Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Olives

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.


Fennel Salad

Ingredients

Salad
1 orange zested, peeled, and cut into segments
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on the bias
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained
1/2 cup sliced red onion

Dressing
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Directions

Combine the salad ingredients in a medium salad bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss gently.

Air Fryer Lamb Chops

Ingredients

4 loin lamb chops 1 1/2″ wide
4 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of coarser sea salt

Directions

Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F

Sprinkle the lamb with salt to taste.
Combine the remaining ingredients and brush on the lamb.
Place lamb chops in the air fryer basket with some room in between.
Cook for 15 minutes for medium-rare (turning at 8 minutes.)
You can use a thermometer to test for doneness.

Serve with Tzatziki Sauce and warm pita bread.

Tzatziki Feta Sauce

ingredients
Half a large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 large garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Salt t

Directions

Sprinkle cucumber with ½ teaspoon salt. Let sit in a colander to drain for 10 minutes, then squeeze out excess water.
Combine yogurt, cucumber, garlic, oil, dill, feta, and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Mix well.


Spinach Pasta

Serve with garlic bread

Ingredients

8 oz spinach spaghetti or regular spaghetti
¼ cup olive oil2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red onion, sliced
1 large zucchini, quartered and sliced
3 plum tomatoes, diced
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
8 oz jar pitted Kalamata Olives, drained
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion and zucchini. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Stir well and add salt to taste. Cook until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives and keep warm.

Cook the spaghetti al dente and drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.

Add the sauce to the drained pasta along with the pasta water and cheese. Stir well and serve in individual pasta bowls with garlic bread.


Tuna Steaks

2 servings

Ingredients

2 5-oz. boneless, skinless wild-caught yellowfin tuna steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup green olives, such as Cerignola
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Season the tuna with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the tuna in the skillet in a single layer and cook, turning once, until done to your liking (3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare). Transfer the tuna to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, and a few grinds of pepper; cook until warmed through and the tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice.
Return the tuna steaks to the skillet to warm over low heat.

Serve with the sauce and a pasta side dish.

Lemon Green Bean Pasta


Scallopini

Ingredients

Two 6 oz boneless, skinless cutlets (turkey, chicken, veal, pork or fish), pounded until thin
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, preferably Wondra
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white wine, or dry vermouth
1 lemon, juiced (4 tablespoons),
1 tablespoon capers

Directions

Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly coat in flour. Shake off excess.


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, swirl them around the pan, and add the cutlets. Turn the heat to medium and saute for 2 minutes per side. Add the wine, lemon juice and capers, swirl them around in the pan and turn off the heat. Serve immediately with a small sprinkling of salt and pepper.

CreamyRoasted Tomato Pasta

Ingredients

5-6 large plum tomatoes quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Half of a small onion, minced
1 medium or two small zucchini cut into sticks about the size of the pasta
3 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups short pasta
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated plus extra for serving

Directions

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.


In a medium baking dish lined with foil, toss together the quartered tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Roast for 40 minutes. Turn the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and roast the tomatoes for 2o minutes more. cool to room temperature. Remove the tomato skins and discard them.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

 

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and zucchini sticks. Cook, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Add the thyme and the cream, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer over low heat.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the sauce. Add in ½ cup of parmesan cheese. Add pasta water if necessary to loosen up the sauce. Season to taste with black pepper. Serve with extra parmesan cheese.

Homemade Olive Bread

Ingredients

2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

Place all the bread ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes.

Place the dough in a clean bowl greased with olive oil. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rise for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Punch the dough down and place on a parchment-lined baking pan. Shape the dough into an oval. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 30 minutes. Make three slashes in the top of the bread with a sharp knife. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake the bread for 40 minutes.

Cool un a wire rack. Serve the bread with olive oil for dipping.


Italian Chicken Cutlets And Mediterranean Salad

Ingredients

Chicken
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups plain panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for a garnish
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 boneless and skinless chicken cutlets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Salad Dressing
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large tomato, diced
8 ounces diced fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
15 fresh basil leaves, sliced

Directions

For the salad dressing: In a jar with a lid, combine the oil, Champagne vinegar, shallots, mustard, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Tightly close the lid and shake so the dressing is well combined. Set aside.

For the cutlets: Using 3 wide shallow bowls, add the flour to 1, the eggs to another, and to the third bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and thyme.

On a work surface, put the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, lightly pound the chicken until 1/2-inch thick. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly, then dip into the beaten eggs, allowing the excess egg to drip off. Coat the chicken with the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere.

