Category Archives: Mediterranean

Potato and Garbanzo Stew

It’s a very good version of a chickpea/garbanzo soup. But this is a stew. Our little one loves it.

  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 pinches saffron (optional)
  • 2 large red peppers chipped
  • 1 yellow pepper in strips
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup medium-dry sherry
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 2 1/2 cups chickpeas
  • 3 cups chickpea broth
  • salt and pepper

Picada (makes 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup almonds at 350 F until pale gold (8-10 minutes). set aside. Fry one slice of country-style bread in 2 Tbs olive oil until golden. Grind bread, almonds, and 2 cloves garlic and a pinch of salt to make a crumbly paste.

Romesco Sauce:

  • 1 slice bread
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • chile
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tbs parsley leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup spanish olive oil.

Fry bread. Grind bread, nuts, garlic, and chile. Add everything but vinegar and olil and process until smooth. with machine running, gradually pour in vinegar, then the oil. Taste for piquancy and salt.

Saute onions, schafran, garlic and potatoes, over medium heat. About 25 minutes. Potatoes should be tender and firm. Add paprika, parseley and pepper flakes, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add sherry (or any substitute, we for example used rice wine vinegar) until thick and sirope for 12 minutes. Add tomatoes, garbanzos and broth. Add salt and pepper. Covering cook on low heat, until potatoes are done.

Sprinkle the Picada and parsley at the end on top.

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Creamed Cauliflower Soup

Add cruitons for yummy factor

Add cruitons for yummy factor

We really hadn’t decided what to make with the cauliflower yet when we wrote out the menu yesterday… but we figured we would find something– and we did! Creamed soups are really good, nutritious, and easy. They don’t require a lot of fat to be absolutely delicious. So, tonight’s version was as follows:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 small carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 large cauliflower
  • 4 small/medium potatoes
  • bean sprouts
  • salt/pepper/curry powder
  • 3-4 cups water
  • feta cheese
  • sharp cheddar or freshly grated parmessan to top

Saute the onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes until they are beginning to brown in 1 Tbs oil and 1 Tbs olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients in large chunks. Do Not Add Cheese (feta or cheddar yet!). When vegetables are cooked, add feta and vegetable mixture and puree in the Thermomix or in a blender until smooth. Adding other cheeses will just stick to the blender so I prefer to top the puree with them. If you need more liquid at this point add milk.

Top with homemade cruitons (by frying bread squares in olive oil and garlic) and a good aged cheese! YUM

Lentil and Feta Salad

lentil feta saladToday May 18th, is our 5th wedding anniversary. It was a long day for both of us and we didn’t have much energy to make something really difficult. I found a new lentil recipe in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook that looked interesting and decide to make it. We couldn’t find walnuts which it calls for, but it came out well without it. We added Feta Cheese instead and ate it over a bed of lettuce. It called for balsamic (aged red-wine vinegar) or red-wine vinegar but we already had regular Spanish white-wine vinegar open. I wouldn’t have minded opening the balsamic, but at Carlos’ house you never open something new before the old is gone.  Since it was our anniversary neither wanted to be pushy. The balsamic would have given it a deeper flavor but wasn’t necessary. This meal was easy, healthy, and good. We ate it with our favorite crunchy rolls. I also made chocolate cake from scratch… it is cooling and it smells delicious. Carlos bought vanilla ice cream but is now very disappointed because as I read the Danish label he really bought lactose free “Tofu ice cream”. I think he’s going to try to take it back tomorrow.

  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, picked over and washed
  • 4 cups water
  • ¾ cup chopped scallions
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (optional)
  • ½ tsp dry mustard or 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 to 5 tbsp vinegar, to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Combine lentils with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover pan tightly, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked through but firm enough to hold shape.
  2. When lentils are done, remove from heat, drain, and place in bowl along with scallions, red pepper, parsley, and walnuts
  3. In separate small bowl, combine mustard with vinegar, beating in a little at a time until thoroughly blended. Gradually beat in olive oil. Pour dressing over lentils and toss to mix thoroughly. Add salt and black pepper and serve as is or on bed of bitter greens such as arugula, chicory, or dandelion greens. (serves 3 as a meal)