Side Dishes (Contorni)

Grilled Romaine Salad

Romaine grows well in the Mediterranean climate. The name “romaine” suggests that the lettuce might have originated in Rome. This lettuce is more than just a tasty leaf that adds…

Roasted Vegetable & Cheese Panini with Balsamic Glaze

This is a hearty, soul-satisfying sandwich and takes your typical grilled cheese to another level. Healthy and flavorful roasted vegetables layered between your favorite cheese on slices of brioche are…

Roasted Balsamic Vegetables

This colorful, seasonal, sheet pan full of flavorful roasted vegetables is easy to prepare and makes a great side dish or a full-on meal in itself. I often serve it…

Roasted Rapini

Rapini, also known as Broccoli Rabe, is a superhero of vegetables! It boosts your immune system, improves digestion, protects your eyesight, supports heart health, strengthens bones and detoxes. This cruciferous…

Mediterranean Grain Bowl

After I was married, the first house my husband and I bought was only a couple of miles away from my mother. Quite often I would stop by for a…

Creamy Lavender Ranch Dressing (or Dip)

My new adventure in cooking with lavender has been successful thus far. I’ve enjoyed rave reviews for my lavender scones, lavender limonata and my lavender biscotti. This creamy- tangy ranch…

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

Fresh asparagus, whether it is roasted and tossed with ravioli, made into a tart, a salad or served with eggs, is something we look forward to every spring in California.…
Mediterranean Lentil and Bulgur Salad

Mediterranean Lentil and Bulgur Salad

  Lentils are one of the world’s oldest health foods. This little lens-shaped legume came to the Americas in the early 16th century. During World War II, people began to…
Marinated Baby Artichokes

Marinated Baby Artichokes

  Native to the western and central Mediterranean, the artichoke is a domesticated variety of the wild cardoon. Cardone, in Italian, is a thistle and looks like large stocks of…
Pear, Pecan & Gorgonzola Salad

Pear, Pecan & Gorgonzola Salad

  This past New Year’s Day, I made this sensational salad with caramelized pears. It’s really good! Today, I only have one pear and am in a bit of a…
Double Cauliflower with Chard and Onions

Double Cauliflower with Chard and Onions

  Inexpensive and readily available, cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse. It is high in vitamins C and K, potassium, manganese, folate, fiber and cancer-preventing glucosinolates. If you are (currently) not…
Burrata & Tomatoes

Burrata & Tomatoes

  Burrata is a cream filled mozzarella sack. Invented in Puglia, Italy, as a way to use the scraps of curds left over after twisting balls of  mozzarella. The scraps…
Shaved Zucchini Salad

Shaved Zucchini Salad

  This is a fresh and flavorful raw zucchini dish featuring tangy capers and ricotta salata. The words ‘Ricotta’ means re-cooked and ‘Salata’ means salted. Ricotta Salata is a Sicilian…
Fresh Peach Caprese

Fresh Peach Caprese

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  There is only one authentic Insalata Caprese and it originated in Capri, Italy. Traditionally, tomatoes are used in the infamous dish. Since it is peach season and I have…

Pantelleria Potato Salad

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  Potato salad with olives, tomatoes and capers is a popular salad on the island of Pantelleria (Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea). Capers are a small but distinctive…
Honey Roasted Fennel

Honey Roasted Fennel

  Fennel, a favorite Italian vegetable, customarily eaten raw with a bit of salt, sees the year’s second crop in Autumn. We enjoy it in soups, salads, a creamy bowl…
Roasted Baby Eggplant

Roasted Baby Eggplant

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  Roasted, stuffed, grilled and fried, are just some of the methods Italians (particularly southern Italians and Sicilians) use to turn this versatile vegetable into a vast variety of dishes.…
Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese

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    The Isle of Capri, Italy, situated in the Bay of Napoli, is probably most noted for the Grotta Azzurra, (Blue Grotto) a sea cave that is filled with a…
Giardiniera

Giardiniera

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  The Italian giardiniera, pronounced jar-dih-NAIR-ah, means from the garden and is a classic combination of vegetables. Cauliflower, red bell peppers, carrots, celery and serrano chili peppers are mixed and…