Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Sauces

3-4 servings

Ingredients

12-ounce sustainable, wild-caught swordfish or tuna fillet, 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 celery rib, finely chopped
28 oz container Italian tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
½ teaspoon dried red chile flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Aromatics, to taste (bay leaves, thyme, rosemary)
10 black olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
8 oz short pasta

Directions

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add anchovies and cook, stirring with the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Add capers, celery, and olives; cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and herbs of choice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add salt and drizzle with oil; return to a boil. Add pasta, stirring, until water returns to a boil. Cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander and set aside.
Pour the sauce into the empty pasta pot and keep warm

Slice the swordfish into two ½-inch thick slices. Cut each into 1-inch cubes.
Heat the remaining olive oil in the empty skillet. Add the swordfish and season with salt and black pepper. Cook the swordfish until just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Transfer the pasta to a large serving platter. Pour half of the sauce over the pasta. Top with the swordfish and pour the remaining sauce over the fish and pasta. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.


Grilled Lamb Chops

2 servings

Ingredients

4 loin lamb chops

Marinade
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Greek seasoning or oregano
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Combine the marinade ingredients in a ziplock food storage bag. Give it a shake. Add the lamb, seal the bag, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat an outdoor or stovetop grill. Place the lamb on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove to a serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Beets With Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

2 large beets washed well
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt
1cup plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek-style
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Black pepper

To roast beets:
Trim the greens off the beets to within 1 inch and scrub the beets. Arrange the beets in a small roasting pan, add 1/8 inch water, and cover loosely with foil. Roast at 450 degrees F for 45-60 minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a knife. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets: Cut off the stem and root ends and scrape the thin layer of skin off with a knife. Quater each beet and place them in a serving bowl. To serve top with several tablespoons of tzatziki sauce.

To make the sauce
In a mixing bowl, combine garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in yogurt and olive oil and dill. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.

Greek Salad

Dressing

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice

Salad

4 cups torn Romaine lettuce
1/4 of red onion, sliced
Half cucumber, sliced
1 tomato, diced
12 kalamata olives
4 pepperoncini peppers
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Pour all the dressing ingredients into a large jar and shake well.
Place the jar in the refrigerator for a few hours to blend flavors.
Combine the Greek salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss. Add more dressing if desired.


Skillet Chicken Parm

Ingredients

2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 12 oz total)
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour
¾ cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
1 large egg
Olive oil
Warm Marinara sauce, recipe below
6 ounces Italian Fontina or Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
Cooked spaghetti

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
26-28 oz container Italian chopped Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Directions

Prepare the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare the chicken
Cut off any fat on the chicken. Place a breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with a meat mallet to an even thickness. Repeat with the second breast. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Spread out the flour and breadcrumbs on two separate plates. Beat the egg in a wide shallow bowl until thoroughly blended. Dredge the chicken in flour to coat lightly and tap off excess flour. Dip in the beaten egg, hold them over the bowl, letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Transfer the chicken, one piece at a time to the plate of breadcrumbs, turn it to coat with breadcrumbs, patting gently, and making sure that each breast is well coated with breadcrumbs. If you have time refrigerate the breaded chicken for several hours.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until a corner of one of the coated breasts gives off a sizzle when dipped in the oil. Add the chicken pieces without touching each other. Fry, turning once, until golden on both sides and cooked through about 6 minutes. Top each chicken breast with several spoonfuls of marinara sauce. Place the sliced cheese over the sauce to cover the chicken completely. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook a minute or two until the cheese melts. Serve over spaghetti.

Green Beans With Garlic

Ingredients

Salt
2 pounds green  beans, trimmed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size garlic cloves, minced

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil beans until just tender but still crisp and bright green. Start testing after 4 minutes or so, being careful not to overcook. When done, drain in a colander. Heat the oil in the pan over high heat. Add beans and garlic, and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until beans are heated through. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

 


The calendar may say Fall but where I live it is still hot. So ribs are still on the menu.

Easy Ribs

Ingredients

2 small slabs pork baby back ribs, each cut in half
BBQ sauce, optional

Rub
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
3 tablespoons celery salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder

Directions

Mix all the rub ingredients together in a medium bowl. Rub each side of the 4 pieces of ribs with 2-3 tablespoons of the rub mix. (Save any remaining rub for another time,) Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Line a baking dish large enough to fit the ribs with foil and place the ribs meaty side up in the dish.
Bake at 250 degrees F for 3 hours. For extra crispiness, place the ribs on a hot grill or under the broiler for 5 minutes on each side. Serve with BBQ sauce if desired.

Simple Potato Salad

Ingredients

2 lbs whole medium red-skinned potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pickle juice
1/4 cup minced bread and butter pickles or pickle relish.
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion or scallions
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Place the potatoes in a large pot with a lid. Cover the potatoes with cold water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cook the potatoes with the lid ajar until tender, about 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes. Slice the potatoes into a storage bowl.

Add the pickle juice and let sit at room temperature for an hour or so.

Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, and taste to see if the salad needs salt. Add black pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator until serving time. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Roasted Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients

2 bunches thin asparagus, washed and ends trimmed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Vinaigrette
1 medium shallot, minced (about 11/2 tablespoons)
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Option one – Roast asparagus in the air-fryer at 400 degrees F for 7-8 minutes.

Option two- Adjust oven rack to uppermost position and heat broiler.

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

Cool asparagus 5 minutes and arrange on serving dish.

Whisk shallot, lemon juice, honey, mustard, and olive oil in a small bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle over asparagus and serve immediately.


Burritos

Ingredients

Marinade
1 orange
1 lime
¼ cup avocado oil
2 – 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound beef flank steak

Burrito
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Half a large sweet onion cut into thin rings and rings halved
2 medium sweet bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into thin strips
6-8 inch flour tortillas, warmed
¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro
1 cup of salsa

Directions

Zest the lime and orange. Juice both the orange and lime. In a large resealable plastic bag combine 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 2 tablespoons lime juice, avocado oil, chipotle peppers, cumin, and the salt. Add steak. Seal bag; turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 12 hours.

Remove meat from the marinade. Reserve 2 tablespoons marinade; discard any remaining marinade. Pat meat dry with paper towels. In a large grill pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add steak to the pan. Cook for 14 to 18 minutes or until steak reaches desired doneness, turning once halfway through cooking. (Or, for a gas or charcoal grill, grill the steak on a greased rack of a covered grill over medium heat for 17 to 21 minutes or until steak reaches desired doneness.)

Transfer meat to a cutting board. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Heat the same grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers to the drippings in the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini. Cook 1 minute more. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons marinade and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Cook and stir 2 minutes more.

Lay tortillas on a flat work surface. Arrange the meat on the bottom third of the tortillas. Top with cooked vegetables, and cilantro. Roll up tortillas tightly. Serve with salsa.

Tips
If using a gas or charcoal grill, use a large skillet to cook the vegetables. Use 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in place of the drippings.

Cheese Sauce

ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
Stir over medium-high heat until all cheese is melted.

Creamy Southern Succotash

Ingredients

1 recipe cooked southern field peas (see recipe), drained
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
Cheese sauce, recipe above

Directions

After the cheese sauce is complete, stir in the drained peas and corn. Add the chili powder and simmer over low heat until hot.
Serve with the burritos.


Smothered Pork Chops

Pork Chops
1 pound boneless pork chops, about 3/4-1 inch thick.
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Gravy
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk or heavy cream
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions

Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture. Season pork chops with garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Refrigerate for several hours.
Dredge each chop in the flour; shake off the excess and reserve the remaining flour.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, sear the pork chops in a single layer on each side 2 minutes per side. Remove pork chops from the pan and keep warm.

In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
Add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Cook while stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and poultry seasoning; cook 30 seconds.

Add 2 tablespoons of the remaining flour to the pan. Mix the flour into the onions and cook 2 minutes.
Pour in the chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the liquid reduce and thicken slightly, about 2 minutes.
Whisk in the buttermilk (or cream) and simmer for 1-2 minutes until thick and creamy.
Return the pork chops to the pan. Coat them in the sauce and let simmer until the pork is completely cooked through, about 3 minutes (or until the pork is cooked to your desired doneness). Taste test and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Garnish with the chopped parsley before serving.

Southern Field Peas

ingredients

4 cups fresh heirloom cowpeas
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 bell pepper finely diced
1/2 Vidalia onion, finely diced

Directions

Place cowpeas, bell pepper, onion, chicken stock, butter, and salt into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes. Taste the peas to be sure they are tender. If not, simmer for a few minutes more. Drain and serve.


Corn Cakes

Makes 9-10 cakes

Ingredients

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and incorporate the wet ingredients (do not over mix). Fold in the corn and cheese.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop heaping ¼-cup portions of the batter into the skillet and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately.


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.


Ingredients

12 oz firm fish fillets
Salt and Pepper
1 cup Flour- any type of flour can work in this recipe (Wondra, gluten-free, low carb)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 cup (8oz) Beer or seltzer water
Oil for frying (1 inch deep)
Crispy Taco Shells, warmed
Shredded cabbage

Sauce
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon line juice
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 scallions, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon cilantro paste

To make the sauce
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to meld.

