Yesterday, while driving down to Chestertown, MD to see some friends, I happened to listen to a wonderful podcast by Kitty Morse on the Ancient Legacy of the Mediterranean diet on the Heritage Radio Network. Drawing from her book entitled “A Biblical Feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table,” Ms. Morse re-created some recipes using only ingredients that could be found in the Mediterranean in Biblical times.
Ms. Morse was born in Casablanca and it was obvious that she spent much time researching the foods that were likely to be eaten by the populace at that time. For instance, I was surprised to discover that tomatoes, potatoes and peppers were not used in ancient times, since they were introduced into the Mediterranean diet only after the discovery of these vegetables in the New World.
Needless to say, meat was very expensive and meals consisted largely of vegetable-laden and legume stews that were cooked in pots during the day while residents farmed the land. Legumes of many varieties seemed to be the main staple of people living along the Mediterranean coast. In fact, Ms. Morse reports that there are more than 14,000 varieties of lentils.
One recipe cited in the the Podcast is Ezekiel Bread. Found below is a recipe for Ezekiel Bread using sprouted grains.
Making Your Own Ezekiel Bread
• 2 1/2 cups sprouted wheat berries
• 1 1/2 cups sprouted spelt grains
• 1/2 cups sprouted barley grains
• 1/2 cup millet
• 1/4 cup dry green lentils
• 2 tablespoons dry great Northern beans
• 2 tablespoons dry kidney beans
• 2 tablespoons dried pinto beans
• 4 cups warm water
• 1 cup honey
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 2 tablespoons salt
Mix together the sprouted wheat berries, spelt grains and barley grains, along with the millet, lentils and beans. Grind them in your grain mill and then place your Ezekiel flour in a bowl.
In another large bowl, add the water, honey, olive oil and yeast. Stir and then allow it to sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the flour mixture along with the salt to the yeast mixture. Stir for about ten minutes until it is well mixed. Your dough will resemble a batter bread.
Pour the bread dough into two greased, 9 x 5 loaf pans and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour. Then bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 50 minutes until the loaves are golden brown. Ezekiel sprouted grain bread recipes like this one make two loaves.
Olive oil has always been central to the Mediterranean diet and we strongly recommend using Gourmet Living’s extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany.