Main Courses

ratatouille

Ratatouille

This recipe is inspired by Cook’s Illustrated. This is a dish from Provence in France. It is the best ratatouille recipe I have ever tasted. For some reason I always felt that there was something missing in this dish, but this recipe satisfies my taste buds. I hope you enjoy it. Note: It is totally vegetarian. If you prefer adding meat, experiment with sausage (or another meat of your choice.)
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine French, Mediterranean
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Oven safe Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup EVOO extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions cut into one 1-inch pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of “Herbes de Provence” *recipe follows
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ pounds eggplant peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 lb. plum tomatoes peeled, cored, and chopped coarsely
  • 2 small zucchinis cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar substitute red wine vinegar or apple vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 ° F.
  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering.
  • Add onions, garlic, salt to taste, (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper to taste (¼ tsp.) and cook stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and start to soften (about 10 minutes).
  • Add Herbes de Provence*, pepper flakes; cook stirring frequently for one minute.
  • Stir in eggplant and tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper; stir to combine. (Salt and pepper can be to your taste.)
  • Transfer oven-safe pot to oven and cook uncovered until vegetables are very tender and spotty brown (40 to 45 minutes).
  • Stir in zucchini, bell peppers, salt, pepper and return to oven.
  • Cook uncovered, until zucchini and bell peppers are tender (20 to 25 minutes).
  • Remove pot from oven, cover, and let sit until zucchini is translucent and easily pierced with tip of a knife, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Using wooden spoon, scrape any browned bits from side of pot and stir back into ratatouille.
  • Stir in basil, parsley, and vinegar.
  • Transfer ratatouille to serving platter and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle a bit more basil to taste.

Notes

*Herbes de Provence
2 tbsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. dried marjoram
2 tbsp. fennel seeds (toasted)
2 tbsp. dried rosemary
Keyword ratatouille

cauliflower cakes

Cauliflower Cakes

Cauliflower and cheese are the main ingredients of this wonderful dinner.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head of cauliflower cored and cut into one inch florets
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 ounces feta cheese softened
  • 1 sweet onion thinly diced
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten In place of an egg, you can use ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce. Frankly, I would prefer to add an egg.
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Toss cauliflower with one tablespoon of oil turmeric, coriander, salt, ginger, and pepper.
  • Transfer to an aluminum foil lined rimmed baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
  • Roast until cauliflower is well-browned and tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly then transfer to a large bowl.
  • Mash cauliflower with potato masher and stir in feta cheese, sweet onion, egg, garlic, and lemon zest until well-combined.
  • Sprinkle flour over cauliflower mixture and stir to incorporate.
  • Using your wet hands divide mixture into 4 equal portions.
  • Pack gently into 3/4-inch-thick cakes, and place on prepared sheet.
  • Refrigerate cakes until chilled and firm, about 30 minutes.
  • Line a large plate with paper towels. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
  • Gently lay cakes in skillet and cook until deep golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes each side.
  • Drain cakes briefly on prepared plate. Serve with lemon wedges.
Keyword cauliflower cakes, main course, main dish
baked chicken

Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken with Potatoes

A very healthy chicken and vegetable dish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 skinless bone-in chicken thighs.
  • Juice from one lemon.
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
  • 3 large garlic cloves crushed.
  • Dried basil to taste or 2 tsp.
  • Dried oregano to taste or 2 tsp.
  • Dried parsley to taste or 2 tsp.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 8 baby potatoes halved and skinned.
  • 1 eggplant skinned and cut into bite-sized chunks.1 red onion minced.
  • 1 red bell pepper.
  • About 16 capers or 8 sliced olives.

Instructions
 

  • In a baking dish, combine lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, and salt to use as a marinade.
  • Remove ½ of the marinade to use later.
  • Add the chicken and stir to coat.
  • Cover and marinate for about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat about 1 tbsp. olive oil, and sear the chicken until brown on each side. (Do not overcook.)
  • Place the chicken in the baking dish, throw the veggies in, and mix.
  • Pour the marinade that you put aside onto the veggies.
  • Bake the chicken until the potatoes are soft.
  • Serve hot.
Keyword capers, chicken, olives, potatoes
Mediterranean ground beef

Mediterranean Ground Beef and Green Peppers

This meal is so very easy. We created it with ingredients in the house…no additional food shopping.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 240 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef 90 % lean
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14 oz.
  • 1 14 oz. bag frozen diced green peppers or 2 – 3 fresh green peppers, diced
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 clove diced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Grated Romano cheese sprinkled over serving

Instructions
 

  • Add diced tomatoes, including the juice, green peppers, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning to a medium pot and bring liquid to a boil.
  • Crumble ground beef into the pot and stir, cover and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until ground beef is cooked through.
  • Serve in bowls; sprinkle with Romano cheese and enjoy.
Keyword Italian food, Mediterranean diet