Monthly Archives: March 2016

Three Recipes for a Delicious Easter Dinner

Easter’s the perfect time of the year to spend a moment together with loved ones and converse over a delicious, well-cooked meal. When you’re hosting, however, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed with preparations.

Let us take some of the weight off your shoulders with these easy-to-prepare, healthy, succulent recipes made with Jeff’s Naturals line of all natural Mediterranean products).

Encrusted Salmon with Olive Pesto


Prep Time: 10 min  |  Total Time: 25 min  |  Serves: 4-6


For the Pesto:

  • 3/4 c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Whole Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 1 c. Italian fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 c. basil leaves
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 c. + 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salmon:

  • 6 salmon 5 oz. each
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges for garnish


Place all pesto ingredients in food processor and blend until thoroughly mixed into a textured pesto sauce.

Season 5 oz. salmon with salt and pepper. Drizzle roasting pan with olive oil and place salmon over it.

Spread pesto on the salmon and roast in oven at 375° F for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Squeeze fresh lemon on salmon just before serving.

Chef Notes: Also very good for sea bass, grilled steak, grilled shrimp and grilled chicken. Use as a spread on toasted bread topped with Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Peppers Strips and goat cheese.

Peperoncini Potato Salad

Peperoncini Potato Salad

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



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.

Spring Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

Recipe: Spring Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

Prep Time: 20 min | Total Time: 30 min | Serves: 4-6


For the Salad:

For the Dressing:

  • 2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cook bacon, drain and set aside to cool. Chop blue cheese stuffed olives crosswise, into rounds. Slice apple into 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch pieces. Chop bacon. Combine all ingredients with spinach.

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until combined, and drizzle over salad. Serve immediately.

Three Easy Comfort Food Recipes

You know what they say about March.  “In like a lion, out like a lamb”.  We thought this would be a good time to share some of our favorite comfort food recipes to get you through these last few weeks of winter.

Here are some recipes for those days when you just want to feel a little nostalgic while eating a meal that almost rivals the ones mom used to make.

Mediterranean Pot Roast

Recipe: Mediterranean Pot Roast

Prep Time: 10 min. | Total Time: 4-6 hrs. | Serves: 8-10



Season all sides of the pot roast liberally with salt and pepper.

In a large Dutch oven or slow cooker, add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and wine.  Next sprinkle in the Italian seasoning.  Lay the pot roast in and add the peperoncini, red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, and sundried tomatoes.  Add enough broth to cover everything in the pot.

Cook either in a 325º F oven or in a slowcooker on medium for approximately 4-6 hours or until fork tender.  If vegetables begin to get too soft before meat is fork tender, remove vegetables from sauce and continue to cook the meat only until done. (At this point the sauce can be degreased, finished and served or it can be put into the refrigerator overnight to let the fat harden for easy removal the following day.)

Pour the sauce into a saucepan and place on the stove on medium heat.  In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and mix some hot cooking liquid in to create a smooth paste.  Add cornstarch slurry to sauce and stir/whisk until smooth.  Let the sauce simmer to thicken for a few minutes until desired consistency is reached.  Re-season with salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

To serve, place the shredded meat, veggies and sauce over egg noodles, cheesy grits, creamy polenta, or mashed potatoes.

Grownup Spicy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


Prep Time: 10min  |  Total Time: 20 min  |  Serves: 4



In Milan, toasted cheese sandwiches are a popular gourmet treat. The cheese is laid over the artisan bread and then topped with olives, roasted peppers and herbs. The sandwich is closed, pressed tightly and browned on both sides with olive oil. This easy to make recipe is perfect for anyone in a time crunch.

Mix the sliced olives and sliced roasted red peppers in a bowl with the garlic and cilantro or green onion. Sprinkle 4 slices of bread with half of the cheese and then top with pepper/olive mixture. Apply the remaining cheese as another layer. Top with a second piece of bread and press together.

Use a Panini press or heat the olive oil in a skillet and gently brown the sandwiches, turning once or twice as the cheese melts and holds the bread together. Some of the cheese will ooze out and crisp in the skillet, which is delicious, even if it browns slightly.

Place sandwiches on a napkin lined plate to absorb the excess cooking oils. Serve hot.

Jalapeño Cornbread

Jalapeño Cornbread

Prep Time: 10 min |  Total Time: 25 min  | Serves: 8


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • ½ c. whole milk
  • 4 tsp. butter, melted
  • 2/3 c. Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed™ Jalapeño Peppers, drained
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ c. corn meal
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 425°F. In one bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, milk and butter. Stir in jalapeños.

In another bowl, mix flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, cilantro and salt.

Fold wet mixture into dry mixture. Pour into a buttered baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

Rest and allow corn bread to cool. Cut into squares or wedges and serve with butter or a black pepper-flavored honey.