Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Monthly Archives: June 2023


Italian Codfish Cakes

Makes 6 cakes. I double the recipe for another dinner.


1 lb of cod fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb potatoes
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup of flour
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil, for frying


Cooking the fish

Place the cod in a skillet and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Flake the fish with a fork and place it in a mixing bowl.
Boil and mash the potatoes and add to the bowl with the fish. Add 1 beaten egg, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and parsley. Mix well. Form into six 4-inch patties. Place on a piece of waxed paper.

Prepare the breading
Place the flour in a shallow bowl, the egg and water in a second dish, and the bread crumbs in a third.
Dredge each cake in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Place on a plate. If time allows, place the cakes in the refrigerator for several hours before cooking.

When ready to cook



Cooking the cod

Heat enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Fry the fish cakes until brown on the bottom,3-4 minutes and turn the cakes over and fry for 3=4 minutes more.
Serve with your favorite sauce: Tartar, Remoulade, or Horseradish.


Fresh Zucchini Salad


2 medium zucchini, sliced into thin circles
Half a red onion, diced
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
Pesto Vinaigrette

Pesto Vinaigrette


1 ½ cups of fresh basil leaves loosely packed
⅓ cup pine nuts or sliced almonds
2 small cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt*
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil


For the Vinaigrette:
Place fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4-5 times to give them a rough chop.

Turn the machine on and while it is running drizzle the olive oil through the tube. Stop and scrape once or twice and continue running the machine until the salad dressing is creamy, 45 seconds or so.
This recipe yields 2/3 cup pesto salad dressing.

For the salad
Combine the zucchini, onion, and ⅓ of the dressing/ Mix well. Add the cheese, mix, and serve.


Buttered Fresh Corn


6 ears of fresh corn-on-the-cob
!/4 cup butter
Salt to taste


Remove the corn from the cobs.
In a saucepan, heat the butter until melted. Add the corn and salt to taste.
Simmer the corn in the covered saucepan, over low heat for 15 minutes. Serve as a side dish.




Peppercorn Steak

2 servings


2-8oz ribeye steaks, trimmed of large pieces of fat
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 whole garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons cognac
1/4 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons heavy cream


Combine the peppercorn and salt. Rub all over the steaks and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large skillet heat the you and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the garlic clove and stir in the melted butter. Add the steaks and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side.

Use the finger test for doneness or a meat thermometer. For rare, remove the meat from the pan when the inside reaches 120°F, for medium rare 125-130°F. Once the steak is done to your liking remove the steaks to a platter and cover with foil.

Remove the garlic clove from the skillet and add the remaining butter and shallots. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the shallots are tender. Deglaze the pan with the cognac. Add the broth and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the cream and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve.


Wedge Salad


2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
Ranch Dressing or Buttermilk Dressing, see below
Crumbled blue cheese to taste
1 small tomato, diced
¼ cup diced red onion

Whisk together in a small bowl:
1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk,
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar Salt and pepper to taste
Stin in 1/2 cup crumbled mild blue cheese


Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a screw top and shake well.
Cut 1 small head of iceberg lettuce into 4 wedges; place a wedge on two individual salad plates and spoon some of the dressing over the wedges.
Top each with bacon, diced red onion, diced tomato, and more crumbled blue cheese.


Fennel Layered with Potatoes


2 lb. yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed (3/4 to 1 lb. after trimming)
1 onion, sliced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible – use a box grater or mandoline.

Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a 13×9-inch baking dish. Layer half of the potatoes into the dish. Spread half of the fennel and half of the onions on top of the potatoes/ Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, and ha;t of salt and pepper. Top with remaining ingredients.

Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 445 minutes. Allow resting for 10 m minutes before serving.



These cookies are great for a summer dessert and make for easy entertaining. Serve with ice cream for a special treat.

Makes about 14 cookies


3/4 cup golden raisin
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Soak the raisins in warm water to cover and let soak for 20 minutes then drain.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Stir in the oats, walnuts, and drained raisins.

With a ¼ cup muffin scoop drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart or 5 per baking sheet.

