Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Fruit

Mediterranean Cantaloupe Salad

Serve with heated pita bread.

Ingredients

¼ cup sweet onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoon honey, or more, depending on the sweetness of your melon.
½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon  each salt and pepper                                                                              Half a cucumber, peeled and diced
1 medium cantaloupe, peeled, halved, seeded, and cubed (3 – 4 cups)
1 small orange bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped,
3 tablespoon green olives
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

Combine red onion and lemon juice in a large bowl. Let stand while you prepare the cantaloupe.
Add honey, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to the red onion mixture.
Add cantaloupe cubes and the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
Toss to combine all ingredients.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Breasts

Leftover chicken makes a delicious chicken salad.

Ingredients

1 cup Greek Plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 wholes clove garlic, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
2 whole bone-in chicken breasts

Directions

Combine Yogurt, lemon peel, juice, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a dish large enough to contain the chicken.
Add the chicken, turn it in the sauce and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Place chicken on a rack in a baking pan and bake in a preheated 375-degree F oven for 45 minutes or until cooked.


In my part of the world, strawberries are ready for picking. This past weekend, a local farmer had beautiful ripe strawberries for sale.  I bought a few quarts and here are two recipes I made with these beauties.

Strawberry Summer Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries, plus 15 strawberry halves
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup sliced almonds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside. For this batter, I needed 15 cups so I used three cups in a second muffin pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the eggs, beating just until blended. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl well halfway through.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; then add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl with the butter mixture, beating just until blended. Add in the milk, lemon juice, almond extract, and remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended and scraping down the sides of the bowl. With a spatula, fold in the sliced strawberries and almonds.

Add 1/4-cup of muffin batter to each prepared muffin cup.
Top with a strawberry half.
Bake until tops are just dry to the touch (about 22-25 minutes). Let cool completely in the pan before removing to a serving plate.

Strawberry Waffle And Pancake Topping

Ingredients

2 cups sliced strawberries
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

Place the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil. Turn the heat to low, partially cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator until needed or freeze some for a future meal.


This recipe can accommodate any type of fresh fruit. Baking times will adjust. See below.

Pear Galette

ingredients

1 crust from 1 box (14.1 oz) refrigerated Pillsbury™ Pie Crusts (2 Count), softened as directed on the box
2 large, firm Bartlett or Anjou pears, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup honey
1teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Heat oven to 400°F. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with parchment paper.

Remove pie crust from pouch; place in the parchment paper on the baking sheet. Unroll.

In a mixing bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Add the sliced pears. Mix well.
Mound the pears, about 3 cups, onto the center of the pie crust leaving a one-inch border all around\d. Crimp the edges of the pastry up around the pear mound.

 

For pears or apples

Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes. +
For softer fruit such as peaches or berries, bake for 30 minutes only at 400 degrees F.

Remove the galette from the pan to a serving dish and allow it to cool to room temperature.


Ingredients

For the cake:

1 box (15.25 oz) red velvet cake mix
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 box (3.4 oz) chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water
4 large eggs

For the topping

1 pint of fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into thin slices
¼ cup strawberry jelly
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a fluted tube cake pan with non-stick baking spray with flour.

Stir the cake mix, flour, and pudding mix together in a mixing bowl. Add the sour cream, oil, water, and eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed for 15 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow cooling in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Serve the cake sliced with strawberries and whipped cream.

 

The toppings can be prepared ahead of serving time. Refrigerate until needed.
Heat the jelly in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until it is melted. Stin in the sliced strawberries. Set aside to cool.
Whip the v\cream with powdered sugar.


Fresh Pear Bread Recipe

Ingredients

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears (about 4-5 medium)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Grease and line two loaf pans with parchment paper. Grease the parchment.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Add the chopped pears and fold them in gently.

In a second mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the walnuts.

Stir into the egg mixture just until moistened. (batter will be thick).

Divide the mixture evenly between the loaf pans. I use a scale to make sure they have even amounts.


Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans using the parchment to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.


Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
½ cup brown sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425º Fahrenheit. Oil a 6-jumbo muffin pam.
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combien the wet ingredients in a large measuring cup including the marmalade. Stir the date and nuts into the flour mixture. Add the wet mixture just until combined.
Spoon the batter evenly into the six cups. Sprinkle with each top with brown sugar.

