The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

Reviews, Salad | August 1, 2015 | By

Greek Cypriot Greengrocer's Salad from The Ultimate Mediterranean Salad Cookbook

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Amy Riolo is not so much a diet cook book as a way of life, unleashing the power of one of the world’s healthiest diets. It integrates the latest research and clinical findings with 100 delicious, authentic, easy recipes and Mediterranean lifestyle tips while dispelling any myths and misinformation. Gluten free variations of recipes are also included.

About the Author
AMY RIOLO is an award-winning author, chef, television personality, cuisine and culture expertand educator. She is a Culinary Advisor for The Mediterranean Food Alliance and her work hasappeared in numerous print media including USA Today, Cooking Light, The Washington Post, TheWall Street Journal and CNN.com. Amy’s most recent book, The Mediterranean DiabetesCookbook, won the 2011 Nautilus Book Award. She also won the World Gourmand Award for
“Best Arab Cuisine Book” in the United States for her book Nile Style: Egyptian Cuisine and Culture(Hippocrene Books). She is also the author of a noted culinary/cultural blog amyriolo.blogspot.com

The Review
Introduction and Welcome to the Mediterranean Diet
As I said this isn’t just a recipe book, Amy Riolo gives a comprehensive introduction to the principles of the Mediterranean diet. with the science behind the diet and how the lifestyle is as important as the actual food. Using the Mediterranean Pyramid as a guide, Amy gets to the core of the Mediterranean lifestyle, and explains what is eaten, when to eat it, and why. Each recipe in The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook contains a cultural tip from the Mediterranean region.
Fun historical facts, legend, and lore, as well as nutritional information accompany each recipe.

Each recipe chapter begins with a useful introductory essay on the appropriate foodstuffs. Here are a few of my favourite recipes by chapter:

Plant Based Foods – the foundation of the Mediterranean diet
Wholegrains: Gooey Mediterranean-Style Cornbread which contains sundried tomatoes and mozzarella; North African Spice-Dusted Sweet Potatoes; Libyan Lamb Couscous and Turkish Eggplant and Herbed Rice Pilaf.
Fruits: Apricot and Orange Blossom Pudding with Pistachios; Roasted Plums with Basil-Yogurt Cream.
Vegetables: Quick Italian Pickles; Provencal Bistro Carrot Salad; Lebanese Fattoush
Legumes and Nuts: Herb Infused Falafel Pomegranate, Roasted Red Pepper, and Walnut Dip and Moroccan Harira Soup
Olive Oil: Kale and Almond Pesto Sauce, Olive Oil cured Eggplant; Provencal Herb Tapenade and Sweet Olive Oil, Cherry and Almond Cake

Fish and Seafood – the bounty of the Mediterranean sea
Sicilian Swordfish Bundles; Citrus Marinated Salmon with Fennel Cream and Sizzling Rosemary Shrimp over Polenta.

Dairy and Poultry – Farm fresh flavors
Dairy: Herb Marinated Mozzarella, Cypriot Greengrocer’s Salad with Feta (see recipe below);
Poultry: Chicken Skillet-Style Shwarma with Tahini Sauce; Jerusalem-Style Chicken with Rice, Golden Raisins, and Pine Nuts.

Meat and Sweets – Mediterranean Indulgences
Southern Italian Goat and Herb Stew; Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb and Corsican-Style, Almond-Stuffed Figs in Chocolate Sauce, Sweet Carrot and Cardamom Torte.

Mediterranean Cooking Basics covers everything you need to know about how to choose and cook the staples of the Mediterranean diet such as beans, polenta and stock.

The Mediterranean Pantry is an alphabetical list of ingredients used in the book with information about what it is, where it comes from and how it is used in cooking.

Who is it for? This is an ideal book for anyone who wants to eat a healthy diet and is looking for information and recipes to help them achieve and sustain a healthful way of life.  It’s also for anyone who loves good food, never mind whether it’s healthy, as there are lots of really mouthwatering recipes.

Pros
Lots of good healthy recipes, plenty for vegetarians and vegans too.  I loved the comprehensive introductory chapter information and the Mediterranean Traditions with each recipe.

Cons
The only thing I would say is that the book doesn’t stay open very well, so you need a book stand or have to bend back the spine, which would break it (I simply can’t bear to do that!).

The Verdict
This would be a useful book to have in your collection if you would like to understand more about eating well.  The recipes are easily achievable, although I have to say that they are more attractive to eat in the summer when we have a chance of at least some more Mediterranean weather, than in the cold days of winter when comfort food is more attractive.


The Recipe

CYPRIOT GREENGROCER’S SALAD WITH FETA /CHORIATIKI SALATA
serves 6

1 head Romaine lettuce, washed, dried and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 baby (Persian) cucumber, or 1/3 English cucumber, slice thinly on the diagonal
1/4 lb (115g) feta, cubed or crumbled
1/4 cup Greek Olives, pitted
1 yellow onion, sliced into rings
1 small green bell pepper, cut into rings
3 tablespoons (45ml) red wine vinegar or lemon juice
unrefined sea salt or salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil (preferably unfiltered)

Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl.  add the tomatoes and cucumber, and toss to combine.
Scatter the feta, olives, onion and pepper over the top in an attractive pattern.  Pour wine vinegar or lemon juice into a small bowl.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking vigorously.  Once the dressing is emulsified, pour it over the salad and serve immediately.

The Ultimate Mediterranean  Diet Cookbook
by Amy Riolo
Published by Fair Winds Press
RRP £14.99 Paperback

I have one copy of The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook to GIVEAWAY – CLOSED

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Steph
Guest
Steph

I would love to visit Sicily and eat all their food

JaniceFGK100
Guest

I haven't been there Steph, but would love to go too.

Deon
Guest

Great review as ever Janice. Very informative- not sure about the kale pesto tho? Seems more American than Mediterranean to me! I totally agree that it's easier to follow such a diet in the summer when most of the ingredients are available as opposed to the depths of winter when you want a slow cooked meal.

JaniceFGK100
Guest

Thanks Deon, I see Amy has replied to you below. I was not all that struck with kale, and had only had it in broth, but some of the newer cultivars are not as tough or so strong tasting and really very good!

Nayna Kanabar
Guest

I like the sound that this book has lots of vegetarian and vegan recipes. Nice review/

JaniceFGK100
Guest

Thanks Nayna, there are a high proportion of vegetarian and vegan recipes, plant foods are top of the Mediterranean Diet food chain.

Tracey Peach
Guest

I don't fancy going abroad but I would love to cook more Mediterranean dishes xxx

JaniceFGK100
Guest

That's a great idea Tracey

sallyc06
Guest

Italy,such friendly people and they love their food, just like me!!

JaniceFGK100
Guest

Italy is my favourite Sally

maci234
Guest

sicily

JaniceFGK100
Guest

Good choice

Mark Davies
Guest

Wow – so many wonderful countries, hope to goto Greece soon!

JaniceFGK100
Guest

I've never been to Greece, Mark but love their food

Kirsti Peters
Guest

Italy as it's array of regional cuisines are vast.

JaniceFGK100
Guest

I'll come with you Kirsti!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I would love to try Croatia

JaniceFGK100
Guest

One of my son's went there this year, he loved it.

laura banks
Guest

i'd like to go to cyprus

JaniceFGK100
Guest

That sounds good, Laura

Tracy K Nixon
Guest

Italy – I have never been and love Italian food!

