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Mediterranean Food: 25 Traditional Dishes You Need To Try

Mediterranean Food: 25 Traditional Dishes You Need To Try

Mediterranean meals is adored worldwide. The delicacies is extensively praised for its wholesome fat and prevention of heart problems, with loads of minimally processed meats, wholesome oils, contemporary greens, and herbs and spices. Mediterranean recipes are so in style that they’re now recreated in most corners of the world. However, they stem from three culinary areas; Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

25 Traditional Mediterranean Dishes

Traditional Turkish Food

Mediterranean meals might need tailored and unfold globally, however we’ll discover probably the most conventional variations of one of the best Mediterranean dishes. Whether you need to strive recreating a dish at dwelling or are planning to go to the Mediterranean area, this information will cowl one of the best conventional Mediterranean dishes it’s good to strive.

1. Greek Salad, aka Horiatiki

greek food guide table

Greek salad is a basic Mediterranean dish, and Greek meals is among the most well-known Mediterranean cuisines. It is the right summer time salad, with contemporary flavors and a scrumptious drizzle of additional virgin olive oil. You’ll usually discover chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, black olives, and both crumbled feta cheese or a thick slice of feta cheese perched on prime of the remainder of the salad. The additional virgin olive oil neutralizes the acidity of the onion, and you may additionally discover a sprinkling of oregano for an fragrant added taste.

When the Greek salad was really invented is a little bit of a thriller. The model of the salad we all know and love right now was created by tavern house owners in Plaka between 1960 and 1970. However, adaptions of the recipe have been used for hundreds of years. Greece is among the main producers of the world’s olives and has been rising olive bushes since Ancient Greece. The Mediterranean local weather is ideal for rising olives and contemporary greens all 12 months spherical.

If you go to Greece, you’ll simply discover a Greek salad in an area cafe or restaurant. It can also be an awesome, easy dish to recreate at dwelling.

2. Pizza Margherita

pizza margherita

The Margherita pizza wants little introduction. The pizza is considerably of a nationwide dish of Italy, which is becoming contemplating it was patriotically invented in honor of Queen Margherita in 1889. Its three toppings even characterize the Italian flag, with white mozzarella, inexperienced basil leaves, and purple tomato. It goes with out saying that the Margherita pizza is among the most iconic dishes in all the Mediterranean nations.

Margherita pizza served the Mediterranean approach, is uncut and eaten with a knife and fork. Like a lot of the well-known Mediterranean recipes, although, the Margherita pizza and its consuming etiquette have been tailored worldwide – so that you’ll discover this varies relying on the place you strive the dish. The crispy dough and gooey cheese are a successful mixture. You gained’t wrestle to pattern a Margherita pizza wherever you go.

3. Moroccan Tagine

Moroccan Tagine

A Moroccan tagine is strictly the warming, hearty dish that you really want after a protracted day. Cooked slowly in a conical-shaped dish over a smoldering fireplace, the Moroccan tagine is among the greatest Mediterranean recipes for gradual cooking. Traditionally, the tagine is a meat dish, utilizing rough-cut chunks of lamb or rooster. However, additionally, you will discover vegetable tagines, which use elements like potatoes, carrots, and onions. The elements are cooked in a thick, paste-like broth, and flavored with spices like cumin, paprika, and turmeric.

It is assumed that tagine was invented within the eighth century within the Islamic empire, however there may be some controversy over whether or not it was invented in North Africa in Morocco itself. Either approach, it’s a staple dish within the Mediterranean weight-reduction plan and some of the in style Mediterranean recipes. The model of tagine as we all know it has been carved and influenced over centuries in Morocco.

4. Moussaka

Moussaka is a Main Greek Food

Speaking of staples in a Mediterranean weight-reduction plan, moussaka is a scrumptious eggplant-based dish vastly in style in fashionable Mediterranean delicacies. It seems just a little like a lasagna with a thick bechamel sauce topping. Many individuals recommend that it’s a Greek model of Italian lasagna. While there’s no historic accuracy to this, it’s a useful comparability that will help you image the dish. Moussaka makes use of layers of eggplant or potato as a substitute of pasta sheets, with a wealthy tomato sauce and sometimes floor meat, like lamb, between every layer. Moussaka is consolation meals via and thru – good for a hearty meal.

