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Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. The Mediterranean diet is further distinguished by the moderate consumption of dairy products, the use of herbs for seasoning instead of salt, the moderate consumption of wine and only with meals, the consumption of water as the main drink during the day and, not least, the companionship around the table

Mediterranean fish gratins

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb (about 250g/9oz), trimmed and thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 heaped tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
150ml white wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes with herbs
2 tbsp tomato purée
good pinch of saffron
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
900g mixed skinless fish fillets, (anything you like) cut into chunks
350g raw peeled king prawn
75g finely grated parmesan
50g panko or coarse dried breadcrumbs
green salad, to serve (optional)


Heat the oil in a large, wide non-stick saucepan or sauté pan and gently fry the onion, fennel, garlic and coriander seeds for 15 mins, stirring regularly until the vegetables are softened and lightly coloured. Pour the wine into the pan and add the tomatoes, tomato purée, saffron and bay leaf. Season and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until thick.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Stir the lemon juice and most of the parsley into the tomato mixture, pop the raw fish pieces and prawns on top and stir well. Cover tightly with a lid and simmer gently over a medium heat for 4-5 mins or until the fish is almost cooked. Stir a couple of times as the fish cooks, taking care not to let it break up.
Ladle the hot tomato and fish mixture into 6 individual pie dishes – they will each need to hold around 350ml. Mix the cheese, breadcrumbs, remaining parsley and a little ground black pepper together and sprinkle over the top. Bake on a baking tray for 20 mins or until the pies are golden brown and bubbling. Serve with green salad, if you like.

Mediterranean turkey-stuffed peppers


2 red peppers (about 220g)
1 ½ tbsp olive oil, plus an extra drizzle
240g lean turkey breast mince (under 8% fat)
½ small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tsp ground cumin
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 chicken stock cube
handful fresh oregano leaves
60g mozzarella, grated
150g green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, mangetout or green beans), to serve


Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Halve the peppers lengthways, then remove the seeds and core but keep the stalks on. Rub the peppers with a drizzle of olive oil and season well. Put on a baking tray and roast for 15 mins.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Fry the mince for 2-3 mins, stirring to break up the chunks, then tip onto a plate.
Wipe out your pan, then heat the rest of the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir-fry for 2-3 mins, then add the cumin and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 mins more.
Tip the mince back into the pan and add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée. Crumble in the stock cube and cook for 3-4 mins, then add the oregano and season. Remove the peppers from the oven and fill them with as much of the mince as you can. (Don’t worry if some spills out it – it will go satisfyingly crisp in the oven.) Top with the cheese and return to the oven for 10-15 mins until the cheese starts to turn golden.
Carefully slide the peppers onto a plate and serve alongside a pile of your favourite greens blanched, boiled or steamed.

Mediterranean-style oysters


2 tbsp dry vermouth
1 small celery stick, finely chopped
6 freshly shucked oysters


Combine the vermouth and celery, then divide the mixture between the freshly shucked oysters to serve.


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