Farmersgirl Kitchen

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

Greek Cypriot Greengrocer's Salad from The Ultimate Mediterranean Salad Cookbook

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Amy Riolo is not so much a diet cook book as a way of life, unleashing the power of one of the world’s healthiest diets. It integrates the latest research and clinical findings with 100 delicious, authentic, easy recipes and Mediterranean lifestyle tips while dispelling any myths and misinformation. Gluten free variations of recipes are also included.

About the Author
AMY RIOLO is an award-winning author, chef, television personality, cuisine and culture expertand educator. She is a Culinary Advisor for The Mediterranean Food Alliance and her work hasappeared in numerous print media including USA Today, Cooking Light, The Washington Post, TheWall Street Journal and Amy’s most recent book, The Mediterranean DiabetesCookbook, won the 2011 Nautilus Book Award. She also won the World Gourmand Award for
“Best Arab Cuisine Book” in the United States for her book Nile Style: Egyptian Cuisine and Culture(Hippocrene Books). She is also the author of a noted culinary/cultural blog

The Review
Introduction and Welcome to the Mediterranean Diet
As I said this isn’t just a recipe book, Amy Riolo gives a comprehensive introduction to the principles of the Mediterranean diet. with the science behind the diet and how the lifestyle is as important as the actual food. Using the Mediterranean Pyramid as a guide, Amy gets to the core of the Mediterranean lifestyle, and explains what is eaten, when to eat it, and why. Each recipe in The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook contains a cultural tip from the Mediterranean region.
Fun historical facts, legend, and lore, as well as nutritional information accompany each recipe.

Each recipe chapter begins with a useful introductory essay on the appropriate foodstuffs. Here are a few of my favourite recipes by chapter:

Plant Based Foods – the foundation of the Mediterranean diet
Wholegrains: Gooey Mediterranean-Style Cornbread which contains sundried tomatoes and mozzarella; North African Spice-Dusted Sweet Potatoes; Libyan Lamb Couscous and Turkish Eggplant and Herbed Rice Pilaf.
Fruits: Apricot and Orange Blossom Pudding with Pistachios; Roasted Plums with Basil-Yogurt Cream.
Vegetables: Quick Italian Pickles; Provencal Bistro Carrot Salad; Lebanese Fattoush
Legumes and Nuts: Herb Infused Falafel Pomegranate, Roasted Red Pepper, and Walnut Dip and Moroccan Harira Soup
Olive Oil: Kale and Almond Pesto Sauce, Olive Oil cured Eggplant; Provencal Herb Tapenade and Sweet Olive Oil, Cherry and Almond Cake

Fish and Seafood – the bounty of the Mediterranean sea
Sicilian Swordfish Bundles; Citrus Marinated Salmon with Fennel Cream and Sizzling Rosemary Shrimp over Polenta.

Dairy and Poultry – Farm fresh flavors
Dairy: Herb Marinated Mozzarella, Cypriot Greengrocer’s Salad with Feta (see recipe below);
Poultry: Chicken Skillet-Style Shwarma with Tahini Sauce; Jerusalem-Style Chicken with Rice, Golden Raisins, and Pine Nuts.

Meat and Sweets – Mediterranean Indulgences
Southern Italian Goat and Herb Stew; Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb and Corsican-Style, Almond-Stuffed Figs in Chocolate Sauce, Sweet Carrot and Cardamom Torte.

Mediterranean Cooking Basics covers everything you need to know about how to choose and cook the staples of the Mediterranean diet such as beans, polenta and stock.

The Mediterranean Pantry is an alphabetical list of ingredients used in the book with information about what it is, where it comes from and how it is used in cooking.

Who is it for? This is an ideal book for anyone who wants to eat a healthy diet and is looking for information and recipes to help them achieve and sustain a healthful way of life.  It’s also for anyone who loves good food, never mind whether it’s healthy, as there are lots of really mouthwatering recipes.

Lots of good healthy recipes, plenty for vegetarians and vegans too.  I loved the comprehensive introductory chapter information and the Mediterranean Traditions with each recipe.

The only thing I would say is that the book doesn’t stay open very well, so you need a book stand or have to bend back the spine, which would break it (I simply can’t bear to do that!).

The Verdict
This would be a useful book to have in your collection if you would like to understand more about eating well.  The recipes are easily achievable, although I have to say that they are more attractive to eat in the summer when we have a chance of at least some more Mediterranean weather, than in the cold days of winter when comfort food is more attractive.

The Recipe

serves 6

1 head Romaine lettuce, washed, dried and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 baby (Persian) cucumber, or 1/3 English cucumber, slice thinly on the diagonal
1/4 lb (115g) feta, cubed or crumbled
1/4 cup Greek Olives, pitted
1 yellow onion, sliced into rings
1 small green bell pepper, cut into rings
3 tablespoons (45ml) red wine vinegar or lemon juice
unrefined sea salt or salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil (preferably unfiltered)

Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl.  add the tomatoes and cucumber, and toss to combine.
Scatter the feta, olives, onion and pepper over the top in an attractive pattern.  Pour wine vinegar or lemon juice into a small bowl.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking vigorously.  Once the dressing is emulsified, pour it over the salad and serve immediately.