Early variations of moussaka will be dated again to across the thirteenth century, though the precise date of invention is unknown. The moussaka eaten right now is a Greek model of an Arabic dish, which more than likely was initially an Arabic eggplant stew. The dish has advanced quite a bit since its early days. Of course, now, you’ll discover moussaka throughout Greece, Turkey, and Middle Eastern Mediterranean nations. You also can replicate the dish fairly simply at dwelling.

5. Armenian Losh

Armenian losh is a mix of half-ground lamb and half-ground beef. The meat is combined with finely chopped white onion, herbs, and spices, together with contemporary herbs like parsley. Packed into little balls, Armenian losh will be eaten as burgers or in a kebab. The little meat patties are then grilled and served alongside rice pilaf and salad drizzled with olive oil. You can also discover onions fried and served as a facet. Armenian losh is a superb avenue meals or barbecue dish so that you can strive.

The historical past of Armenian losh is unknown, however the recipe has existed for hundreds of years in tailored varieties. The meat and herbs mixture is typical of a Mediterranean weight-reduction plan, and the kebab type of consuming Armenian losh is very typical of the Eastern Mediterranean area.

6. Gyros

Gyros are a popular Greek Food

Who doesn’t love gyros? The scrumptious pita sandwiches with tzatziki sauce are in style avenue meals and some of the sought-after Mediterranean recipes. Gyros are usually meat dishes, with lamb, beef, or rooster reduce in slices off a vertical rotisserie. However, it’s also possible to get vegetarian alternate options, most of which use halloumi cheese or feta cheese as a substitute of meat. Add tomato, onion, fried potatoes, and the all-important ingredient tzatziki sauce for meat and vegetarian choices. The result’s chic, and the tzatziki provides a refreshing, neutralizing taste to steadiness the combination of different flavors.

The gyro we all know and love right now is assumed to have originated in 1922 with an inflow of refugees into Greece. The recipe existed for hundreds of years in different varieties, although. It is carefully associated to shawarma, which was invented within the 18th or nineteenth century.

7. Tabouli

Mediterranean Food Tabouli

Tabouli is a flavorsome dish from the Middle East identified for its intense, scrumptious flavors. The salad dish is a dense combination of finely reduce contemporary parsley, mint, and bulgur wheat, drenched in lemon juice and olive oil and combined with tomatoes. It is among the greatest dishes that features complete grains and is usually eaten as a mezze dish. However, tabouli in a bit of pita bread is lunch in itself.

Tabouli originated in Lebanon and Syria and is a staple salad in an Eastern Mediterranean weight-reduction plan. Tabouli has been round for a very long time; specialists assume it might hint again to the Middle Ages. The dish packs a punch and shortly grew to become well-known for its zesty style and well being advantages. You can recreate the salad at dwelling, however sampling it in Lebanon or an area restaurant can be the easiest way to strive it. Luckily, you gained’t need to look far since Lebanese delicacies has change into extensively in style across the globe.

8. Black Eyed Peas Salad

Mediterranean Food Black eyed Peas Salad

Firstly, black-eyed peas are a legume, not a pea. The small beans have a black dot, which provides them their identify, and are massively in style in Mediterranean delicacies. There are a couple of recipes that incorporate black-eyed peas. Still, probably the most conventional Mediterranean dish is the black-eyed peas salad. The salad consists of diced cucumber, finely chopped tomato, cooked and drained black-eyed peas, pomegranate, thinly sliced onion, and mint leaves. As an additional bonus, some recipes embody feta cheese as properly.

Black-eyed peas are native to Africa and are a sub-species of cowpea. The beans have been eaten because the Middle Ages. They are a staple Mediterranean meals, now utilized in many dishes worldwide.

9. Shakshuka

Mediterranean Food Shakshuka

Shakshuka is an easy one-pot recipe from North Africa and some of the conventional dishes in Mediterranean delicacies. The dish is shortly acknowledged by its poached eggs. It is uniquely baked by mixing a tomato sauce (with additional ripe tomatoes) with spices, contemporary herbs, and additional virgin olive oil. The eggs are poached by pouring them instantly into the combination and function the ultimate ornamental touches.

The dish is assumed to have originated within the sixteenth century, and many individuals consider that it was a Tunisian creation. It grew to become shortly in style for being low-cost, wholesome, and tremendous simple to make because it solely required one pot. Shakshuka is a enjoyable recipe to strive at dwelling and is designed to be loved in a household atmosphere.

