Fresh Fridays 
April 22, 2013
Vol. V, No. 7             
Photo of salad mix on a white background with words
We apologize for the delay in getting this issue of Fresh Fridays to you. Thank you for your support of the City of Boston and its residents during this past week. We have greatly appreciated and have found strength in the outpouring of support we have received from people near and far.

Each spring the return of fresh, locally grown greens feels a little bit miraculous. The crispness and earthiness of spring greens like spinach, arugula, and bok choy remind us just how delicious vegetables can be, which is great since leafy greens help make up the base of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.


Now is the time of year to start thinking creatively about how to combine fresh ingredients, including leafy greens, into flavorful, appealing, and healthy meals. Here are some of our ideas for including leafy greens in your meals and snacks:

  • Try topping a hot homemade pizza with a handful of cool arugula for a light counterpoint to the richness of tomato and cheese, as well as a delightful contrast in temperatures.
  • Combine diced fruit and chopped nuts with a drizzle of honey and wrap them inside a leaf of romaine lettuce. The mild bitterness of the romaine balances nicely with the sweetness of the fruit for a tasty afternoon snack.   
  • Make pesto with watercress, fresh cilantro, and fresh parsley. Pulse the greens in a food processor with some garlic, olive oil, a handful of your favorite nuts, and some salt and pepper. Serve your pesto on warm, whole-grain pasta or stir it into a batch of quinoa.     
  • Bulk up a bowl of vegetable soup with a bunch of beet or mustard greens and a can of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed).   
  • Bake up a batch of kale chips: wash and dry (very well!) a bunch of kale, remove stems, and rip it into 2-3" pieces. Drizzle the kale with olive oil, salt, and seasonings of your choice (try curry powder, cayenne pepper, or smoked paprika), gently toss to coat, and lay the kale out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake the kale at 300F until it is dry and crisp. Eat the chips as is, or crumble them onto a bowl of popcorn.      
  • Experiment with different homemade salads and dressings (some recipe ideas are below) to highlight different flavors in your salads and keep them interesting.

Our friend Dr. Simon Poole, director of Mediterranean Foods Alliance member Positively Good for You, also sent us his suggestion for a healthy meal:

  • Tuna steaks with citrus salad: Baste tuna steaks with a little olive oil (try lemon olive oil for extra flavor), crushed garlic, black pepper, and lemon juice. Cook to taste in the oven or on the grill. Gently boil a little brown rice or couscous and garnish it with some chopped spring onions. Prepare a salad using a combination of whatever is available at your farmers' market or grocery store, which might include arugula and watercress leaves with sliced beets, celery, sun-dried tomatoes, and onions. Add some sliced and peeled orange segments and sprinkle on some walnut halves. Dress the salad with some mandarin-flavored extra-virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar.
(Click on the titles or photos below to link to the recipes.)

Web links

Whole Grain of the Month: Sprouted Grain
There are 3 main ways to enjoy sprouted grains: you can buy packaged sprouted grains, cook them as side dishes, or bake with sprouted flour. Find recipes on the Whole Grains Council's website.

Salad for Dinner book cover. Green background with a bowl of salad and red drink.
Find more great ideas for incorporating leafy greens into your meal rotation in Jeanne Kelley's Salad for Dinner: Complete Meals for All Seasons.

How to Squeeze a Lemon book cover. White background, black text, photograph of a lemon in the middle of the book cover.
Lemon juice and zest add flavor to salad dressings, but this fruit can do so much more! Learn tips and tricks from Fine Cooking Magazine's How to Squeeze a Lemon.

Mediterranean Diet Survey The Oldways Table Book

What takes less time than taking a dip in the Mediterranean Sea? Taking our short survey about the Mediterranean Diet, of course! As we continue the 20th anniversary celebration of the Mediterranean Diet we are asking our Fresh Fridays readers to answer a few short questions about the Med Diet and lifestyle to help us understand why you love it. We will be sure to share our findings with you this summer.


Complete the survey for a chance to win a copy of our book The Oldways Table, a treasury of great recipes, a dietary guide, and an informed tribute to the world's most influential food traditions. Click here to take the survey.

The light, crisp flavors of this salad and its short prep and cooking time make it perfect for warm days. Vary the recipe by using different types of citrus and nuts.

Photo & recipe courtesy of the North American Olive Oil Association 

This basic vinaigrette is a starting point for building any kind of salad dressing you can dream up. Add herbs and spices, try flavored oils and vinegars, replace vinegar with citrus juice, or experiment with different types of vinegar for endless variations.

An Oldways recipe 

Satisfy your hankering for creamy salad dressing with this rich and healthy yogurt-based dressing. Vary the recipe with whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, such as cilantro, dill, mint, or rosemary. Use the dressing with green salad, or as a sauce for grilled fish. 

An Oldways recipe
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.   

To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:     

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)        



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Let the old ways be your guide to  good health and well-being.       



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Med Diet USA.
2013 Stockton Asparagus Festival. Four shoots of asparagus on pink, orange, yellow, and blue backgrounds.


April 26-28
2013 Stockton
Asparagus Festival


Do you live in the Bay Area of California? Celebrate the spring arrival of another delicious green vegetable: asparagus! Check out Stockton's annual Asparagus Festival this coming weekend.


12 great ways to use olive oil.

12 great ways to use spices.