Gremolata is a bold and bright Italian condiment that will liven up your meals. It’s made with three simple ingredients that you might have on hand already—fresh parsley, lemon zest and garlic.
Gremolata is the perfect last-minute finishing touch for any dish that seems a little blah, you know what I mean? When guests are on their way over, sprinkle gremolata over store-bought items like hummus to make them seem more fresh and fancy.
When I have the time, there’s nothing better than a bold herbed sauce to complete a meal, like pesto or chimichurri. Gremolata is simpler than a sauce (no blender or food processor required), but more elevated than a basic sprinkle of chopped parsley.
Perhaps gremolata’s most winning feature is that it’s ready in under five minutes. Sprinkle gremolata all over your grilled dishes this summer!
This watermelon gazpacho recipe is the perfect balance of savory and sweet, it’s full of feel-good fresh ingredients, and always tastes so light and refreshing. Summertime = gazpacho time. ♡ And after sharing my favorite recipe for authentic (tomato) gazpacho with you years ago when we first moved to Spain, I thought that this summer we […]
This watermelon gazpacho recipe is the perfect balance of savory and sweet, it’s full of feel-good fresh ingredients, and always tastes so light and refreshing.
Summertime = gazpacho time. ♡
And after sharing my favorite recipe for authentic (tomato) gazpacho with you years ago when we first moved to Spain, I thought that this summer we could turn to its irresistibly sweet and savory cousin — watermelon gazpacho.
This refreshing chilled soup is the perfect way to use up a leftover hunk of watermelon that you might have hanging out in the fridge after last weekend’s picnic. When blended together with lots and lots of summer veggies, a handful of fresh mint, a slice of bread and some simple seasonings, this gazpacho tastes like summertime sunshine in a bowl. And it is delicious!
Bonus? This watermelon gazpacho recipe only takes about 15 minutes to prep and can be made up to two days in advance. Plus it’s made with fresh and healthy ingredients that are also naturally vegan and gluten-free (if you use gf bread), which makes gazpacho an especially great option if you happen to be cooking for a crowd this summer. We often turn to gazpacho when we’re entertaining this time of year since it’s so easy to prep ahead of time — usually just serving it up with a light salad and a loaf of crusty bread — and it hits the spot every time!
So grab some fresh watermelon and summer veggies, and let’s blend up a quick batch together!
This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking. Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection. What is baba ganoush? Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata. What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky […]
This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.
Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection.
What is baba ganoush?
Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata.
What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky flavor. The easiest way to make it at home is roasted, so here we’ve added smoked paprika for a hint of the smoke we expect from a baba ganoush recipe!
How to make baba ganoush at home
Now, the best baba ganoush you can have is from a Lebanese restaurant! It’s hard to capture the beauty of this traditional eggplant dip at home. But you can get pretty close! Again, the traditional grilled method is what really takes it over the top (see below). But Shelly’s method from Tables and Spreads is simply delicious and easy to pull off. Just make sure to have enough time to roast or grill the eggplant! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):
Roast or grill the eggplant: This takes about 30 minutes total. On the grill, it depends on the size of the eggplant (see below).
Remove the flesh from the skin. Quick tip: to remove bitterness, you can remove some of the very seedy parts of the eggplant when you do this.
Food process with the other ingredients. Add tahini, lemon, garlic and spices and blend. We like adding a bit of smoked paprika to get in that smoky flavor.
Serve! Then top with all the garnishes: olive oil, walnuts, smoked paprika, parsley, etc! The book has a delicious fried walnuts and pomegranate seeds topping idea (head here to learn more about the book).
Alternate method: grilled whole eggplant!
The most traditional way to make a baba ganoush recipe is with eggplant charred over an open flame. The best way to do this is with a grill! Here are a few things to note about making a grilled whole eggplant:
Grill it whole over medium high heat. That’s 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook until collapsed and charred, about 25 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant. Once you’re done, you can pick back up at the blending step.
About the book: Tables & Spreads!
