This guest post is by Maria Hines, chef/owner of certified organic Tilth, Golden Beetle, and Agrodolce in Seattle.

Thanks for the GB (Golden Beetle) shout-out in your Mediterranean diet blog post last Tuesday. [Eds. note: This kinda got away from us... but meanwhile, we updated our list of recommended Mediterranean restaurants for you.] It seems as though your readers have quite the dialogue going in the comments section—lots of recipe requests and book requests. So I thought I would take the time to nerd out with you and the readers about the topic. I’m super-psyched that the New England Journal of Medicine put this study out to validate the science of a diet that researchers having been telling us about for decades.


Let’s talk cookbook recommendations. At GB, we have an expansive selection of books. For those of you interested in learning about the authentic preparations and the deep, rich Arab culture of the Mediterranean, I recommend:

1. The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert
2. The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean by Paula Wolfert
3. Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon by Claudia Roden

For those of you interested in learning about authentic dishes and looking at pretty, pretty food porn of the Mediterranean, I recommend:

1. Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
2. Vefa’s Kitchen by Vefa Alexiadou

For those of you looking for some Mediterranean recipes, here you go.


Serves 4
1 cup Incan red quinoa
½ stalk celery
1 3-inch section of carrot
¼ of yellow onion, root end intact
1 small apple, cored and julienned
¼ cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts
¼ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Yogurt Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Place quinoa in a pot and add water until it covers the quinoa by 3 inches. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through. Strain. Pick out the vegetables and discard. Chill the quinoa in the refrigerator. Just before serving, combine quinoa, apples, hazelnuts, parsley, and vinaigrette. Serve.

2 tablespoons whole plain yogurt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk together ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary.

Serves 12
2.5 lbs salmon, chopped
0.5 C onion, bruniose
4 EA garlic, minced
0.25 Bu cilantro, chopped
2 T chives, chopped
2 T dill, chopped
2 T sesame seeds, toasted
0.5 C caper berry, finely chopped
0.5 C bulgur, soaked
1.5 C chickpeas, ground
3 T almond spice
1.25 C harissa aioli
salt and pepper to taste

Soak bulgur for 45 mins. While bulgur is soaking, grind chickpeas in Hobart w/ grind attachment.
In a large bowl add salmon, onion, cilantro, dill, caper berries (no stems), ground chickpeas, almond spice, harissa aioli.
Dry the bulgar on a sheet pan lined with serviette napkins for 1 hour.
Mix all ingredients together; it should have the consistency of a semi wet batter.
Season to taste. Use scoop to portion. Hand roll into tight balls.
Sear salmon falafel in a pan, then stuff in a pita with tzatziki and cucumber.

Please enjoy the cookbook recommendations and recipes!