Chef Jason Capps, of Bella Sera Urban Trattoria, stops by to talk more about his popular Market Square restaurant and cook up some of the tasty food featured on the menu.

Insalata della Piazza (Salad of the Square)
With Goat Cheese Crouton, Candied Pecans, Sundried Cranberries & Raspberry Vinaigrette

This is a wonderful, fall/winter seasonal salad we recently added to our menu at Bella Sera Urban Trattoria in honor of the newly renovated Market Square, our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY and Light Up Night 2010. Feel free to vary or combine the types of lettuces to suit your taste, select pears you enjoy the most and if you don’t have time, the goat cheese crouton can be skipped this time. Be sure to dress this salad close to serving time. This recipe promises to feed approximately four to six people. Feel free to top with grilled salmon or chicken or blackened shrimp or grilled scallops…like we do as per customer’s requests. Buon Appetito!

Recommended wine and beer pairings:

White Wine: Verdicchio Classico DOC by Marchetti – It could be said that Verdicchio is the thinking person’s Pinot Grigio. Refreshing citrus fruits, playful acidity and complex minerality are the hallmarks of the varietal, and when well-made, it is one of the best whites in the Mediterranean world. Incredibly, this wine is all free-run juice (no pressing) and as a Classico, is the best example in its class we have ever tried. Maurizio Marchetti’s family has been making Verdicchio for generations and it shows.

Red Wine: 2008 Nobilo Regional Collection Marlborough Pinot Noir – This tasty New Zealand Pinot Noir is medium depth in color with purple and crimson notes. An aromatic wine showing black cherries and plums on the nose, complexed with integrated oak, savory notes and spice. It has a lovely fruit weight and a nice combination of dark cherries and red fruit. Underscored with hints of oak and silkly tannins, it is a lighter Pinot Noir that persists well.

Beer: Full Pint Brewing Company’s White Lightning Belgian White – Made locally in North Versailles, this Belgian white ale combines a complex malt character with sweet orange peel, coriander, and a secret spice. The end result is a crisp, refreshing wheat beer that can be enjoyed all year long.

All the above libations are available at Bella Sera Urban Trattoria – Ask for them by name!

Salad Mixture:
12 – 16 oz spring mix, romaine, spinach and/or leaf lettuce (red leaf looks nice too!)
1-2 ripe fresh pear, rinsed, seeded and sliced (leave skin on)
2/3 cup candied pecans, walnuts, cashews or almonds (your choice)
½ cup sundried cranberries
4 oz crumbled gorgonzola, maytag, bleu or stilton cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Add salad greens, sliced pear, candied nuts, sundried cranberries and crumbled cheese to salad bowl and refrigerate. Slice goat cheese into ¾ in thick pieces, dredge in flour, then into egg, then into breadcrumbs. Fry evenly on both sides in small amount of hot olive or vegetable oil in small sauté pan. Remove from oil, rest on paper towel, cool slightly. Add crouton to garnish each salad.

Goat Cheese Crouton:
8 oz goat cheese (chevre) in log form
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten, add splash of milk
½ cup plain flour
Olive or vegetable oil
Raspberry Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Raspberry Vinaigrette:
6 oz raspberry flavored syrup
8 oz raspberry Vinegar
12 oz Olive Oil
1 oz orange juice
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz dijon mustard
Salt/pepper to taste

Combined all ingredients except olive oil and whip vigorously. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and whip constantly until emulsified. Immersion blender or food processor also works great! Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you do not have raspberry flavored syrup, feel free to incorporate fresh raspberries or simply add some sugar until the balance of acidity to sweetness is to your taste.

We love this turkey variation and the flavors will compliment everything else on your table this Thanksgiving!


Autmne Apple- Thyme Roasted Turkey
Serves: 8-10 people

½ gal Apple cider
2 each Apple juice, 46 oz cans
½ cup Kosher Salt
½ cup Honey
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
1 tbsp Mustard seeds, cracked
1 tbsp White pepper, ground
1 each 3 gal bucket or large stock pot
1 each 8-10 gal trash bag
1 each Turkey Whole, thawed, 12-21 lb range
Salt /Pepper to season
½ lb Butter

In bucket or stock pot place trash bag. Place in turkey.
In large bowl mix apple juices, cider, salt, honey, thyme, mustard and pepper.
Pour over turkey.
Pull together end of bag, removing all air and making sure is covered in brining liquid.
Place in refrigerator and let sit 12 to 16 hours.
Remove turkey from brine.
Place turkey in roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper on inside and outside.
Place butter in the cavity of turkey.
Place in a 350 degree oven cooking until turkey reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh.
As Turkey is cooking baste with juices from roasting pan.
Remove from oven and let rest about 15 minutes.
Slice and serve.

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