Taste every bright and fresh ingredient in ‘Modern Mediterranean’

Print

When “Modern Mediterranean” landed on our desk, we were just as enamored by the bright, happy colors and gorgeous photographs of chef Melia Marden’s stylish recipes and eclectic home as we were by her fairy-tale backstory.

Each summer, Marden’s parents, New York artists Brice and Helen Marden, whisked their kids off to the family’s vacation home on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra. It was there, feasting on dishes such as just-caught charred whole fish and ripe vine tomatoes with tangy feta, that Marden developed her culinary ethos.  Then in 2008, with very little restaurant experience, the French Culinary Institute grad became the executive chef at New York hot spot The Smile, where she serves “Manhattan Mediterranean.”

“It’s not pure Mediterranean food,” she says. “It’s all the different versions of the cuisine converged with NYC — like the Greek restaurants in Astoria.” Now the 32-year-old shares her story, along with her love for simple, flavorful dishes, in her new cookbook.

“When you eat something that’s really heavy and has lots of different ingredients, you feel weighed down,” explains Marden. “Mediterranean cooking is light and healthy. The flavors are bright and fresh, you can taste every ingredient that’s in the dish — and it makes you feel good afterwards.”

Melia_p011

Bold decor
“My decorating style is definitely a collaboration with my husband. He’s been collecting toys his whole life, so it’s become a mashed-up version of our styles. I’m a little more romantic and I like antiques, but he likes more pop-y colors and pop culture so it’s kind of melded together. We go to a lot of antique fairs and find things we think are striking, and then we build these little collections.”

ModernMediterranean_p150

Recipe: Penne with sugar snap peas and ricotta

Ingredients
1 pound (455 grams) sugar snap peas, strings removed
Kosher salt
1 pound (455 grams) penne rigate
3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pasta
2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 grams) fresh ricotta at room temperature
¼ cup (25 grams) finely chopped fresh mint
¼ cup (25 grams) finely chopped fresh parsley
Fresh ricotta

Instructions:

1. Cut the snap peas crosswise on a bias into pieces 1/4 inch (6 millimeters) thick. Set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne rigate and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Before you drain the pasta, reserve 1 cup (240 milliliters) of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta, place in a large bowl, and toss with a little olive oil.

3. Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) oil. Heat for 30 seconds, then add the shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Add the snap peas, D⁄e teaspoon salt, the chili flakes, and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the snap peas are tender but still bright green and slightly crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Add the pasta, ricotta, and reserved cooking water to the pot and stir well to combine. Cook until the pasta is warmed through and well coated by the other ingredients. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add most of the mint and parsley and mix well.

6. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining herbs and some more black pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves four.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.