According to the US News and World Report, the Mediterranean way of eating was recently named the best overall diet for the seventh year. Registered dietitian Vanessa Perrone stands firmly behind this way of eating and has dedicated an entire cookbook called Everyday Mediterranean. Vanessa shares four recipes from the cookbook to help us incorporate the delicious flavours of the Mediterranean to your dinner table.
Bitter greens hold a special place in the Mediterranean diet. Foraged almost daily, bitter greens are typically served with a generous glug of olive oil on the side at lunch and dinner. Although these greens are nutritionally beneficial and touted as digestive aids, many people struggle with the bitter flavour. This recipe takes the traditional preparation of bitter greens one step further, tucking them into a rustic tart designed to make its star ingredient shine. The flakey crust and sharp garlic are ideal for showcasing the rapini.
This classic salad celebrates simplicity and seasonality, pillars of the Mediterranean cooking style. Thanks to its two-star ingredients, it also packs a punch of vitamin C and fibre. Combining crisp fennel, salty olives, sharp onion, and sweet oranges makes an addictive salad that will turn any fennel doubter into a fennel lover. This dish makes a great salad course and is ideally served with the Baked Salmon with Gremolata Crust. To double up on the fennel flavour, prepare this recipe using my Olives with Fennel and Chili.
Canned mackerel, an often overlooked ingredient, is the star of this Sicilian-inspired pasta dish. Inexpensive and high in protein and vitamin D, this oily fish is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids—implicated in both heart and brain health in adults and essential for infant brain growth. If the fishiness of mackerel has kept you away until now, this recipe, with its flavorful sauce and crispy crumb topping, will surely win you over. A simple pasta dish worthy of the best trattorias!
Chocolate lovers rejoice—this one’s for you. This flourless cake is inspired by the classic Caprese torte and is made from fibre-rich hazelnuts pulsed into flour for an almost brownie-like dessert. I like to add a hint of espresso powder, as it enhances the flavour of this cake beautifully—coffee is an always-welcome pairing with chocolate.