Decadence of the Halibut

My uncle went on a fishing trip last summer and now he’s trying to get rid of all his fish. I guess he’s had enough. But we’re not complaining, my mom saw him a couple of days ago and he gave us some halibut, black cod AND salmon. Very exciting. We decided to go with halibut tonight but wanted to do something special with it so we gave it the fancy treatment that we usually do with scallops.

{serves 3}

  • 1 lb halibut
  • 1/4 capers
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 meyer lemon
  • parsley (as garnish)
  • splash of white wine
  1. pre-heat oven to 400º F
  2. in an oven-safe skillet, over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil, then add capers to fry up a bit
  3. push the capers to the side of the pan and place the halibut in the pan over medium low heat, cook for 3 minutes before flipping
  4. pour a splash of white wine in the pan and cover with lid
  5. remove lid and squeeze juice of 1/2 of meyer lemon into the pan
  6. then move to the oven and bake for 7 minutes (w/ lid on)
  7. then squeeze the rest of the lemon juice in, plate w/ butter and capers on top and garnish with parsley and enjoy with a nice white wine

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.



We love spanakopita. We also just went to Costco and bought a pound bag of spinach so it seemed only natural to make spanakopita. This is definitely not traditional, but we tried to use what herbs we had growing and make it a little easier and healthier with just sautéing everything and dumping it on the pastry- nothing wrong with that!

  • 1 puff pastry
  • 4 large kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped of each; basil, mint and parsley
  • 3/4 lb spinach
  • 1/2 large sweet onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 6 oz feta
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish

{serves 6}


[wilt your greens but not too much]

  1. pre-heat oven to 400º F and bake the puff pastry for 15 minutes (on a baking sheet) it should balloon up; after pre-baking lower heat to 350º F
  2. dice onion and mince garlic
  3. in a large nonstick skillet heat olive oil over medium heat then add onions and garlic, stir occasionally until opaque
  4. add mustard seeds and some red chili flakes if desired
  5. meanwhile, clean and roughly chop kale, spinach, basil, parsley and mint
  6. then add the greens to the sauté pan and lower heat, cook until wilted and dark green (see above photo), add pine nuts and crumble 3/4 of the feta into the mix, remove from heat
  7. with a slotted spoon (to leave behind liquid) move the greens onto the puff pastry, leaving about a 1/2 inch border
  8. bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is starting to brown, then remove from oven and crumble the rest of the feta over the top then put under broiler for 2 minutes on high or until cheese starts to get brown
  9. remove from oven, let cool for a couple of minutes then garnish with pomegranate seeds and additional herbs



© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Farro with Crispy Prosciutto, Toasted Walnuts and Feta


Farro is one of my favorite grains. It’s good for you, goes a long way and has a great texture. Crisping up prosciutto is also a great way to add texture and lots of flavor. The apricots, feta and walnuts balance out this ‘salad’ with sweet-salty-earthy flavors.

  • 2 cups pearled farro (dry)
  • 8 oz (1/2 lb) prosciutto
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • dash of nutmeg
  • glug of champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a couple of handfuls of spinach
  1. pre-heat oven to 350º F and spread walnuts on a small baking tray and toast for 8 minutes
  2. cook farro according to instructions (2 cups farro, 4 cups salted water)
  3. in a skillet heat one tablespoon olive oil and lay prosciutto in one flat layer, cook for 15 minutes on low or until brown on the bottom then flip each piece and continue cooking until crispy, remove from pan and let cool
  4. move farro to a large bowl when finished cooking and season to taste with remaining tablespoon olive oil, champagne vinegar and nutmeg
  5. dice dried apricots into small pieces, slice green onions, tear prosciutto and break walnuts into smaller pieces and crumble feta into the farro bowl
  6. when you’re almost ready to serve, roughly chop or tear spinach and stir into the salad

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Lamb Tacos with Many Sauces


There are two types of people; those who LOVE lamb and those who just aren’t fans. We LOVE lamb. It pairs great with all these kind of mediterranean/middle eastern flavors.

