3 Simple Greek dishes

Penne with chickpeas, artichokes, tomato, peas and herbed

Penne with chickpeas, artichokes, tomato, peas and herbed feta is a lively combination of colors and flavors. (October 2012) (Credit: Marge Perry)

Marge Perry

Newsday columnist Marge Perry Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts,

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TIP Dried herbs and spices lose their flavor after about six months. When you buy new bottles, mark the date on a piece of masking tape and place it near the label.

1. PENNE WITH CHICKPEAS AND HERBED FETA

8 ounces penne

1 cup frozen peas

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 large shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 (12-ounce) jars marinated artichokes, drained

1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can diced

tomatoes, drained

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, divided

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme, divided

6 ounces feta, cut into 1/2-inch blocks

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. In last 3 minutes of cooking, add peas to the pot. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add artichokes, chickpeas and tomatoes and cook until lightly brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano, the dill and 1/2teaspoon of the fresh thyme. Toss with pasta.

3. Toss remaining 1/4 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme with feta. Stir into the pasta. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 556 calories, 19 g protein, 68 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 26 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 984 mg sodium

2. GREEK SALAD WITH SHRIMP

1 1/2 pounds peeled shrimp

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 cups torn romaine lettuce

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/2 green bell pepper, cut across into rings

1/2 red bell pepper, cut across into rings

1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut across into thin slices

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (3 ounces)

1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives

4 bottled pepperoncini

1. Toss shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon of oregano and the salt. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium high; add shrimp and cook 2 minutes on each side, until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate.

2. Combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano, vinegar and mustard; whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

3. Combine romaine, tomatoes, red onion, green and red bell pepper rings, cucumber, crumbled feta and olives in large bowl; toss with dressing, divide among 4 plates and top each with 1/4 of shrimp and a pepperoncini. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 371 calories, 29 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 22 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 1,718 mg sodium

3. CHICKEN WITH LEMON AND MINT

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup lower-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons capers, divided

4 thin slices lemon

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1. Combine flour, oregano and salt on a plate. Dredge chicken lightly on both sides in mixture.

2. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add chicken breasts and cook until well browned on undersides, 4to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until meat thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160 degrees. Transfer to plate and drape loosely to keep warm.

3. Add onion and garlic to pan and cook, stirring, until somewhat softened, about 2 minutes. Add broth and lemon juice, bring to boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Return chicken to pan; add capers. Turn chicken over once to warm and coat both sides in pan sauce. Serve with the lemon slices and mint leaves. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 189 calories, 25 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 1g saturated fat, 591 mg sodium