Ratatouille is a French side dish located with Mediterranean vegetables. I decided to turn this healthy side into a salad with grilled vegetables and quinoa with this Grilled Ratatouille Salad recipe. This gluten-free and vegan recipe is perfect for a weeknight summer dinner or weekend lunch. I am actually serving this alongside grilled steaks this Memorial Day weekend. It’s three of my favorite things: healthy, flavorful and beautiful!
This recipe from comes from the Westside Market NYC, a top market in New York, which has been in business for almost 50 years. Their market has seen a rise in the number of people purchasing quinoa at their four locations. Quinoa’s health benefits include it being a gluten free grain, boosting brain power and having high levels of iron and calcium. Maria Zoitas, wife of Westside Market’s founder John Zoitas, the creator of the “made by Maria” line of prepared foods at the market. Here is one of Maria’s healthy creations.
About Westside Market NYC:
Established in 1965, Westside Market NYC has been deeply engrained in the fabric of Manhattan’s Upper Westside life. A rare find in the food market business, Westside Market NYC is family owned and operated in the truest sense. Born and raised on a farm in Roupakia, a village on the island of Lefkada, Greece, John Zoitas arrived in the U.S. from Greece more than 45 years ago. He brought with him a love of fresh-grown produce, authentic cooking, and a steadfast commitment to service and quality. Each of our locations enjoys a remarkably loyal following, which is no surprise; it’s a direct result of the fact that the Zoitas family takes great pride in every aspect of their business. Under the tutelage of his father John, George Zoitas has taken the reigns of Westside Market NYC and made it into the premier market it is today. Our mission is simple: to become your favorite neighborhood food market and caterer of choice by offering the highest quality foods and hard-to-find products supported by friendly, personalized, efficient service. Discover Westside Market NYC, and experience the difference! For more information visit www.wmarketnyc.com
For 4 nights, we stayed at Hotel Emilia in Portonovo in Ancona, Italy which sits on the mountain where you have a spectacular view of the coast. It’s a serene spot that speaks beauty and relaxation. I loved to sit out here overlooking the mountains.
An outdoor bar was the perfect place to sit after a busy day.
The pool was beautiful sitting in front of the rooms of the hotel.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the most exciting part of the trip, but visiting Tod’s headquarters seemed to be the highlight for some of us women. Tod’s is the largest shoe manufacturer in Europe and the largest business in the Marche Region, which is publicly traded on the Italian stock exchange. We saw the entire shoe making process; how they check the leather and why these shoes are such great quality. This is the coolest work of art when you walk in the lobby of Tod’s.
Do you think these boots will be the hit of fall 2011?
After the tour, we went to the Tod’s and Prada outlets nearby. This is also a must stop if you’re in the Marche region :). I love these kid’s shoes.
Next, we were off to lunch in the town of San Benedetto del Tronto at Ristorante Mattia with Chef Marco Cameli. I loved his Miami-style restaurant. His specialty is fish since his restaurants sits right near the beach. This clever way to present an appetizer was a favorite. I call this an Italian version of ceviche.
Next was a pasta course with clams and shrimp. I have never tasted a dish so fresh. I loved that the Chefs don’t over-salt their food.
One of my favorite dishes on the entire trip was this fish dish. It’s monkfish cooked in garlic, olive oil, white wine, with fresh tomato sauce and rosemary. I am trying to recreate this one for sure. Delizioso!
And the dessert was phenomenal and nothing like I have ever had before. Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) with Chantilly Cream and Limoncello topped with chocolate.
There’s more to come. So much to say…This region is too spectacular for words.
Burger night is always a huge hit at my house because the kids love it whether I make regular cheeseburgers or more unique such as Mediterranean Burgers. These are wonderful with ground beef, ground turkey or even ground lamb. I like to serve them with Greek-style yogurt (my favorite is Fage) mixed with diced cucumbers, fresh herbs and a touch of lemon and garlic.