Thursday, April 2, 2020

Greek Farro Salad

Serves 4 to 6 Due to great demand for this salad, I feel it's time to start adding more recipes, beginning with this one! Farro is a nutty grain, similar to barely. In the summer, it's a fabulous side dish for grilled meats or fish. Great with grilled lamb. Once you've mastered this recipe, you'll find ways to incorporate seasonal vegetables. This one works all year round.
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 large tomato, or 4 small, cut into chunks
  • 1 English cucumber, halved, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, halved, cored, and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 6 large basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-ounce block feta cheese
Bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil.
Add the farro, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover.
Simmer farro till tender, about 20 minutes,
Drain and rinse the farro in cold water, making sure most of the water is drained.
While the farro is draining, add the tomato, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, olives and basil to a mixing bowl. Add the farro, toss, then add the oil and lemon juice, toss again, add the salt and pepper, toss. Taste, season with more salt or lemon or pepper.
Put the salad on an oval platter, top with the feta and add whole basil leaves, (if you want) for decoration.

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as my family and friends do. It makes for a great pot luck dish as well, can be made a day ahead or on the same day few hours earlier.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Walnuts

This dish is so much fun to eat, especially when I'm craving pasta with a sauce and I don't want to eat too much starch. It's so aromatic and full of fall flavors. Makes for a great Mediterranean entree but if there are more people, it's a great side dish for meaty dishes. Plus, it's so easy to make!
  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 15 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Serves 6 as a starter.
    Here's how to prepare this gorgeous Mediterranean dish:
    1. Preheat the oven to 400.
    2. Place the squash on a cutting board. Using a large, very sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seed with a spoon and discard.
    3. Place the squash halves on a roasting rack and season with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 sage leaves in the hollowed -out core of each half.
    4. Bake the squash on the oven's middle rack until the flesh is just soft, about an hour (or longer, it all depends on your oven).  Remove the squash and let it cool until you can work with the flesh comfortably, about 15 minutes.
    5. Using a fork, scrape the meat of the squash away from the skin, so that you get fluffy spaghetti-like strands. Reserve these and discard the skins. This can be made ahead of time, stored in an air-tight container in the fridge.
    6. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the walnuts. Toast the nuts and allow the butter to bubble, about 1 minute.
    7. Add the sage leaves. When the leaves release their aroma and begin to crackle in the pan, add the squash and stir to coat it with the flavored butter. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat until the squash is warm, stirring frequently so the flavors get inside the squash.  Season with the rest of the salt and pepper, or to your taste.
    8. Serve on a large plate or platter, topped with the cheese.

    Thursday, March 5, 2020

    Prawns, Scallops & Clams with Tomato Sauce & Feta Cheese

    This recipe is my most recent discovery, I love it so much that I try to incorporate it
    in most of my dinner parties. It's great if you need a fish dish to offer as well as meat.
    Our friends are always asking me for the recipe, it's very unusual and so delicious!
    On the plus side, you can make most of it in advance. Sometimes I'll omit the clams since 
    not everyone likes clams and also they are not always available.
    I've served this dish with quinoa, pasta, or couscous and of course good bread. 

    I found this recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi's Cook Book.  Thank you for another favorite!
    Serves 4
    • 1 cup white wine
    • 2 1/2 lbs clams scrubbed 
    • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 4 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes chopped, with some of the liquid
    • pinch of sugar
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
    • 1 lemon
    • 1 lb tiger prawns, peeled and de-veined 
    • 1 lb large scallops
    • 6 oz feta cheese, broken into chunks
    • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    This is the part you can make ahead, if you like. Preheat your oven to 475 F. 
    In a medium saucepan bring the wine to a boil until reduced, about 5 min.
    Add the clams, cover the pan with a lid, shaking it at times until the clams open.
    Put the clams in a fine sieve to drain and save the cooking juices in a bowl. 
    When cool enough to handle, take the clams out of their shells. Chill if using them later.

    Also, you can chose not to use the clams, just add the wine the after cooking the garlic, reduce and then continue as follows.