  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • sprinkle cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (14 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • salt/pepper to taste

to serve:

  • tortillas
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or other cheese of your choice
  • lettuce

sauces (optional but highly recommended) :

  1. in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil
  2. dice onion and mince garlic and add to the skillet, sauté
  3. then add the lamb and let it brown on the bottom before turning
  4. add in cumin and red pepper flakes
  5. once it’s all pretty evenly browned, add the tomatoes and turn it down to a simmer for 30ish minutes to let flavors develop, then turn the heat really low for another 15 minutes

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Tomates Farcies (Stuffed Tomatoes)


{serves 8 as a hearty side}

  • 8 large tomatoes
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter (or 2 tbsp olive oil if you’re not feelin it)
  • 1 large shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 16 oz spinach (fresh)
  • 1 grilled (or baked) and chopped sausage (spicy Italian preferably)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (jarred/canned works fine)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 5 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme and rosemary (plus more (not chopped) for pretty garnishes)
  • 8 dollops kalamata olive tapenade
  • 3 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. pre-heat oven to 350ºF; cut tops off of tomatoes and scoop out the insides with a melon scooper (leaving a 1/4 inch or so thick wall so they don’t completely collapse (reserve the insides)) ; then lightly salt the insides
  2. heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat; meanhwile chop garlic and shallot
  3. once butter has melted add the garlic and shallot and sauté until they’re opaque then add the spinach and sauté until slightly wilted then take off heat and let cool
  4. at this point the salt in the tomato bowls will have probably brought out some water, add that to the tomato insides bowl
  5. in a large mixing bowl combine the goat cheese, parmesan cheese, spinach concoction, 3/4 cups of the tomato insides, pistachios, roasted red peppers, red pepper flakes, breadcrumbs, sausage and herbs
  6. then bake at 350º F for 20 minutes, remove from oven, top with the tapenade dollops and put the tomato hat/lids back on and bake for another 10 minutes


© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Potato Salad w/ Lots of Garlic, Dill and Mustard


I love all kinds of potato salad. This is a vinegar-y, herby one that I let marinate overnight. I was planning on having it as a cold salad but I had some lemon-infused cheese that was calling out to be used and melted cheese makes everything more exciting so I ended up sauteing it with the cheese.

{3 servings}

  • 1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 5 sprigs dill
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt/pepper (lemon pepper preferably)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp dijon
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 15 tiny potatoes or 9 normal small fingerlings
  • 1/4 cup hard salty cheese (pecorino or something similar)- optional


  1. boil potatoes until easily stabbed with a fork
  2. mince garlic
  3. in a bowl whisk together olive oil, red wine vin, mustard and garlic. season to taste with salt and pepper
  4. when potatoes are cooled, quarter them or chop (depending on the size of the potatoes you’re using)
  5. pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes and gently stir to cover all potatoes without breaking them up too much
  6. add the capers and chopped dill
  7. marinate overnight
  8. serve cold OR
  9. in a medium sized sauce pan saute the whole concoction over medium high heat and shave cheese over the top
  10. stir occasionally until cheese is melted and potatoes are starting to crisp
  11. serve with fresh dill and lemon zest

(pictured with a spinach salad, lentils and a soft boiled egg)

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Farro with Goat Cheese, Arugula and Blistered Tomatoes


I love farro. My mom is pretty on top of food trends and caught on to this one early on..Not that I’d say it’s become a “craze” per se, but it’s definitely more common and popular since it first appeared on our dinner table. It’s nutty and chewy and called “the mother of all wheat” by some. According to bob’s red mill, it nourished the Roman legions and was even used as a form of currency. Trader Joe’s has a 10 minute version that is a life saver- or at least a huge time saver. Also it’s less than $2.

I used a beautiful aged goat cheese for this but you can use fresh goat cheese too.

{serves 1}

  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 egg
  • 5 mini heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 spoon fulls capers
  • 2 tsps black pepper corns
  • 1 clove garlic
  • generous dollop dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup farro (uncooked)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 mini bell peppers
  • dollop goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • salt/pepper
  1. heat a medium sized sauce pan and add pine nuts, dry toast them, stirring them occasionally until they smell nutty and are golden brown
  2. meanwhile bring the chicken broth and pepper corns to a boil and cook the farro in it (according to directions)
  3. mince garlic and slice the bell peppers
  4. remove the pine nuts from the pan and add the olive oil
  5. cook the garlic for a minute then add the bell peppers, capers and whole tomatoes and cover
  6. let tomatoes blister then remove from heat
  7. poach or fry your egg
  8. fluff the farro then stir mustard into it and add arugula (you may (probably will) have leftover farro and veggies…depending on your appetite)
  9. serve the farro mixture into a bowl, top it with the tomato- bell pepper saute, chunks of goat cheese and the egg

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl


Humble grain bowls seem to be all the rage right now. They’re on menus at all sorts of hip restaurants and not so hip ones. But they’re also incredibly easy to make at home and seriously affordable, a college student’s dream. You can basically throw in whatever veggies you have, cooked or raw (or a combination) and any protein with any grain and any seasoning. If this isn’t your idea of an easy recipe, here is a combo I made last night with all my random groceries.

