Tuna and Olive Pasta Salad



  • 8 ounces (1/2 box) whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup store-bought pesto
  • 1 (6-ounce) can oil-packed tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives


1. Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water; reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta, run under cold water, and return to pot.

2. In a bowl, whisk together pesto and 2 tablespoons reserved pasta water; toss with pasta, tuna, olives, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in pot. Chill, if desired; serve.

(Source: http://www.health.com)

A Chicken’s Tour of the Mediterranean

A Chicken Thighs Recipe With Mediterranean Flavor

FEB. 27, 2015 | City Kitchen | By

A good cook needs an assortment of chicken recipes up his or her sleeve. It’s fair to say that most carnivores like chicken, but even chicken fans prefer a bit of variety, a break from the familiar roasted, fried, grilled.

Evan Sung for The New York Times

Evan Sung for The New York Times

Braising chicken is a technique to master. The simple process of browning the meat, then adding liquid and gently simmering, ensures tenderness and succulence.

Most people I know agree that the thigh is the choicest part of the bird under most circumstances. I find that chicken thighs make the best braises, and I recommend using skin-on bone-in thighs for the best flavor. (In these days of skinless boneless everything and fear of fat, these unadulterated thighs are scarcer than before, but persevere; they can be found.)

One of the best chicken braises I know uses a broadly Mediterranean approach. The classic combination of chicken with lemon and olives is found throughout the region, but a minor tweaking of the basic recipe is all it takes to give this braise a regional accent.

The example given here is Italianate: rosemary, garlic, fennel seed and red pepper. Marinate the thighs, surround them with lemon wedges, and brown them in the oven. Add a handful of green and black olives and a ladleful of chicken broth. Simmer a bit. The result: earthy, herbaceous, lemony. Serve with polenta.

To give the same dish a more Provençal profile, use thyme sprigs rather than rosemary and choose oil-cured black or tiny niçoise olives. Serve with potatoes or egg noodles. For a North African feel, use large green olives and add toasted ground cumin seeds and hot paprika. Serve with flatbread or couscous.

As for lemons, any kind may be used. Meyer lemo

ns are nice, since they are sweeter than others and the soft skin is mild enough to eat. But ordinary Eureka lemons are fine, thinly sliced, as are rinsed salt-preserved lemons cut in small cubes.

Of course, you should try to get the best chicken you can. Choose organic, free-range, heritage birds when possible. Even at $4 a pound, that’s far less expensive than other prime cuts of meat, and you are more likely to get flavorful chicken if it is of noble provenance. Free-range birds generally have firmer muscles than cheaper “factory style” birds. If you have tasted chicken in other countries, you know that firm meat and flavor go hand in hand.

Once you are hooked on the chicken-lemon-olive theme, you’ll find many more ways to practice it. Imagine, for instance, a chicken sandwich smeared with a garlicky chopped olive tapenade and a dab of bright lemony mayonnaise. You get the idea.

(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/dining/a-chicken-thighs-recipe-with-mediterranean-flavor.html?_r=0)

When life gives you onions, no need to cry

Karen Makowski wrote in a few months ago, looking for salad recipes to use up a bumper crop of onions from the garden. Clearly, it’s not gardening season right now, but we can dream. In the meantime, these recipes also work as refreshing winter salads.
Thanks to Linda Snider for her recipe for onion and orange salad. I also found a version that combines onions with tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.

Onion and Orange Salad

onion16 large oranges
45 ml (3 tbsp) red wine vinegar
90 ml (6 tbsp) olive oil
5 ml (1 tsp) dried oregano
Salad greens
1 red onion, thinly sliced in rings
250 ml (1 cup) black olives (see note)
Black pepper, to taste
60 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh chives
Peel oranges and then cut each into 4 or 5 crosswise slices. Transfer to shallow dish and drizzle with vinegar and oil and sprinkle with oregano. Toss gently, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Arrange salad greens in a shallow serving dish. Toss oranges again, arrange on greens. Arrange onion and black olives on top. Add pepper to taste and garnish with chives.

Tester’s notes: I like the crunch and the combination of intense flavours in this easy salad. Linda continues the fruit theme by replacing the olives with blueberries. I did use olives — I like the mix of hot, sweet and salty tastes — but I cut the amount to about 60 ml (1/4 cup), using them as an accent rather than a main ingredient.

