Fresh Fridays


fresh figs

                     One Dish  

     Dutch Oven Dinners   

Who wouldn't like to put together a quick, delicious dinner using just one pan?  While healthy ingredients are always the place to start, what you cook your food in has a lot to do with flavor, and ease of cleanup.

 Dutch Oven

Invest in a high quality, 8-quart Dutch oven (or "French oven") with a tight-fitting lid that you'll have for years and that you will use all the time. Buy something good and heavy with a cast iron or enameled cast iron cooking surface to guarantee even heating. It will let you sauté vegetables and coax out of plenty of flavor without burning them. Such a pan, safe for stovetop cooking as well as oven baking, will work for just about any Mediterranean dish in your repertoire: making soups, stews, tagines, or stock; braising chicken; cooking beans and other vegetable and grain dishes. And that heavy lid makes it a great container for keeping biscotti or croissants fresh for a few days. 


Here are two easy Mediterranean recipes - one for a vegetarian meal, the other for a seafood feast- that won't fill your sink with dirty pots and pans. 



Vegetable Medley

Serves 4


Serve this tasty vegetarian entrée with cooked whole grains, such as barley, brown rice, bulgur, farro, or quinoa. Get into the habit of cooking a big batch of whole grains twice week, enjoying some for lunch, and simply reheating what you need for dinner.



2 teaspoons peanut or extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, choppedVegetable Medley

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

½ cup water

2 teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cauliflower (about 2 ½  pounds), broken into large florets

2 carrots, cut into ½ -inch slices

1 green pepper, cut into 1 ½ -inch pieces

¼ cup creamy peanut butter



Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 5-quart Dutch oven.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, chili powder and salt. Add the cauliflower, carrots, and green pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes longer or until the vegetables are tender.


Recipe from Best Foods, courtesy of The Peanut Institute.



Bouillabaisse with Olive Crostini 

Serves 4     



1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 can (14 ½ -ounces) diced tomatoeBouillabaises, undrained

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup dry white wine or dry vermouth or additional chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

¾ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, divided

8 ounces fresh mussels or clams, scrubbed

8 ounces uncooked large peeled and deveined shrimp or additional mussels

12 ounces halibut fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks or halved sea scallops

½ cup chopped pimiento-stuffed Spanish Manzanilla olives

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

8 (1/2 -inch thick) slices French bread baguette, toasted



Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Transfer 1 teaspoon of the cooked garlic to a small bowl; set aside. Add the tomatoes, broth, wine, oregano, basil, and ½ teaspoon of the hot pepper sauce to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the mussels and shrimp, cover, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the fish, cover and simmer just until the mussels open and the shrimp and fish are opaque, about 4 minutes longer.


Meanwhile, for the olive crostini, add the olives, yogurt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce to the bowl with reserved garlic. Mix well and spread the mixture over the toasted bread. Ladle the bouillabaisse into four shallow serving bowls and top with the crostini.


Recipe courtesy of Lindsay Olive Company.

Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living.  We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.

Visit the
MFA website
to find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes.