Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Fruit

 

TORTA DI MELE (TUSCAN APPLE CAKE)

Ingredients

2 x large apples, peeled, finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup honey
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment cut to fit the bottom of the pan.

Toss the chopped apples into a bowl with the lemon juice and zest.

Mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of sea salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, extra virgin olive oil, and eggs together to combine.

Mix the extra virgin olive oil mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth thick batter.

Fold the apples into the batter. then pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean when tested. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar before slicing. You can serve it with honey yogurt. {Mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 1 cup of Greek plain yougurt}


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Italian Ribeye Steak

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (8-ounce) ribeye steaks, trimmed

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the steaks in a bowl, stirring well. One hour before cooking time, remove the steaks from the refrigerator. Rub the mixture evenly over both sides of the steaks. Let rest at room temperature for one hour.

 


Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook for 3 minutes. Turn steaks over; cook for 3 minutes or until the desired degree of doneness.

 

You can also cook the steaks in an air-fryer for the same amount of time. Let steaks stand for 10 minutes.

Baked Potatoes

Ingredients
2 Russet Baking Potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Directions

Wash and dry each potato. Brush a layer of oil over the entire surface of each potato. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top portion of each potato. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for about an hour or until it pierces easily with a fork. Serve with butter and sour cream.

Sugar Snaps

Ingredients

4 cups sugar snap peas (about 12 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, grated
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or more to taste
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch sugar
1/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

Cut the sugar snap peas on a diagonal into halves and cut off the stem ends. Parboil the snaps in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and retain in the pan.

Combine the remaining ingredients except for the cheese and heat on low. Add the drained peas and cheese. Toss over the heat until hot and then serve with the steak.


Using a few products from the market can create these easy bars for dessert.

Ingredients

Bottom Layer
1 box of yellow cake mix
½ cup salted butter, melted
1 egg
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

Top Layer
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
Combine cake mix, butter, lemon juice, and egg in a large bowl; mix until thoroughly combined. (Batter will be crumbly) Spread the mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking pan with your fingers, patting it down firmly.
Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and, lemon juice in a medium bowl. Pour over the top of the cake mixture.
Bake for 28-30 minutes or until set. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar for an attractive presentation.


For the topping:
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 ½ cups self-rising flour
6 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into small pieces

For the filling:
4 cups of peaches, peeled, sliced and each slice cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the topping:
Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. With your fingertips, blend the butter pieces into the dry ingredients until large clumps form and the flour and butter are completely incorporated about 3 minutes.

For the filling:
Combine the peaches with lemon juice and cinnamon. Spread the peaches in a medium baking dish, greased with butter. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the peaches.
Bake until the topping is browned and crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes. Place the dish on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.


2 servings

Ingredients

Cooking spray
2 salmon fillets, skin removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments
2 sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce, store-bought or see recipe below

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Coat a large baking pan with cooking spray.

Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Place them in a single layer in the baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Season salmon with salt and pepper and place on top of the potatoes.

Spoon the teriyaki sauce over the salmon in the pan. Arrange oranges on top of the salmon.

Roast salmon for 25 to 30 minutes, until fish and potatoes are fork-tender. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Quick Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

¼ cup soy sauce
1 cup water
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup cold water

Directions

Mix all but the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan and begin heating.
Whisk the cornstarch and cold water in a cup to dissolve. Add to sauce in the pan.
Heat until sauce thickens to desired thickness.

Sugar Snap Peas 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb fresh sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
1 large garlic clove, sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the snap peas and garlic, and toss to coat. Cook snap peas for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the salt, and pepper and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, until the snap peas begin to puff up and are crisp, yet tender.
Serve immediately.


Tuaca is an Italian naturally flavored brandy liqueur. Tuaca is a sweet golden brown blend of brandy, citrus essences, vanilla, and other secret spices. It is bottled at 70 proof. Tuaca’s mild, sweet flavor makes it popular as a cordial, mixed by some with coffee.

Ingredients

Two Crust pastry dough, enough for a 9-inch cake pan
4 large peaches, thinly sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons Tuaca
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
Ice cream, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Fit one pastry into a 9-inch cake pan.

In a bowl, gently mix peaches, sugar, cinnamon, Tuaca, and flour together. Arrange the fruit mixture in circles until the crust is covered. Cut the butter into small pieces and distribute it over the peaches.

Cut the second pastry dough into ½-inch wide strips. Weave the strips on top of the peaches.

Fold up the pastry dough’s edge over the strips’ edge.
Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Cool the crostata on a rack, and serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite ice cream.

Tuaca Vanilla Citrus Liqueur 750 ML


Chicken Salad

Ingredients

3 cups cooked chicken: roasted, grilled, or rotisserie
Half a delicious red apple, seeded, peeled, and finely diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 large celery stalk, finely diced
1 cup of small pecans, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Mix the apple and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the finely diced chicken and all the remaining ingredients except the pecans. When ready to serve, stir in the pecans. Serve over lettuce leaves with corn on the cob and heritage tomatoes.

 


Ingredients

1 pound of Swordfish 1 1/2 Inch thick
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Cracked Black Pepper
Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon Red Chile Peppe Flakes
1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Zest
1 Egg
4 Tablespoons of Olive Oi

Sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons Butter

Directions

Cut the swordfish into 1-inch cubes. Mix together the breadcrumbs, chile pepper, lemon zest, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Beat the egg with a fork until frothy. Dip the swordfish nuggets first into the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs pressing lightly to ensure the crumbs adhere well to all of the sides.

Once all of the nuggets are breaded, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook the nuggets until they are golden brown, and just barely cooked through inside. Place the nuggets on a serving platter.


Place the butter and lemon juice in the skillet and heat until the butter melts. Pour over the swordfish and serve.

I served this entree with a Caprese Salad.


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.



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