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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 broadly praised for its wholesome fat and prevention of heart problems, with loads of minimally processed meats, wholesome oils, recent greens, and herbs and spices. Mediterranean recipes are so common 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

Mediterranean meals may need tailored and unfold globally, however we’ll discover probably the most conventional variations of the perfect 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 the perfect conventional Mediterranean dishes you have to strive.

1. Greek Salad, aka Horiatiki

greek food guide table
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Greek salad is a traditional Mediterranean dish, and Greek meals is likely one of the most well-known Mediterranean cuisines. It is the right summer season salad, with recent flavors and a scrumptious drizzle of additional virgin olive oil. You’ll sometimes discover chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, black olives, and both crumbled feta cheese or a thick slice of feta cheese perched on high of the remainder of the salad. The additional virgin olive oil neutralizes the acidity of the onion, and you may also discover a sprinkling of oregano for an fragrant added taste.

When the Greek salad was actually invented is a little bit of a thriller. The model of the salad we all know and love at present was created by tavern homeowners in Plaka between 1960 and 1970. However, adaptions of the recipe have been used for hundreds of years. Greece is likely one of the main producers of the world’s olives and has been rising olive timber since Ancient Greece. The Mediterranean local weather is ideal for rising olives and recent greens all yr spherical.

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

2. Pizza Margherita

pizza margherita
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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 likely one of the most iconic dishes in all the Mediterranean international locations.

Margherita pizza served the Mediterranean method, is uncut and eaten with a knife and fork. Like many 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 profitable mixture. You received’t battle to pattern a Margherita pizza wherever you go.

3. Moroccan Tagine

Moroccan Tagine
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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 likely one of the greatest Mediterranean recipes for sluggish 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’s some controversy over whether or not it was invented in North Africa in Morocco itself. Either method, it’s a staple dish within the Mediterranean eating regimen and one of the vital common 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
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Speaking of staples in a Mediterranean eating regimen, moussaka is a scrumptious eggplant-based dish vastly common in trendy Mediterranean delicacies. It appears to be like a bit 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 can assist 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 infrequently floor meat, like lamb, between every layer. Moussaka is consolation meals by means of 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 at present is a Greek model of an Arabic dish, which most probably 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 international locations. You can even replicate the dish fairly simply at dwelling.

5. Armenian Losh

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Armenian losh is a mix of half-ground lamb and half-ground beef. The meat is blended with finely chopped white onion, herbs, and spices, together with recent 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 may additionally discover onions fried and served as a aspect. Armenian losh is a good road 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 kinds. The meat and herbs mixture is typical of a Mediterranean eating regimen, and the kebab model of consuming Armenian losh is very typical of the Eastern Mediterranean area.

6. Gyros

Gyros are a popular Greek Food
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Who doesn’t love gyros? The scrumptious pita sandwiches with tzatziki sauce are common road meals and one of the vital sought-after Mediterranean recipes. Gyros are sometimes meat dishes, with lamb, beef, or rooster reduce in slices off a vertical rotisserie. However, you may also get vegetarian 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 elegant, and the tzatziki provides a refreshing, neutralizing taste to stability the combination of different flavors.

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

7. Tabouli

Mediterranean Food Tabouli
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Tabouli is a flavorsome dish from the Middle East recognized for its intense, scrumptious flavors. The salad dish is a dense combination of finely reduce recent parsley, mint, and bulgur wheat, drenched in lemon juice and olive oil and blended with tomatoes. It is likely one of the greatest dishes that features entire grains and is often eaten as a mezze dish. However, tabouli in a chunk of pita bread is lunch in itself.

Tabouli originated in Lebanon and Syria and is a staple salad in an Eastern Mediterranean eating regimen. Tabouli has been round for a very long time; consultants assume it may hint again to the Middle Ages. The dish packs a punch and shortly turned well-known for its zesty style and well being advantages. You can recreate the salad at dwelling, however sampling it in Lebanon or a neighborhood restaurant can be one of the simplest ways to strive it. Luckily, you received’t should look far since Lebanese delicacies has turn into broadly common across the globe.