Onion, Tomato and Cucumber Salad

onion24 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place tomatoes, onions and cucumbers in a serving bowl. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Let flavours blend for 30 minutes, then serve.

Tester’s notes: Another easy chopped salad. Some crumbled feta cheese would be a good addition.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 4, 2015 C5

(Source: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com)

Romaine spears with browned onions, olives, and anchovy vinaigrette

As an ingredient in salads of every stripe, raw onions offer crunch and a telltale pungent bite. Cook those onions until the pieces brown around the edges, though, and that sharpness gives way to a slightly sweet warmth and depth that’s especially welcome in midwinter fare. It takes careful attention to cook the pieces until they are good and browned — just shy of burnt at the edges — but the time commitment is a fraction of that for fully caramelized onions and yields a sweet, full-flavored counterpoint to pungent olives and anchovies with romaine spears, bright grape tomatoes and hearty tortellini, and tender-crisp green beans with rich, toasty hazelnuts.



Romaine Spears With Browned Onions, Olives, and Anchovy Vinaigrette

Serves 4

The flavor combination of cooked onions, olives, and anchovies is borrowed from pissaladiere, a Provencal pizza featuring those ingredients.

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, diced large (¾- to 1-inch pieces)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons minced anchovy fillets (about 6, preferably oil-packed)

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 large romaine lettuce hearts, stem ends trimmed and quartered lengthwise

½ cup (about 2 ounces) pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped

1/3 cup torn fresh Italian parsley leaves

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 7 minutes. Adjust the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring more frequently to prevent the onions from scorching, until the pieces are brown around the edges, 6 to 10 minutes longer. Scrape the onions into a bowl (you should have about 1 generous cup) and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, anchovy, thyme, mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Vigorously whisk in the remaining oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Arrange the romaine spears attractively on a serving platter, pour about three-quarters of the vinaigrette over the romaine, and, using tongs, gently tumble them to coat with dressing. Add the browned onions, olives, and parsley to the remaining dressing and toss to coat. Distribute the dressed onion mixture evenly over the lettuce and serve at once.

(Source: http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2015/01/25/recipes-for-winter-salads-with-browned-onions/3qZz3pY4LP3VxxIonajOiM/story.html)

Olive Tapenade, Arugula and Goat Cheese Spread

Recipe tested by Terri Milligan | Read more:  All about olives | Makes:  3 cups

b99384439z.1_20141104144800_000_g3s8g8np.1-0¼ cup pitted green olives
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted French bread slices or flatbread crackers
8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
1 cup loosely packed arugula leaves, finely chopped

To make tapenade, place all ingredients up to and including the mint and cilantro into a food processor. Pulse to combine. Do not overprocess. With machine running, slowly add the olive oil. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Be careful not to oversalt the mixture as the olives and capers will have salt on them. Spread the French bread slices or flatbread crackers with the olive tapenade. Dot with the room-temperature goat cheese. Garnish with finely chopped arugula.

(Source: http://www.jsonline.com)


Chicken ballotine with 
olive & fig tapenade

serves 8 | prep 1 hour (+ 30 mins cooling & resting time) 
| cooking 1 hour 10 mins

7449_21 brown onion | 1 1⁄2 tbs extra virgin olive oil | 1⁄2 garlic clove, crushed | 1 bunch English spinach, 
stems removed, thinly sliced | 1 carrot, peeled, 
coarsely chopped | 2 x 1.8kg whole chickens, deboned, wings reserved | 1 1⁄2 tbs lemon juice | 185ml (3⁄4 cup) hot water
olive & fig tapenade | 90g (1⁄3 cup) Angas Park 
Soft & Juicy Figs | 80ml (1⁄3 cup) water | 80g (1⁄2 cup) pitted kalamata olives | 1 tsp baby capers | 1⁄2 garlic clove, chopped | 3 tsp lemon juice | 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan forced. For the tapenade, place the figs and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 6 minutes or until water is almost evaporated and figs are soft. 
Set aside for 10 minutes, to cool. Process the figs, olives, capers and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the lemon juice and oil. Process until combined. Season with pepper.
2. Finely chop half the onion. Thickly slice remaining onion. Set aside. Heat 2 tsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook garlic and chopped onion, stirring, for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the spinach. Season. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until just wilted. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
3. Place the carrot, sliced onion and reserved chicken wings in 
a large roasting pan. Place the chickens, skin-side down, on 
a work surface. Spread each chicken with tapenade, leaving 
a 1cm border. Sprinkle with the spinach mixture. Roll up carefully to enclose. Tie with kitchen string at 3cm intervals to secure.
4. Place the chickens in tray. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining oil. Season. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour hot water into pan. Roast, basting halfway 
with pan juices, for 30-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a chopping board. Cover loosely with foil. Set aside for 10 minutes, to rest.
5. Pour the pan juices through 
a sieve into a jug. Discard solids. Skim fat from the surface. Thickly slice the chicken. Arrange on 
a platter. Drizzle with pan juices.

(Source: http://www.taste.com.au)

Fresh Hummus with Roasted Red Pepper and Olive Tapenade

Photo: Photos by Denise Henhoeffer/Courier-Post)

Photo: Photos by Denise Henhoeffer/Courier-Post)

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded | Kalamata olives, pitted | 2 tablespoons mild olive oil | salt to taste | Sweet potato and beet chips, for serving | 1 seedless English cucumber, sliced thin for garnish

For the hummus, combine chick peas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice together in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Scrape the sides of the bowl, turn it back on and drizzle in the olive oil. While still running, add water until it reaches mashed potato consistency. You may need more or less water depending on your preference.

Remove from processor and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the tapenade: combine pepper and olives in a food processor at a 4-to-1 pepper-to-olive ratio. (More or less on your preference.)

Pulse until uniformly chopped. Remove from processor, stir oil into mixture. Season with salt to taste.

To assemble: Spoon dabs of hummus onto sweet potato and beet chips. Garnish with tapenade and thin half moons of seedless cucumber.

(Source: http://www.courierpostonline.com)-c-50

7 Easy Summer Recipes

David Leite is the publisher of the James Beard Award-winning website  and the author of The New Portuguese Table cookbook.

I don’t know about your home, but there’s a very handsome hammock in our backyard, strung between two trees, looking to all the world like a giant smile. And The One and I would very much like to spend the better part of the month in it, which is why these 7 easy summer recipes are worthy of your printer. (Now if only I could find a way to move the kitchen closer to the hammock. Time to call Contractor Dan.)rigatoni-artichokes-olives

1. Rigatoni with Artichokes, Garlic, and Olives What would summer be without pasta, I ask you? And this rigatoni recipe (pictured above) is packed with high-octane flavors. Besides artichokes, garlic, and olives, you’ll also find orange zest, rosemary, and a bit of butter. And Fatty Daddy here would never be caught melting over a pot of boiling water in August heat with guests nipping at his heels, and neither should you. What I love about this is you can make the pasta ahead of time: Cook as directed, drain it, toss it lightly with olive oil, dump it into a zip-top bag, and chuck it in the fridge. When dinnertime rolls around, whip up your sauce and add the cold pasta to the pan and stir until heated through.

2. Cantaloupe Soup with Prosciutto-Mozzarella Sandwiches  Let’s face it. There aren’t a ton of recipes that come together in minutes and have sass and surprise to spare. But this cantaloupe soup is an exception. The ingredients list: cantelopes, mint, salt, and pepper. That’s it. On the side, a gussied-up ham and cheese sammie. Boo-yah!

3. Lobster Salad Okay, before you start squirming around the kitchen howling like Woody Allen in “Annie Hall,” you don’t have perform crustacean murder to make this recipe.  Most markets will either cook your lobsters for you or have the meat already cleaned and packaged. Just ask.  Either way, you’ll love the combination of chunks of lobster, lightly dressed with mayonnaise, red onion, and basil, and the cherry tomato salad.  And the best thing for all you low-carb and/or Paleo folks, there’s nary a top-split roll in sight.