This baba ganoush recipe comes straight from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel’s beautiful new book, Tables & Spreads. The cover claims it’s a go-to guide for beautiful snacks, intimate gathering and inviting feasts: and is it ever! It’s filled with Shelly’s brilliantly colorful photography style (which we adore) and full of incredible ideas for entertaining spreads. Now that we can all gather again, it’s a perfect manual for
Shelly is a dear friend of ours we’ve known for years: so not only do we vouch for her recipes, we know first hand that she’s an overall incredible human, too. The spreads that she puts together are inventive, unique, and perfect for creative at-home entertaining. And just so you know: you don’t have to share them with friends either! There are plenty of ideas for a happy hour dinner in (a fun concept everyone enjoys over here!). Congrats to Shelly on this fantastic collection!
What to use for dipping baba ganoush
What to serve with baba ganoush? There are many foods you can use for dipping: but we have a few favorites. Then of course, there’s how to accessorize your spread! The book has this recipe as part of a Falafel Mezze Spread that includes a few items below. Here’s what to try:
Pita bread: Doughy, stretchy warm pita bread is the ultimate dipper (try our flatbread)
Falafel: Try our falafel or the falafel patties recipe from the book
Israeli couscous with herbs and olive oil (see the book)
Greek yogurt mixed with olive oil and fresh herbs (see the book)
Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, roasted red peppers
Storing leftovers and make ahead info
You can store leftover homemade baba ganoush refrigerated for up to 3 days. We think it’s best made freshly or within the first day. We did notice that during storage over a few days, the baba ganoush started to discolor. If you’re making it for entertaining, we’d suggest to roast the eggplant in advance and keep it whole: then blend up the dip prior to serving.
This baba ganoush recipe is…
Baba ganoush is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.
For the topping: Olive oil, chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, torn parsley leaves, smoked paprika, etc
Roast the eggplant*: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Poke the eggplant all over with a fork to speed up the cooking process and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Blend the baba ganoush: Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, slice the eggplant in half and scrape out the insides into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, removing large portions of seeds as you can (this minimizes any bitterness from the seeds). Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and process for another 30 seconds or until light and fluffy.
Serve: Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with desired toppings. Serve with pita chips or pita bread. Leftovers store up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature when serving.
*Traditionally eggplant for baba ganoush is grilled, which infuses a distinct smoky flavor. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the eggplant directly on the grill grates and grill for about 25 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred and tender and the eggplant shape collapses. Then go to step 2.
Picnic season is here! There’s never been a better time to picnic. We’ve enjoyed a lovely extended spring here in Kansas City. Our homegrown tomatoes won’t be ready for a while, but I wanted to share my favorite picnic sandwich with you since I’m able to find great tomatoes at the store now.
This Caprese sandwich recipe is inspired by the classic Caprese salad. It features ripe red tomatoes and sliced fresh mozzarella with the most irresistible creamy basil sauce. For extra flavor, I also added a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a small handful of arugula.
Sandwich all of that inside a crusty loaf of French baguette, and you will have a perfectly portable sandwich for picnics or road trips. Or, enjoy it at home for a quick meal from now through the end of tomato season this fall.
Just remember—the better the bread and the tomatoes, the better the sandwich!
Broccoli, pesto, and green olives—believe it! This pasta recipe tastes so fresh. It’s perfectly suited for springtime dinners, though I think you’ll want to keep it in your repertoire for the rest of the year.
I wouldn’t have come up with this pasta combination myself, so I’m glad I found the recipe in my friend Kelly Senyei’s new cookbook, The Secret Ingredient Cookbook. You might know Kelly from her blog, Just a Taste. Kelly is a delightful person, a professionally trained chef and a hard-working mom to three boys, all under the age of five.
Kelly’s new cookbook offers 125 family-friendly recipes with fun secret ingredient twists. I don’t want to spoil all the surprises, but I’m looking forward to trying the Caesar pasta salad (with avocado), Greek chopped salad (with halloumi cheese), 30-minute mac and cheese (with pumpkin) and mushroom ravioli with brown butter sauce (with goat cheese, and made entirely from scratch). And good gracious, wait until you see the desserts.
This broccoli pesto pasta recipe includes green olives as the secret ingredient. They offer a delicious briny olive flavor and cover up the flavor of the broccoli. She says her boys absolutely love this dish, so this dish is designed for the whole family. I found some ricotta in my fridge and really enjoyed a few dollops over my bowl. Serve it as you please!
Meet my go-to side salad recipe. I hope it becomes yours, too. This simple salad features fresh arugula and the world’s easiest homemade balsamic salad dressing.
This salad truly could not be more easy to make. In fact, it’s so easy that I’ve hesitated to share it with you. It’s hardly a recipe, but one that I make constantly. It’s about time that I bring this method to your attention, you say?
Side salads should be easy to prepare, and this one is so delicious that it doesn’t taste like an afterthought. It goes with just about everything—think Italian entrées like lasagna, sandwiches, scrambled eggs, and even holiday meals.
You can use this salad formula with any type of leafy green, but arugula is my favorite. You’ll eat more healthy greens if you keep this recipe in your back pocket. Here we go!
This Mediterranean grilled halloumi salad is easy to make with pan-grilled halloumi cheese, chewy farro, fresh veggies and herbs, and a zippy lemon dressing. Feel free to add in chicken or shrimp if you’d like, too! We’ve been on a grilled halloumi cheese kick here in our house this past year, so I figured it […]
This Mediterranean grilled halloumi salad is easy to make with pan-grilled halloumi cheese, chewy farro, fresh veggies and herbs, and a zippy lemon dressing. Feel free to add in chicken or shrimp if you’d like, too!
We’ve been on a grilled halloumi cheese kick here in our house this past year, so I figured it was high time to finally share a few of our favorite halloumi recipes here with you…
…beginning with this vibrant grilled halloumi salad. ♡
It’s made with the most delicious blend of fresh and flavorful ingredients inspired by the Mediterranean, including grilled halloumi, cool crisp cucumber, rich Kalamata olives and toasted pine nuts. Then it’s brightened up with lots of fresh greens, mint and my favorite zippy lemony dressing, and made extra hearty with some chewy farro added in. When you put everything together, this salad is just downright delicious.
If you’re new to working with halloumi cheese, it is super-easy to cook indoors in just a few minutes with a grill pan (or really, any sort of sauté pan), or you’re of course welcome to fire up the grill outside if you prefer. Feel free to add in any other extra proteins, veggies, beans, or greens that you might like too. And while I personally love this salad served immediately while the grilled halloumi is still nice and warm, we’ve also enjoyed this salad for leftovers on more than one occasion and can vouch that it holds up well in the fridge if you would like to prep it in advance. (See my notes on that below.)
Bottom line, if you love grilled cheese and salad, this salad is going to be right up your alley. So pick up some halloumi the next time you’re at the market and let’s make a batch together! (more…)
My favorite “everyday” salad recipe is quick and easy to make, tossed with a simple and delicious lemony dressing, and so versatile that it goes with just about everything! Friends! Do you have a go-to side salad recipe in your repertoire that you absolutely love? This simple green salad — which we fondly call our […]
My favorite “everyday” salad recipe is quick and easy to make, tossed with a simple and delicious lemony dressing, and so versatile that it goes with just about everything!
Friends! Do you have a go-to side salad recipe in your repertoire that you absolutely love? This simple green salad — which we fondly call our “everyday” salad here in our house — is mine. ♡
It’s the no-frills, easy-breezy, fresh-and-flavorful, always-a-winner green salad recipe that we make most often here in our house behind the scenes. And even after eating it literally hundreds of times, it’s one of those staple recipes that we somehow never grow tired of. It’s incredibly quick and easy to make with a bag of greens (we most often use spring greens), a veggie or two (we usually add red onion, plus cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, or whatever’s in the crisper drawer), a sprinkling of nuts/seeds for protein and crunch (we’re partial to pepitas or sunflower seeds), and my favorite “everyday” salad dressing (that’s super-simple to whip up). Best of all, this tossed salad comes together in less than 10 minutes and always tastes wonderfully light and fresh and flavorful. And it also happens to be naturally gluten-free and vegan — and somehow magically goes with just about any meal!
