the Pence family cookbook

Recipes Tagged with “mediterranean”

Sage Tea

miscellaneous mediterranean tea


  • 2 teaspoons loose black tea
  • 8 dried sage leaves
  • sugar, for serving


Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, add the tea and sage leaves, and cover the pan. Wrap a kitchen towel around the pan and set it aside for 10 minutes to allow the tea to steep. Then strain the liquid into a teapot and serve hot, with a bowl of sugar on the side.


Moroccan Merguez and Vegetable Tagine

main course mediterranean moroccan sausage untested


  • 1 pound merguez sausage
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved and sliced
  • 1 lemon, quartered [CP: can see no reason why this wouldn’t be a preserved lemon]
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled, cut into fourths, then sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted
  • 1/2 pound zucchini, cut into fourths, then sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 10-ounce box couscous


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot. Use a tagine if you have one, but if not a big dutch oven will do. Add the cinnamon, coriander, paprika, turmeric and cumin to the pot.

Add the lemon, onion, fennel, garlic and green olives to the pot and cook until softened, for about 15 minutes. Taste for salt.

Meanwhile, brown the merguez sausage in a skillet over medium heat and reserve the cooking oils. Set aside.

Add the tablespoon of flour and mix well. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and allow to bubble for 5 minutes.

Place the merguez, plus the oil rendered from the merguez, and the remaining vegetables into the pot. Add the chickpeas, dried apricots and the raisins. Continue to cook over medium for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the merguez is cooked through.

For the couscous, follow the directions on the box, and stir in the turmeric before covering the pot to give the couscous a bright yellow hue.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with couscous.

Laila Gohar, Food Republic

Pepper Monkey Lamb Meatballs

main course lamb mediterranean untested


Spicy Afghan Green Sauce

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeño, depending on how spicy you want your sauce
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar


  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds [you can substitute garam masala for the spice blend]
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • Seeds from 4 cardamom pods
  • Seeds from 2 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 to 5 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup cooked spinach, chopped


Make the Spicy Afghan Green Sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. This can be done 1 to 3 days in advance. It is best to make the sauce at least 1 day in advance to give the flavors time to blend.

Preheat a grill to about 375°F for direct cooking.

Make the meatballs: Place the cumin, coriander, cardamom seeds, and star anise in a small skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool, then grind in a spice or coffee grinder. Add the turmeric, seasoned salt, black pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne and mix well.

Place the ground lamb in a large bowl. Add the spices along with the onion, ginger, garlic, mint, feta, and spinach and mix well, but do not overmix as this will result in a tough texture. Form the mixture into meatballs 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Place the meatballs on the grill grate and cook for about 14 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F on a meat thermometer, rotating the meatballs frequently to ensure that they caramelize evenly.

Serves 10-12.

Ardie A. Davis and Paul Kirk, Epicurious, May 2013

Roasted Eggplant, Tomato, Garlic, and White Bean Spread

appetizer bean dip eggplant mediterranean untested


  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into thick chunks
  • 1 head fresh garlic, peeled
  • 5-6 tomatoes (smaller, vine-ripe), quartered and seeds removed
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2-1 tsp. salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset or other spice blend
  • 1 16-oz. can white beans
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano (pref. Mexican)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice


Preheat oven to 375. Place the vegetables in a shallow baking dish. Add the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and spice blend. Toss well to coat. Carefully spread into a single layer and place the pan in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes. Note: Vegetables can also be roasted on a pan in a gas grill. Cool vegetable mixture, or let rest overnight in the fridge.

Rinse and drain the white beans and place in a blender with 2 c. of the vegetable mixture. The vegetables should have exuded quite a bit of liquid so make sure to include some of this in the 2 cups. Blend the beans and vegetables. Add the chili powder and oregano and the lemon juice. Blend well and pour into a bowl. Serve with any firm cracker.

Penzey’s Spices

Whole-Wheat Pita

bread mediterranean


  • A bit more than 1-1/8 c. warm water (but exactly 1-1/8 c. if you use all-purpose flour)
  • 3 c. whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. oil
  • 1-1/2 t. white sugar
  • 1-1/2 t. active dry yeast


Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Knead by hand for about 8 minutes (or let the KitchenAid do it for you).