The Ultimate Mediterranean  Diet Cookbook
by Amy Riolo
Published by Fair Winds Press
RRP £14.99 Paperback

I have one copy of The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook to GIVEAWAY – CLOSED

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Leave a Reply

    August 1, 2015

    I would love to visit Sicily and eat all their food

  2. Leave a Reply

    August 1, 2015

    Great review as ever Janice. Very informative- not sure about the kale pesto tho? Seems more American than Mediterranean to me! I totally agree that it's easier to follow such a diet in the summer when most of the ingredients are available as opposed to the depths of winter when you want a slow cooked meal.

    • Leave a Reply

      August 2, 2015

      Thanks Deon, I see Amy has replied to you below. I was not all that struck with kale, and had only had it in broth, but some of the newer cultivars are not as tough or so strong tasting and really very good!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Nayna Kanabar
    August 2, 2015

    I like the sound that this book has lots of vegetarian and vegan recipes. Nice review/

    • Leave a Reply

      August 2, 2015

      Thanks Nayna, there are a high proportion of vegetarian and vegan recipes, plant foods are top of the Mediterranean Diet food chain.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Tracey Peach
    August 2, 2015

    I don't fancy going abroad but I would love to cook more Mediterranean dishes xxx

  5. Leave a Reply

    August 2, 2015

    Italy,such friendly people and they love their food, just like me!!

  6. Leave a Reply

    August 2, 2015

    I would love to try Croatia

  7. Leave a Reply

    Amy Riolo
    August 2, 2015

    Thank you all for the kind comments and for your great review, Janet! It is true that the Kale Pesto recipe is not traditional nor the original basil pesto recipe (which I have used in other books and videos), I felt that it was important to include because it is an easy, delicious, nutritional power house of a recipe that people can make when they want to boost their vitamin intake and basil is no longer in season. Enjoy with pleasure and health, and happy Sunday to all!

    • Leave a Reply

      August 2, 2015

      Thank you for commenting Amy, it's really appreciated. As you can see there is lots of interest in your eating plan and the healthy recipes.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Darrell Perry
    August 2, 2015

    All my friends are returning from the Greek isles, so i will have to say there 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      August 2, 2015

      I'm sure your friends will have some tips for you to get the best from Greek food.

  9. Leave a Reply

    August 2, 2015

    I've never got round to going to Spain – I really want to visit Barcelona (and eat lots of tapas!)

  10. Leave a Reply

    Deb Harris
    August 3, 2015

    I would love to go to Italy. The country is so beautiful & the food is wonderful. Thanks for such a great giveaway.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Kathryn MacKinnon
    August 3, 2015

    Italy. I've been three times but never as a gluten free eater. They are way ahead when it comes to gluten free pasta etc so I'd love that!

  12. Leave a Reply

    Karen Walder
    August 3, 2015

    I would really like to visit Italy…..hopefully that will happen next year!

  13. Leave a Reply

    August 6, 2015

    Greece, Croatia, Morocco, Lebanon, Israel, Libya, Cyprus…can I leave today?

  14. Leave a Reply

    Helen Adams
    August 9, 2015

    Italy, especially the Tuscany area

  15. Leave a Reply

    jane davis
    August 9, 2015

    Greece because the food there always looks yummy

  16. Leave a Reply

    August 9, 2015

    I'd love to visit Italy, especially Rome

  17. Leave a Reply

    Alex Cracknell
    August 9, 2015

    Italy, I'd love to visit Naples and Venice and enjoy the history and great food!

  18. Leave a Reply

    Emily Knight
    August 9, 2015

    I'd love to go back to Turkey – have only visited certain coastal areas, and I'd love to see Istanbul!

  19. Leave a Reply

    August 9, 2015

    We eat lots of Mediterranean food and love it, I've been lucky enough to visit a few but would love to go to Corsica. Corsica belongs to France so it sounds a bit odd that the Mediterranean country I'd love to visit would be France!

  20. Leave a Reply

    Milly Youngman
    August 10, 2015

    I'd love to go to Italy – Rome in particular – and I'd make sure I didn't spend the whole time just eating pizza!!

  21. Leave a Reply

    Julie M
    August 15, 2015

    I would love to travel Italy and try all the cuisine and wine of course 🙂

  22. Leave a Reply

    Dani Claydon
    August 17, 2015

    Definitely Italy, never had the chance to visit!

  23. Leave a Reply

    Kelly Smith
    August 23, 2015

    Italy, it's always been my dream to go!

  24. Leave a Reply

    Katie Witherington
    August 25, 2015

    Italy, spent time living in Rome but never got to explore the country as much as I would have liked to, would love to go back and travel around the South of the Country

  25. Leave a Reply

    Becky Evans
    August 25, 2015

    Greece, my husband has been and he says its beautiful, I would love to go one day!

  26. Leave a Reply

    August 26, 2015

    I would love to return to Greece.As a vegetarian I loved the abundance and flavours of all the meat-free dishes.

  27. Leave a Reply

    Daniel Todd
    August 26, 2015

    Amazing prize I would love to visit Italy for the food

  28. Leave a Reply

    Mrs Broomfield
    August 28, 2015

    I love Italy and Spain having visited both, but I'd love to go to Greece – all that feta cheese and stuffed vine leaves! Mmmm

Leave a Comment toAnonymous

You can use these HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: