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If you’re like me, then you LOVE roasted veggies! Hot, warm, cold…it doesn’t matter. They are great as a main dish, a side dish or even an appetizer. There are a few good Italian supermarkets here in my area, but my goodness the prices, like everything else in this world (ie…GAS!), just keep going up. A jar of Italian mixed peppers in olive oil are common products in the Italian stores, but for heaven’s sake, why not make your own? Nothing comes close to a fresh made version, from your very own kitchen, and once you do make your own, you won’t want to buy jarred ever again. It’s colorful, tasty and you & your guests will be quite pleased! Try this:

Roasted Bell Pepper

3 red bell peppers
2 yellow or orange bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
5 Tbsp. olive oil
A few drops of hot pepper sauce
4 canned artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
Salt & Pepper (S&P)
Basil leaves, to garnish
 
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil a foil-lined baking sheet and place the whole peppers on the foil. Bake 45 minutes, or until beginning to char. Remove from the oven, cover with a dish towel or put into a brown paper bag, and let cool for 5 minutes.
 
Slice the sun-dried tomatoes. After cooled, remove the core and seeds from the peppers and peel away the skins. Slice each pepper into thick strips. 
Beat together the vinegar, oil and hot pepper sauce, then season with a little S&P.
 
Toss the peppers with the sliced artichokes, tomatoes and garlic. Pour the dressing over and sprinkle the basil leaves on top. This can be served on its own, as an appetizer, with tofu, with gluten free toast, and with pasta. Be creative!
 

An array of appetizers is always enjoyed throughout the Mediterranean. Not to mention the variety of flavors that make them so irresistible! So get your Tapas, Aperitifs, Mezze & Mezedes groove on!

Marinated Olives

1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2/3 cup black olives
2/3 cup green olives
 
Crush the coriander and fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle. Combine with the rosemary, parsley, garlic, vinegar and oil and pour over the olives in a small bowl. Cover and chill for up to 1 week. These are great served on a Crudités platter.
 

Hummus

3/4 cup dried chickpeas (canned work too, be sure to drain)
Juice of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2/3 cup tahini paste
S&P
Extra olive oil and cayenne pepper for sprinkling
flat-leaf parsley, to garnish.
 
 
 
If using dried chickpeas, put the chickpeas in a bowl with plenty of cold water and let soak overnight. Drain the chickpeas and cover with fresh water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour, until soft. Drain.
 
Process the chickpeas in a food processor to a smooth puree. Add the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, cayenne pepper and tahini and blend until creamy, scraping the mixture into a bowl.
 
Season the puree with S&P and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with oil and cayenne pepper and serve garnished with a few parsley sprigs. This is great served as a dip with vegetables, and leftovers make good sandwiches.
 

Ahh…Mediterranean cuisine – such culinary delights! Makes me want to fly over for a visit right away!

The ME-gan Lifestyle encourages having food on hand at all times, especially quick snack foods! When you get that hankering to dip, you’re ready to go!

Ciao for now!

Mary

 
 
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