    In a large frying pan that will hold all the sauce and all the seafood and is oven proof, cook the garlic in
    the oil over medium/high heat till golden. 
    Add the tomatoes, clam liquid, sugar, oregano and some salt and pepper.
    With a peeler or a sharp knife, shave off thin strips of lemon, the whole lemon. Add
    them to the pan, stir and let simmer gently for about 25 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

    Add the prawns and scallops, stir gently, cook for just a minute. Fold in the clams, sink
    the feta chunks into the sauce and sprinkle with the green onion. Place in a casserole dish then in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the top brown. I like to put the broiler for the last part, get the
    fish nice and brown, making sure not to over cook the seafood. 
    And serve!  
    Make sure everyone gets pieces of the lemon strips, the warm lemon strips tastes fabulous!


    Saturday, February 29, 2020

    Red Cabbage Salad With Dates And Oranges

    I love salads that have both sweet and sour ingredients, and I wanted to try using dates as the sweet one. They turned out to be a good complement to the oranges and the balsamic vinegar.

    Cabbage, oranges, and almonds all contribute potassium and calcium that we need to keep our blood pressure low. Almonds are rich in the same healthy monounsaturated fat that is found in olive oil, as well as contributing protein, and phytosterols that block cholesterol absorption. Walnut oil is rich in the omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid, that is associated with protection against heart disease.

    • Finely shredded red cabbage (1/2 large or 1 small cabbage)
    • Orange segments from 3 oranges plus any juice from the oranges
    • ~ 1/3 cup almonds
    • 4 large Medjool dates, chopped into pea-sized pieces
    • roasted walnut oil, 2-4 tablespoons (La Tourangelle is a great California brand)
    • balsamic vinegar, 2-4 tablespoons
    • salt

    Using a large, sharp knife, cut red cabbage in half, then shave fine pieces off of the cut surface. Peel the oranges with a sharp paring knife, cutting from the top and removing most of the white membrane, in a circle until you have a long strip of peel. Cut each segment out by cutting close to the membrane on each side.

    Roast whole almonds in an ungreased pan over low heat or in the oven at about 400 degrees, for ~ 5 minutes, until lightly toasted tasting. Chop coarsely. Remove pit from dates and chop into pieces the size of large peas.
    Combine orange segments, juice, dates, and almonds with cabbage. Add walnut oil one tablespoon at a time, until cabbage is barely coated.

    Add balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon at a time, tossing well with each addition, until salad tastes nicely tangy. Sprinkle sparingly with salt, toss, and serve.

    Thursday, February 27, 2020

    Smashed Potatoes

    This dish is so easy to prepare, only three ingredients, but combined it makes for a very flavorful side dish. It's also a good alternative if you are cutting back on dairy.
    • 8 Yukon gold potatoes
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
    • Freshly ground white pepper
    Serves 6

    Preheat the oven to 450 F. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and when the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, discard the skins. In a large bowl, lightly crush the potatoes with a fork. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

    Baked Scallops with Tomatoes and Pistou Sauce

    I love this dish, you can make the sauce (pistou French version of pesto) ahead of time. It makes for a great first course!  If you can get good tomatoes before the summer make it, otherwise late summer would be perfect. And if you don't like cilantro, use basil or whatever herbs you like.
    • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
    • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Sand and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1 cup olive oil
    • 1 1/4 pounds sea scallops
    • 2 or 3 large, perfectly ripe tomatoes, or use smaller tomatoes as much as you need.
    Makes 4 servings.

    Preheat the oven to 425 F. Combine the herbs, garlic,salt, pepper, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a blender or food processor. Turn on the machine, then add the remainder of the olive oil in a drizzle, (the sauce should be some what thin). Taste it, you might want more salt, lime juice or garlic.

    Drizzle a few tablespoons of the sauce on the bottom of a baking pan that will hold the scallops in one layer. Add the scallops and season with salt and pepper. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and layer over the scallops. season again. Spoon most of the sauce over the tomatoes. Bake until the tomatoes begin to liquefy, 10 to 15 minutes.

    Serve immediately, with crusty bread, pass the remaining sauce at the table.

