Italian · Mediterranean · Recipes

Asiago & Spinach Steak

This is a great recipe for those who love steak and spinach. With the exception of tying the meat, the recipe is very quick to throw together and to cook overall.

Although I prefer Asiago cheese for this recipe, you can certainly substitute Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan if you prefer.

You will need:

  • 2 packages frozen, chopped spinach – thawed and drained (10 oz each).
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 Tbs capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small flank steak (1 lb)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • twine

Step one:

Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Heat broiler with rack set 4 inches from heat source. Place spinach in a kitchen towel and squeeze out excess moisture.

Step two:

In a medium boil, mix spinach, capers, garlic, cheese, parsley, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.

Step three:

Cut open steak. Rub with olive oil.

Cut several pieces of kitchen twine. Spread spinach mixture down the center of the meat. Roll steak over mixture and press firmly to compact the filling. Tie twine to secure the roll. Cut roll in half crosswise, seam side down. Rub outer part with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Step four:

Broil until browned, 8-10 minutes for medium rare. Let rest for 10 minutes. Remove string and slice steak into 1/2 inc pieces.

Appetizer · Mediterranean · Recipes

Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Dip

I found this recipe in a Mediterranean cookbook, and decided to use it for our annual Oscar party. It was ideal because I was looking for a good dip to use that was vegetarian, but delicious. It is very versatile, and very easy to make. I would definitely use it as a spread for sandwiches, as well.

You will need:

  • 2 red sweet peppers
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Serve with pita chips, bread, or vegetables.

Too Busy? 

Instead of roasting the red peppers yourself, use one cup of purchased roasted red sweet peppers, drained

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the peppers in half and deseed and destem. Place the pepper halvess cut side down on the sheet. Arrange the onions and garlic on the baking sheet with the pepper halves. Brush vegetables and garlic with some of the olive oil.
  2. Roast the vegetables for 30 to 35 minutes until the pepper skins are blistered and the onion is tender. Remove them from the oven and wrap the vegetables up in foil. Let them stand for 15 minutes. Peel and discard the skins from the peppers.
  3. Add the peppers and onions to a food processor or blender.  Squeeze the garlic from peels into the blender, as well. Add the remaining olive oil, and all of the remaining ingredients. Blend/pulse until nearly smooth.

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Italian · Mediterranean · Recipes · Side dish

Orzo & Feta Salad

This is a very refreshing salad to bring to a party or serve at lunchtime. We used to have a grocery store that made an excellent version of this, and the recipe that follows is the inspiration. I also borrowed heavily from a version that Gia DeLaurentis makes. The beauty is you can add or sub in any ingredients you want. For example, there are versions with fresh tomatoes or garbanzo beans – whatever inspires you.

Recipe level: easy

Serves: 6

Time: 20 minutes

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c. orzo
  • 4 c. Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 3/4 cup feta
  • 1/2 cup sweet pepper, chopped fine
  • Sundried tomatoes, chopped fine
  • 1/4 c pitted kalamata olives, quartered

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 c. Red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 c. Virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. Fresh mint

Step one:

Boil the chicken broth and add the orzo. Make sure to stir, because orzo can get starchy. Cook for about seven minutes and then drain and set aside.

Step two:

Assemble the dressing and then toss with drained orzo.

Step three:

Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Appetizer · Mediterranean · Recipes

Goat Cheese & Basalmic bread

Here was an experiment that began with a delicious baguette and left over goat cheese. This turned out nicely and we paired it with some Chianti. For this particular situation, I chose to lay it out on a baguette, however slicing and toasting the bread into Crostini would be ideal for a party.

You will need:

  • Fresh baguette
  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup mozzarella or fresh sliced mozzarella
  • Basalmic glaze (you can make it or buy it)* recipe below

Step one:

Cut baguette in half and place on a baking pan. Preheat oven to 350. Brush with a little olive oil.

Step two:

Heat olive oil on medium high heat. Cook onions for at least 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook down until onions are caramelized (around 15-20 minutes total).
            
Step three: 

Add mozzarella on your bread. Add onions and tomatoes. Add goat cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Place in oven and cook for 8 -10 minutes.

Step four:

While bread is cooking in the oven, slice spinach and gently sauté over medium heat using the same pan you used for the onions. Cook until tender and set aside.

Step five:
Sprinkle spinach on top of the bread and drizzle with glaze. Enjoy!

To make a balsamic glaze:

Bring 2 cups balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup brown sugar to a boil and reduce heat for twenty minutes.