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Mediterranean Spring

Mediterranean Spring

Refreshing, light recipes packed with nutrition and inspired by Mediterranean flavors.

by

The weather is warming up and it's time to leave the heavy meals out in the cold. These refreshing and light recipes are packed full of nutrition and inspired by Mediterranean flavors.

Garlic Eggplant Tomato Fusion

Garlic Eggplant Tomato Fusion

Many of us are familiar with Israeli chatzilim, the eggplant salad in tomato sauce. If you've grown tired of it and want to revolutionize the way you use eggplant, this soup is for you. It comes off sophisticated and gourmet for its smooth texture and deep red color, but surprisingly only takes 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 3 pieces sun dried tomato
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes
  • 3 garlic gloves
  • Tsp each of powdered thyme and sweet paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Handful fresh basil leaves
  • Raw pumpkin seeds for garnish
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful crackers- I use gluten free but also croutons and leftover hard bread work just as well

Fry diced eggplant, onions, and sun dried tomato with the above spices in olive oil excluding the basil. Cook with the lid on, removing it once the vegetables are soft. Continue to cook on a low heat until golden. Add the diced garlic for just a minute or 2 for a roasted flavor. Add the diced fresh and canned tomatoes. Cook uncovered on medium heat until the liquid boils out. Take off heat, crush 2 handfuls of crackers, add fresh basil, and blend in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Top with pumpkin seeds.

Egyptian Truffles

Egyptian Truffles

These truffles were inspired by the ingredients of an Egyptian haroset recipe. They are so sweet and chewy, and make a great sugar fix. Eat them as a quick snack or serve them as a dessert in mini cupcake papers.

Ingredients

  • Dates
  • Dried pineapple
  • Walnuts.

Use 2 times the amount of dates to pineapple. Food process a few pulses and form into balls. Freeze for a different texture.

Freshie Salad

Freshie Salad

Named freshie for the vibrant flavors of lemon and ginger, this salad is the perfect light meal for a warm and breezy spring day.

  • Large leafy greens (chard, spinach, romaine lettuce)
  • Thinly sliced radish
  • Chickpeas
  • Handful almonds
  • Handful sunflower seeds
  • Smoked salmon
  • Roughly diced heirloom tomatoes

Dressing

  • 1 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • Half tsp raw honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Food process the dressing and even double the recipe so you have some for the whole week.

Tomato Avocado Salad

Tomato Avocado Salad

Salad isn’t only about flavor and nutrition, it’s also about color and texture. This salad is a simple classic but changing the cut on the same vegetable makes it look more refined and textured.

Ingredients

  • 2 containers cherry tomatoes
  • 8 avocados
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tblsp mustard
  • Half cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium bunch fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add chopped avocado and cherry tomatoes whole, halfed, and diced. Slice red onion ahead of time to marinate in lemon juice. The longer the better but even half an hour is enough. Blend the cilantro, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh cilantro on top.

Chickpea Burger Salad

Chickpea Burger Salad

Chickpeas are a great vegetarian source of fiber and protein. The best part is that once they're cooked, they taste a little meaty but without the fat of animal protein.

Chickpea Burger (makes 10 small patties)

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 handful walnuts
  • 1 freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1.5 tblsp tehina
  • 2 handfuls fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1.5 large cloves garlic
  • Tsp paprika
  • Tsp Zatar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Food process all the above ingredients. Fry 1 diced onion separately and add to the mix. Scoop a spoonful of the hummus and fry both sides in olive oil on low-medium heat until golden brown. About 3 minutes on each side.

Salsa Verde

  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 1 fresh squeezed lime
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 1 small hot pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serve the chickpea burger on a bed of spinach, tomato, cucumber, olives, and portobello mushrooms. Add feta cheese if you want and drizzle the salsa verde over the top. Another great idea is to turn the patties into open face burgers. Food process the salsa verde with goat cheese to use as a spread and top the burger with veggies.

Visit Avigail’s blog at www.banquetforthesenses.net/

Published: April 28, 2012


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Visitor Comments: 5

(4) Chaiah Schwab, June 5, 2012 6:24 AM

Wow!

Thank you! Can't wait to try these! I don't care for cilantro, so I plan to substitue parsely; I hope you're not insulted!?

Avigail, June 10, 2012 1:25 PM

Let me know how it goes! Sounds good too.

(3) EMK, April 30, 2012 10:16 PM

Delicious

Everything sounds and looks delicious! Can't wait to try them! Thank you!!

(2) Morris Givner, April 29, 2012 8:04 PM

Israeli food is outstanding in freshness and taste.

Israeli food like the famous Israeli breakfast is truly unique and delicious. Many of the ingredients are grown and produced in Israel and this reality makes all their vegetables and fruits simply wonderful in flavour.In contrast,North American food is often tastteless and totally unsatisying because much of it is imported from very long distances.Locally produced food is the secret if one wants taste and quality.

(1) Maria Dodoc, April 29, 2012 6:19 PM

Thanks

Thank you!

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