In a large, nonstick saute pan, heat half the oil over medium heat. Add 3 pieces of the breaded chicken into the oil and cook until light golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining chicken and oil. Sprinkle the cutlets with additional grated parmesan cheese.

For the salad: Put the romaine in a large salad bowl. Add enough dressing so that each leaf is lightly coated when tossed. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper. Scatter the tomatoes, olives, and mozzarella over the salad along with the pine nuts, and finally with the basil leaves. Serve the salad on the side of the cutlets.


I served the grilled swordfish with a green bean salad and a Caprese salad.

For two servings

Ingredients

Dressing
1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Fish
Olive oil
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved
One – 12-ounce skinless swordfish fillet (sustainable)

Directions

For the dressing
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil, basil, garlic powder, and salt. Set aside.

For the fish
Brush the fish with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Press the panko crumbs onto one side of the fish.

Outdoor grill
Heat an outdoor grill to medium. Place a piece of foil on the outdoor grill or use a grill mat. Place the swordfish panko side up on the foil or mat. Close the lid of the grill and cook the swordfish for 8-10 minutes. The fish will turn white and the crumbs will toast..

Grill pan
Heat a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat
Grill the fish until golden brown and the fish releases easily from the pan, 3 to 4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fish. When turning the swordfish over, use a wide spatula and try to keep the crumbs intact.

Remove the swordfish to a serving platter. Spoon the dressing and olives over the swordfish and serve.


Overnight Pizza Dough

Makes one 16 inch round pizza. Prepare the dough one day ahead. This process makes the best pizza dough.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza. Turn the oven to 450 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

Pizza Ingredients

8 oz Italian fontina cheese, sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Topping Ingredients

¾ cup green Italian olives pitted and chopped
½ cup pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
½ sliced roasted red peppers
½ cup baby artichoke hearts, sliced in half
3 tablespoon capers

Directions

Combine the topping ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan.

Top the crust with the sliced fontina followed by the shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle the topping ingredients evenly over the cheese.
Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


Chicken Puttanesca

Serve with pasta.

4 servings

Ingredients

Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced pancetta
1/4 cup minced fresh onion
2 red chili peppers, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can of Italian whole cherry tomatoes (Cento brand)
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons capers, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 canned anchovy fillet, chopped

Chicken
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
4 slices provolone cheese
Flour
Salt and pepper
8 oz fettuccine

Directions

Make the sauce
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the pancetta onion, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Cook the pasta al dente and drain.

For the chicken
Coat the chicken cutlets in flour, salt, and pepper. Shake off excess. Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the cutlets about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Top each cutlet with a slice of cheese and cover the pan. Cook for a minute or two until the cheese melts.

Mix the cooked pasta with the sauce. Place an equal portion of pasta in four individual pasta bowls. Top with the chicken and serve.

Oven Roasted Zucchini

4 servings

Ingredients

Two large Zucchini sliced into 1/4″ thick rounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Coat the foil with olive oil cooking spray.
Place zucchini rounds in a bowl. Add oil and spices to the bowl and toss zucchini to coat.
Lay zucchini on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes.


This classic Italian sauce is called sugo alla puttanesca in Italian. Recipes may differ according to preferences; for instance, the Neapolitan version is prepared without anchovies, unlike the Lazio version. Spices are sometimes added. In most cases, however, the sugo is a little salty (from the capers, olives, and anchovies) and quite fragrant (from the garlic). It is usually served with spaghetti but we like it with seafood.

Seafood in an Italian Spicy Tomato Sauce

2 servings

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 fish fillets,(I used sea bass) (about 1 1/2 inches thick 4 ounces each)
4 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
26 oz container finely diced Italian tomatoes (I used the Pomi brand)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1 tablespoon capers
2 1-inch-thick slices Italian bread brushed with olive oil and grilled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions

For the sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet.
Add the anchovy paste and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and continue to stir.
Pour in the tomatoes, oregano and basil and heat to a simmer. Add the olives and capers and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thickened.

For the fish
Season the fish and shrimp with salt and pepper. Lightly flour the fish shaking off extra flour.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet with a cover over medium-high heat. Brown the fish fillets and shrimp on both sides.

Pour a cup to 1 ½ cups of sauce over the fish in the small skillet and cover the skillet. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Save the remaining sauce for pasta.

Place a piece of grilled bread in each serving bowl. Divide the fish evenly and place it on top of the bread. Spoon the sauce over each portion and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.



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