10. Falafel

Chances are, you’ve heard of falafel. The little patties are a vastly in style Middle Eastern dish. In reality, they’re so in style that they’ve unfold out the world over, previous different Mediterranean nations, and into nations just like the USA and UK. Falafel is taken into account a vegetarian different to conventional meat dishes like kebabs. However, within the Mediterranean, the dish is eaten as a part of a mezze.

Falafel is produced from floor chickpeas and sometimes broad beans. Crushed into little ball shapes, the falafels are then deep-fried and served in a bunch. A group of bite-sized falafels are good for snacking or consuming a mezze platter. And whereas their historical past is disputed, the overall consensus is that falafels originated in Egypt. Some information recommend that falafel was eaten way back to Ancient Egypt and the Roman period.

11. Hummus

Speaking of chickpeas, hummus is one other scrumptious facet dish that makes use of floor chickpeas. One of the most well-liked dishes in Eastern Mediterranean delicacies, hummus is a thick, silky texture and is especially used as a dip. The floor chickpeas are combined with tahini and flavored with additional virgin olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, creating a light however barely tangy taste.

Like falafel, hummus dates again to historic Egypt however has a disputed origin story. It is extensively thought of a Middle Eastern Mediterranean dish, however the place precisely it was created is a thriller. Now, you could find it in supermarkets all world wide. But we advocate attempting it home made at a restaurant or in your kitchen.

12. Paella

Paella, who doesn’t know and love this dish? This is among the most famed Mediterranean recipes and originates from Spain. Seafood is a large a part of the Mediterranean weight-reduction plan, and paella caters to seafood lovers. The dish consists of short-grained rice cooked in a risotto type with inventory and tomato-based sauce, with seafood like prawns, mussels, and even octopus accompanying it. Peas and a slice of lemon are often served with paella, and you may additionally discover greens added to the dish.

Paella was created in Valencia across the tenth century. It will get its identify from the pan it’s cooked in, which is shallow to permit the rice to prepare dinner in a skinny layer. Paella was in style for utilizing up leftover rice and likewise for serving massive teams of individuals at celebrations and gatherings. It stays a social dish, and its huge serving measurement is ideal for sharing.

13. Mediterranean Wine

Fun things to do in Mykonos Wine Tasting

The Mediterranean space is revered for its wine manufacturing. The area has the right local weather to supply native wines. It is taken into account some of the versatile wine areas on this planet. Italy, Spain, and Southern France are well-known for his or her wines. While every nation has cultural variations in wine etiquette and manufacturing, wine is an excellent a part of all Mediterranean tradition.

Wine has been produced for 1000’s of years, and precisely the place it was created stays a scorching matter. What we do know, although, is that it was drunk continuously in Ancient Rome and in nations like Georgia way back to 9000 BC. Nowadays, Mediterranean wine is among the most exported items from the area, and wine tasting is a extremely sought-after exercise in lots of Mediterranean nations.

14. Risotto

Traditional Italian Food Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto is a hearty, salt-of-the-earth kind of Mediterranean meals. The Mediterranean weight-reduction plan incorporates a number of carbohydrates, and rice is a well-liked ingredient. Risotto is a creamy, thick rice dish slowly cooked in a vegetable or meat inventory broth. Typically, the rice is cooked briefly in butter to provide it a wealthy, buttery taste. It is then slowly cooked in broth, added little by little to permit as a lot taste absorption as doable. To end, grated parmesan is the final word ultimate contact.

Risotto originated in Northern Italy, and cookbooks relationship again to the 18th century present risotto recipe variations. If you go to Italy, risotto is among the greatest conventional Italian meals to pattern. And if you wish to grasp a staple dish at dwelling, risotto is a rewarding dish to study to prepare dinner. Just be ready to observe your endurance in including the broth in such tiny quantities. Slow and regular wins the race.

15. Caldo Verde

Calo Verde Portuguese Food

Caldo Verde is a medicinal dish in Mediterranean delicacies. The soup packs an excellent well being punch with kale, cabbage, onion, garlic, and a splash of olive oil. It is available in a inexperienced shade that even seems wholesome and is a well-liked soup when you find yourself unwell and for celebrations as a light-weight meal. It is often served alongside rye bread and is great for dipping.

Caldo Verde is a Portuguese soup that was invented within the Minho Province within the fifteenth century. The scrumptious soup has been tailored just a little over time however has primarily stayed the identical. You would possibly discover that completely different individuals have their very own variations of the recipe in Portugal, as it’s such a family dish.

