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Mediterranean Diet Recipes: Sofrito

Sofrito in Mediterranean Cooking

Sofrito is a traditional Spanish vegetable base that is a foundation for many other dishes. It has a long a long history and has been referenced in cookbooks as early as the 1300’s.

Sofrito is highly flavorful and makes an excellent base for sauces, stews and other dishes. The elevated flavors are the result of the way the ingredients are prepared; they are cooked in fat (olive oil) to release the flavors. Many cuisines around the world use this technique: In India, dishes like curry and dal (beans) are covered with “tempering” which is a selection of aromatic spices that have been cooked in ghee (clarified butter) to release their flavors. In Thailand, a curry paste is cooked with coconut milk and the flavor of the spices and ingredients are released.

Different Mediterranean cuisines have their own variations of sofrito.

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Mediterranean Diet: Potato and Egg Salad with Olives and Feta

Best of Boiled Eggs, Mediterranean Style

Boiled eggs are a popular ingredient eaten in The Mediterranean. From Tunisia to France, to Israel to Croatia, you’ll find boiled eggs served whole, sliced and chopped into dishes. Boiled eggs are a simple food that can elevate your cooking, particularly in combination with fresh vegetables. They have a natural umami (savory) flavor, so you can why they are added as an additional flavor to common dishes. The umami flavor of eggs is much more present when cooked.

Eggs are a prized food in our house and we eat a lot of frittata, omelets, and fried eggs. In Michael Ruhlman’s “Egg”, Alton Brown is quoted as saying “Yeah, I’ve always liked to say that the egg is the Rosetta Stone of the kitchen.” Eggs are fabulous for cooking in myriad ways, featured in all cuisines and a key ingredient in baking and making homemade pasta. And, don’t forget that there are many other options in addition to the chicken egg. Duck eggs have an even more luxurious umami flavor than chicken eggs. For me a six-pack of duck eggs is a special treat. Other commercially available eggs include quail, turkey, emu and ostrich. These are more readily available at farms than in grocery stores.

I am particularly fond of boiled eggs for their convenience, high protein content and delicious flavor. We also love making Stuffed or “Deviled” Eggs, which first appeared as far back as 6,000 BC and were enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans.

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Eating Mediterranean at Reading Terminal Market - Philadelphia

Eating Mediterranean at Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia

I visited Philadelphia last weekend and spent most of my time either eating or looking for places to eat.  The City of Brotherly Love is full of fancy, one-named restaurants (Amada, Morimoto, Buddakan) which are all well reviewed with full reservation lists or long lines.  We did try one of these; Zahav, which specializes in “refined Israeli cooking” and […]

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Persian Love Cake

Persian Love Cake

Turmeric & Saffron’s sweet and savory creation is beautiful to behold and a pleasure to eat! Stop by Mediterranean Living for the recipe.

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Garlic: Cornerstone of Mediterranean Flavor

Garlic: Cornerstone of Mediterranean Flavor

The aroma and flavor of this humble bulb greatly compliments many foods. And, the cult of garlic extends far beyond culinary uses.

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The Secret Powerhouse of the Mediterranean Diet

The Secret Powerhouse of the Mediterranean Diet

Back in my “eating like crap” stage of life I would have never thought that one day I would become addicted to eating bitter greens and potatoes simmered in olive oil with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Having been brought up on a steady diet of over-cooked frozen and canned spinach, peas, and broccoli slathered in slightly melted tub margarine, I only understood vegetables to be something to plow through in order to get to the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Tuna Helper. As an adult I learned to steam and stir fry vegetables and grew to appreciate the flavor of local produce. It wasn’t until I went to the Island of Crete, though, that I really began to crave bitter greens.

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Interview with The Terenzios: A Boston Italian Family

Interview with The Terenzios: A Boston Italian Family

Siena Terenzio interviews her Italian grandparents about how they ate in Boston when they were children.

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The Joy of Scarpetta

The Joy of Scarpetta

Food is meant to be fulfilling and pleasurable and we should enjoy everything we eat, and the act of eating should be a delightful experience.

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All About Authentic Algerian Cuisine

All About Authentic Algerian Cuisine

Learn all about Traditional Algerian Cuisine and try out some easy Algerian recipes.

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Traditional Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

A Traditional One Week Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

The traditional Mediterranean Diet has been shown to be one of the healthiest ways of eating in the world.  The problem is that many Mediterranean recipes found in cookbooks or on the web are not traditional.  We interviewed the Mother of a local restaurant owner on the Island of Crete to find out what a […]

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