Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mediterranean Light: 2 delicious recipes from the world's healthiest cuisine

Warm Chick-Pea Salad

Makes 6 servings

One of my favorite ways to prepare chick-peas, this makes a very satisfying lunch or dinner, especially during winter. You can substitute canned chick peas for the dried beans.


For the Salad
2 cups dried chick-peas, washed and picked over, or
3 19-ounce cans chick-peas, drained and rinsed
6 cups water
4 scallions, chopped, or 1 small red onion, chopped
4 radishes, sliced
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese

For the Yogurt Vinaigrette:
Juice of 1 large lemon
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced or put through a press
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
freshly ground pepper
leaf lettuce, washed and dried


Prepare the Salad:
Pick over the beans, wash, and soak for several hours or overnight in 6 cups water. Drain and place in a large pot with 6 cups fresh water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Cook 1 to 2 hours, until soft, adding salt to taste halfway through the cooking.

If you're using canned beans: drain, rinse, and heat through.

Drain the cooked beans and toss with the scallions, radishes, red or green pepper, parsley, and grated cheese.

Prepare the Yogurt Vinaigrette:
Mix all ingredients well and use immediately or set aside at room temperature.

Toss the chick-pea mixture with the yogurt vinaigrette and season with freshly ground pepper to taste.Serve warm on individual plates or from a bowl lined with lettuce leaves.

Nutrition Facts (Per Portion):

Calories: 283
Fat: 5 G
Sodium:127 MG
Protein: 16 G
Carbohydrate: 45 G
Cholesterol: 3 MG

Grilled Swordfish with Capers, Lemon, and Garlic

Makes 4 Servings

The inspiration for this dish comes from one served at Villa Cheta in Acquafredda on the south coast of Italy. After three deliciously filling first courses—sardines with lemon and mint, crostini with peppers and chicken livers and a marvelous minestrone—these thin, vibrantly seasoned grilled swordfish steaks arrived, and who could resist? The chef used anchovies and oil in sauce, but I think capers, lemon juice, and garlic make a nice, simple condiment for the tasty swordfish. Have the steaks cut thin and don't grill them for a second too long.


4 1/2-inch-thick swordfish steaks, 4 to 6 ounces each
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
2 heaped tablespoons capers
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Prepare a grill or preheat the broiler. Brush the swordfish steaks on both sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and lightly salt and pepper.

Pound the garlic in a mortar and pestle and add the capers. Mash together with the garlic and add the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Blend together well. Season to taste with pepper.

Grill the fish or broil 3 to 4 inches from the flame for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Don't cook any longer, or the fish will be too dry. Remove from the heat. Spoon the caper/lemon mixture over each steak. Serve hot or allow to cool and serve. Chill leftovers and serve cold or at room temperature the next day.

Nutrition Facts (Per Portion):

Calories: 219
Fat: 10 G
Sodium:265 MG
Protein: 28 G
Carbohydrate: 2 G
Cholesterol: 55 MG

Excerpted from

Mediterranean Light: Delicious Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine

by Martha Rose Shulman
Buy this book at Barnes & Noble

Interested in an online Mediterranean diet program? Then visit the Mediterranean Diet Plan: Eat well and get fit. Get 500 recipes, 14 tools and advice!