Collect dough into a large lump in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Place covered bowl in a warm-ish area and leave until the dough has risen to about twice its original size.

When sufficiently puffy, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch dough into a 12 inch rope. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough rope into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, then use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a 6 or 7 inch diameter circle.

Set dough circles onto a lightly floured surface. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for about 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, they should be just slightly puffier than they were at first.

At some point during the time when the dough circles are rising, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. When dough circles are ready, place 2 or 3 circles on a wire cake rack, and place rack directly on an oven rack. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes. Pitas are done when they are puffed and their tops are slightly brown.

Remove pitas from oven and place them in a sealed brown paper bag (or just cover them with a damp kitchen towel) until they are soft. Once softened, cut pitas as desired.

Pitas can be stored in some kind of sealed container for several days. You can also freeze them for 1-2 months.

Erica Freeman

Mediterranean Meat Pies

main course side dish lamb mediterranean untested


  • Mediterranean pie dough
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground or minced lamb shoulder
  • 1/2 c chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • yogurt for serving


Make the dough as directed. Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

To make the filling, in saute pan over medium heat warm the oil. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 min. Transfer to a bowl. Add the lamb, parsley, nuts, spices and seasonings and mix well.

Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll out in 3 in rounds. Top each round with a heaping spoonful of the filling, then bring up the three edges of the round to meet in the center and press together to seal. The pasties will be triangular.

Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the pastries with oil. Bake until golden, 15-20 min. Serve warm with yogurt.

Mediterranean Pie Dough

miscellaneous mediterranean


  • 1 tbl active dry yeast
  • 3/4 c warm water
  • 2 1/2 c (390 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbl olive oil


In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand until bubbly, about 5 min.

In a large bowl stir together the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and oil, mix well and knead briefly on a lightly floured work surface until smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the ball to coat all surfaces with oil. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough before use.

Use dough for spinach pies or meat pies.

Mediterranean Spinach Pies

main course side dish mediterranean untested vegan vegetarian


  • Mediterranean pie dough
  • 1 lb spinach
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 1 c finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 6 tbl pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbl chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the dough according to directions.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Stem the spinach, chop coarsely, and wash well to remove traces of sand. Drain well, place in a colander and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Let stand 1 h. Squeeze all moisture out of the spinach and then chop coarsely.

In a large saute pan over medium heat warm the oil. Add the onion and saute until tender and translucent, 8-10 min. Add the allspice, stir well and cook for 1 min longer. Stir in the chopped spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach wilts, a few minutes. Stir in the pine nuts, lemon juice, mint, pepper, and salt to taste. Remove from heat.

Divide dough into 12 equal portions and roll out each portion into a 6 in round. Spoon about 1/3 c of the spinach mixture into the center of each round. Bring up the three edges of the round to meet in the center and press together to seal. The pastries will be triangular.

Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush pastries with oil. Bake until golden, 15-20 min. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with olive oil. Serve warm.

Yogurt Soup

main course lamb mediterranean soup


  • 8 c water
  • 3/4 lb ground lamb or left-over leg of lamb cut into 3/4 in pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c yellow split peas
  • 1/2 lb spinach, chopped
  • 10 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c raw rice
  • 2 c yogurt
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 2 tbl fresh chopped mint or 2 tsp dried mint


Place the water, lamb, onions, split peas, spinach, scallions, salt and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 40 min. Stir in the rice and cook over moderate heat for about 25 min, stirring occasionally. Add the yogurt. Stir 1 minute without boiling and remove from heat. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the mint and stir for 1 min. Add to the soup and serve.


main course lamb mediterranean pence


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2lb. cubed lamb
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. turnip, chopped
  • 1/2 c. zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 c. eggplant, chopped
  • 1/2 c. leeks, chopped
  • 1/2 c. bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 c. celery, chopped
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1/2 c. chick peas


Sauté the lamb, onion, coriander, red pepper, cumin, saffron, and salt in the olive oil. Add the chicken broth, cover, and simmer for about an hour, or until the meat is nearly tender. Add all the vegetables, the raisins, and the chick peas, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve over couscous, and top with harissa.


Put 1/2 cup chili powder (preferably New Mexico) in sauce pan. Gradually add broth from couscous and a little salt and cook to thicken.