    Saturday, February 22, 2020

    Couscous and Chick Pea Salad

    This recipe is adapted from Moosewood Restaurant’s “Simple Suppers”. I use whole wheat couscous instead of ‘regular’ - couscous is the only grain product that tastes exactly the same to me in both versions.

    Since all you need is 10 minutes, boiling water, and a bowl, couscous is definitely the easiest whole grain starch to prepare. The chickpeas in this dish add protein, which is the best appetite suppressant, and the oil will give you energy for hours. Adding generous amounts of chopped greens like parsley or mint will help boost your iron (and vitamin C) intake to increase strength and energy.

    • 1 cup whole wheat couscous (from a health food store)
    • 2/3 teaspoon salt
    • 1 & 2/3 cup boiling water
    • 1 lemon or 2 Meyer lemons
    • 3 tablespoons or more olive oil
    • 1¼ cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
    • black olives, pitted and cut in half- e.g. Kalamata (optional)
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
    • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint (optional)

    The amounts of these ingredients can be increased or decreased as you like- this recipe works well with many variations.

    Put couscous and salt in a bowl, pour boiling water over it, cover, sit 10 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and break up lumps.

    Grate lemon peel, juice lemon, and mix with oil. Toss with couscous. Add remaining ingredients, mix well, and salt to taste. Add more oil and lemon if desired.

    Serve immediately, or store in fridge for flavors to deepen. Preferably take it out of the fridge an hour before serving to come to room temperature.

    Thursday, February 20, 2020

    The Most Amazing Tomato Salad!

    This tomato salad should only be made during the tomato season, it is a crowd pleaser, enjoyed by adults and teenagers alike!!  You may double it if you wish. Enjoy!
    • 6 to 8 in-season tomatoes, washed, cored and cut into anyway you like them.
    • about 1/2 cup fine-quality olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 large red onion, peeled and cut lengthwise into slivers
    • 4 or to your taste, garlic cloves, peeled and minced
    • 8 to 10 leaves fresh basil, torn
    • sea salt to taste, Maldon Sea salt is great!
    • 1/2  or more teaspoon dried oregano
    Serves 6.

    To tomatoes add oil and vinegar, then onions, garlic and basil. Spoon onto a serving plate,
    sprinkle with oregano, add the salt, mix, add more oregano and basil and if you want, more salt.

    Sunday, February 16, 2020

    Butternut Squash And Chickpea Salad With Tahini

    This salad has so much flavor and textures. I like to serve it with grilled fish or just with an assortment of other salads and vegetables. Especially when I have vegetarian guests, they just love it!

    Serves 4.
    • 2 lbs butternut squash, more or less. Peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cups home -cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas,drained
    • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
    • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh coriander
    • sea salt and black pepper
    Tahini Sauce
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a sprinkle of salt
    • 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
    • 2 tablespoons water, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Preheat the oven to 425 F. Toss the squash with the garlic, olive oil, allspice, and some salt and pepper. Place on a tray in the over for about 15-25 minutes or until soft. Remove and cool.

    While the squash is cooking, make the tahini sauce. Mix the crushed garlic with the lemon juice and add the tahini. Thin with the water and olive oil and check for seasoning. You should balance between the nutty tahini and lemon.

    To assemble the salad, place the squash, chickpeas, red onion and coriander in a mixing bowl. Pour on the tahini sauce and remaining oil and toss gently.

    Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or room temperature.

    Saturday, February 15, 2020

    Roasted Red Pepper Salad

    This salad is so tasty, a great side dish for grilled meats or as a first course. Spread it on sliced bread.  On it's own our spread chevre cheese on the bread followed by the peppers. Whichever way you use it, it'll be unique and delicious!
    • 6 red bell peppers
    • 1/2 cup fine-quality extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
    • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
    • 1 teaspoon chopped Italian parsley
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    Serves up to 6 people.

    Here you go ...

    Preheat broiler. Broil the peppers, turning them frequently, until the skin has blackened on all sides. Spread the peppers on a baking sheet so they can cool to room temperature.

