Friday, December 19, 2008

Olive Oil: Important Part Of Mediterranean Diet

(NAPSI)-The Mediterranean diet is not a prescribed eating program. Rather, it is a set of eating habits that has been linked to reducing heart disease, cancer and mortality rates.

Also, there is a general consensus among health professionals that the Mediterranean diet is healthier than the North European and American diets because of the higher consumption of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and olive oil. Olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fats, doesn't raise blood cholesterol and is a good source of antioxidants. Using an oil such as Iliada Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil, produced in the Kalamata region of Greece, can add a boost of flavor and health benefits to your meals.

Try this quick, one-dish meal full of distinctive Mediterranean flavors:

Garlic Stuffed Olive & Tomato Bruschetta with Arugula

Serves 6

1 loaf fresh Ciabatta bread

¼ cup Iliada Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cups chopped and de-seeded vine-ripe tomatoes

½ jar Iliada garlic-stuffed green olives, chopped roughly

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 bag washed baby arugula leaves

A few leaves of fresh basil, ripped

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Slice bread into 2-inch-thick pieces. Brush with oil. Place on baking tray; bake until slightly brown around edges, about 8 minutes.

Mix tomatoes, olives, salt and pepper. Toss in arugula just before serving to avoid getting soggy.

Top warm bread slices with tomato mixture. Garnish with basil.

For more information about Iliada Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil, visit www.agrovim.gr.

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