1 TBS olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, sliced
1 TBS oregano
2/3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce
2/3 c chopped fresh parsley
1 lb pizza crust dough
6 oz. feta cheese
1/2 zucchini, diced
8 oz. chopped blacked olives
1/2 tsp garlic, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meat with garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. When meat is almost done, add parsley and cook until the parsley wilts. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool.
3. Roll pizza dough out into a rectangle (about 18″ x 12″), with the long side laid out left-to-right in front of you. Spread out feta cheese, zucchini, and black olives evenly over the dough, leaving 3″ from the edges of the crust uncovered. Spread the cooled meat mixture over the top, still leaving edges of dough uncovered.
4. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll up the whole thing until it is all rolled up. You can do this by using the uncovered edge of dough at the end as a ‘strip’ to stick to the roll and seal it, making sure both ends are pressed down and sealed. Sprinkle with garlic and bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


Chickpea and Artichoke Tagine

Servings: 4 to 6

salt and pepper
8 oz (1 1/2 c) dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
4 (2-inch) strips lemon zest
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS all-purpose flour
3 c vegetable broth
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
9 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
1/2 c pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/2 c minced fresh cilantro

1. Dissolve 2 TBS salt in 4 quarts water. Add chickpeas and soak at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
2. Heat 1 TBS oil in pressure-cooker pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Stir in carrots, tomatoes, and their juice, and chickpeas.
3. Cook for 25 minutes: Lock lid in place and bring pot to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as indicator signals that pot has reached high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
4. Quick-release pressure: Remove pot from heat. Quick-release pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
5. Heat remaining 1 TBS oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add artichokes and cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard lemon zest from stew. Stir in olives, cilantro, and artichokes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle individual portions with extra oil before serving.

Chickpea Tagine with Cauliflower and Almonds
Omit artichokes. Add 1/2 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets, to finished tagine and simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds before serving.

Chickpea Tagine with Dried Apricots and Honey
Omit artichokes and substitute 1/2 cup pitted and halved green olives for kalamata olives. Add 1 cup chopped dried apricots and 2 TBS honey with olives.

1. Soaking chickpeas in salt water the day before cooking them ensures that they cook through evenly and makes them less likely to burst open. Soaking also gives their skins a softer texture.
2. We build flavor by sauteing onions, garlic, and a few spices, and lemon zest. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon in strips. avoiding the bitter white pith underneath. The zest perfumes the dish and can be easily removed before serving.
3. Since artichokes are delicate, we stir them in after cooking the chickpeas under pressure. To help bring out their flavor, we brown them first. Frozen artichokes brown more easily than canned because they are less waterlogged.

Mediterranean Pasta

So this is a fusion of an on-line recipe and a menu item at La 
Madeleine’s.  And I absolutely adore it.  Enjoy! 

3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 jar black olives
1/3 can/jar marinated artichoke hearts
baby roma or cherry tomatoes


pesto sauce:
In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper.

cook pasta, cover with pesto sauce, olives, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes