WENDY JO PETERSON / NUTRITIONIST & COOKBOOK AUTHOR "Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies "
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes Yield: 4 servings
8 plum or Roma tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
½ small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup celery, minced
¼ cup basil leaves, torn
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Salt to taste
1. Bring 4 qts of water to a boil. Cut a "T" in the bottom of each tomato, just enough to pierce the skin. Place tomatoes in boiling water and blanch them for 1 minute. Immediately place the tomatoes in ice water to halt the cooking process. Remove the skins of the tomatoes and roughly chop the tomatoes.
2. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and celery and sauté for 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, and parsley, and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and serve.
Add in cream at the end for a quick cream sauce
Add black olives, capers, and oregano for Sicilian flair
Add cumin, coriander, and lemon zest for a Greek sauce
The options are endless and this recipe makes for a great base!
Prep time: 10 minutes Yields: 16 servings
2 (14.5oz) cans chickpeas with ¼ - ½ cup of liquid reserved
Juice of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves
¼ Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup tahini paste
½ tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Drain the chickpeas and reserve ¼- ½ cups of the liquid for blending. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Next, add the lemon juice, garlic cloves, olive oil, tahini paste, salt, and cayenne pepper and blend until a creamy. If needed, add in remaining liquid reserved from the canned chickpeas to create desired creaminess.
Place the mixture into a serving bowl and serve with Toasted Pita Chips.
Pesto (with variations)
Prep time: 10 minutes Yield: 2 cups
5 cups basil
3-6 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ tsp red chili pepper flakes
½ cup pine nuts
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup olive oil
Salt to taste
1. Bring 4qts water to a boil. Add basil leaves for 20 seconds, quickly strain and place into ice water. Drain and pat dry to remove excess water. *Note, this step helps keep your pesto bright green in color, but you may omit.
2. In a food processor place the basil, garlic, and red chili pepper flakes, and pulse 10 times. Add in pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and blend for 1 minute. Next, turn the food processor on and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add more olive oil if needed.
*Note, pesto can be stored in the freezer for 3 months. When storing in refrigerator layer the top with olive oil and keep for 1 week.
Arugula: Replace ½ the basil with arugula and use walnuts in place of the pine nuts.
Spanish influence: Replace basil with cilantro, use almonds in place of the pine nuts, and Manchego cheese in place of the Parmesan.
Spinach: Replace ½ the basil with spinach and use almonds or walnuts in place of the pine nuts.