Tag Archives: Side Dishes

Five Fresh Ideas For Your Holiday Table

Got a full house for the holidays? Lucky you! The holidays are one of our favorite times of the year because friends and family come together to enjoy each other’s company and a delicious feast while creating special memories that will last a lifetime.

We’ve got some ideas to help you add elements to your holiday feast that are both traditional and tasty. You’ll impress your hungry holiday guests with these creative serving ideas:

Kalamata Cranberry Chutney

Delicious on holiday turkey or ham or on a turkey sandwich made from Thanksgiving leftovers.
kalamata-cranberry-chutney-020hr
Prep Time: 1 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen whole cranberries
  • 1 naval orange, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup sugar or to taste
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

PREPARATION
In a medium sized heavy saucepan, cook shallots in olive oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in cranberries, orange zest and juice, sugar and vinegar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries just pop, 10 to 12 minutes, then add olives, black pepper, stir and serve.

Blood Orange Kalamata Martini

blood-orange-kalamata-martini-020
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces Blood orange vodka (see chef’s note)
  • ½ ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed Blood orange juice, reserve orange peel for garnish
  • Ice for shaking
  • Organic Pitted Whole Greek Kalamata Olives with Orange Zest, rinsed, to garnish

PREPARATION
Add vodka, triple sec and orange juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a few kalamata olives and an orange peel.
Chef’s note: If blood orange vodka is unavailable in your local grocery store, you can substitute for citron flavored or regular orange vodka.

Olive & Sun-Ripened Dried Tomato Ricotta Dip

olive-and-sun-ripened-dried-tomato-ricotta-dip-011hr
Prep Time: 6 min
Total Time: 18 min
Serves: 6

Ingredients

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the ricotta cheese, parsley and garlic. Combine well. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix in the tomatoes and olives, until just incorporated.

Spread the ricotta mixture in a shallow medium baking dish in a 3/4″ thick layer. Bake about 12 minutes or until slightly browned along the edges and hot.

Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Serve warm.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

stuffed-acorn-squash-027hr
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 box couscous, cooked to package instructions
  • ½ pound Italian sausage, crumbled and cooked
  • ½ jar Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, rough chopped
  • ½ jar Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained and rough chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
  • Optional: balsamic glaze to drizzle

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Season squash with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Lay on a sheet pan, open side face down and bake about 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender and edges are nicely golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

To prepare the filling, combine the couscous, sausage, sun-ripened tomatoes, roasted peppers and stir together. Place a generous amount of the mixture into each squash, lightly pressing the filling in. Sprinkle with pine nuts, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze. Serve hot.

Roasted Olive and Grape Crostini

roasted-olive-and-grape-crostini-015hr
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ baguette, cut into ½” slices
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 1 cup Organic Pitted Whole Greek Kalamata Olives
  • Fresh thyme leaves to garnish
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

PREPARATION
Heat oven to 450°F.

Brush both sides of sliced bread with olive oil and place onto baking sheet. Bake for about 7 minutes or until toasted and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and rosemary. Season with a little salt and freshly cracked pepper and set aside.

On another backing sheet, add the grapes and olives, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Roast in the oven in 5 minute intervals for about 15-20 minutes.

Each 5 minutes, shake the pan to get even roasting. Remove from oven once olives are slightly blistered and grapes begin to get soft and juicy. Let set for about 5 minutes, and once cool enough to handle, cut grapes and olives in half.

On each crostini, add about a tablespoon of ricotta and spread evenly. Add a spoonful of olives and grapes to each and top with a sprinkle of fresh thyme, drizzle of olive oil, and a light sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

Fourth of July Cookout

8 All-American Cookout Recipes with a Mediterranean Twist

Now that summer is in full gear, it’s time to light up the grill and get cooking! Since just about everyone loves a good old-fashioned summer BBQ, we wanted to share some of our favorite All-American Cookout Classics with a Mediterranean twist. These crowd-pleasing appetizers, sides, and main dishes may even top the Fourth of July fireworks!

