Mediterranean dreaming.....simple fresh recipes

Considered one of the world's healthiest diets, the Mediterranean cuisine is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil.

It features fish and poultry—lean sources of protein—over red meat, which contains more saturated fat.

Red wine is consumed regularly but in moderate amounts.

Mediterranean lamb tarts

250g cherry tomatoes
Olive oil spray
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
3 sheets frozen ready-rolled butter puff pastry, partially thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
300g lamb mince
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup shredded fresh mint leaves, plus extra to serve
¼ cup fresh chopped continental parsley leaves
35g feta, crumbled
1 cup yoghurt, to serve

Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the tomatoes on the tray and spray with oil. Season. Bake for 25 minutes.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 4 x 10cm squares. Cut a 1½ cm border around the edge of 6 of the pastry squares. Discard the centre. Place the remaining pastry squares on a lined baking tray. Place the pastry borders on top of the pastry squares. Use a fork to pierce the bases. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes. Add the mince and nutmeg and cook until cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint and parsley. Divide the mince among the cases and top with the tomatoes, feta, yoghurt and extra mint. Serve immediately.

Mediterranean Free-form Pie

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
80g feta cheese, crumbled
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
4 slices salami, quartered
1/3 cup pitted black olives
Baby rocket leaves, to serve

Preheat oven to hot, 200C.

Lightly grease a baking tray with baking paper. Cut corners from 1 thawed sheet of puff pastry to form a round. Place on prepared tray.

In a bowl, combine feta, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, salami, olives and seasoning, to taste.

Place mixture onto pastry leaving a 4cm border. Pleat pastry around filling, making a raised edge, leaving the centre open.

Bake for 30-35 mins until the pastry is golden and crisp. Serve topped with baby rocket leaves.

Mediterranean chicken bake

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 small chicken drumsticks
6 chicken thigh cutlets
1kg chat potatoes, halved
2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cup kalamata olives
2 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
½ cup dry white wine
Sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a 3L (12-cup capacity) flameproof, ovenproof baking dish over medium heat. Add the chicken drumsticks and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the chicken thigh cutlets.

Add the potato to the dish and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat. Add the chicken to the potato in the dish and top with tomato, olives and garlic. Sprinkle with rosemary. Pour over the wine. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and potato is tender. Serve immediately.




Recipe source:

Balsamic Lamb Salad

6 slices soy-linseed bread, cut into 3cm cubes
80g pkt baby rocket leaves
180g container cherry bocconcini, drained, halved
125g chargrilled red capsicum, patted dry with paper towel, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Balsamic lamb

400g lamb fillets
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed

To marinate the lamb, place the lamb fillets, vinegar, oil and garlic in a bowl. Toss to coat. Cover and set aside for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Spread the bread cubes out over a large baking tray. Bake, turning once, for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Drain the lamb fillets. Add to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Diagonally slice the lamb.

Place the rocket leaves, bocconcini, capsicum, olives and bread cubes in a serving bowl. Toss well to combine. Whisk the vinegar and oil together. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the lamb and dressing to the salad. Toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

Knights Meats