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Saturday, October 10, 2009


I am often reminded of a quote I heard from the great chef Alice Waters when she described(I believe) why she opened a restaurant and happened to spark a movement in helathy eating. She said "I was looking for flavor." Flavor is what most food lacks these days, or in some cases flavors are all the same. When we cook at home we use a variety of seasonings, vegetables and aromatics that bring the food alive. If I can pass along one secret to healthy cooking it would be to look for healthy recipes with intense vibrant flavors. Sure plain steamed vegetables are boring, but egglplant covered in pesto or tapenade vinagrette or roasted cauliflower with turmeric are a whole different story. A few dressings that I recently tried are excellent ways to dress up grilled or sauteed vegetables. Here they are:

Olive Tapenade

A full flavored spread or dressing that is extremely versatile.


1 cup good pitted kalamata olives

1 tablespoon anchovies minced

1 clove garlic minced

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

lemon zest

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped capers

Blend all ingredients except olive oil in food processor for a few seconds, then slowly add olive oil and process until smooth.

Basil Pesto

Great on pasta as well as tomatoes, zucchini, squash, just about any vegetable.

1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
1 tablespoon toasted walnuts
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor blend the basil, walnuts, garlic for a few pulses, then slowly add the olive oil and process for about a minute. This keeps in the fridge for a few weeks unless you eat it all up!!

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