16. Kofta Kebab

Kebabs on the streets of Morocco

Kofta kebabs are one of many primary meat dishes in Middle Eastern Mediterranean delicacies. The minced meat will be beef, rooster, or mutton and is served in lengthy balls skewered on kebabs. The meat is combined with herbs and spices and has a barbequed, aromatic high quality. If you’re searching for Mediterranean avenue meals, a kofta kebab is a superb selection.

Kofta kebabs originated in Persian, and early cookbooks and meals historical past hint them again to the thirteenth century. It’s protected to say that kofta meat has been round for a very long time, and a kofta kebab is among the tastiest Eastern Mediterranean meals. Sample a kofta kebab with a tzatziki or garlic sauce for the yummiest expertise.

17. Caprese Salad

Italian Food Insalata Caprese

A Caprese salad is one other basic Mediterranean meals. Simple however mouthwateringly scrumptious, this Italian creation consists of salted sliced tomatoes and mozzarella organized in an ornate circle on a serving plate. Basil leaves are scattered over the dish, and very often, you’ll have balsamic vinegar and additional virgin olive oil drizzled over the salad.

Like the Margherita pizza, a Caprese salad is a patriotic dish and incorporates the three colours of the Italian flag. This patriotic significance is central to its creation story, because it was made in 1920 in post-World War 1 Italy. This dish was served on the Hotel Quisisana, and it unfold throughout Italy in a short time as a brand new favourite dish.

A Caprese salad is simple to duplicate at dwelling, and also you don’t have to journey all the best way to Capri to strive it (though if you happen to can, you positively ought to). It is a refreshing, wholesome mild snack – completely loved mid-afternoon on a summer time’s day.

18. Lasagne


Lasagne is among the oldest pasta dishes in Mediterranean delicacies. This Mediterranean meals is recreated everywhere in the globe, and the layered dish is revered as a staple household meal. If you’ve got ever dabbled in Mediterranean cooking, lasagne might be one of many recipes that you simply’ve already cooked.

Lasagne usually makes use of a chunky tomato sauce and both minced meat or greens between pasta layers. Herbs and spices like oregano, basil, and garlic are added to the combination. The cooking course of then entails stacking layer upon layer earlier than cooking the dish within the oven. Often, cheese is grated on prime for an additional layer. The recipe is tried and examined, you could possibly say because it has been round because the occasions of the Ancient Romans. Lasagne is even talked about in early Roman writings.

19. Grilled Swordfish with Lemon

As you already know, fish is a staple meals in lots of Mediterranean nations and has a number of wholesome fat that type a nutritious diet. Fishing is a large a part of the Mediterranean tradition too, and the Mediterranean Sea has a number of completely different fish on provide – together with swordfish. Grilled swordfish is a well-liked dish in Greek delicacies, and swordfish is so meaty that it’s also known as a fish steak.

The fish is seared and cooked on the grill, both marinated in lemon earlier than for an intense taste or drizzled in lemon juice after for a extra sauce-like impact. Traditional fish dishes have the fish served individually and complete as a press release piece. It is frequent for fish to be served alongside a salad, particularly olives. You also can request chips on the facet in order for you a extra fashionable twist.

You can hint fishing again to earlier than the Middle Ages within the Mediterranean. Fish have been part of the Mediterranean weight-reduction plan for many of documented historical past, and this swordfish dish is a good way to pattern seafood ‘the Mediterranean way’.

20. Stuffed Vine Leaves

 Stuffed Vine Leaves

Stuffed vine leaves (aka dolmas) are some of the typical Turkish dishes and a vastly in style Mediterranean meals. The dish is an appetizer or mezze and consists of stuffed vine leaves, a byproduct of all that grape manufacturing. Dolmas will be vegetarian or meat-filled. The normal elements are rice and tiny, diced cubes of onion, which minced meat can then be added to. The filling is then neatly wrapped in little parcels utilizing vine leaves and eaten as a complete. It is among the tastiest Mediterranean recipes, and if you happen to like Turkish delicacies, it’s a must-try.

Stuffed vine leaves date again so far as the fifteenth century and was continuously loved amongst royalty within the Ottoman Empire. The tasty dish shortly unfold and really quickly grew to become loved everywhere in the Middle East and ultimately the remainder of the world. You’ll discover stuffed vine leaves at Turkish eating places, however there’s no higher place to strive the dish than in Turkey. Keep them in thoughts if you happen to plan a go to.

