Is it even possible to make homemade Mac-n-Cheese even better? We think so! Our second featured recipe this month is a great way to enjoy our new Marinated Artichoke Hearts while adding a delicious Mediterranean twist to classic comfort food! Makes a perfect side dish to your Easter Sunday or any night of the week! Not to mention, it’s O.M.G. kind of good!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
¾ lb. elbow macaroni, cooked to package instructions
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
3 c. whole milk
2 c. Italian Blend shredded cheese, divided
2 c. white sharp cheddar, divided
3 Tbsp. Garlic & Parmesan Everything Spread
1 tsp. salt
Cracked black pepper
2 c. fresh baby spinach, packed
2 jars Jeff’s Naturals Marinated Artichoke Hearts, roughly chopped
¾ c. panko breadcrumbs mixed with 2 Tbsp. melted butter
Preheat oven on broiler.
In a medium sauce pan, on medium high heat, add butter and flour, and stir until for 2-3 minutes while mixture bubbles. Slowly whisk in milk until fully incorporated. Whisk and cook mixture for about 7 minutes, until it thickens and bubbles.
Turn heat off; stir in Garlic Spread, 1 c. each cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour over cooked macaroni, stir in spinach,artichokes, and remaining shredded cheese.
Place into a baking dish and sprinkle panko topping on top. Place under broiler for a few minutes until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Our fabulous Recipe & Development Chef, Peter Kirkpatrick, a.k.a. “Chef P.K.” has been hard at work in the Jeff’s Naturals kitchen creating amazing dishes using our all-natural line of olives, peppers, capers and sun-dried tomatoes.
One of his recent creations, Orzo Salad With Artichoke Hearts & Kalamata Olives, absolutely knocked our socks off during one of our taste tests. (By the way, taste testing Chef’s P.K.’s dishes is our favorite kind of meeting. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it!)
Like many of Chef P.K.’s creations, this colorful dish has a very easy going California/Napa Valley/Mediterranean flavor to it that’s irresistible. It’s light, yet satisfying and can be made in less than 20 minutes and is a perfect side dish for potlucks or gatherings, tailgating, a picnic, a quick weeknight dinner (just add some diced grilled chicken) or lunch on-the-go!
Orzo is most commonly used in Italian and Greek cuisines and makes a delicious alternative to larger pasta which can sometimes be too heavy. You could get creative with this dish and add some Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes and/or Imported Non-Pareil Capers for even more flavor. The possibilities are endless!
We hope you’ll enjoy this delicious dish. Be sure to check out all of our Mediterranean inspired recipes and serving suggestions in our growing Recipe Collection.
Recipe of the Month: Orzo Salad With Artichoke Hearts & Kalamata Olives
Prep Time: 10min | Total Time: 20min | Serves: 2-4
- 1/2 pound orzo, cooked to package instructions
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1 (14.5 Oz) jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained
- 1 cup Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives, drained
- 1 pint Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! Makes about 4 servings.