    When the peppers are cool enough to handle, cut them from top to bottom. Scrape away  the seeds from the insides, then turn each half over scrape away the charred skin. Cut the peppers lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick strips. Put them into a bowl.  To the bowl add oil, raisins, nuts, parsley and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir. Marinate for at least 1 hour before serving at room temperature.

    Friday, February 14, 2020

    Cod Baked with Tahini Sauce

    This dish is so simple to make but the taste is very Mediterranean and outstanding. Make the tahini sauce first.

    Tahini Sauce
    • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 5 tablespoons water (more or less)
    • sea salt and black pepper
    Serves 4.

    Crush the garlic clove to a paste with a good pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the tahini and then thin with the lemon juice. Add water until you have a consistency of cream, check the seasoning, add more lemon juice, salt or pepper to taste.

    Baked Cod
    • 4 thick cod fillets, skin on, about 8 ounces each
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • sea salt and black pepper
    • chopped fresh parsley, small handful
    • 1 lemon quartered
    Serves 4 people.

    Place a frying  pan on the stove, medium high heat. Add the olive oil just enough to cover the pan. Season the cod with salt and pepper. Place it carefully in the pan, skin-side up, shaking the pan to prevent it from sticking. Cook for 1-2 minutes until sealed. Carefully turn the fish over with a spatula and continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes until it's cooked through. It should flake easily, and be white all the way through.  While the fish is still there, pour the tahini sauce into the pan to warm for half a minute. Transfer to warm plates, spooning the sauce over the fish, sprinkle the chopped parsley over the fish and sauce and lemon on the side.

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    Mussel Soup with Cranberry Beans, Celery and Basil

    I've been making this dish for years now, when I discovered fresh cranberry beans in their pods at the farmer's market and started searching for cranberry bean recipes. Thankfully this one came up! I've found more over the years but this is still my favorite and once more, I can make the soup ahead of time!

    Thank-you Marcella Hazan!


    1 1/2 lbs cranberry beans, fresh in their pods, if you can't find fresh then use dried, you can find dried at health food stores. 

    2/3 cup dried. Also some Latin grocery stores carry them. 

    3 lbs live mussels

    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

    1/3 cup finely chopped onion

    1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

    1 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes with juice

    dried red chili pepper flakes to your taste, I use about 1/4 tsp

    1 loosely packed cup chopped celery leaves

    Salt and black pepper ground fresh

    12 large basil leaves, cut into narrow strips

    (Serves 4)

    After taking the cranberry beans out of their pods, put them in a pan  add water enough to cover 2 inches. Cover with a lid, bring to a simmer over medium to low heat, until tender, fresh would be about 20 minutes, dried depends on how old they are, up to an hour or more, keep checking. Drain the beans but save  the liquid.

    Clean the mussels, getting rid of the beard if there is any and scraping off some grime. Throw away any that are opened. 

    Put the mussels in a pan that will hold the mussels in one layer, otherwise, do it in batches. Cover the pan, turn the heat to high, shaking the pan occasionally, once the shells open, remove them with a slotted spoon, pour the liquid into a bowl.  Remove the shells from the meat, discard the shells, 

    Using a pan with a fitted lid that will accommodate the mussels and beans, and the liquid. Put in all the oil and the onions, without covering the pan, cook the onions over high heat, stirring from time to time, until the onions are a nice golden brown. 

    Add the garlic, stirring for about a minute, until the garlic is a golden color.

    Add the tomatoes, breaking them up as you drop them in the pan, along with the  juices, cook over high heat, stirring for about 10 minutes. 

    Add the chili pepper flakes and the celery leaves, turning everything over every couple of minutes.

    Add the mussels to the pot, stirring gently, a couple of times.

    Add the beans, stirring gently a few times.

    Add the mussel liquid leaving behind any dirt that's left in the bottom of the bowl. Stir gently a few times.

    Add the bean cooking liquid, just enough to have a soupy consistency. Stir, turn the heat down to low, taste and add salt if needed, freshly ground black pepper and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.  This can be made ahead a few hours. When you are ready to serve, bring to a gentle simmer, until heated through, add the basil.  I bring the whole pot to the table, or put into individual bowls. 


