A Simple, yet Stylish Mediterranean Menu
To me, the Mediterranean culture is so warm and inviting. It makes you think of bright, sunny, breezy days full of vibrant colors and crisp air. When this type of cuisine is served it really makes everyone feel like they have a place at the dinner table. This Mediterranean menu will do just that, gather everyone around the dinner table to appreciate the incredible flavors with prettiest plates.
There are two platters I selected to use for this meal for two reasons: First, it reminded me of this Mediterranean culture with the vibrant blue, white and gold colors. Second, I specifically loved the meaning behind them. The Hand of Fatima represents the daughter of a Prophet and his wife. It has been used to ward off negative energy and bring positivity, protection, good health and abundance. The design of an open hand with an eye in the palm is a symbol to keep misfortune away. When I am gathered with my loved ones around the dinner table, it is one of my happiest places. It is a time to enjoy each others company, bring out lots of laughter, catch up on life and enjoy flavorful food. So, that alone is the definition of positive energy during that time. This meal is also so refreshing and light that it represents being healthy as well.
This is a meal that you do not want to miss! So, celebrate these sunny flavors and positivity right in the comfort of you own home.
Some typical food associated with this cuisine include: olives, lemon, lamb, eggplant, herbs, various vegetables and seafood. I naturally gravitated towards fish because I wanted a fresh flair on this and when I think of Mediterranean, it makes me think being by the water and eating the " fresh catch of the day". With that, I incorporated some of their traditional sides such as pita bread, hummus and tzatziki sauce plus, a fresh pasta greek salad on the side. All of these menu items combined will truly capture those Mediterranean flavors at your next simple, yet stylish dinner party.
Serves 5, INGREDIENTS: For the Greek Pasta Salad
For the Salad:
1 and 1/4 cup dried pasta, cooked
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, cut in half
1 TBSP olive oil for olive and red onion mixture
1 TBSP lemon juice for olive and red onion mixture
1 TSP dried oregano for olive and red onion mixture
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumbers, sliced in half then in quarters
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup zucchini, sliced in half then in quarters
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
For the Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 TBSP minced garlic
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 TSP salt
1/4 TSP pepper
1/2 TBSP feta cheese, crumbled
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add 1 and 1/4 cup dried pasta to the pot and cook for about 11 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Once finished, drain, rinse under cold water and set aside. Pour a little bit of olive oil over and mix so pasta does not stick together. Put in the fridge to cool while you prep the other items.
Prepare olive and red onion mixture. Dice the red onion and place in a bowl, cut olives in half and place in the same bowl. Pour 1 TBSP of olive oil, 1 TBSP lemon juice and 1 TSP dried oregano over the olives and red onion. Mix and set aside.
Cut and measure out the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and zucchini place each in a separate bowl until you are ready to combine.
Prepare the salad dressing. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
Remove pasta from the fridge. Place in a large bowl. Add olive and red onion mixture, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and zucchini. Pour dressing over and mix.
Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over salad and mix again. Add as much or as little cheese as you would like.
Serve on platter of your choice. I LOVED this insight serving platter from Anthropologie.
Best if served cold. Place in fridge before serving if needed.
Serves 4, INGREDIENTS: For the Mediterranean Fish
4 tilapia fish filets OR fish of your choice. (The Tilapia was so light and refreshing, I do recommend going with this type).
Half of a large tomato, diced
2 TBSP feta cheese, crumbled
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP minced garlicSalt and pepper
Marinated artichokes, to top on the fish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare a baking dish with non-stick spray.
Rinse fish under cold water and pat dry.
Season with salt, pepper and oregano on both sides and place in the prepared baking dish.
In a bowl, mix fresh diced tomatoes, feta cheese, lemon juice and minced garlic.
Pour tomato and feta cheese mixture over the fish. Top the fish with marinated artichokes. (To save time, I got mine prepackaged from whole foods or mariano's you can get them from in their olive bar).
Bake at 425 for 25 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool and serve right away.
PRETTY PLATE KITCHEN ITEMS USED: