Select beets that are heavy for their size and show no surface nicks or cuts. If they’re sold with their tops on, the greens are always a good indicator of freshness as they show wilting very quickly. So, buy beets that have very crisp leaves attached. Save the leaves and cook them for a side dish, as I did in the Stuffed Chicken Rolls for later in the week. I will post that recipe on Friday.
Marinated Roasted Beet Salad
Two bunches (6) medium-sized beets
Freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, sliced
¼ cup sliced red onions
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Wash and trim the beets so the stems and roots are about ½-inch long.
Place the beets onto a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the foil on a baking sheet, sprinkle the beets with salt and pepper, add the garlic slices and drizzle with a little olive oil. Close the package tightly and place in the oven for about an hour or until the beets are easily pierced with a knife.
Cool the beets before peeling.
Cut the beets into thick slices and place in a serving bowl.
Season to taste with salt, pepper, and the balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
Marinate the beets for at least 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, before adding a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Pan Seared Fish Fillets with Tomato Bacon Sauce
4 (12 ounces) thin fish fillets
1 large Florida tomato, diced
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine, plus extra for garnish
1 garlic clove, grated
1 small shallot, finely minced
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Lightly season the fillets with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
Preheat a skillet just large enough to fit the fillets over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and carefully place the seasoned fillets skin side up in the sauté pan. Cook each fillet for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and completely cooked throughout the thickest part of the fillet. Remove the cooked fillets from the pan and place on a plate.
Add the tomatoes, shallot, and garlic to the skillet. Cook the tomato mixture until the tomatoes start to wilt and release their juices. Add the heavy cream, lemon juice, and vegetable stock. Quickly bring the ingredients to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Return the fish to the skillet just to warm the fillets. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Sautéed Baby Zucchini
Scallions (green onions) are also in season in the spring. Look for crisp, bright-green stalks and a firm white base. Avoid stalks with any slimy, wet tops.
Young zucchini are in season where I live. If they are not available in your area, substitute another vegetable, such as green beans.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 young zucchini
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and then cut each in half crosswise to make 8 pieces.
Heat the oil in a small skillet and place the zucchini cut side down in the pan. Sprinkle the garlic and scallions over the zucchini. Let cook for 7- 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle with oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat and serve.
Most major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adopt a style of eating like that of the Mediterranean diet for prevention of major chronic diseases. Why? Because the Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating — along with the addition of olive oil and a glass of red wine — and other components that characterize the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Most healthy diets include fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats. Fatty fish — such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon — are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is eaten on a regular basis in the Mediterranean region. Be sure to add it to your diet on a regular basis.
Oven Baked Fish
2 cod, haddock or salmon fillets, about 6 oz. each
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove finely grated
2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 green olives, sliced
2 sprigs fresh oregano sprigs
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Make the fresh bread crumbs from several slices of bread by processing in a food processor
Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Coat the bottom of a small baking dish large enough to hold the fish in a single layer with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Place the cod in the dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper.
Place the tomatoes, olives, garlic and oregano leaves on top of the fish.
Combine the crumbs with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and use a spoon to sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the fish and vegetables.
Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fish is cooked about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Lemon Rice Pilaf
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice (uncooked)
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 large lemon to yield 1 teaspoon zest + 3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add garlic and onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
Add rice, stir and cook about 2 minutes. Add broth, salt, and water. Place lid on, bring to a simmer then turn the heat down to low.
Cook for 12 minutes or until the water is evaporated. Remove the saucepan from stove and rest for 10 minutes with the lid on.
Remove the lid. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and black pepper to taste. Stir well and serve.
1 tablespoon butter
1 small shallot. finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained or equivalent fresh
1-ounce cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Saute the garlic and shallot in the butter in a medium saucepan. Mix in the spinach and cook on low heat, covered about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl and keep warm.
Add the cream cheese, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese to the saucepan. Cook on medium heat until the cream cheese is melted. Whisk until smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the spinach mixture and mix well. Reheat over low until the spinach is hot. Serve immediately.
Pan Seared Petite Ribeye Steaks
2 grass-fed, organic, petite ribeye steaks about ½ inch thick and 6-8 oz each
1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Mushroom Shallot Wine Sauce
1 large, finely chopped shallot
16 small button mushroom caps, stems removed
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Season the steaks on all sides with the steak seasoning.
Heat a heavy skillet on high heat until very hot.
Sear steaks 1 minute on each side.
Continue to sauté in the pan turning the heat down to medium for an additional 2 minutes per side.
Place the cooked steaks on a plate and cover with foil, so that they rest while the sauce is made.
Reduce the heat to medium-low in the skillet and add the garlic, shallot, mushroom caps and butter to the pan drippings. Sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the wine, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt; cook over low heat about 3 minutes or until the sauce is reduced slightly. Remove the pan the from heat and stir in the parsley. Pour the mushroom mixture over the steaks and serve.
Parmesan Baked Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 egg whites
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
Cut the head of cauliflower into large florets. Place the florets in a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl mix together the oil, garlic, salt, pepper and eggs. Gently toss with the florets.
Sprinkle Parmesan in with the florets and mix to coat.