Five Farmers’ Market Fresh Recipes

Who can resist the resist the lure of farmers’ markets? Definitely not me.It always feels like a fiesta. Shoppers look happy and alert, and healthful, colorful and naturally gluten-free abundance is heaped up on every stall.

 It’s not only a delight to experience — both visually and later on your plate — but  buying this produce also supports local family farms. These vendors really care about what they’re growing or raising, and they put sustainable agriculture into practice.

Of course, shoppers will find a lot more than impeccably fresh produce to inspire them. Vendors might offer anything from genuine farm eggs, handmade cheeses, jams, olive oil, wild mushrooms and honey to locally raised lamb and even, maybe, a gluten-free bakery stand.

There’s usually live music and a busy coffee stand, not to mention arts and crafts and fabulous fresh flowers.

Tips for shopping

To get the most out of your visit, a little advance planning helps.

Choose your optimal time. For the best selection and the fewest fellow shoppers, go early. If you want bargains, arrive an hour or so before closing time. Many farmers would just as soon not take perishable goods home again and will often make deals.

Produce vendors sometimes don’t accept credit cards, so it’s best to bring some cash, preferably in small bills (Consider using a traveler’s wallet you hang round your neck as you’ll need both hands free for gathering and bagging your selections). Be sure to tote a few cloth shopping bags and put a cooler in the car if you’re not going straight home.

Take a tour around all the stalls first, decide what you need (more or less) and plan to buy the heavier items like root veggies or a whole flat of fragrant strawberries last.

Be adventurous and buy at least two unfamiliar vegetables, and don’t hesitate to ask how to cook them. You’ll find that vendors are happy to share information. After all, they’re proud of what they’re selling, and they’d like you to come back as a steady customer.

As yet another advantage, everything you buy not only has incredible flavor and texture — even the carrots taste fantastic — but many items will stay perky for far longer than expected. After all, they were just picked instead of being kept in cold storage for days or even weeks like most supermarket produce.

Remember to tell your friends about your exciting new finds or share them on social media. Farmers’ markets — meaning all those dedicated local farmers, bakers, flower growers, cheese makers and their families — can’t survive without our support.

The bounty

No matter what else I may buy, in early summer I nearly always come home with a glossy purple eggplant or two, zucchini, scarlet bell peppers, tomatoes, fresh young carrots, celery root, assorted fresh herbs (so different from the boxed supermarket variety) and fragrant berries.

The eggplant takes center stage in a roasted ratatouille casserole. I confess to being inspired by the endearing rodent chef in Disney’s Ratatouille, who created something like this for Anton Ego, the most feared restaurant critic in all Paris.  

Sweet berries are always wonderful on their own, but they’re even better with a slice of tender, gluten-free lemon Bundt cake, so I’ve included a recipe for this, too.


1. Roasted Ratatouille Casserole

Pre-roasting traditional ratatouille veggies gives rich flavor to this casserole, which can double as a main course. Click here for the recipe.

Gluten-Free Lemon Bundt Cake

2. Lemon-Yogurt Bundt Cake with Fresh Berries

This tender cake makes the perfect foil for aromatic, fresh strawberries. Click here for the recipe.

Celeriac with mustard mayonnaise

3. Celeriac with Mustard Mayonnaise

Actually the knobby root of the celery plant, celeriac is a pale tan on the outside and white within. It has a firm texture somewhat like a big radish and a lovely aniseed-like flower. In France, it’s hugely popular as an appetizer when grated and mixed with mustard mayonnaise. Click here for the recipe.

Gluten-free quinoa recipe

4. Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese, Apricots and Cilantro

If fresh stone fruit is not in season, cover ready-to-eat dried apricots with boiling water and let stand for 20 minutes, then drain and chop. Click here for the recipe.

5. Grated Zucchini Salad

The secret to this tantalizing “Asian slaw” is draining the grated zucchini for a crisper texture. Mini bell peppers are best for this dish; the full-sized ones are too thick. Click here for the recipe.

Holiday Baking Inspired by Vienna’s Cafés

By Jacqueline Mallorca with photos by Michael Grassia

Cold weather is fast approaching, and family and friends will soon be gathering for year-end celebrations.

Of course, no holiday feast is complete without a special dessert or two. These might be tried-and-true classics like pumpkin pie or pecan pie. Then again, it could be time to start a new tradition and put a sweet surprise on the table that originated in old-world Vienna.

