One of the world’s most palatable styles of food is Mediterranean cuisine. With a historic trinity of basic ingredients in olive, wheat, and tomato, the foundation for this approach to cooking has greatly expanded throughout the years, while still remaining true to its culinary roots. Below are just a few Mediterranean recipes for the health-conscious. The key to these recipes is using good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (preferably from Italy), Italian plum tomatoes (Pomì is a brand easily available in most supermarkets), and fresh ingredients whenever possible.
Pasta with Tuna Sauce
- Pomi crushed tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Canned tuna, preferably with olive oil
- Black olives, chopped
- Grated Pecorino cheese
- Basil leaves, to taste
- Salt, red and black pepper, to taste
- Pasta (your choice of style)
Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil and heat on low to medium. Add roughly half of a box of Pomi tomatoes, sauteing them for about 4-5 minutes. Then, add the tuna, salt, and pepper and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. After that, turn off the heat and add the chopped black olives and basil leaves.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta of your choice in a boiling pot. Once that is ready, add the sugo and mix. Then add the grated Pecorino cheese to taste.
Bell Peppers Dish
- 10 mixed bell peppers, red, green, yellow, and orange
- Dried Italian oregano
- Salt and pepper
- 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
- Olive oil
- Black olives, chopped (preferably not canned)
- ½-1 cup parmigiano cheese, grated (high quality product, from Whole Foods or Italian importer)
- Capers (optional)
- Italian plum tomatoes, chopped (Pomi tomatoes preferred)
Start by washing and deseeding the bell peppers, remove the pits, and cut them into chunky pieces. As they dry, pour Italian extra-virgin olive oil into a large, heavy pan, and heat on low. Add the garlic to the pan and saute gently until golden, then use a fork to remove the garlic clove. Once that is done, add the bell peppers to the pan and toss, making sure they are evenly coated. Partially cover the pan and cook on low until the peppers are soft, which should take 45 minutes to an hour. After that, remove the cover and turn the heat up to medium high. Be careful not to evaporate all the water in the pan. Add about ½ a container of Pomi chopped tomatoes along with a few tablespoons of dried Italian/Mediterranean oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes uncovered at medium high heat.
Once the mixture is to your liking, add as many chopped black olives as you prefer. Only cook for a few more minutes to avoid having the olives become bitter, and add a few teaspoons of capers (optional). Now that it’s finished, add the grated parmigiano cheese, stir, and taste for flavor. Remember, the parmigiano adds saltiness to the dish, so you may want to reduce the amount of salt initially used.
Skillet Bruschetta with Beans and Greens
Recipe from bonappetit.com
- 8 ¾-inch thick slices crusty bread
- 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 15oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1 bunch kale or mustard greens, ribs removed, leaves cut into bite-size pieces
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Brush the pieces of bread on both sides with 4 tablespoons of oil total, and place in a large preheated skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the bread, pressing occasionally to enhance the crispiness until golden brown, which should take about 3 minutes per side. Season the toasted pieces of bread with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Now, increase the heat to medium-high and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet. Add the thinly sliced garlic and red pepper flakes, and stir until fragrant. Then, add the cannellini beans, stirring occasionally, until they begin to blister, which should take about 3 minutes. Using a spoon, lightly mash half of the beans, and add kale and broth, tossing frequently until the kale has been wilted. Add lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the now finished beans and greens mixture over the toasted bread.
Roasted Sea Bass with Potatoes, Olives, and Tomatoes
Recipe from foodandwine.com
- 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and slices ½-inch thick
- 1 lb. tomatoes, cut into large chunks
- ¾ cup pitted green olives
- ¼ cup torn basil leaves
- ½ cup plus 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 3lb. Sea bass, cleaned
- ½ cup pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a very large roasting pan, toss the potatoes, tomatoes, olives, and basil with ½ cup of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Next, make 3 shallow slashes in both sides of each fish, and rub both with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Place the fish in the roasting pan, nestling them within the vegetables. Roast for about 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender, and both fish are cooked through.