Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: zucchini

Chicken And Vegetables

ingredients

4 chicken cutlets, about 2 lb
8 slices Prosciutto di Parma
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 small zucchini, about 1 ½ lb, sliced ¼-inch thick circles
2 cups diced plum tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
½ cup finely diced red onion
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup shreddedMozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Polenta, recipe below

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Sprinkle the cutlets lightly with salt and pepper
Wrap two slices of prosciutto around each chicken cutlet.
Pour the olive oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread the oil over the bottom of the dish.
Layer the zucchini slices overlapping each other across the bottom of the baking dish.
Place the prosciutto-wrapped chicken on top of the zucchini.
Top the chicken evenly with the diced tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper.
Sprinkle the mixture with salt and Italian seasoning.
Bake for25 minutes or until the chicken registers 155-160 degrees F on an instant meat thermometer.
Sprinkle the cheese over each breast and return the dish to the oven. Bake 10 minutes or until the cheese melts and the chicken registers 165 degrees F.

Creamy Polenta

4 servings

Ingredients

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
1 cup polenta
¼ cup cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Place the broth and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add polenta, whisking to prevent clumping. Reduce heat to low. Add thyme and the cream cheese, and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed and polenta is creamy and thoroughly cooked for about 10 minutes.
Add cheese and salt, stirring gently until incorporated.

To serve
Spread 1/4th of the polenta on a serving plate and top with baked chicken breast and vegetables.

 


Ingredients

Dough

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup lukewarm water

3 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Topping

1 medium zucchini, finely diced

1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced

One-quarter of a large red onion, finely diced

16 oz block whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving

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.

Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.

For an overnight rise:  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.

Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan.

Top the crust in the following order: slices of mozzarella, vegetables, oregano, salt, pepper, and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


Easy Knockwurst and Sauerkraut

Ingredients

1 cup sauerkraut, drained
2 large beef knackwurst
¼ of a large onion, sliced
2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Melt butter in a skillet and add the knockwurst. Cook until lightly brown on all sides,Add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Spread the sauerkraut over the knockwurst. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Crispy Zucchini Cakes

For the zucchini:
1 1/2 pounds of zucchini (about 3 cups coarsely grated}
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream (can substitute plain Greek yogurt)
1 clove garlic, minced, about 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt

For the fritters:
1 large egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 green onions, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil or canola oil

Directions

Sprinkle grated zucchini with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Place in a sieve or colander over a bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Press down with a wooden spoon to push out more of the water. Wrap the shredded zucchini in paper towels and try to squeeze out more liquid.

Make the dipping sauce:
Whisk together the sour cream, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Make the fritter batter:
Whisk the egg in a large bowl. Add the grated zucchini, flour, minced green onions, thyme, basil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine well.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmery and hot. Test the oil by flicking a little flour into it. If the flour sizzles, it’s ready.

Working in batches, drop ¼ cup of the batter into the skillet. Flatten slightly with the back end of a spoon or spatula. Cook, turning once, until browned, 4-6 minutes on each side.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining batter.. Serve with the dipping sauce.


The traditional pizzaiola sauce is made with just tomatoes but I like to add peppers and onions.

4 Servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
One 14-ounce container of chopped Italian tomatoes
6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 lb cod fillets, cut into 3-inch pieces

Directions:

Warm the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the dried seasoning. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peppers and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the cod fillets and ladle some of the sauce over the fillets. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until just cooked through.

Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks

2 servings

Ingredients

1 large zucchini
1 egg
1/3 cup AP flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 °F.

Cut zucchini into fry size pieces about 2 1/2 inches long.
Beat egg with a splash of water.
Season the flour with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.
Dust zucchini with flour.
Dip in beaten egg.
Coat with Panko bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese.
Place on a greased cookie sheet, careful not to crowd, and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the zucchini sticks and bake for another 10 minutes or until crispy and lightly browned. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese before serving. if desired.


Flank Steak Roulade

Ingredients

1½-2pound flank steak
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 jarred roasted red peppers, diced
1 medium green zucchini, shredded
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Squeeze zucchini in a kitchen towel to rid it of excess liquid.
Combine the zucchini, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella in a mixing bowl. Add the Italian seasoning and garlic.
Butterfly the flank steak.Season with half the salt and pepper.
Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the seasoned flank steak.
Roll the flank steak and tie with butcher twine. Season the outside of the roulade with the remaining salt and pepper.

Heat a large ovenproof saute pan over high heat until very hot. Add oil and sear all of the sides of the roulade until golden brown.

Place the pan in the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 120°F for medium-rare (approximately 18-20 minutes). Let the roulade rest for 20 minutes after removing it from the oven and the residual heat will raise the temperature of the meat to 125-130°F.
Slice and remove twine before serving.

Roasted Beet Ane Pear Salad

Ingredients

2 large beets, scrubbed clean with a vegetable brush
A small drizzle of olive oil, for roasting the beets
1 ripe red pear, chopped into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup walnuts, toasted
¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled (or more)
A few handfuls of salad greens of your choice

Dressing
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of honey
Sea salt and fresh black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast the beets by drizzling them with a bit of olive oil, some salt, and pepper, and wrapping them in foil. Depending on the size and freshness of your beets, they should take from 40 minutes to 1 hour to roast in the oven. Check occasionally, when they are fork-tender they are done. Set them aside to cool. As soon as they’re cool enough to touch, run them under the faucet and slide off the skins with your hands. Chop into roughly ½ inch cubes and set them aside to cool completely. (To save time, I suggest doing this up to one day ahead of time and popping them in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad).
Assemble all salad ingredients on a plate and mix with the dressing.

