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Mediterranean Palate | Great Performances


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Mediterranean Palate
by GP's Community of Chefs

Mike Deuel, Executive Chef of Catering Operations

This is my mine and my wife's favorite recipe for butternut squash from the NOPI cookbook. When we ate at the restaurant in London we saw one teenager eat 4 portions of this dish by herself.  We were amazed, and ate 2 orders ourselves.

Butternut Squash with Ginger Tomatoes and Lime Yogurt , Serves 4

Ingredients for Squash:

1 medium butternut squash, trimmed, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and seeded, cut into 1-inch slices

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 teaspoons coarse sea salt

6 large plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons packed dark muscovado sugar 

1 ounce finely grated ginger

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red chile, seeded and finely diced

Ingredients for the lime yogurt:

½ cup 2-percent-fat Greek yogurt

1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus zest of 1/2 lime

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

Ingredients to serve:

¼ cup torn cilantro leaves

1 ounce cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped

 Heat oven to 465°. Toss squash in 2 tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons salt and freshly ground black pepper. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange squash in one layer and roast until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes; set aside. Reduce oven to 340°. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange tomatoes in one layer, skin-side down. Top with ¼ teaspoon salt and remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and bake until soft, 80 minutes. In a bowl, combine sugar, ginger, garlic, chile and ¼ teaspoon salt; spoon onto tomatoes and continue baking until tomatoes are caramelized, 40 minutes. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, juice, zest, cardamom, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. To serve, arrange squash and tomatoes on a platter, drizzle with lime yogurt and sprinkle with cilantro and cashews.

Liz Neumark, CEO Great Performances, from her book Sylvia's Table

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion thinly sliced

2 Medium celery stalks, cut thinly on the diagonal

8 garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/3 cup white wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 pinches saffron threads

8 cups fish or shrimp stock, or a combination

1/4 tsp red chile flakes

Two 3-inch strips orange zest

Juice of 1 orange

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/3 inch slices (about 3 cups)

3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning fish

Freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds firm white-fleshed fish fillets, such as halibut, snapper, or cod

1 pound fresh mussels from your local fish market

1 pound shrimp from your local fish market

Method: Place a large - 6 quart or so - Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat; pour in the oil, then lower the heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook until tender, stirring from time to time, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the white wine, tomato paste, saffron, stock, red chile flakes, orange zest, and orange juice and bring just to a simmer; continue to simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about 1\one-third. Add the fennel and tomatoes and cook until the fennel is tender, about 20 minutes; and the salt and season with pepper to taste. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Cut the fillets into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Add the fish, shrimp, mussels, and parsley to the broth and cook, gently stirring only once or twice to avoid breaking up the fish chunks, just until the fish and shrimp are cooked through and the mussels have opened, about 5 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls with garlic rubbed croutons and pass the Rouille at the table!

Nima Khansari, Executive Chef at 99 Bank, formerly with GP as Executive Chef of Executive Dining and Client Center at Goldman Sachs

Grilled Zucchini with Coal Roasted Shallots, Sheep’s Milk Labne & Zaatar, serves 4 as appetizer

Zucchini Steaks

2 each medium zucchini, 2/3” horizontal slices

As needed: olive oil to coat, to taste, salt and pepper. *Coat zucchini steaks with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Char both sides over a medium high grill and set aside.


1 pt  sheep, goat or cow’s milk yogurt

1tsp salt

1tsp olive oil

*48 hours to prepare but very simple.  Place yogurt in double lined cheese cloth set in a strainer.  Place this over a bowl and let it drain for 48 hours.  Discard the whey responsibly by using it in a homemade cheese or soup stock, or to feed your garden. Season remaining yogurt with salt and olive oil.  Give the labne a good stir - this will give a silky texture.


4 medium shallots, cut in half with peel

4 cloves garlic in skin

Sprinkle salt, pepper

2 sprigs thyme

1tsp olive oil

1½ T balsamic vinegar

Sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil

*Wrap all ingredients in foil and crimp to seal tightly removing as much air as possible.  Place in hot white ash of fire.  Turn the pouch every 5 minutes.  Cooking time will depend on the temperature of your fire, shallots will be done when soft (approximately 20 minutes).

Discard thyme and remove skins from shallots and garlic. 


Dill, mint and parsley snipped for garnish and flavor.


2T  fresh thyme leaves

2T  toasted sesame seeds

2tsp  sumac, ground

½tsp  kosher salt

*mix all ingredients to combine

Family Style Plating

Spread 1 labne on one half of a platter lengthwise.

Plate grilled zucchini on the other half (If zucchini is too long, slice in half).

Peel and halve shallots and plate along with garlic in the centerline.

Drizzle with quality olive oil and garnish with herbs and zaatar spice to taste.

*Serve alongside grilled or toasted pita or rustic flatbread.

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