{serves 1}

  • 1/2 cup farro (uncooked)
  • 1 cup broth (optional)
  • 5 mini portobello mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 mini bell peppers
  • 3 cherry heirloom tomatoes
  • 3 artichoke hearts
  • 1 spoonful capers
  • 1 pinch basil
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • some canned tuna
  • grainy mustard
  • salt n pepper
  1. cook farro according to recipe*. use broth for more flavor
  2. clean mushrooms with a wet paper towel and slice
  3. mince garlic and heat olive oil in a medium sized pan then cook that garlic in the pan
  4. add the mushrooms and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally for a few minutes
  5. when farro is finished, stir in the herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. slice bell peppers (deseed if necessary) and quarter tomatoes and artichoke hearts
  7. put farro in a bowl and top with sauteed mushrooms, the other veggies, capers and tuna and a dollop of your favorite mustard

*10 minute farro from trader joe’s is my best friend on school nights

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Fish Out of Water


It’s that time of year again; the tail end of the school year when buying groceries is a gamble. Am I really going to use this stock of brussels sprouts or this whole bag of spinach?  With the excitement/craziness of finals week it’s hard to plan more than 24 hours ahead. So it’s at times like these when I go into a kind of Chronicles of Narnia mode. Instead of climbing into a wardrobe to reach mystical lands, I stare into my pantry until I find interesting dinner items.

It is also apparently prime time for meyer lemons. My co-worker brought in a huge bag of them from her tree early last week and I’ve been puzzling over what to make with them since then. Luckily I happened to have some homemade ricotta (recipe link below) that my mom and I whipped up during Thanksgiving week and it was calling out to the lemons. I also happened to have some black garlic, which is a great thing and loves to be mashed into cheese.

If you are sardine adverse, leave off the sardines.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch truffle salt (or normal salt)
  • 1 tsp crushed peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 5 cloves black garlic
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 2 Meyer lemons
  • 1 cup orzo (dry)
  • truffle marcona almonds (plain old marcona almonds will work too)
  • 1 big handful arugula
  • 7 kumato tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 4 sardines in tomato sauce (or not in tomato sauce)
  1. bring 2 quarts of water to a boil with a pinch of truffle salt or normal salt
  2. slice lemons thinly (remove seeds), saving the butts for the juice, slice 2 cloves of the black garlic
  3. cook the orzo 8-10 minutes or until done and drain
  4. meanwhile heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and add the sliced black garlic and lemon, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lemons soften
  5. remove skillet from heat and add capers, stirring to coat
  6. in a shallow bowl crush remaining black garlic cloves into the ricotta, squeeze the lemon butts into the mixture. crush pepper corns with a knife and mix into the ricotta
  7. when orzo is cooked and drained, move to a large bowl or back into the pasta pot and immediately stir in the lemon-caper-black garlic mixture
  8. then stir in the ricotta mixture, mix until fully incorporated
  9. slice arugula and add into the warm orzo mixture
  10. serve in bowls then slice tomatoes and chop marcona almonds and sprinkle over the top
  11. then top with the sardines and you have a fish out of water

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Eggplant Caponata

  • 3 small eggplants or 1 large
  • 3 tbsp evoo
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • a few grinds black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tbsp basil

  1. heat olive oil over medium heat on the stove in a fairly large pan
  2. add the minced garlic and diced onion
  3. dice eggplants into 1 cm cubes and add to pan once onion starts turning opaque
  4. add red wine vinegar
  5. once eggplant starts to soften, add whole tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar
  6. chop rosemary and add to pan
  7. once tomatoes start to split and eggplant is softened, take pan off heat and stir in capers
  8. season with salt and pepper to taste
  9. sprinkle with basil to serve

great on Sunflower Seed Rosemary Crackers, if I do say so myself

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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