for 3 minutes on each side. Continue to grill for 1 minute more on each side for a total grilling time of 8 minutes. Some of the pieces may grill faster if they are thinner than the others. Keep your eye on the chicken so it doesn’t overcook or burn.

Remove the chicken from the grill. Place on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
Slice the chicken into strips or serve whole.



6 servings

This is a very versatile dessert because you can use any kind of fruit you prefer in the recipe. I make mine with Greek yogurt and fresh peaches, but you can substitute your favorite ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet.
Butter-flavored cooking spray

1 (3 ½-ounce) package phyllo dough

½ cup Greek yogurt

3 medium ripe fresh peaches, pitted, skinned, and cut into 1-inch pieces

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

12 small fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 6-cup muffin tin generously with cooking spray.
Remove 6 sheets of phyllo from the package, and cover them with a kitchen towel to keep them from drying out. Store the rest of the phyllo in the refrigerator.
Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface, and keep the remaining sheets covered with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out. Spray the sheet lightly with cooking spray. Cut the sheet into 5 (6-inch by 6-inch) squares. Place 1 square gently inside a muffin cup, and press the bottom to fit into the cup. Lay the other 4 squares in the muffin cup at different angles until all 5 have been gently pressed in. The ends of the phyllo dough will be taller than the cup and should overlap. Repeat the process for the other 5 muffin cups.
Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before trying to lift the cups from the muffin tins. Gently lift the phyllo cups and place on a platter. Fill each to the top with yogurt. Add half a peach, and sprinkle with ¹⁄8 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of chopped walnuts, 2 mint leaves torn into small pieces, and 1 teaspoon of honey.


4 to 6 servings

In the summer, when there is an overabundance of cucumbers and zucchini and fresh herbs, I make this salad often. It’s light and full of fresh flavor; it’s also very beautiful to look at when presented this way.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley

2 zucchini, sliced paper-thin

2 cucumbers, sliced paper-thin

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup finely chopped roasted walnuts

Freshly cracked pepper


In a glass bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mint, dill, and parsley. Set aside.

Slice the vegetables on a mandolin or a vegetable slicer that can slice paper-thin. Arrange the zucchini and cucumbers alternately on a large platter. Sprinkle lightly all over with kosher salt. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the top, add the crumbled feta, and sprinkle with walnuts and cracked pepper to taste. If you are not going to use the salad right away, do not add the vinaigrette; instead, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

6 to 8 servings

I grill up vegetables on my indoor grill pan almost every night. It’s easy and fast, and the results are so delicious—not to mention healthy. I like to make more than I need because I use the leftovers for grilled panini sandwiches or vegetable burritos, chopped up with salads, or tossed into a pasta dish.


1 bunch asparagus (about 12 to 14 stalks), rinsed and bottoms snapped off

2 zucchini, sliced on a diagonal ¼ inch thick

4 Japanese eggplant, sliced on a diagonal into ¼-inch-thick pieces

2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into quarters

1 large yellow or red onion, peeled and sliced into round ¼-inch pieces

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Reduced Balsamic Syrup (page 268)

Kosher salt

Fresh oregano, for garnish
Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill pan until hot. Brush the vegetables with olive oil all over using a pastry brush (you can use any combination of vegetables you like). Add the vegetables to the hot grill in batches, and keep an eye on them, since some veggies grill up quicker than others.

Arrange the grilled vegetables on a platter, and drizzle extra olive oil and reduced balsamic syrup over the top. Finish with a sprinkle of French or kosher salt and fresh oregano. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.