8. Black Eyed Peas Salad

Mediterranean Food Black eyed Peas Salad
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Firstly, black-eyed peas are a legume, not a pea. The small beans have a black dot, which supplies them their identify, and are massively common 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 effectively.

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

9. Shakshuka

Mediterranean Food Shakshuka
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Shakshuka is a straightforward one-pot recipe from North Africa and one of the vital 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, recent herbs, and further virgin olive oil. The eggs are poached by pouring them immediately 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 turned shortly common for being low-cost, wholesome, and tremendous straightforward 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 surroundings.

10. Falafel

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Chances are, you’ve heard of falafel. The little patties are a vastly common Middle Eastern dish. In truth, they’re so common that they’ve unfold out the world over, previous different Mediterranean international locations, and into international locations 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 comprised of floor chickpeas and infrequently 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

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Speaking of chickpeas, hummus is one other scrumptious aspect 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 principally used as a dip. The floor chickpeas are blended 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 broadly thought-about a Middle Eastern Mediterranean dish, however the place precisely it was created is a thriller. Now, you could find it in supermarkets all all over the world. But we suggest attempting it home made at a restaurant or in your kitchen.

12. Paella

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Paella, who doesn’t know and love this dish? This is likely one of the most famed Mediterranean recipes and originates from Spain. Seafood is an enormous a part of the Mediterranean eating regimen, and paella caters to seafood lovers. The dish consists of short-grained rice cooked in a risotto model with inventory and tomato-based sauce, with seafood like prawns, mussels, and even octopus accompanying it. Peas and a slice of lemon are normally served with paella, and you may also 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 cook dinner in a skinny layer. Paella was common for utilizing up leftover rice and likewise for serving massive teams of individuals at celebrations and gatherings. It stays a social dish, and its large serving measurement is ideal for sharing.

13. Mediterranean Wine

Fun things to do in Mykonos Wine Tasting
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The Mediterranean space is revered for its wine manufacturing. The area has the right local weather to provide native wines. It is taken into account one of the vital versatile wine areas on the earth. 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 a superb a part of all Mediterranean tradition.

Wine has been produced for hundreds of years, and precisely the place it was created stays a sizzling matter. What we do know, although, is that it was drunk often in Ancient Rome and in international locations like Georgia way back to 9000 BC. Nowadays, Mediterranean wine is likely one of the most exported items from the area, and wine tasting is a extremely sought-after exercise in lots of Mediterranean international locations.

14. Risotto

Traditional Italian Food Risotto alla Milanese
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Risotto is a hearty, salt-of-the-earth kind of Mediterranean meals. The Mediterranean eating regimen comprises a whole lot 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 offer it a wealthy, buttery taste. It is then slowly cooked in broth, added little by little to permit as a lot taste absorption as potential. To end, grated parmesan is the final word closing contact.

Risotto originated in Northern Italy, and cookbooks courting again to the 18th century present risotto recipe diversifications. If you go to Italy, risotto is likely one of 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 cook 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
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Caldo Verde is a medicinal dish in Mediterranean delicacies. The soup packs an excellent well being punch with kale, cabbage, onion, garlic, and a touch of olive oil. It is available in a inexperienced colour that even appears to be like wholesome and is a well-liked soup if you find yourself unwell and for celebrations as a lightweight meal. It is normally 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 a bit over time however has basically stayed the identical. You may 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
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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 blended with herbs and spices and has a barbequed, aromatic high quality. If you’re on the lookout for Mediterranean road meals, a kofta kebab is a good selection.

Kofta kebabs originated in Persian, and early cookbooks and meals historical past hint them again to the thirteenth century. It’s secure to say that kofta meat has been round for a very long time, and a kofta kebab is likely one of 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
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A Caprese salad is one other traditional 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 further virgin olive oil drizzled over the salad.