JaniceFGK100
Guest

I've managed to go twice Tracy and have not been disappointed

peter campbell
Guest
peter campbell

Italy for me

JaniceFGK100
Guest

Great choice, Peter

Amy Riolo
Guest

Thank you all for the kind comments and for your great review, Janet! It is true that the Kale Pesto recipe is not traditional nor the original basil pesto recipe (which I have used in other books and videos), I felt that it was important to include because it is an easy, delicious, nutritional power house of a recipe that people can make when they want to boost their vitamin intake and basil is no longer in season. Enjoy with pleasure and health, and happy Sunday to all!

JaniceFGK100
Guest

Thank you for commenting Amy, it's really appreciated. As you can see there is lots of interest in your eating plan and the healthy recipes.

Darrell Perry
Guest

All my friends are returning from the Greek isles, so i will have to say there 🙂

JaniceFGK100
Guest

I'm sure your friends will have some tips for you to get the best from Greek food.

maxineflossy
Guest

I've never got round to going to Spain – I really want to visit Barcelona (and eat lots of tapas!)

JaniceFGK100
Guest

Oh that sounds good, love tapas

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
Guest

This sounds like my kind of cookbook. I am obsessed with Mediterranean flavours.

JaniceFGK100
Guest

Thanks Dannii.

Kate | The Veg Space
Guest

Great review – looks like an excellent book and that's a lovely recipe. Thanks for sharing!

JaniceFGK100
Guest

You are welcome Kate.

Kim Neville
Guest
Kim Neville

Italy as italian food is my favourite

Kaci Soderstrom
Guest

Hmm.. I wouldn't want to go abroad, but the recipes look good!

Deb Harris
Guest

I would love to go to Italy. The country is so beautiful & the food is wonderful. Thanks for such a great giveaway.

Ruth Harwood
Guest
Ruth Harwood

Malta – my parents have just been and it's lovely 🙂

Isis1981uk
Guest
Isis1981uk

Italy, I've never been there & there's so much history!

Kathryn MacKinnon
Guest
Kathryn MacKinnon

Italy. I've been three times but never as a gluten free eater. They are way ahead when it comes to gluten free pasta etc so I'd love that!

Paula Readings
Guest
Paula Readings

Italy for me.

Heidi Roberts
Guest
Heidi Roberts

I love this book too, just got a copy to review too.

Karen Walder
Guest
Karen Walder

I would really like to visit Italy…..hopefully that will happen next year!

chromiumman
Guest

Greece, as I've never been before

jana harwood
Guest

without a doubt Sicily

Jan
Guest

Greece, Croatia, Morocco, Lebanon, Israel, Libya, Cyprus…can I leave today?

GuruOnAMountain
Guest

I'd love to see more of Italy.

clairew137
Guest
clairew137

Italy.

Helen Adams
Guest
Helen Adams

Italy, especially the Tuscany area

mummy24
Guest
mummy24

Definitely Italy!

Ashleigh

jane davis
Guest
jane davis

Greece because the food there always looks yummy

ben
Guest

sicily

wjanice121
Guest

Rome, the City of love

Sharon Hopkinson
Guest
Sharon Hopkinson

Greece.

Anna Gleave
Guest

Italy and Venice in partiular – beautiful place

Richard Randall
Guest

I've not been to Morocco and would love to try their food.

Charlene Price
Guest

I'd love to go to Malta again.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I'd love to visit Italy, especially Rome

Louise A
Guest
Louise A

Italy!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

without a doubt italy

Sarah Hunt
Guest

I would like to go to Greece as I love Greek food!

Ms Gilly Clara
Guest

I would love to go to Italy – especially their lakes.

Alex Cracknell
Guest
Alex Cracknell

Italy, I'd love to visit Naples and Venice and enjoy the history and great food!

Fiona Mallard
Guest

I'd love to visit Italy, I've been to most of the others

Stacey Carnell
Guest

I have always wanted to go to Italy! Hoping to go next year <3

Emily Knight
Guest
Emily Knight

I'd love to go back to Turkey – have only visited certain coastal areas, and I'd love to see Istanbul!

Paul Duncan
Guest

Italy

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