Add a Mediterranean touch to your dinner table | Food
If the island seems more populated than usual, it probably is. You constantly hear comments about the number of restaurants in Key Biscayne. Well, if you can’t find seating one evening, maybe you can take your family on a trip to explore other cultures and cuisines by experimenting in the kitchen.
If you are looking to transport your taste buds to the Spanish coasts or to the Greek beaches, one of the best places to start is the Mediterranean diet. Celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian recommends these tips to help home cooks elevate their dishes and easily incorporate the popular diet into everyday cooking.
Reach for pantry staples.
There is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, but it is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and seafood. Keeping your pantry stocked with canned versions of it. ingredients like beans and fish, you can easily add them to your favorite dishes. Yellowfin tuna pasta salad with arugula and date pesto and tuna aioli dip with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar are tasty ways to bring a Mediterranean touch to your table.
Add seafood. Eating more seafood is one of the guiding principles of the Mediterranean diet. Tuna salad is a proven dish that can help incorporate fish into your menu. To make it more nutritious, opt for tuna packed in extra virgin olive oil, so you don’t have to add a lot of mayonnaise to the base. For example, Genova Premium Tuna makes a tasteful addition to recipes and is high in protein, an excellent source of Omega-3s and has a unique rich and flavorful flavor that delivers a taste of the Mediterranean in every bite.
Visit GenovaSeafood.com for more recipe inspiration.
Tuna aioli dip with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
6 ounces of Genoa albacore tuna in olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 dried bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of capers, drained
1/2 lemon, juice only (about 1 1/2 tbsp)
raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, endive leaves, fennel slices and pepper strips, for dipping
Drain the tuna, reserving 2 tablespoons of oil.
In a small saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar, bay leaf and sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil and reduce until syrupy, about 1 tbsp. Let cool slightly; discard the bay leaf and the sprig of rosemary.
In a blender or food processor, combine the tuna and reserved oil, mayonnaise, capers, anchovies and lemon juice to make a smooth dip. Transfer to a flat serving bowl. Drizzle with balsamic syrup. Serve with raw vegetables.
Yellowfin tuna pasta salad with arugula and date pesto
Preparation time: 20-30 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
2 cans (5 ounces each) of Genoa yellowfin in olive oil, drained
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 cups of arugula
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of butter (optional)
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish (optional)
2 lemons, zest only (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces of whole wheat orecchiette
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1/2 cup dates, pitted and cut into wedges
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup dill, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
On a baking sheet, toast the pine nuts, 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Reserve in the fridge.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Stir the arugula into the boiling water and cook until green and tender, about 30 seconds. Drain the arugula, immediately add to the ice water and let drain completely; cover with a towel.
In a blender or food processor, add the arugula; Garlic; Pine nuts; butter, if desired; Parmigiano reggiano; lemon zest, if desired; salt; and pepper. Puree over high heat, incorporating olive oil to the desired thickness.
Place the pesto in a bowl and cover tightly to prevent discoloration.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the pasta and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Taste pasta for cooking 2 minutes earlier than package directions. Once cooked, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Do not rinse.
Slowly add the pesto until it is evenly distributed. Stir in the tuna, sundried tomatoes, dates and olives.
Divide into shallow bowls and finish with Parmigiano-Reggiano, dill and parsley, if desired.