The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Cherry Phyllo Tartlets with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

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A while back, I made some phyllo tartlets with some of the first fresh strawberries of the season and loved them for both their flavor and ease. I recently made some with cherries, after cooking them slightly and making a simple syrup from their juices. The tart-sweet cherries combined with the lemon mascarpone cream reminded me of a cheesecake, and the crisp phyllo gave it a great crunch. Just three bites and I was reaching for another one… Continue reading

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Chinese-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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To me, the ideal summer meal comes together relatively quickly without turning on the oven. These chicken lettuce wraps are just that; the most labor-intensive part is in chopping all the fresh produce, and then it cooks up in less than 15 minutes on the stovetop. It’s a wonderful family dinner or summer party finger food. I love the vibrant colors and flavors here, especially the kick of ginger and sweet hoisin sauce and the subtle notes of orange. Some lightly sautéed bell pepper and crushed peanuts give it some lovely crunch. I use romaine lettuce as I think it stands up better than traditional iceberg to hold all that delicious filling inside and to me has more flavor. Make these fresh & vibrant chicken lettuce wraps and you won’t ever crave the Chinese restaurant ones again! Continue reading


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Salt-Roasted Whole Fish Encore: Dorade Royale

DoradeTSTAfter salt-roasting our first whole fish the other week and enjoying the resulting flavorful and tender branzino, we decided to try another fish this way, this time dorade royale. It’s another Mediterranean fish that’s delicate and goes wonderfully with lemon and herb seasonings. Dorade is slightly rounder and shorter than branzino: Continue reading


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Beet, Carrot & Goat Cheese Stack with Chive-Pistachio Pesto

BeetStackTSTI believe there’s some wisdom in the mantra, “Eat Your Colors,” and this little stack of goodness embraces it. Just the sight of these colorful layers of earthy red beet, crisp grated carrot, soft melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese and a drizzle of chive-pistachio pesto energizes me. As an appetizer, lunch, or side dish, this is one mighty tower of wholesome goodness. Have you filled your plate with colors today? Continue reading


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Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Avocado, Mango Salsa & Sambal-Lime Mayo

FishTacosTST2Our family doesn’t have a regular taco night, but we’re thinking of starting one after having these. Just look at all those colors and textures on the plate — the slightly spicy and zesty mayo drizzled over pan-seared mahi mahi, a bright mango-cilantro salsa, some crisp red onion and raddichio and soft slices of avocado. Playful, flavorful and healthful, these make a great quick meal for a summer evening with family.

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57 Comments

Refresh: Watermelon, Blackberry & Lime Sparklers

RefreshTST3What’s not to love about a refreshing drink that’s bubbly, fruity, deep red and zesty? I love these sparklers for their flavor, but the health benefits give them even more appeal. With watermelon, blackberries, lime and mint, you’re getting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that support a healthy cardiovascular and digestive system, plus loads of nutrients, including Vitamins A and C. Continue reading


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Salt-Roasted Whole Fish with Lemon & Herbs

SaltFishTSTI first tasted branzino, a fish from the Mediterranean, while in Croatia on the Dalmatian coast. Delicate, flavorful and mild, it is one of my favorites. I’ve seen branzino even in U.S. grocery stores; it is sometimes labeled simply as “sea bass,” but if it is from the Mediterranean and small and slender in shape, it is likely branzino. You might also find it under the French name loup de mer or the German wolfsbarsch. We don’t have a huge variety of fresh fish here in Berlin, so when I saw these branzino, I knew what we were having for dinner!

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Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

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These sweet potato spears are seriously addictive, and I’ve made a quick meal of them on a couple occasions this week. If you know me, you know I like to douse my food in lemon and herbs, and that’s basically what I’ve done to these. Seared on a grill pan to get a smoky char then steamed to cook through and soften, the sweet potatoes soak in the flavors of the lemon, chive & thyme vinaigrette then get an extra punch from grilled shallots and a touch of saltiness from crumbled feta. They’re fancy enough as a side dish for a dinner but totally fit for finger food. Hope everyone’s having a great weekend! Continue reading