Marisa Churchill Recipes

Posted on Mar 7, 2014 10:45am

Chef Marisa Churchill joined THE TALK for “The Talk Food Festival.” Marisa brought a menu of healthy foods inspired by the people of Ikaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.


Baked Halibut with wild oregano, olive oil and lemon

Serves 4



4 halibut fillets

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Juice of 1 lemon

2 paper thin slices of lemon, cut in half

½ teaspoon wild oregano (or ¾ teaspoon of regular oregano)

Scant teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper




Preheat oven to 400ºF.


Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Pat the fish fillets to remove any excess moisture. Sprinkle the fillets with the salt and some freshly ground pepper. Place the fillets on the baking sheet.


In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, whisk in the olive oil and the oregano.  Pour the lemon and herb mixture over the fish fillets. Place a half slice of lemon on top of each fillet. Bake the fillets in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through and opaque.


Serves 4



1 small yellow onion, diced

1 medium leek, washed, cut in half and sliced thin

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

230 grams (about 8 ounces) of long grain white rice

3 medium sized vine ripened tomatoes, washed and diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

¼ to ½ teaspoon red chile flakes, depending upon how sensitive you are to spice

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

14 ounces spinach, washed and stemmed

6 ounces rainbow chard, washed and stemmed

1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper, to taste





In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once warm, add the diced onion and leek. Sauté for about 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Once the onion and leeks are translucent, add a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and the rice. Reduced heat to medium.


Add 1 cup of the stock. Stir the mixture every 15-20 minutes, to ensure that the rice does not settle to the bottom of the pan, stick and burn. As the rice begins to absorb the stock, add the rest of the stock ½ cup at a time. Cook the mixture until the rice is al dente.


Once the rice is almost cooked, add the chile flakes and the spinach and chard. Depending upon the size of the pot, all of the greens might not fit in at once, add half, wait a few minutes for the greens to wilt, stir and add the rest. Once the greens have begun to wilt, add the chopped dill and the lemon juice. Continue cooking until the spinach and rice is just cooked. Don't cook the mixture so long that it becomes mushy. Season with additional salt and pepper. Serve the dish warm or at room temperature. This dish can be eaten on its own. It also pairs nicely with grilled or baked fish.





Serves 8



1 cup uncooked rice

1 cup vegetable broth

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup yellow onion, diced

½ cup plump dark raisins

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

1¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 teaspoon ground clove

¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

½ teaspoon salt

1 jar grape leaves

Sea salt, to garnish





Preheat the oven to 350ºF and toast the pine nuts for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant and golden brown.


Follow the instructions on the box for the rice. It should require about 2 cups of water, replace 1 cup of the water with the vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the rice and cook for 30 minutes, or until fluffy and tender.   


In a pan over medium heat, sauté the onion in ¼ cup of the olive oil. Add the ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the raisins, pine nuts, fresh dill and mint, orange zest and spices.  Once the rice is cooked, add the onion mixture to the pot.  Cook for several minutes to combine flavors.  Cool slightly.


Meanwhile, drain the jar of grape leaves.  Lay the leaves flat, with the tip of the leaf pointing towards you.  Place 1-2 tablespoons of the cooled rice mixture in the upper center of the leaf.  The exact amount will depend upon the size of the leaf.  You don’t want so much filling that you can’t tightly roll the grape leaf.  To fold, wrap the upper edges of the leaf over the filling.  Fold the sides in towards the center of the leaf.  Tightly roll towards you, tucking in the edges as you go.  Place the rolled dolmades onto a platter.  To serve, drizzle the remaining olive oil on top and sprinkle with some coarse sea salt. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm, but not hot.    






Gluten-Free Orange-Walnut Cakes with Thyme Syrup

Serves 8-12



2/3 cup walnuts, ground

½ cup oat flour

¼ cup cornmeal

¼ cup brown rice flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon,

1/8 teaspoon ground clove

1 large egg

2/3 cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon orange zest

1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice


For the Syrup

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons honey

6 branches thyme, 2 1/2 inches long, plus 2 more for garnish

3 small oranges





Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease, with oil or cooking spray, eight 3-inch ring molds or 12 muffin tins.


Spread the walnuts on a sheet pan and toast the nuts for 5 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow the walnuts to cool slightly.


In a large mixing bowl combine the oat flour, cornmeal, rice flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and clove. Finely grind the cooled nuts in a food processor and whisk into the flour mixture.


In a separate bowl combine the egg, yogurt, olive oil, orange zest and juice.


Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. 


Divide the batter evenly among the ring molds or muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the molds or muffin cups and cool directly on the rack for 1 hour.


Meanwhile, put the sugar into a small saucepan and add one-half cup water. Stir in the honey and 6 of the thyme branches. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then continue to boil for 1 minute to fully dissolve the sugar. Pull out and discard the thyme.


Remove the peel off of the oranges, trimming away any white pith. Working over a small bowl, use a paring knife to cut between the membrane and flesh to release the orange segments into the bowl. Pour the warm thyme syrup over the orange pieces.


To serve, place the cakes on separate plates and divide the oranges evenly among the plates, spooning some of the syrup over the cakes. Remove the leaves from the remaining stems of thyme and sprinkle on top of the cake and oranges.



Recipes courtesy Marisa Churchill


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