Mediterranean diet recipes from Pastabilities in Greensboro

Pastabilities Hearts a Flame

GREENSBORO, N.C. — On this edition of Recipe Wednesday, FOX8′s Shannon Smith is featuring Mediterranean diet recipes, courtesy of Pastabilities in Greensboro.

Grilled Marinated Artichokes with Parmesan Baked Crostini and a Yogurt Garlic Feta Dip (Hearts a Flame)

For 2-4 people

1 12oz jar (or can) of quarted artichoke hearts

2oz olive oil

1 small loaf french baguette or Italian Panino

2oz shredded parmesan cheese

1tsp Italian herb blend (basil and oregano)

1 tsp parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl combined artichoke hearts, 1 tbsp olive oil and Italian herbs, toss and chill for approximately 15 minutes. During this time, slice baguette approximately ¼ thick (you will need about 12-14 pcs) and brush with remaining olive oil, place flat on a baking sheet and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Heat grill to high or grill pan, important to oil grill or use cooking spray so the artichoke hearts do not stick! Place pan with crostini into the oven and bake for approximately 3-5 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted. During this time in a single layer and slightly spaced apart place the artichoke pieces on the grill, grill each side for approximately 1-2 minutes to get a nice char without burning them!

On a small serving platter, arrange the grilled artichoke hearts on one end and place the crostini on the other end with the yogurt feta dip in the middle, garnish with parsley and fresh lemon wedges if so desired

For Dip

½ cup of plain yogurt

2oz crumbled feta cheese

½ tsp of minced fresh garlic

½ tsp of lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine above ingredients in a small bowl and chill, this can be done the day or night before!

Our Famous Creamy Tomato Basil Soup or Tomato Bisque

1 16oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, pureed in processor or pulsed in blender

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

3 ribs of celery, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tbsp dried basil or ¼ cup of fresh chopped basil

1 tsp of dried oregano or 2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano

1tsp white pepper

2  cups vegetable stock

1 cup of heavy cream or 1 ½ cups of yogurt

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

Roux or tomato paste.

For Roux: 1 stick of unsalted butter to ½ cup AP flour, melt butter in pan and slowly whisk in flour until a “ liquid dough like” consistency is achieved set aside….

In a four quart sauce pan on high heat pour in olive oil and add onions and celery…cook these for just a couple of minutes are until almost transparent then add garlic. When garlic begins to soften and the celery and onions are soft add the tomatoes and herbs stir constantly or this will scorch! Once the tomatoes have begun to boil add vegetable stock and reduce heat to medium. Let this cook for anywhere from 10-15 minutes then add heavy cream or yogurt (for a healthier alternative to heavy cream), once again bring to a slight boil, stirring constantly! Once the soup has come to a boil, whisk in half the roux or add 2 tbsp of tomato paste (for a healthier thickening agent), depending on desired thickness add the remaining roux and reduce to low heat. This can be served immediately or held refrigerated for up to 5 days! Upon serving, garnish with fresh chopped basil or parsley. Great with chicken or shrimp added and even noodles!

 Mediterranean Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions

1-2 Pork Tenderloins about 1 ½-2 lbs total

2 cloves of fresh chopped garlic

2 tsp ea. dried Basil, oregano, thyme, allspice, cumin,  black pepper, and parsley

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil tbsp

1 tsp coarse sea salt

Zest of 1 lemon

Combine with a whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs and salt together in a non-reactive bowl until slightly emulsified. Slice Pork Tenderloin into medallions about 1-1 ½ inches thick. Place pork medallions in a zip lock bag and pour a little over half of the “marinade”, seal, shake and place on a plate in the refrigerator for at least an hour but longer is fine! Reserve the remaining marinade, cover and chill.

Remove extra  marinade from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature,.heat grill or grill pan to high…remove pork medallions from marinade bag and allow excess to drip off before placing on grill to avoid “flare ups”! Grill on each side for approximately 4-5 minutes giving them for medium, 6-7 minutes for well.. because these cook so quickly, don’t walk away from the grill or they will burn…remove from grill, place on platter and allow to “rest” for about 5 minutes. Drizzle remaining marinade over pork medallions and enjoy!

Sauteed Shrimp and Clams Vongole

To serve 4

1 lb shrimp shelled and deveined if so desired

1 lb little neck whole shell clams (scrubbed and rinsed)

8 oz chopped clams, drained but reserve juice

1 cup white wine, dry preferably

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp chopped garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp ea dried basil, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes

1 tbsp parsley dried or ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

On high heat in a large saute pan add olive oil, shrimp, chopped clams, whole shell clams…saute for 2-3 minutes until shrimp begin to turn pink, tossing or turning shrimp and clams to cook evenly… add garlic,  white wine, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes, saute for another 2 minutes or so then add lemon juice, reduce heat to medium and add butter and reserved clam juice, reduce to simmer until clam shells have opened, if at this point the clam shells have not opened then add ½ cup of water, cover and simmer  for another 3-4 minutes, remove lid and continue to simmer for another few minutes to cook excess water off,  then add parsley. Serve in shallow bowl, over pasta or even fresh spinach!

Grilled Pesto Vegetable Salad (Roasted Veggie)

1 medium zucchini

1 medium squash

1 small red onion

1 cup diced fresh tomato

8oz mixed greens

4oz crumbled feta cheese

2 oz pesto to 6 oz of Italian dressing, mixed together

Slice zucchini, squash, and onion about ¼ inch thick and place in ziplock bag with 2oz of dressing, shake and let stand for a few minutes. Grill vegetables on high heat for about 1-2 minutes on each side. In a large bowl toss together mixed greens and remainder of dressing, top with tomatoes, then grilled vegetables and then finally with crumbled feta, serve immediately.