Green Beans with Dill Vinaigrette

Ingredients

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 pound green beans

Directions

Stir together the vinegar, mustard, and salt in a small bowl until the ingredients are combined and the salt has dissolved. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the oil and continue to whisk until emulsified. Gently stir in chopped dill and set aside.
Steam green beans until tender. Drain. Arrange green beans in a serving dish and season with a little bit of salt. Pour the dill dressing over the green beans. Mix well and leave at room temperature until serving time.


Cod Parmigiana

Ingredients

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 egg
1/2 cup panko Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz cod or another firm thick white fish fillet
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz fresh mozzarella sliced
Cherry Tomato Sauce, below

Directions

Place flour on a plate and add a pinch of salt and pepper. In a bowl, beat the egg with a little water. On another plate, mix bread crumbs with Parmesan.

Coat fish fillets in flour, dip in egg mixture, shake off excess, and coat with bread crumb mixture. Heat oil in a deep skillet with a cover. When the oil is hot, add the breaded fish and cook on both sides until brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Clean out the skillet and add half to the cherry tomato sauce recipe. Heat for a few minutes and return the fish to the pan.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and place the mozzarella cheese evenly on the fish. Cover the pan and heat on low until the mozzarella melts.

Cherry Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup diced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
28 oz can Italian cherry tomatoes (Cento)
1 large sprig of basil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon capers

Directions

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add onion, garlic, salt, and black pepper. When the onion is tender add the tomatoes, basil, and honey. Break the tomatoes up a little with a wooden spoon and cook for 15–20 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the capers.

Orzo with Diced Zucchini

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat orzo
1 teaspoon salt plus extra for seasoning
1 medium zucchini diced into ½ inch cubes
½ cup diced white onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Add salt to a large saucepan of boiling water. Stir in orzo and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In the same pot heat the oil and add the garlic and onion. Cook for two minutes and add the zucchini. Stir and cook for three more minutes. Add drained orzo, turn heat to low, and let the mixture heat. Serve with the cod.


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.


Scallops in Garlic Cream Sauce

2 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 oz sea scallops
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 small zucchini about 6 oz, finely diced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 oz cooked pasta (I used pappardelle)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
2 tablespoons chopped basil

Directions
Cook pasta until al dente, drain and set aside.
Remove the side muscle from the scallops if attached. Thoroughly pat the scallops dry with paper towels.


Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot and sizzling. Add the scallops in a single layer.
Season with salt and pepper and cook without moving for 2 minutes on one side, then turn the scallops over and cook 1 minute. Remove the scallops from the skillet and transfer to a plate.
In the same pan, add the garlic, shallots, and zucchini. Cook stirring the ingredients often for 5 minutes.


Add cream and allow to simmer until slightly thickened.
Remove the skillet from the heat; stir in lemon juice and add the scallops back into the pan to warm through slightly.

Stir in the basil, cooked pasta, and cheese. Serve in pasta bowls.


This pie makes a great lunch or you can serve it for dinner with a big salad.

If you have lemon-flavored olive oil, it works very well in this recipe.

Ingredients

Olive Oil Press in the Pan Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups Italian flour (00) or 1 ¼ cups unbleached All-Purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil
3-4 tablespoons water

Directions

Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a 91/2 to 10-inch pie pan. Whisk together the oil and water, then pour over the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened. Pat the dough across the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides. A flat-bottomed measuring cup can help you make the bottom even. Press the dough up the sides of the pan with your fingers, and flute the top. Set aside.

Filling

1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini, ends removed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 large roasted red pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt

Directions

Place the zucchini in a colander set over a plate. Toss the zucchini slices with 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Spread the zucchini out on a clean dish towel, roll it up, and squeeze gently to remove some of the liquid.

Put the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
With a fork, mash together the cheese, seasonings, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread the bottom of the pie dough with the cheese mixture. Lay the zucchini slices evenly over the cheese, sprinkle with the chopped red pepper. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and top with the Parmesan cheese.


Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the filling is set and the dough is golden brown. Cut in wedges and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.


Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Ingredients

1 1/2-pound beef tenderloin roast, all visible fat and silverskin removed
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 finely chopped shallot
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Tie the meat in three or four places with kitchen twine. Put the roast in a medium-sized heavy nonstick roasting pan and coat the roast with the olive oil. Rub the garlic all over the meat and sprinkle on the herbs and pepper. Scatter the shallots on top of the meat.

Cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes per pound for medium-rare, or to your desired doneness. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the salt. Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Slice the roast and place it on a serving platter. Drizzle the pan juices over the meat and serve.

Roasted Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

4 small to midsize zucchini
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or substitute unseasoned breadcrumbs)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Split the zucchini in half lengthwise. With a serrated spoon scrape out the seeds, digging a trough in the center of the zucchini. Sprinkle the zucchini shells with salt and turn them over on a paper towel to drain for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

For the filling: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the onions until tender. Add the garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add tomato, breadcrumbs, herbs, and cheese. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Place the filling down the center of each zucchini half. Place the zucchini in a greased baking dish and roast in the oven until the zucchini shells are tender and the topping is lightly brown (about 25 -30 minutes). Serve as a side dish in this meal.

Basil Pesto Pasta

Ingredients

Pesto
4 packed cups washed basil leaves
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts, pignoli or walnuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pasta
! cup grated parmesan cheese
One lb bucatini or other long pasta, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons room temperature butter, cut into small pieces

Directions

Place the nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a processor bowl. Process until the nuts and garlic are chopped.

Add the basil leaves and process for a minute or two. In the opening spout at the top, pour the olive oil as you process. Keep processing until the mixture is smooth.

Place the sauce in a large pasta serving bowl. Add the hot drained pasta, parmesan cheese, and butter. Gently toss until the pasta is coated in sauce. Serve as a side dish in this meal.



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