    Sunday, February 9, 2020

    Chicken Tagine with Olives, Almonds, and Yellow Raisins

    Use a tagine to cook this dish, which is a shallow clay pot with a tightly fitting conical lid, that very efficiently captures steam, which drips back down into the dish. If you have a tagine, you will not need to add any liquid- the liquid from the onions, lemons, and chicken will form a delicious sauce. If you use another kind of pot, it should be heavy, with a tight fitting lid.
    • 4 T Olive oil
    • 2 large yellow onions, thickly sliced
    • 4 chicken thighs and 4 legs, preferably free range (or 6 large thighs)
    • salt
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and barely crushed
    • 2 lemons, in thin wedges
    • saffron
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • pitted Moroccan salted olives, ~ 16
    • whole almonds, sliced lengthwise to make large-faced halves, ~ 16
    • yellow raisins, ~ handful
    Saute the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for around 15 minutes, until starting to become golden and tender.

    Add chicken pieces, skin side down, pushing aside onion so that skin will brown. Cook over a medium heat until nicely browned.

    Salt well, turn over chicken pieces, and salt other side. Tuck in garlic, lemon, saffron, and cinnamon. Top with olives, almonds, and raisins. Cover, and cook over a low heat, simmering, for about 1.5 hours, until very tender.

    The tagine will conserve liquid so well that you may have to cook uncovered for a while to evaporate some of the liquid that will bubble over. In another type of pot you may need to add bits of water.

    Serve with whole wheat couscous, prepared by adding 2.5 cups boiling water and a little salt to 1.5 cups couscous in a bowl, covering, and letting it sit for 10 minutes.

    • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • a few capers, optional
    Combine above ingredients in a heavy ceramic bowl, pour over 1 & 2/3 cup boiling water, cover with a plate, and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

    A great summer salad to go with this is cucumber and tomato. Use ripe tomatoes (beefsteak are good, but any ripe tomato will work including cherry tomatoes) and small pickling cucumbers or Persian cucumbers. Peel the cucumbers, cut vegetables into small chunks, toss with extra virgin olive oil and a little salt. You can add a few fresh mint, basil, or dill leaves if desired

    Monday, January 20, 2020

    Spicy Grilled Shrimp

    Another Mediterranean dish I love - I make it all summer long, and sometimes even in the winter!
    • 2 pounds large shrimp
    • 1 large clove garlic
    • 1 tablespoon coarse salt (less if you prefer)
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon paprika ( if you can get smoked sweet Spanish)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    Makes 4 servings but can be doubled!!

    Peel the shrimp, or buy already peeled. Mince the garlic with the salt, mix it with the cayenne and paprika, then make it into a paste with the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix the sauce over the shrimp. Let the shrimp come to room temperature while you turn your grill on or use your broiler. Grill or broil the shrimp on each side for 2 to 3 minutes., serve immediately or at room temperature.

    Saturday, January 11, 2020

    Burrata Cheese with Fresh Pesto Drizzle

    Burrata cheese has been described as the "Rolls Royce of fresh mozzarella".  I agree, it's a splurge in pocket book and calories, but it's worth it!!  If you can't find it, you can use goat cheese, or fresh mozzarella.

    • 2 cups basil leaves, lightly packed
    • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • salt
    Combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and garlic in the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the olive oil and roughly puree. Season with salt to your taste.

    Cheese and Pesto
    • 1/2 cup pesto
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • sea salt
    • 16 ounces Burrata cheese
    • 1 cup yellow and red grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    • basil sprigs
    • baguette, sliced
    8 Servings.

    To assemble the dish combine 1/2 cup of the pesto with the olive oil in a small bowl, Thin with 2 to 4 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt. Drain the Burrata, place in a dish. Gently break open the cheese in the middle and drizzle it with the pesto mixture. Surround it decoratively with the tomatoes. Sprinkle sea salt, garnish with basil sprigs and serve with sliced baguette.