For the fish
Pat the fish dry, cut into 3-inch pieces and season with salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large skillet
Mix the flour, taco seasoning, and the beer together in a shallow bowl. The batter should be thick.
Dip the fish pieces into the batter, let the batter drip off, then transfer directly to the hot oil and let them fry until golden, approximately 3 minutes.
Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels for the oil to drip off.

To assemble
Place several pieces of fish in each taco shell, top with shredded cabbage and sour cream sauce. Serve with lots of paper napkins.


Old-Fashioned Salisbury Steak

4 servings

for the patties

11/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/4 cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flour

For the sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced onions( one large)
1 tablespoon minced garlic( one huge clove)
8 0z sliced mushrooms
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Directions

Combine the beef, parsley, onion, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Divide the mixture evenly into 4 portions (about oz each) and shape each into thick oval patties. Place 2 tablespoons of flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour. Reserve the remaining flour.

Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. add patties and saute 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from the pan to a plate.

Add onions and mushrooms to pan; saute 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; saute 1 minute. Sprinkle the reserved flour over the mixture and stir; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, the salt, and thyme. Return the patties to the pan and bring the sauce to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

Steak House Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

4 medium russet potatoes
Olive Oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
4 pats of butter

Directions

Wash and dry each potato. Make several slashes with a paring knife in 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 the potatoes on a baking pan covered with foil. Bake at 400 degrees F for about an hour. Split open and place a pat of butter in each potato and serve.

Sauteed spinach In Garlic

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
Two 10-ounce bags frozen spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
Add spinach and toss to coat. Cover and cook until defrosted, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add lemon juice, salt, and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.


Tomatoes are at their peak now in my area and they are plentiful. Here are some ideas on what you can cook with them.

Greek Tomato And Eggplant Tart

Pastry
1 1/2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons of ice-cold water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal or semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces

Filling
1 small (about 1 lb) eggplant, thinly sliced
4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 to 5 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stem
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
6 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for drizzling

For the pastry
Mix the yogurt and ice water together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Mix together the flours, cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have small pieces. Add the water/yogurt mix one tablespoon at a time to the flour mixture, mixing gently. Gather the wet dough pieces together and shape into a ball. Do not overwork the dough, it will be soft. Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours (can be frozen for one month).

Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Brush eggplant slices with oil and broil on high for 5 minutes on each side until tender. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Place a piece of parchment on a smooth surface and lightly flour. Top with another piece of parchment or plastic wrap. Roll the dough out to 11 inches in diameter, Transfer to an ungreased 9-inch pie plate.

Layer in the following order: eggplant slices, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, herbs, feta cheese, and drizzle with olive oil. Crimp the edges of the pastry.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the layers are bubbly and hot. Cool for at least ten minutes or until room temperature before serving.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

4-5 pounds of fresh Roma tomatoes, quartered and seeded retaining as much pulp as possible
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 large cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (chili)
1-2 teaspoons honey, if needed

Herbs
Place the following herbs in a piece of cheesecloth and tie the cheesecloth closed.

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh oregano
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of parsley

Directions

Pour the olive oil into a large stockpot over medium heat.
Add the onions, celery, garlic, and carrots.
Saute for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the tomatoes and sea salt.
Simmer on low heat, covered, for about an hour until the tomatoes cook down.
Remove the pot from the heat and using an immersion blender, process the mixture until smooth.
Return the pot to the heat and add the herb cheesecloth package.
Taste the sauce to see if the tomatoes were too bitter. Add the honey, if needed.
Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until reduced and thick, an hour to an hour and a half more. Remove the cheesecloth package and discard it.
Pour the sauce into a refrigerator container and store the sauce up to 1 week, or freeze in batches.


Tomatoes with Herbed Ricotta

Use beautiful heirloom tomatoes that are in season now along with lots of fresh herbs.

For two servings:

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 scallion, white and green parts, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced\
1 large heirloom tomato, about 1 lb
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
Fleur de sel

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, scallions, dill, chives, parsley, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside for up to 30 minutes.
Slice the tomato into ¼ inch thick slices. You should get 4 slices. Place on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let drain for 30 minutes. When ready to serve, place the tomato slices on a serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil. Spread ¼ of the ricotta mixture over each tomato slice. Sprinkle with reserved basil and fleur de sel, and serve at room temperature.

Summer Fresh Tomato Salad

2-3 servings

Ingredients

½ cup diced red onion
1 1/2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges
Shredded fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

For the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.

Place the onion, tomatoes, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a salad serving bowl. Toss with the salad dressing. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.



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