Friday, June 22, 2012

A Mediterranean Meal From The Garden

Our garden produce is beginning to deliver the summer veggies in a big way and we were looking for a meal to use them when along came Mary’s recipe for Italian Balsamic Chicken Stir Fry from her Barefeet In The Kitchen Blog.  We adapted it to marry what we had on hand but the inspiration is totally form her.

Italian Balsamic Steak Stir Fry, Adapted from Barefeet In The Kitchen

2 strip steaks, cut into 1" pieces 
Italian salad dressing, about 3/4 cup
1 T. cornstarch
1 small red pepper, julienned
1 small green pepper, julienned
1 small onion, sliced into thin rings
1 small yellow zucchini, sliced in rounds for contrast
Big handful of green filet beans, in bite sized pieces
1/4 C. garlic scapes, (I actually had these)
3 T. olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 T. honey
1 t. dried oregano

1. Cut the steak into bite sized pieces and marinate in Italian dressing for about 2 hours.
2. As Mary said, prep all ingredients prior to turning on the stove or grill side burner in our case.

3. Whisk together the balsamic and the honey, set aside.
4. Make skewers from the steak, coat the peppers, onions, and perhaps green beans with the cornstarch and preheat the grill and the wok with the oil in it.
5. When the grill is ready, add the steak and crank the wok heat to high.  I really wanted the grill flavor on the meat.  Cook the meat about a minute per side, then set aside while the veggies cook.

6. When the oil is shimmering, add the peppers, onions, and beans and toss with tongs until the vegetables are barely tender and still crisp.

7. Remove cooked vegetables to a bowl and add the squash, garlic scapes, and oregano to the wok.  Add a drizzle of oil if needed and stir fry, tossing and stirring constantly, just until the squash starts to soften.

8. Add the meat and other veggies back to the pan and pour in the balsamic sauce. Cook a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until everything is coated with the sauce.

9. Serve over rice or plain, as we did – we can eat more of the good stuff that way.

It was a huge hit here and it’s really all about the sauce which we thought was delicious.  I don't know how much influence the grilled marinade on the meat had on the sauce but I’d serve this to company. Thanks Mary.

To complete the Mediterranean meal, we added an authentic Greek salad of cucumber*, green pepper*, red onion, cherry tomatoes* (we only had a few), dried oregano, kalamata olives, pickled pepperoncini pepper*, EVOO, lemon juice, S&P, and feta cheese.   * = from our garden.  Note – no lettuce in a Horiatiki Salata.

We only had crumbled feta vs. the more traditional slab so I loaded mine up with it - I really like it in case you can't tell. 

I used a standard pre-marked cruet for the dressing but used lemon juice in place of vinegar.  I just sprinkled the oregano over the salad and Bev said hers needed a little more.  It was quite different than what I normally consider a Greek salad and I enjoyed it a lot.

I'd have to call this a Mediterranean meal success.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

Two years ago:  Fathers Day Greekfest


6/16/12 meal date


  1. I bet your vegetables fresh from the garden tasted much superior to those we would have bought in the supermarket. Love your Greek salad too. Very authentic with no lettuce.

  2. This does look like the perfect recipe to adapt to what you have on hand.

  3. Well now isn't that an interesting recipe. Maybe this could inspire me to do a Mexican stir-fry. I love that Greek salad. I'm so impressionable that now I'm going to be craving one.

  4. I saw that recipe on Mary's sounded wonderful! LOVE how you adapted it to work for what you had on hand... that's what I love about cooking! Nicely done :)

  5. I'm so jealous you are getting things from your garden right now! lol I hate to say it but our garden isn't doing very well. The squash and zucchini don't seem to be coming up. The seeds must have been duds because we've never had a problem with those before not coming up. We've manged to keep the deer out of the 4 tomato plants by putting a fence around just those but they aren't ready yet to pick. I actually bought the famed Mortgage Lifter tomatoes that everyone talks about! I can't wait!

  6. There's nothing like a meal made with stuff from your own garden! This dish looks delicious; this is one I need to try in the very near future.

  7. Sounds like a delicious Mediterranean meal to me with all your fresh ingredients from the garden.

  8. It does look like a great meal! Love all of your produce, Larry.

  9. What a great way to use the fresh from the garden vegetables that are starting to appear in the market. I can't even imagine the huge yield you get from your big garden, Larry. No rice is needed with that great stir-fry. Love that salad as well.

  10. This looks awesome, Larry! I love your adaptation too. I bet the steaks and the vegetables were awesome with the grill flavor! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. Have a GREAT weekend.

  11. Love all of the fresh veggies and your meal looks totally delicious! Great looking salad, too. I have an award for you at my place. Cheers!

  12. Sounds terrific! But, Larry, if you just happened to have scapes on hand, you might be getting a little too trendy! :D

  13. It looks like a success to me! Delicious!

  14. Larry, that all looks so good but the salad is what really made me drool. I haven't had feta in a while and seeing it on that tart salad made my mouth water, for real. Hell, I'll be buying feta cheese on the way home tomorrow night.


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