    Friday, January 10, 2020

    Roasted Corn & Tomato Salad

    Make this salad during July, August, and September, when you can get fresh corn and vine ripened tomatoes. Grilling the corn gives it a smoky, rich flavor. If your vegetables aren’t super-flavorful, you can add basil leaves and Kalamata olives to liven this up.
    • 4 ears white or yellow corn with their husks
    • 4 medium tomatoes, ripe and fresh (this is a summer dish!)
    • at least 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • salt
    Grill corn (must be completely covered with husk) over medium heat, turning every 5 minutes, until the outer husk is black and the kernels are steaming and soft to the touch, for about 20 minutes depending on heat. Peel back some of the husk and quickly roast one side of each cob, so that some of the kernels are slightly blackened.

    Cool the corn completely, letting it sit in the charred husks to flavor the corn. Remove the husks and remove any corn silk. Note - if you don’t want to grill the corn, just remove husks and silk and boil it in ½ inch water for 5-10 minutes.

    Slice the kernels off of the cobs using a sharp knife, and holding the cobs vertically. Chop tomatoes and add to corn kernels. Dress with olive oil and salt to taste. Toss, let sit a few minutes for the flavors to mell, and add more oil and salt as desired.


    Thursday, January 9, 2020

    Oregano Salad

    This is one of my favorite Mediterranean salads!  My daughter and her friends (all 21 year old) love it as well. If you happen to have oregano growing in your garden and you are like me, you love Mediterranean cooking and have an abundance of it, this is a great way to use some of it up. And if you love it like we do, you will be looking forward to the new growth. An added bonus, it is believed in the Arab world to strengthen the memory!!
    • 6 cups (about eight 3/4 ounce packages) fresh oregano, stemmed, rinsed, and patted dry
    • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
    • 15 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
    • 1/2 pound tomatoes, seeded and diced
    • 1 clove garlic, mashed
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or more to taste
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
    • 2 tablespoons ground sumac
    • White onions, halved and thinly sliced, for garnish
    • Arab flat bread or pita for serving
    Serves 6.

    Combine the oregano leaves, onions, scallions, and tomatoes in a medium bowl.

    Whisk the garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice together in a small bowl, and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss, so that all the oregano leaves are coated with the dressing. Season with the salt. Taste, and add more salt or a bit more lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle the sumac over the salad, reserving a bit for the garnish, and toss again.

    Transfer the salad to a serving platter, garnish with the onions, and sprinkle the remaining sumac over the onions. Serve immediately, with wedges of  Arab flat bread or pita.

    Wednesday, January 8, 2020

    Skirt Steak With Salsa Verde

    Skirt steak has so much flavor - if you like beef, this is for you!  It is without a doubt our family and friends favorite. Plan ahead, the steak needs to marinate at least four hours or overnight. The salsa verde can be made ahead. Another reason to love this dish, it can be made ahead of time, all you have to do is grill the meat.

    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
     Serves 4

    Combine the rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic and olive oil in nonreactive medium casserole. Stir well to blend. Place the steak in the casserole and turn to blend both sides with the herb mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.

    Preheat the grill or broiler. Remove the steak from the marinade, and season with salt and pepper. Place on the hottest part of the grill, cook for 3 minutes on one side, then on the other side for 2 minutes.
    Let the meat rest for at least five minutes before slicing(on the bias) about 1/2 inch thick.

    I like to place the sliced steak on a platter family style, and the salsa verde sauce (recipe below)in a small bowl. Family and friends can help themselves.

    Salsa Verde

    I have to omit the anchovies for my son and daughter, they haven't acquired a taste for them (yet)! It still takes great, so I don't mind.
    • 1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 bunch fresh basil
    • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 1/3 cup capers, rinsed
    • 8 pieces anchovies, rinsed and patted dry
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    In your food processor, pulse/chop the parsley, basil, mint, garlic, capers and anchovies until roughly blended.
    Transfer to a large bowl and add the vinegar. Slowly pour in the olive oil, stirring constantly, add the mustard. Check for seasoning, you might not need salt, just pepper.