The sky’s the limit, of course, when it comes to customizing this recipe with whatever greens, veggies, nuts, or even dressing ingredients that you happen to have on hand. And if you feel like making a meal out of this salad, it also tastes delicious with an extra protein (such as chicken or shrimp) and/or some croutons added in too.
Anyway, if you’re interested in working more salads into your weekly lunch and dinner rotations, I hope you’ll give this salad recipe a try. It is definitely a favorite here in our house! (more…)
This roasted beet salad with greens is exactly what I’m craving right now. It’s hearty, fresh and spring-y, which is perfect as the weather turns from downright arctic to patio-worthy. Cookie and I couldn’t be more excited about the warmer temperatures and sunnier days! I bet you can relate.
This salad was inspired by the beet salads at my favorite local French restaurants, Westport Café and French Market. Over the past year, I’ve really missed sipping wine in their establishments and soaking up their vibes. You should know that I’m constantly daydreaming of a French vacation.
Both restaurants offer beet salads with pistachios and goat cheese, yet they each have their own unique spin on the combination. I always order the beet salad and French fries, naturally!
This recipe incorporates my go-to method for roasting beets, which yields amazing flavor. I used arugula as the base, which contrasts nicely with the earthy flavor of the beets.
Then I added goat cheese and pistachios, plus some radish and green onion for extra freshness and some crunch. The zippy, Dijon-forward vinaigrette brings it all together. Serve this salad as a side dish or enjoy a large portion for a satisfying but light dinner.
My spin on TikTok’s famous baked feta pasta recipe is super-easy to make in the oven and tossed with the most irresistible, cheesy, garlicky tomato basil sauce. Feel free to add any extra proteins or veggies that you’d like too! After scrolling past TikTok’s famous new viral recipe for baked feta pasta about a million […]
My spin on TikTok’s famous baked feta pasta recipe is super-easy to make in the oven and tossed with the most irresistible, cheesy, garlicky tomato basil sauce. Feel free to add any extra proteins or veggies that you’d like too!
After scrolling past TikTok’s famous new viral recipe for baked feta pasta about a million times online this past week, Barclay and I finally caved and brought home a package of feta to give it a try. And we both had to agree…
…this baked feta pasta is legit awesome. ♡
Somewhat similar to how I melt down a ball of burrata to make the sauce for this cheesy pasta recipe, the uunifetapasta trend — started by Finnish blogger Liemessa — simply bakes a block of feta until it is hot and melty to form the irresistibly creamy, cheesy, tangy base for this pasta sauce. Then once combined with a pan full of burst baked cherry tomatoes, chewy al dente pasta, lots of fresh basil and garlic, and a few simple seasonings, well, there’s a reason why the entire world seems to be losing their minds over this feta pasta recipe. It really is comfort food at its best!
That said, after initially trying out the original uunifetapasta recipe, there were a few small tweaks that we ended up making and loving in our home that I thought I’d share today with any of you who might be interested. First of all, both my husband and I agreed that the sauce could use way more tomatoes and fresh basil, so we more than doubled the quantities of both which added lots of extra fresh flavor (and also made the dish more saucy, yum). I also added in a generous splash of white wine which I love in a good tomato basil sauce, but it’s totally optional if you prefer not to cook with wine. I also wilted a bunch of fresh spinach into the pasta, and would love to add in some extra veggies (such as broccoli, asparagus or mushrooms) next time too. And finally, my husband and I both agreed that a generous sprinkling of salty, umami, aged Parmesan atop each serving really helped to balance out the fresh, creamy, tangy flavors of the feta, so I highly recommend using both cheeses here.
As always, feel free to also add in any meat, seafood, or other kinds of protein that you might like with this pasta. And of course, if you would like to make it gluten-free, just cook up your favorite kind of gf pasta and you should be good to go.
Arguably the best thing about this baked feta pasta recipe is that it only requires a few quick minutes of hands-on prep time, and then your oven and stovetop will do the rest of the work for you. So if you’re looking for a simple, indulgent, comforting new pasta recipe to try, grab a block of feta before it disappears from store shelves in your area and give it a go!