4. Tomato and Green Bean Salad Fresh, fresh, fresh. That’s what comes to mind when I think of this tomato salad. It’s called Tomatosalata me Fasolakia in Greek. Toss in toasted chunks of day-old bread that are brushed with extra-virgin olive oil, and you’ve got yourself a Greek version of the Italian favorite panzanella. And here’s a fun idea: Grab a copy of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” throw pillows around the family room for atmosphere, and invite your guests to lounge while supping on their salad. Serve grilled lamb chops as a main course and somepastelli (sesame, pistachio, and honey candy) as a sweet finish.

5. Smoky Gazpacho Sorry for two tomato recipes, but it is August, after all. Because this gazpacho, rich with smoky flavor–not from smoked paprika, as many think–but from tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and garlic that are lightly smoked on the grill, was such a favorite of my recipe testers, I’d be strung and quartered if I didn’t include it. Serve it room temp or just slightly chilled so as not to mute the smokiness of the dish. And this concludes the tomato portion of our program. We now return to our regularly scheduled recipes.

6. Parmesan-Crusted Chicken This one’s for the kids–no matter their age. It’s a simple dip (in egg white), flip (in Parmesan cheese), and bake (in the oven) recipe. And what I like about it, besides how quick it is to make, is that it’s not first slathered with mayonnaise before being coating with cheese. Not that I have anything against mayo, mind you, but I’d rather pull it out for the aforementioned lobster salad.

7. Thai Grilled Pork If you’re like me, you just roll your eyes at any summer recipe with more than a handful of ingredients. And when I think Thai, I think bigshopping lists. But not with these little lovely pork skewers. They’re a cinch to put together. The marinade, made with cilantro root (more on that in a minute), garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and coconut cream, is what gives the pork flavor and keeps it moist.  This recipe plays nicely with a green papaya salad and sticky rice. If you can get cilantro with its roots still attached, just wash, scrape, and finely chop it. If not, plain ole cilantro leaves will do.

(Source: http://parade.condenast.com)



Homemade Salsa with Artichoke and Olives

Who doesn’t love salsa?

Artichoke hearts and olives produce a delicious briny flavor which comes to life when mixed with the sweet Italian pairing of roma tomatoes and fresh basil.  Try this contemporary homemade salsa with baked pita chips or cut up veggies.

  • One 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

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Polenta and spinach muffins

Made with sun-dried tomato, feta and black olives, serve these muffins with a green salad for a delicious light lunch – Serves 9

130g (4½oz) quick-cook polenta
50g (1¾oz) plain flour
50g (1¾oz) wholemeal flour
½ tsp Maldon salt, finely ground
scant ¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking-powder
90g (3¼oz) buttermilk
80ml (3fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg
about 25 basil leaves, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
40g (1½oz) tender sundried tomatoes, drained
40g (1½oz) pitted Kalamata olives in brine, drained
140g (5oz) feta, crumbled
50g (1¾oz) baby-leaf spinach, large stalks removed, leaves roughly shredded into quarters
40g (1½oz) pine nuts

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Cherry Balsamic Tomatoes & Pearl Mozzarella Skewer


cherrytomatoes136 fresh pearl mozzarella, drained overnight

3 ounces herb oil*

36 kalamata olives

1 blood orange

cherrytomatoes25 ounces cherry balsamic vinegar

Drizzle of honey

36 baby cherry heirloom tomatoes

2 ounces Parmesan ribbons

3 ounces baby basil sprigs

*Herb Oil: Blend San Antonio Gourmet Tuscan Olive Oil and fresh soft herbs until oil is fragrant and a vibrant green


In small bowl, add pearl mozzarella and herb oil. Marinate for two hours in refrigerator. In separate bowl, add olives, zest and juice blood orange over olives. Marinate 1 hour in refrigerator. In sauce pan on low heat, reduce 3 ounces of cherry balsamic vinegar by half with honey. Cool until a syrupy consistency.
Sanitize a 10-millimeter syringe and use to inject cherry tomatoes with unused cherry balsamic vinegar. Remove excess liquids from marinated olives and mozzarella.
On 4-inch bamboo skewer, add ingredients, alternating cheese, olive, tomato.
Once assembled, present artistically based on height and in a crisscrossing fashion. Drizzle balsamic reduction and herb oil/mix left over from the marinade. Top with Parmesan and basil.