Like the Margherita pizza, a Caprese salad is a patriotic dish and comprises 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 straightforward to duplicate at dwelling, and also you don’t must journey all the way in which to Capri to strive it (though in the event you can, you undoubtedly ought to). It is a refreshing, wholesome mild snack – completely loved mid-afternoon on a summer season’s day.

18. Lasagne

Lasagne
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Lasagne is likely one of 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 may have ever dabbled in Mediterranean cooking, lasagne might be one of many recipes that you just’ve already cooked.

Lasagne sometimes 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 high for an additional layer. The recipe is tried and examined, you may say because it has been round for the reason that 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 international locations and has plenty of wholesome fat that kind a nutritious diet. Fishing is an enormous a part of the Mediterranean tradition too, and the Mediterranean Sea has a whole lot 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 entire as an announcement piece. It is frequent for fish to be served alongside a salad, particularly olives. You can even request chips on the aspect if you’d like a extra trendy twist.

You can hint fishing again to earlier than the Middle Ages within the Mediterranean. Fish have been part of the Mediterranean eating regimen 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
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Stuffed vine leaves (aka dolmas) are one of the vital typical Turkish dishes and a vastly common 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 likely one of the tastiest Mediterranean recipes, and in the event you like Turkish delicacies, it’s a must-try.

Stuffed vine leaves date again so far as the fifteenth century and was often loved amongst royalty within the Ottoman Empire. The tasty dish shortly unfold and really quickly turned 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 in the event you plan a go to.

21. Shish Tawook

Turkish Foods Sis Kebap
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Shish Tawook is a variation of a shish kebab, a really well-known Mediterranean meals served in kebab retailers 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 road meals you could find in most corners of the world.

The precise birthplace of Shish Tawook is unknown. While the fashionable 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 international locations had kebab meat centuries in the past, it’s troublesome to find out which nation had it first.

22. Foul Mudammas

Foul Mudammas Mediterranean Dishes
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Foul Mudammas is a tasty, warming stew that makes use of fava beans as a major ingredient with heat spices and recent 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 in the beginning of the day.

Foul Mudammas could be generally 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 secure to say that it has been round for a very long time. There was even a discovery of a set of fava beans unearthed throughout an archeological dig at a Neolithic website. Foul Mudammas is likely one of the most conventional dishes in Mediterranean delicacies, and fava beans are a historic a part of the Mediterranean eating regimen.

23. Pickled Turnips

Mediterranean Dishes Pickled Turnips
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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 vibrant 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, gentle 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 may sound like a random a part of Mediterranean delicacies. However, pickled greens are a typical method of preserving and stockpiling scarce produce. The methodology has been used for hundreds of years utilizing options like vinegar or brine. Most not too long ago in trendy historical past, pickling greens was used to protect meals throughout World War II rations within the Forties.

24. Egyptian Fried Boiled Eggs

Mediterranean Food Egyptian Fried Boiled Eggs
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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 sizzling pan to fry with a little bit of ghee or butter. Egyptian fried, boiled eggs are served alongside a salad, which generally contains 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 will 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 is 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 may castrate him if he didn’t begin treating her daughter higher.

25. Stuffed Bell Peppers

moroccan food tagine
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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 normally full of rice, greens, beans, and typically meat. The closing contact is a layer of cheese, which melts because the stuffed bell peppers are cooked. Stuffed bell peppers are fast and straightforward to organize and have a repute as a wholesome consolation meals – what extra may you need?

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

To Conclude

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Mediterranean delicacies is definitely among the finest on the earth. Mediterranean meals additionally comes from a various vary of nations, so it has all kinds of tastes and strategies used. Will you strive a specialty from Southern Italy? Southern France? Or maybe one of many Mediterranean international locations within the Middle East? The selection is yours.

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