 

Bake at for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375º Fahrenheit and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 


Cool in the pan for ten minutes, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool.

 


Italian Style Sea Bass

Ingredients

12 oz Chilean sea bass, cut into 2 portions
1 fresh lemon squeezed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
2 pats butter
Salt, pepper to taste
1 tablespoon each fresh parsley, basil, minced
1/4 cup or more of Italian flavored bread crumbs

Directions

Oil a baking pan large enough to hold the fish.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
Lay the Sea Bass skin side down in the pan.
Whisk the lemon juice with the dill, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, and garlic together.
Drizzle over each piece of fish, reserving some for the top.
Top each fillet with Italian bread crumbs and a pat of butter…
Bake in a preheated oven for around 20 minutes.

Baked Tomato Slices

Ingredients

1 large beefsteak tomato
2 ¼ inch thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
Several fresh basil leaves
Olive oil

Directions

Cut the tomato in half horizontally. Place them I cut the dude up in a small baking dish.
Top with mozzarella and basil. Drizzle with oil.
Place in the oven for the last 5 minutes of the fish’s baking time.

Italian Style Rice And Peas

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 green onion minced
1 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup long-grain rice
1 cup chicken stock
1 /2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Sauté green onion on a medium saucepan with 1 tablespoon of oil until soft. Add garlic and rice. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
Lower the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook 15 minutes. Add the peas and parsley. Cover the pan and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in the cheese snd serves with the fish.


My blueberry bushes are producing lots of berries right now, so I am busy thinking up ways to use them

Blueberry Crisp

Ingredients

One 9-9nch prepared pie pastry

For the filling
3 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For the topping
1cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°.Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Place the pastry in the pan and crimp the edges.

Make the filling: Mix blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl. Transfer to the prepared pie pan.

Make the topping: Stir together flour, oats, baking powder, melted butter, and salt. Using your hands, squeeze topping pieces together into clumps.

Sprinkle topping evenly overfilling. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips.

Bake until bubbling in center and brown on top, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.


Scallops & Cherry Tomato Pasta

Servings:2

Ingredients

½ pound dry sea scallops, tough side muscle removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1-pint cherry tomatoes
1/4cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
2 oz thin spaghetti
Chopped fresh basil for garnish

Directions

Cook the pasta al dente and drain.
Pat scallops dry. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Add tomatoes to the pan and cook, stirring once, until wilted 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and capers; cook, stirring, and scraping up any browned bits until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in butter and pepper. Return the pan to low heat, add the cooked pasta. Stir gently. Divide the mixture between two pasta bowls and top with the scallops. Garnished with basil.

Asparagus with Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 bunch thin asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Table salt and ground black pepper

Dressing
1 large shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Adjust oven rack to uppermost position and heat broiler.
Toss asparagus with oil and salt and pepper, then lay spears in a single layer on a heavy-rimmed baking sheet. Broil about 4 inches from the heating element, shaking the pan halfway through to turn spears, until asparagus is tender and lightly browned 8 to 10 minutes.

Cool the asparagus for 5 minutes and arrange them in a  serving dish.
Whisk shallot, lemon juice and zest, thyme, mustard, and olive oil in a small bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle over asparagus and serve immediately.

 


Pasta

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 lb bucatini pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until bright green and just barely cooked through, 2 minutes. Use a spider or strainer to transfer the green beans to a colander.
Add the bucatini to the same pot of boiling water. Let cook to al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.

Return the pot to the stovetop and add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, then add the lemon zest and juice and 1/4 cup pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the butter and green beans, then toss to coat the pasta and beans in the sauce. Keep tossing until the sauce is glossy and thickened, about 3 minutes more.

Turn off the heat and gradually stir in the cheese, tossing constantly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Divide pasta among 4 serving bowls and garnish with parsley, more Pecorino, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Italian Sausage And Peppers

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage
2 bags of mini peppers, stems removed
1 large onion cut into thick slices
2 garlic cloves, grated
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet with a cover. Cut the sausage links in half and add them to the skillet. Brown the sausage on all sides. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ingredients until the vegetables are tender.



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