Whether you’re planning your next dinner party, or looking for something new and exotic to try out, Mediterranean cuisine combines taste and flavour for a truly unforgettable dining experience. Using many delicious seasonal vegetables, olive oil and meat products, there is a reason why many people turn to a Mediterranean diet to maintain their weight and enjoy healthy, wholesome food.
1. Yemista (stuffed tomatoes with rice)
Made all year round, yemista is a staple amongst Greek families around the world. Usually made with tomatoes and stuffed with white rice, herbs and minced meat, the recipe is full of flavour and can be moderated to your particular taste. Feel free to use the same filling with peppers, and other large vegetables such as zucchini. Then simply pop into the oven and bake until golden brown.
This healthy salad is packed with cucumber, capsicum, olives, red onion, feta cheese and tomatoes which makes for a nutritious but tasty meal if you’re on-the-go. As per tradition, no lettuce is used in these salads, but that doesn’t mean it’s not healthy! Seasoned with plenty of olive oil, red vinegar and oregano for a distinct and delicious taste.
3. Neapolitan pizza
This classic margherita pizza is a staple in Italy due to it’s simple ingredients and yummy taste. There are many variations out there stemming from this traditional recipe, but it’s better to keep it simple and so you can really enjoy the meal in it’s entirety. Less is more, with most pizzas only consisting of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves and a pinch of freshly ground pepper, (and of course a freshly home-baked pizza base).
4. Dolmades (Stuffed vine leaves)
An extremely popular summer dish across the Mediterranean, dolmades are simply vines leaves stuffed with rice and meat. This dish is quite similar to yemista, but is traditionally eaten cold as a perfect summer snack during the warmer months in Europe. Cabbage leaves are often used instead since they can hold more filling and are great for beginners because they’re more durable and easier to wrap and cook at home.
5. Avgolemono (egg-lemon soup)
Another popular dish amongst Mediterranean countries is egg-lemon soup. This dish is known for its distinct taste and healing properties especially if someone is suffering from a cold, throat infection or tonsillitis. Other than, it’s health benefits include generous servings of olive oil, protein from the chicken pieces and the way the egg makes the dish smooth and tasty for even the pickiest of eaters.
Image via Kalofagas
By Felicia Sapountzis