Happily for us, many of the legendary desserts still served in elegant Viennese coffee houses and private homes can be successfully tweaked to make them gluten free.

These include—but are by no means limited to—a marbled kugelhopf baked in a fluted “Turkish turban” mold, a delicate white cheese torte, an addictive raisin and lemon loaf cake, and an over-the-top chocolate Sachertorte.

 Any one of them is sure to add sparkle to your holiday baking repertoire. Guten appetit!

Viennese-Style Chocolate Torte


Marbled Kugelhopf


White Cheese Torte


Raisin and Lemon Cake

lemon cake

Recipes © copyright 2016 by Jacqueline Mallorca.
The author of more than a dozen cookbooks to date, GFL Contributing Food Editor Jackie Mallorca’s most recent titles include The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian.

Luscious Lentils

Lentils offer the gluten-free cook all kinds of advantages. Tasty, versatile and affordable, these quick-cooking, “good carb” legumes are also amazingly nutritious.

With about 30 percent of their calories coming from protein, lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut, after soybeans and hemp seeds.

Lentils are also high in beneficial fiber, vitamins and minerals and have a low glycemic count, which is important for anyone at risk for diabetes.

First domesticated in the Middle East more than 10,000 years ago, lentils remain a mainstay throughout the Mediterranean region, large swathes of Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

In the Middle East the first recorded recipe for a lentil and rice dish called Mujaddara appears in a 10th century cookbook, Kitab al-Tabikh, or A Book of Dishes, compiled by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq. It was a banquet item for the wealthy made from spiced lentils, rice and meat. The less affluent also consumed it—without the costly meat—with enthusiasm. This time-honored combination of lentils and rice, with its garnish of caramelized onion, is still delicious today, with or without roasted lamb.

While lentils come in a spectrum of colors, those most often found in American supermarkets are brown, green, black or red. Most varieties cook in about 25 minutes; the flavorful green Le Puy lentils from France take a little longer but hold their shape well.

Tiny reddish-orange lentils, which are hulled and split and have less fiber than the others, take much less time to prepare. In fact, if you’re not paying attention, red lentils will quickly disintegrate. No problem. Transform the soft mixture into a delicious soup or make lentil hummus. A recipe for this popular dip follows.

Lentils also combine beautifully with chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and chard for a healthful, satisfying dish. And they’re perfect in hearty American-style lentil chili.

Lentil flour is rather hard to come by so I didn’t try creating gluten-free lentil pita bread. But I have included a round, crusty olive bread made with rice flour that goes well with lentils—or just about any other savory food I can think of. Even my gluten-tolerant guests wolf it down and look around for more.

In some cultures, people traditionally eat lentils to ensure prosperity for the coming year. It’s thought that their round shape resembles that of coins.

I can’t guarantee prosperity, but dining on lentils will certainly help to ensure good health.



Red Lentil Hummus



Stuffed Dates



 Black Lentils & Chickpeas with Chard


Lentil Chili


Arabic Lentils & Rice (Mujaddara)


Rustic Olive Bread



6 Decadent Gluten-Free Christmas Desserts

The holidays are just around the corner, but happily being gluten free doesn’t have to mean going without traditional holiday desserts.

Old-world classics like fruit-studded stollen or a decadent chocolate Bûche de Noël can be just as delicious — if not more so — without using wheat flour. And they offer more than glorious flavors and textures. These gluten-free Christmas desserts can bestow a comforting sense of continuity, too.

Stollen (German Christmas Cake)


Stollen was first made in the German city of Dresden in the 1400s. In that devoutly religious age, Christians made stollen in a very plain oval loaf shaped to represent the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes. No butter or other rich ingredients could be used during Advent, the period leading up to Christmas, because it was a time of fasting. Consequently, stollen was served for its religious significance, not its flavor.

Over the centuries, stollen ingredients gradually became more numerous and delicious. Today, it’s a buttery confection rich with dried and candied fruits, nuts and marzipan, cloaked in a snowfall of confectioners’ sugar. When I baked the gluten-free stollen for this story, photographer Michael Grassia sampled a slice and said, “Wow, this is the taste of the holidays.”

Bûche de Noël

gluten-free yule log cake

The origins of Bûche de Noël, or Yule Log Cake, date back about three millennia, to Europe’s Iron Age. At the end of the year, pagan people would gather to celebrate the winter solstice, which marked the end of winter and the start of longer days. To welcome the new year, a sacred log was ceremoniously garnished with greenery and burned in the fireplace.

The logs of old are now represented by a rolled cake filled with butter cream, covered with chocolate “bark” and decorated with woodsy trimmings like crisp meringue mushrooms or acorns fashioned from marzipan and chocolate sprinkles.

Marzipan seems to have originated in the Middle East and was possibly introduced into Europe by returning Crusaders in the 13th century. Basically a mixture of finely ground almonds and sugar, which was scarce and costly at that time, this delicious paste lends itself to being modeled into shapes that have been delighting people ever since.

I was intrigued when I came across an 18th-century English recipe for a marzipan hedgehog in The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy by Hannah Glasse, who was the Julia Child of her day. Her recipe was labor intensive to say the least — the reader was instructed to start by pounding 2 pounds of almonds to a paste using a mortar and pestle —  but it’s wonderfully easy to make today. All you need is ready-made marzipan, pre-slivered blanched almonds and a couple of whole cloves for the eyes.

At first marzipan appeared only on the tables of royalty and the very wealthy, but today it can be found at specialty food stores and most large supermarkets. Just be sure to check the ingredients; some brands contain wheat starch.

German Potato Almond Torte

gluten-free german potato-almond torte recipe

Marzipan also stars in a popular German confection called Kartoffeln: tiny irregular balls dusted with cocoa that look amazingly like real baby potatoes. I use them as decorations for a fabulous German almond torte with a secret ingredient that lends an extra moist texture: a Russet potato.

Filled with a luscious almond-flavored butter cream and cloaked in dark chocolate, this cake is ideal for any time a special occasion calls for a very special cake.



Extravagant desserts are essential to year-end celebrations around the world. And perhaps nowhere in the world are they more delicious than in Vienna, home to Strauss waltzes, luxurious coffee shops and elegant cakes and pastries.

The vast Austrian-Hungarian Empire once ruled by the Hapsburgs is long gone, but Viennese cuisine survives. And as it happens, the Viennese have a particular fondness for flourless tortes, which are naturally gluten free.

One of my all-time favorites is rehrücken, a fanciful almond flour and grated chocolate creation made in a special ribbed mold. Coated with dark chocolate and decorated with slivered almonds, it’s supposed to resemble a roasted saddle, or double loin, of venison. The almond spikes mimic the tiny strips of salt pork inserted into lean deer meat to baste it during cooking.

As with cocoa-dusted chocolate truffles, which mimic wild truffles that sometimes grow underground near oak trees, both treats are culinary jokes. Amusement aside, this elegant chocolate cake looks festive on the holiday table and tastes even better.

Recipes for rehrücken abound on the Internet. However, they’re often altered and rarely attributed to the obvious source: a cookbook written by Viennese-born Lilly Joss Reich. First published here in 1970, The Viennese Pastry Cookbook is a delight.

This rehrücken recipe that follows is true to the Reich original but is cut in half. However, I did add a tablespoon of potato starch to ensure an even rise because all-nut-flour cakes have a tendency to sink in the middle.

Mini Cheesecakes in Chocolate Shells


Cheesecakes are also popular in Vienna. These cheesecake recipes are easier to make and possibly more familiar than the traditional Viennese variety. This simple recipe doesn’t even require baking: An ethereal orange-flavored cream cheese filling nests in thin chocolate cups and simply gets refrigerated. For edible luxury, it’s hard to top these.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake


Finally, this elegant full-size cheesecake has a gluten-free graham cracker base with a light but lovely lemon-ricotta topping. Exceptionally airy and luscious, this ricotta cheesecake makes a graceful ending for an extra-special dinner.

Family and friends will be delighted if you make all six during the holiday season. It is, after all, a time for feasting.

Gluten-Free Living Food Editor Jackie Mallorca has more than a dozen cookbooks to her credit. Her latest titles include The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian.


A 100% Make-Ahead Menu for a Stress-Free Gluten-Free Holiday

When it comes to hosting a glorious gluten-free holiday dinner, I’m all for having a happy, relaxed cook. The secret is prepping everything ahead of time—starter, main attraction, side dishes, dessert and all.

A majestic American turkey is undoubtedly the bird of choice for our major holiday feasts, but the truth is these big birds have a built-in problem. The back end and the front end don’t roast to perfection in the same length of time.


