Ever find yourself in this situation? You’ve just polished off another delicious jar of your favorite Jeff’s Naturals olives or peppers and you’re about to empty the remaining olive brine into the sink before tossing the glass jar into your recycling bin.
But wait! You can still add another dimension of Mediterranean flavor to your favorite recipes using the delicious brines and oils left over in our jars! Here are some of our favorite ideas to make the most of Jeff’s Naturals products — even after you’ve finished off the good stuff!
#11 Pour an entire jar of Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, brine and all, over a pork roast and braise for several hours until the meat is tender. Shred the meat and use as a scrumptious taco filling.
Is your jar half empty — or half full? Next time you find yourself with an almost empty jar of your favorite Jeff’s Naturals product, don’t forget to reserve the oils and brines to marinate, sauté, drizzle and dip! Got an idea? Share it on Twitter @JeffsNaturals or on our Facebook page.
There is nothing like sharing a picnic with loved ones on a beautiful summer day, especially for those of us lucky enough to live in Napa Valley California! Even you if you don’t live in California’s blissful wine country, a perfect picnic can take place any time, anywhere if you follow these simple tips:
1. Keep it light and simple. Think finger foods that are tasty and easy to transport.
2. It’s always better to prepare just a few things and do them well.
3. Don’t pack anything sweet and sticky. Avoid food items such as ice cream, puddings, fruity drinks, etc unless you want to attract insects.
4. Pack everything in lightweight, resealable containers.
5. Keep everything cold. Use ice packs, or fill a couple of resealable bags with ice cubes. One of our favorite tips is to freeze small bottles of water and juice ahead of time so they will keep food cool and you can enjoy a cold drink when you reach your picnic spot!
6. Avoid foods that can spoil in warm sun. Anything with mayonnaise based dressings, eggs and dairy (though certain cheeses will work well) can spoil easily. Recipes like the ones below would be easier to keep at a safe temperature picnic:
Add to braised meat dishes, especially chicken or duck.
Toss with mixed baby greens, orange sections, shaved fennel and a light lemon vinaigrette for a beautiful and refreshing salad.
Add them to hot couscous, along with salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, sliced green onions and chopped flat-leaf parsley.
Castelvetranos are Italy’s number one snack olive, chosen three to one over any other type of olive.
Italians often refer to them as “dolce” (meaning “sweet” in Italian).
Castelvetranos are produced exclusively in Castelvetrano, Sicily, from the olive variety known as nocerella del belice.
They are easily recognized by their distinctive bright green hue and meaty, buttery flesh.
Castelvetranos came on the U.S. scene only recently, first appearing on the bulk olive bars of specialty food stores.
Jeff and our Italy-based import manager travel to Sicily each fall to inspect the harvest and foster relationships with generations-old family farmers, ensuring that our customers have access to the finest Castelvetrano olives available.
Enjoy them in this new recipe:
Pistachio & Castelvetrano Olive Pesto
1 cup pitted Jeff’s Naturals Pitted Castelvetrano Olives
½ cup shelled pistachios
1 small clove fresh garlic
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
In a food processor, pulse all ingredients to desired consistency. Serve on a nice white fish, baked chicken, or veggies, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
The possibilities are endless! Crack open a jar and let your creativity run wild.
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!
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
Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 45 min.
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
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
A delicious spicy twist on Hot Dogs made with Jeff’s Naturals diced Jalapenos. Click here for full recipe.
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.
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
Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 1 hr. 10 min
If you’re like most people, chances are you could use more veggies in your diet. Eating a healthy, nutrient rich, low-cal salad is not only good for you, it can be completely satisfying if you add the right ingredients. In honor of National Salad month, we encourage you to punch it up and wake up your palette with these healthy salad tips.
Be inspired and be healthy!
Step One: More Leafy Greens Please!
Today show nutritionist Joy Bauer says to choose a base for your salad that provides important nutrients like folic acid and lutein. “Give up the iceberg for mesclun greens, baby spinach, or a spring mix that includes a variety of dark green lettuces”, she says in her post, 5 Tips for Building a Healthier Salad.
Instead of adding cheese, add sliced peperonicnis or jalapeño stuffed olives.
Step Two: Get colorful and creative with fruits, vegetables and herbs!
Pile on as many vegetables as possible. The more seasonal and local your vegetables are, the better (think Farmers Markets). Summer is the perfect time to indulge in a multitude of fresh seasonal fruits, veggies and herbs. When making your salad, go for different textures and tastes. You can also use leftovers you find in the fridge (like grilled veggies- YUM) and many pantry staples like olives, peppers, artichoke hearts, and more.
Step Three: Add Protein
In her post, Joy Bauer also recommends adding protein to your salad for a satisfying meal.
“If you’re opting for animal protein, select one lean source (or two if you’re extra-hungry), such as four egg whites or three ounces of skinless chicken or turkey breast, water-packed chunk light tuna, wild salmon, or lean sirloin steak. If you’re vegetarian or just want to mix it up, choose half a cup of cubed tofu or three-quarters of a cup of chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, or other legumes”.
Step Four: Add some additional toppings for extra flavor!
These are the items that can take your salad to the next level, but have the potential to pack in too much fat and calories if you aren’t careful. Toppings like chopped nuts, seeds, shredded cheese, croutons, dried cranberries or raisins, and salad dressings are fantastic on salads, but should be used sparingly. For less fat and more flavor in your meals, think about adding something spicy to your salad.
Here are some more salad tips to inspire you:
Toss Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes with chilled cooked pasta, sliced Kalamata Olives and Marinated Artichoke Hearts for a colorful and delicious pasta salad.
Toss pitted Castelvetrano Olives with mixed baby greens, orange sections, shaved fennel and a light lemon vinaigrette for a beautiful and refreshing salad.
For a tangy vegetarian version of a classic Caesar salad, use Capers in place of the traditional anchovies.
Toss Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto, along with its marinade, with romaine lettuce and tomato wedges. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with crumbled feta cheese for a super quick and delicious salad.
Toss pitted Kalamata Olives with feta cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olive oil and red wine vinegar for a refreshing Greek salad.