#1 Pepper Stuffed Burger

Fourth of July Recipe Burgers

Prep Time: 5 min.
Total Time: 20 min.
Serves: 1

INGREDIENTS
6 ounces ground hamburger, 80/20
1 ½ tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed Jalapeños
Hamburger bun,toastedToppings: lettuce, sliced onion, guacamole, tomato, cooked bacon and extra Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed Jalapeños

PREPARATION
Divide and firmly shape the meat into 2 patties. Place cheese and jalapenos into the center of one patty, leaving the outer edge free. Top with the second patty and pinch the edges together. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat grill. On medium high heat, cook each side of the burger for 6 minutes or until internal temp reaches 160°F. Remove from grill and set aside.
On a toasted bun, add lettuce, onion, burger, guacamole, tomato, bacon and more Mezzetta Peppers.

#2 Baja Fruit Salad

MZ_RecipeImage_Baja_Fruit_Salad
Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 45 min.
Serves: 2-4

INGREDIENTS
2 cans (20 oz.) juiced packed pineapple chunks, drained
1 can (15 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, chopped
1/2 cup chopped jicama
1 t. brown sugar
1 t. fresh lime juice
1 t. chopped fresh cilantro
2 T. shredded coconuts

PREPARATION
Combine all ingredients except coconut in a large bowl and toss well to mix. Top with coconut just before serving. Makes about 4 servings.

#3 Mexican Hot Dogs With Grilled Corn Salsa

MEXICAN HOT DOGS WITH GRILLED CORN SALSA
Photo Courtesy of Heart Beet Kitchen

A delicious spicy twist on Hot Dogs made with Jeff’s Naturals diced Jalapenos. Click here for full recipe.

#4 Peperoncini Potato Salad

Cook Out Potato Salad

Prep Time: 5 min.
Total Time: 25 min.
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds medium red skin potatoes, rinsed
1 cup Jeff’s Naturals Deli-Sliced Peperoncini, drained, with brine reserved
3 tablespoons Jeff’s Naturals Non-Pareil Capers, drained
½ fresh lemon, zested
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION
Place washed potatoes into a pot with cold water, season with salt so it tastes “salty like the sea” and bring water to a boil on high heat. Cook potatoes until they are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes.

Drain and rinse under cool water. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces and place into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the peperoncini, capers, zest and parsley. Drizzle on the olive oil and gently toss to combine. Add a tablespoon or two of the peperoncini brine for some added “zing”. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

#6 Mediterranean Burger

Mediterranean Burger
Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 30 min.
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS
2 lb. 80/20 ground beef, divided into 4 patties
Salt and pepper, to season
½ c. feta cheese, crumbled
½ c. Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Kalamata Olives, roughly chopped
1/3 c. Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 hamburger buns, toasted
Toppings – baby spinach and sliced red onion

PREPARATION
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Season each side of the burger patties with salt and pepper. When skillet is hot, cook each side of the burger for 4-5 minutes or to your desired doneness. Top with feta cheese during the last few minutes of cooking time.

To assemble the burgers, place the burger on the bottom half of the toasted bun, next add olives and sundried tomatoes. Top with spinach and red onion and serve hot.
Chef’s note: for a Greek burger spread, try mixing the feta cheese into some Greek yogurt, add some fresh mint and smear onto the burger buns.

#7 Mediterranean Bean Salad

Tuscan-Bean-Salad
Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 1 hr. 10 min
Serves: 8-10

INGREDIENTS
1 can (15 oz.) small white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar Artichoke Hearts, coarsely chopped (not drained)
1 c. Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Red Bell Peppers, coarsely chopped (not drained)
3/4 c. Jeff’s Naturals Organic Pitted Whole Greek Kalamata Olives, cut in halves
1/2 c. red onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes (not drained)
2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. fresh basil, sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION
Stir together all ingredients except basil. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, for a least 1 hour. Stir in basil just before serving.

#8 Watermelon, Olive, Jalapeño and Feta Salad

Recipe: Watermelon, Olive, Jalapeño and Feta Salad

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 20 min
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbsp. Jeff’s Naturals Pitted Kalamata Olives, drained and diced
1 Tbsp. Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Tamed Jalapeño Peppers, drained and diced
2 c. seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1”cubes
1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 c. red onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp. mint leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. green onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION:
In a large mixing bowl add all ingredients and gently mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Served chilled.