It might sound radical, but for the best of both worlds I cook the legs and breast separately. Currently, my favorite way to prepare the dark meat is by wrapping boned and stuffed turkey thighs in lightly smoked prosciutto, called speck. These mini turkey roasts become unbelievably tender and tasty and are so easy to carve.


Poaching rather than roasting a turkey breast in the manner of Swedish brined goose is undoubtedly different, but it gives great results. The brining process prevents the turkey from drying out, creating much juicier white meat.

In addition simmering the breast gently in an herb-scented, gluten-free chicken broth adds flavor and results in a silky texture. Needless to say, when cooked this way any light or dark leftovers make peerless sandwiches for later in the week.


An uncomplicated starter of mixed baby greens with goat cheese, orange segments and pomegranate seeds sets the scene.


Side dishes of fluffy pureed cauliflower—which is so like creamy mashed potatoes that it fools people—and updated green beans can also be prepped ahead of time.


And for an unexpected grace note, try serving ready-made wild lingonberry sauce instead of cranberry sauce to complement the meat. A perky horseradish cream that whips up quickly offers your guests a completely different flavor option.


No holiday dinner would be complete without a decadent dessert. My taste testers swooned over the tiramisù cheesecake. This dessert has to be chilled for 24 hours before serving—and can sit for up to three days in the refrigerator—so it, too, can be prepared ahead of time.

In short if you spread the prep work out during the week, there’s not much left to do on the big day except enjoy the party with your guests. Happy holidays!


Make-ahead guide

This step-by-step primer will make the big day a cinch. It’s not difficult, but if you’ve never tried doing this kind of prep work before I warmly recommend having a trial run on a weekend some time before the big event. You’ll enjoy a great dinner, and familiarity will make for speed and confidence the next time around.



 Three days ahead

  • Make a list and shop for needed ingredients. Make sure you include kitchen string, foil and plastic wrap.
  • Prep and bake the cheesecake crumb crust. Store it at room temperature under a large upturned bowl.


Two days ahead

  • Bake the cheesecake and refrigerate.
  • Locate table linens, cutlery, platters, etc.
  • Clear lots of space in the refrigerator.
  • Rub the turkey breast with lemon and salt and refrigerate.


One day ahead

  • Prep the turkey-thigh rolled roasts and refrigerate.
  • Poach the turkey breast and refrigerate.
  • Mix the salad dressing and refrigerate.
  • Section the oranges.
  • Steam and puree the cauliflower and refrigerate.


On the holiday

  • Roast the turkey-thigh rolled roasts.
  • Blend the horseradish-mustard cream.
  • Tip the store-bought lingonberry sauce into a serving bowl.
  • Steam the green beans and set aside.
  • Assemble the salad.
  • Reheat the cauliflower
  • Toast the almonds and reheat the green beans.
  • Slice the turkey breast and the turkey-thigh rolled roasts.


Recipes © copyright 2015 by Jacqueline Mallorca.

The author of more than a dozen cookbooks, Gluten-Free Living Food Editor Jacqueline Mallorca has written titles including The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian.

A Gluten-Free Take on the Great British Bake-Off



Home baking has recently been given a big boost by the popularity of the award-winning BBC television program The Great British Bake-Off.

The show got off to a wobbly start in 2010 but within four years rose in the ratings like a successful soufflé. The final segment of season five, which appeared in October 2014, attracted more than 13 million viewers, making it one of the most-watched shows in the United Kingdom behind only the World Cup soccer match between England and Uruguay.

The program started appearing on American television screens in January, with a broadcast of the fifth season. Very curious, I watched and thought: “Hey, we needn’t feel left out. Just about anything they can bake can be made gluten free.”

A far cry from American reality food shows, The Great British Bake-Off is a televised competition that pits 12 amateur bakers against each other for top honors but no monetary prize. In their daily lives the contestants are construction engineers, housewives, furniture restorers, even a retired Merchant Navy radio operator.

Each week the entrant who gains the most points is acclaimed “Star Baker” and the unfortunate soul at the bottom of the heap gets banished. The judges are cookery writer Mary Berry and the somewhat testy professional baker Paul Hollywood.

In the first segment that I watched, the dozen nervous contestants were given three challenges:

  • Present a classic Swiss Roll, aka a jelly roll, made the judges’ special way. The trick here was getting the sponge cake to be supple enough to roll up without cracking.
  • Meet a technical challenge by using the judges’ bare-bones recipe for a traditional cherry cake. The keys to success were knowing how to prevent all the cherries from sinking to the bottom and filling in missing instructions.
  • Produce 50 miniature versions of a classic British dessert that looked appetizing, tasted good and were absolutely identical to the larger original. Only one entrant cleared this hurdle successfully.