Bake, rotating the position of the pans halfway through, until golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.

Cool on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.



2-3 sandwiches


Zucchini Beef Meatballs
8 oz ground beef
1 egg, beaten
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 small zucchini, grated
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked pepper

1 cup marinara sauce, heated
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
Hoagie rolls warmed
Shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oik a baking sheet
Combine the ingredients for the meatballs in a mixing bowl. Form 2-inch meatballs and place them on a prepared baking sheet. Makes about 10 meatballs.

Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes, turning them over after 15 minutes. Do not turn the oven off.
Heat the sauce in a large saucepan and add the chili flakes. Add the meatballs carefully and heat over very low heat for about 10 minutes.

Split the rolls open, add 3 meatballs with sauce, and sprinkle with cheese. Place the rolls on foil pieces to fit. Seal the foil around the sandwiches and heat in the oven for 10-215 minutes or until hot and the cheese is completely melted.

Serve with a green mixed salad for a complete meal.



You can use any combination of vegetables that you like. Here is what I use.


six ears of fresh corn on the cob husks removed
water to cover, about 4 cups
one red onion, diced
two carrots diced
two celery stocks, diced
two bell peppers, diced
three zucchini, diced
four yellow squash, diced
two patty pan squash, diced
three Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
five cloves of garlic, chopped
6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
¼ cup of chopped parsley
1/4 cup of chopped thyme and
1/4 cup of chopped oregano,
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup heavy cream
Shredded cheddar cheese for serving


Cut the corn off the cobs and set aside. Place the cobs in a large soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cobs and discard them.

To the corn broth, add all the soup ingredients including the corn, except the cream and cheese. Stir well and bring the boil to a low boil.

Simmer the vegetables until very soft, about 60-90 minutes. With a slotted spoon or spider remove 2 cups of vegetables and set aside.

With a hand blender, puree the soup remaining in the soup pot until smooth. Add the cream and the 2 cups of vegetables. Heat on low. Serve with shredded cheese as a topping.
The soup freezes well for future meals.




¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
12 oz spaghetti, ( I used spinach spaghetti) broken in half
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced, and cut into matchsticks
1 medium yellow summer squash, ends trimmed, sliced, and cut into matchsticks
8 oz Small fresh mozzarella cheese balls (pearls)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes



Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a deep 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add pasta, tossing to combine. Add broth. Heat, uncovered, over medium heat for 12 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and transfer the spaghetti to an oiled baking dish.


To the skillet
Add remaining olive oil and heat. Add squash, tomatoes, onion, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and tender.


Pour the sauce over the spaghetti in the baking dish. Sprinkle the mozzarella balls over the spaghetti.
Bake in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Serve in pasta bowls with crusty Italian bread.



Caciocavallo is a distinguished Italian cheese from southern Italy that means “horse cheese”, due to the fact that during the maturation process, two kinds of cheese are bound together with a rope in a horizontal way on a wood surface, called in Italian “ a cavallo”, then “horse”. It is an ancient traditional cheese, the first time mentioned in history was 500 BC by Hippocrates. There are other kinds of Caciocavallo cheese based on their origins as well as the type of milk. The most famous is made with cow’s milk from the southern areas of Italy


Basic Pizza Dough {see recipe}
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch thin asparagus (about 1 pound)
Canned or jarred Roasted red pepper strips, drained
1 small handful of fresh sage or basil leaves, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded caciocavallo cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese




Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the minced garlic. Remove the woody stems from the asparagus.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Oil a 16-inch pizza pan.
Press the dough out in the pan to its edges.
Spread the garlic oil over the pizza dough and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the caciocavallo cheese evenly over the dough. Distribute the chopped sage evenly over the cheese,
Alternate the asparagus spears and pepper strips in a circle around the entire pizza top. {see photo}. Sprinkle with Parmesan and the remaining oil.
Bake in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes until the crust is lightly brown. Serve with a salad.