21. Shish Tawook

Turkish Foods Sis Kebap

Shish Tawook is a variation of a shish kebab, a really well-known Mediterranean meals served in kebab outlets everywhere in the world. It consists of rooster meat served on a skewer, and ‘shish’ means skewer in Turkish. The rooster meat is marinated in a mix of lemon juice, garlic, and yogurt. It is then chopped into tough chunks and grilled on its skewer. Shish Tawook is a superb barbeque dish and avenue meals you could find in most corners of the world.

The precise birthplace of Shish Tawook is unknown. While the trendy model of the dish originated in Turkey, kebab eat has existed throughout the Middle East for hundreds of years. Like falafel, it’s a little bit of a ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg’ state of affairs. Since so many Middle Eastern nations had kebab meat centuries in the past, it’s tough to find out which nation had it first.

22. Foul Mudammas

Foul Mudammas Mediterranean Dishes

Foul Mudammas is a tasty, warming stew that makes use of fava beans as a major ingredient with heat spices and contemporary herbs like parsley. Fava beans are a well-liked breakfast meals within the Middle East. You can usually discover foul Mudammas eaten as a savory breakfast dish at first of the day.

Foul Mudammas is likely to be often known as a Lebanese breakfast as of late, however the dish originated in Egypt. The dish will be traced again to Ancient Egypt, so it’s protected to say that it has been round for a very long time. There was even a discovery of a group of fava beans unearthed throughout an archeological dig at a Neolithic web site. Foul Mudammas is among the most conventional dishes in Mediterranean delicacies, and fava beans are a historic a part of the Mediterranean weight-reduction plan.

23. Pickled Turnips

Mediterranean Dishes Pickled Turnips

Pickled turnips are a tasty a part of Lebanese delicacies and are sometimes served as a mezze dish. If you haven’t seen them earlier than, they’re extremely hanging to take a look at and are lengthy slices of brilliant pink, mysterious-looking vegetable. Looking at them, you most likely wouldn’t guess that they’re turnips. They have a barely vinegary style, however the parsnip’s considerably candy, delicate style balances the vinegar out. You can eat them at any time of day, and they’re a typical dish to identify in Lebanese eating places.

Pickled turnips would possibly sound like a random a part of Mediterranean delicacies. However, pickled greens are a standard approach of preserving and stockpiling scarce produce. The methodology has been used for hundreds of years utilizing options like vinegar or brine. Most lately in fashionable historical past, pickling greens was used to protect meals throughout World War II rations within the Nineteen Forties.

24. Egyptian Fried Boiled Eggs

Mediterranean Food Egyptian Fried Boiled Eggs

Egyptian fried, boiled eggs are one other one among our most uncommon Mediterranean recipes. This dish is a must-try, although, and excessive in protein which makes it a wholesome meals to strive. The course of begins with hard-boiled eggs, peeled and transferred right into a searing scorching pan to fry with a little bit of ghee or butter. Egyptian fried, boiled eggs are served alongside a salad, which usually consists of cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and infrequently feta cheese.

Egyptian fried, boiled eggs are generally eaten throughout holidays. However, whereas the dish is taken into account a standard meal within the Mediterranean, it may also be traced to Asian delicacies. Legend has it that Thailand has a a lot much less celebratory story behind this dish. In Thailand, the dish known as son-in-law eggs (kai look keuy). It’s stated {that a} mom ready the eggs for her son-in-law as a little bit of darkish humor to recommend she would possibly castrate him if he didn’t begin treating her daughter higher.

25. Stuffed Bell Peppers

moroccan food tagine

Like stuffed vine leaves, stuffed bell peppers are a part of the dolmas meals – a household of stuffed dishes eaten worldwide, particularly within the Mediterranean. Stuffed bell peppers are one of many tastiest dishes and are often filled with rice, greens, beans, and generally meat. The ultimate contact is a layer of cheese, which melts because the stuffed bell peppers are cooked. Stuffed bell peppers are fast and simple to organize and have a fame as a wholesome consolation meals – what extra might you need?

You’ll discover stuffed peppers in Turkey, Tunisia, and the Balkans. The dish will be present in sure eating places however is especially cooked at dwelling. It is simple to attempt to prepare dinner your self, so this may very well be a dish in your personal kitchen.

To Conclude

Mediterranean delicacies is definitely the most effective on this planet. Mediterranean meals additionally comes from a various vary of nations, so it has all types of tastes and methods used. Will you strive a specialty from Southern Italy? Southern France? Or maybe one of many Mediterranean nations within the Middle East? The selection is yours.

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