The producers of the show must be onto something. Licensed spin-offs are now being created and aired in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine.

But so far nobody has thought of presenting the show in a gluten-free format. Just for the record, you read it here first.

To meet the self-imposed challenge, I set to work and baked gluten-free versions of a Cherry Ring Cake, a Hazelnut & Honey Swiss Roll and a batch of miniature Bakewell Tarts.

They are all perfect for a British-style afternoon tea, but of course you can serve these elegant desserts anytime you like. And a butler is strictly optional.

Gluten-Free Great British Bake-Off Recipes

English Cherry Ring Cake



Mini Bakewell Tarts



Hazelnut & Honey Swiss Roll




Fresh, Sweet and Delicious Corn

When I first settled in San Francisco,one of the many new foods I came across and loved was fresh, sweet corn on the cob. This sun-loving plant doesn’t thrive in my native rainy Scotland.

I also fell in love with California wines, fresh Dungeness crab and San Francisco’s fabulous crusty sourdough bread. Of course, back then I didn’t know I had celiac disease, so some of my New World discoveries did tend to bite me back. Thankfully, naturally gluten-free corn was not one of them.

Still, I’m one of those lucky people who manage to be in the right place at the right time. I had just spent 18 months traveling around Spain, France and Italy, and now that I had a kitchen again, I went hunting for European cookware. I found what I needed at an unusually elegant kitchenware shop on Sutter Street, not far from the financial ad agency where I toiled over ads for stock offerings.

One food-related chat led to another, and before long the owner asked me if I could possibly design and write a mail-order catalog for the store. I had absolutely no experience in this field but promptly said yes. I continued writing their cookware catalog copy for the next several decades. The company, of course, was Williams-Sonoma.

Chuck Williams was a gifted intuitive cook with a passion for fresh, simple food. (At 98, he doesn’t do much cooking these days, but still appreciates a well-cooked meal.) He was invariably busy in those days but could be coaxed into reminiscing about his former life in Sonoma and the menus he prepared for friends using locally grown and raised ingredients. He always was ahead of the crowd.

One of my favorite stories concerned what he called “Bicycle Corn.” It seems that years ago there was a large field next to the Sonoma high school where an old man with two sons raised corn. You told them how many ears you wanted and one of the sons would jump on his bicycle and race off down the field to pick them for you. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.

The fresh corn we buy today, whether from a farm stand or a supermarket, doesn’t resemble its wild ancestor much. Teosinte (Zea mays) is a species of grass, now threatened or endangered, native to Central America that has short cobs about 5 inches long with a single row of just a few kernels encased in tough hulls.

Ancient farmers in what is now Mexico took the first steps in actually breeding and improving this plant by noticing which ones had the best and biggest kernels (seeds) and planting them for the next season’s harvest.

Many thousands of years later, thanks to human selection, spontaneous plant mutations, and, more recently, genetic engineering, modern corncobs are enormous and have hundreds of tender, sweet kernels in multiple rows. It’s a hugely successful, high- yield grain crop that now sustains millions of people and their livestock around the globe.

About 90 percent of the corn grown in the United States today is now genetically engineered. (The other two leading genetically modified organism (GMO) crops are soybeans and cotton, the seeds of which can be processed to make cooking oil. )

Although our farm animals are not genetically engineered, at least so far, most of the livestock Americans consume is fed on genetically engineered corn and soy. These two products are used in most animal feeds and countless processed foods intended for human consumption.

In the name of progress, the majority of the corn-based products you see on American supermarket shelves today — think of corn flakes, cornmeal and cornbread mixes — are made with refined corn flour. However, when genetically engineered or naturally grown corn is refined, the healthful germ, bran and corn oil are removed, leaving just the starchy endosperm. This practice extends product shelf life immeasurably but might not do the same for our longevity.

As certified organic foods have to be GMO-free, it makes a strong case for buying organic or sustainably farmed products (not all small producers can afford the costly certification process) whenever possible.

Pesticide-free organic grains and produce are not only richer in antioxidants and therefore better for your long-term health, but also have far more flavor. Sometimes it’s worth paying a bit extra for these attributes. The proof is not only in the proverbial pudding but also in the tender gluten-free corn pound cake, golden corn muffins and corn flour shortbread cookies.

The Mediterranean Diet: Healthy Eating That’s a Way of Life

The Mediterranean Diet has nothing to do with weight loss. Instead, it is an approach to eating that focuses on healthful traditional food from countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.

To sample all the different cuisines, you’d need to visit (by private yacht would be nice!) coastal Spain, southern France, Sardinia, Italy, Sicily, Albania, Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Amazingly enough, much of the appetizing food you’d find along the way is naturally gluten-free.

Although these countries differ widely in race, religion and culture, they do share a more or less similar climate. So it follows that they also grow many of the same crops, such as olives and grapes, two of the three items that are basics in most Mediterranean kitchens in the form of olive oil and wine. The third is wheat.

Wheat has been grown in western Mediterranean countries for about 10,000 years and is central in the production of bread, bakery items, pasta, cous cous and filo dough. (Bread, cakes and pasta can be made successfully using gluten-free flours, but filo dough is another matter!)

The next most important grain crop, rice, forms the basis for Spanish paellas, Italian risottos, Turkish pilafs and countless Middle Eastern rice dishes.

Other than the soil and climate, wars and conquests have played a huge role in forming Mediterranean cuisine. Greek food has been influenced by Turkish domination in the past, and the seductively sweet desserts of Sicily owe much to the Arabic conquest of that beautiful island more than 1,000 years ago. A few hundred years later, completely new foods like tomatoes, peppers, corn, kidney beans and chocolate were introduced to the Mediterranean larder via the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Peru.

Kind to your wallet & waistline

At its basic best, a Mediterranean diet is supremely healthy and affordable, and it doesn’t take much tweaking to make it gluten-free. This diet builds on a firm base of vegetables, fruits, grains (in our case, choose from quinoa, corn, teff, sorghum, buckwheat and a rainbow of rice varieties), beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, plus herbs and spices.

The next level includes fish and seafood, followed by poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt. At the tip of the Mediterranean pyramid sit small portions of meats and sweets. You can download an illustrated copy of this food pyramid, courtesy of the Mediterranean Foods Alliance, at

Mediterranean food is attractive. Even children will devour oven-roasted, caramelized veggies like onion or fennel wedges, tiny tomatoes, bell peppers, and butternut squash. And I’ve yet to have anyone turn up their nose at a feather-light lemon cake made with almond meal or fresh egg pasta made from rice flour. It’s all about good nutrition and thinking out of the box. Literally.

Of course, if the box happens to be a large one containing an assortment of fresh produce delivered to your door from a local farm, that would be a good thing. Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is rapidly becoming a popular, very convenient way to buy fresh, seasonal, organic produce direct from the grower. This produce works beautifully in many Mediterranean recipes.

You can usually order a box designed to serve two to four people weekly, every other week, or monthly, and exclude items you don’t want. The boxes are always full of delicious surprises and offer a compelling way to widen your culinary horizons.

Now that summer’s nearly here, the salad options are fabulous. When the heirloom tomato season gets going, I never tire of quick but flavorful Greek salads with tomatoes, oil-cured olives and feta cheese, or the classic Italian duo of sliced ripe tomatoes with fresh mozzarella. And of course the seasonal baby greens and fresh fruit available direct from farmers are far more desirable than those you can find at the supermarket. To find a CSA farm in your area, search for “Community Supported Agriculture in (your city)” on the Internet.

I believe that gluten-free food should not have to come with a side order of apologies. Those of us who must avoid wheat don’t live in a vacuum. We still have to get food on the table every day, both for ourselves and the people we care about. It’s important to be able to present quick, healthful meals  — or weekend pancakes, or a special cake — that everyone sitting at the table will love, whether gluten free or not.

Happily, the majority of casual, Mediterranean-style recipes can be prepped and on the table in short order. Most of the time, I prepare weeknight dinners in minutes (but enjoy them at a leisured pace with a glass of wine), and bake now and then when it’s convenient. Gluten-free breads, cakes and cookies all freeze well.

Cooking from scratch is so much kinder to your health, your wallet and your waistline, not to mention the environment. In fact, the so-called Mediterranean diet is not so much a diet as an ideal way of life!

Mediterranean Recipes to Try at Home

Gluten-free provençal green lentil salad



The author of more than a dozen cookbooks, Jackie Mallorca’s most recent titles include The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian. For more information, tips and recipes, go to