olives

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Kalamata Olive Hummus

You guys! I've been feeling very HUMMUSexual lately ;) I've been playing around with hummus, adding all sorts of different toppings. The crowd has spoken! Salty, Greek olives have won! They add a perfect Mediterranean bite to the smooth hummus. 

You can play around with the flavors. I often top my hummus with beets, pine nuts, and even some chopped herbs! Make this crowd-pleasing dip for your next gathering! 

Serves: 4 - 6 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 15-oz cans chickpea, drained

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • ½ cup tahini

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 tbsp cumin, ground

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • ½ cup ice water

  • ½ cup kalamata olives, diced

  • Extra virgin olive oil to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add chickpeas, garlic, cumin, tahini, and salt to a food processor and pulse on low for 30 seconds.

  2. Add lemon juice and pulse on medium for a minute.

  3. Accelerate the speed to high and add ice cold water slowly until it's fully corporated. Pulse the hummus for 2 minutes or until it becomes a smooth consistency.

  4. Fold chopped olives into the hummus.

  5. Plate and garnish by drizzling more olive oil.

  6. ENJOYY!!

 
 

Papillote Branzino

Papillote Branzino

Branzino is the Mediterranean sea bass. I grew up eating lots of charcoal-grilled Branzino in Lebanon, but now that I live in Brooklyn without a grill, I found a way to cook this salty fish. 

When I was in college, I learned this "papillote" method, cooking in parchment envelops. It's an easy way to cook fish without drying it out. Keeping the moisture within the papillote locks in all the Mediterranean flavors of Branzino. You can cook any fish using this foolproof method.

Make this impressive dish with minimal effort for your next dinner party!

Photos by Lauren Zaser

Serves: 4 - 6 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 fennel head

  • 6 fillets branzino

  • 3 tbsp capers

  • 1/4 cup olives, sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 lemon, sliced

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.

  2. Slice fennel on a mandoline. If you don't have a mandoline, thinly slice the fennel.

  3. Cut out a parchment paper that is 6 inches larger than your sheet tray.

  4. Line the sheet tray with the parchment, and drizzle with olive oil.

  5. Scatter sliced fennel and salt.

  6. Place the filleted branzino on top of the fennel and season it with salt and pepper, followed by capers, olives, garlic, and thyme leaves.

  7. Season the fish with salt and pepper.

  8. Layer the lemon across the fish.

  9. Pour the white wine around the fish.

  10. Cover the fish with a parchment paper, and fold the ends of parchment papers tightly to make an envelope.

  11. Place the sheet tray in the preheated oven, and cook it for 14 - 16 minutes.

  12. Remove the sheet tray from the oven, and let it sit for 1 minute before removing the top parchment paper.

  13. ENJOYY!!

Mediterranean Orzo

Mediterranean Orzo

My clients rave about this orzo salad! It's the perfect appetizer or a side dish. The saltiness of the capers and olives is the secret to this dish. This salad will bring colors and flavors to your table. Have fun with this salad! You can add herbs, cheese, or different seasonings like paprika, black peppers, and even red pepper flakes. It goes perfectly with grilled chicken or any flaky fish. 

Photos by Lauren Zaser

Serves: 4 - 6 people  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb orzo

  • 1 bunch asparagus

  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced

  • 3 tbsp capers

  • 1 pint cherry tomato

  • 3 lemons, juiced

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup pistachio, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. Clean and chop asparagus into thirds.

  3. Drop the orzo and cook for 7 minutes, then add chopped asparagus and cook for additional 2 minutes.

  4. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

  5. Drain the orzo and asparagus. Let them cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

  6. Combine cooled orzo, asparagus, olives, capers, and cherry tomatoes.

  7. Toss with lemon juice, reserved pasta water, and olive oil until well combined.

  8. Garnish with chopped pistachio.

  9. ENJOYYY!