Simple Spinach Salad


5oz baby spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons diced walnuts
Fresh ground black pepper


To toast the walnuts*. Add walnuts to a small ungreased skillet over medium heat. Let the diced walnuts warm up, stirring occasionally until they just begin to darken and become fragrant, this usually takes about 5-6 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat, give the walnuts a little shake, and let the walnuts rest on the warm skillet 2-3 more minutes to finish toasting until ready to add to the salad.

Place the spinach to a bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
Toss the spinach to coat in lemon juice and olive oil.

Add cheese, walnuts, and a dash of freshly cracked pepper. Toss again and serve immediately.


Chicken Salad


1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken tenders, cut in half lengthwise
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Greek Seasoning
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
Half a sweet onion, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish


Combine all marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag and shake well to mix.
Add chicken and shake to ensure the marinade is covering the chicken. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/ Oil a baking dish. Pour the chicken and marinade\de into the baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a meat thermometer registers 160 F. Drain the chicken and place it in a bowl to cool.
For the salaf
Cut the chicken into small dice, add onion, celery and m, and mayonnaise. Mix well. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning to taste. Cover and chill. When ready to serve, garnish with paprika.


Green Bean and Potato Salad


1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces and cooked al dente
1 lf baby Yukon gold tomatoes, boiled in salted water until tender
Half a red onion, sliced
½ cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste


Quarter the potatoes while warm and place them in a serving dish. Add the Italian dressing and let marinate for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Leave at room temperature until serving time.


Oven Fried Green Tomatoes

Serves: 2


2 medium-sized green tomatoes
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Place the flour in a shallow dish.
Place panko in a second shallow dish.
Add the egg to a third dish.
Slice tomatoes and pat dry.
Sprinkle tomato slices evenly with salt and pepper.
Dredge tomato slices in flour, then egg, and then in panko to coat evenly.
Place on the prepared baking sheet tray.
Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F turn over after 10 minutes.


Fried Tomato Sauce Ingredients

1 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon horseradish
1/2 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper


Mix all ingredients together and whisk to combine.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.




Here in the South, corn is maturing in the fields and is readily available. You can save this receive for when Con on the Cob is available in your area. Peppers also do very well here since they like the hot weather. I try to use them in recipes to take advantage of their season.,

Jalapeno and Corn Au Gratin


8 ears of fresh corn
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely diced red onion
1cup diced jalapeno peppers, cored and seeded
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup panko crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart casserole dish.

Remove husk and silk, and cut kernels from the cob; set aside.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until tender; stir in flour and then add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and is smooth. Remove from heat; add corn, 2 cups cheddar cheese, eggs, sugar, salt, and pepper.

Pour into prepared casserole dish and top

I served this dish with crab cakes and cucumber salad


Baltimore Crab Cakes

Cucumber Salad


Zucchini Pancakes

Makes 6 – Recipe can be doubled


1 lb zucchini
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 large eggs
1 medium lemon, squeezed
3 medium scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon of each: fresh parsley, fresh dill, and fresh chives, all chopped fine
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided


Trim and grate the zucchini in the large holes of a box grater into a medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and toss to combine. Set the bowl aside for later. Transfer to a colander. Let sit in the sink or over a bowl for at least 30 minutes.

Plate 2 large eggs in a medium bowl and whisk with a fork until broken up.
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl: flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and pepper.

Place the shredded zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Return to the bowl that was set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, scallions, herbs, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix well. Add the flour mixture, gently folding in the zucchini mixture with a spatula. Add the edd and mix well.

Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. When hot add pancake batter by ¼ cupfuls or use a muffin scoop. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes, turn over and cook for 3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in a low-set oven. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes with Tzatizi Sauce.
I also round out the meal with corn-on-the-cob and Greek salad.

Tzatziki Sauce


1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely grated
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried dill
½ cup crumbled feta cheese


Use a box grater to manually grate the cucumber.
Toss the grated cucumbers with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Let drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Squeeze the salted cucumbers to extract any liquid.

In a mixing bowl, place the garlic with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Mix to combine.
Add the grated cucumber to the bowl with the garlic mixture. Stir in the yogurt, and the remaining ingredients.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours for the flavors to develop.



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