Mediterranean Dinner Recipes

Take cues from the Mediterranean diet to make healthful, satisfying supper salads.

| July / August 2017

  • Mediterranean ingredients come together to make nourishing, healthy and delicious dinner salads.
    Photo By iStock; SolStock
  • Let eggplant "sweat out" its bitter flavor by salting it and letting it sit for 30 minutes before use.
    Photo by iStock; alexannabuts
  • Satisfying fried eggplant combines with fresh dill and cucumber in this protein- and fiber-filled salad.
    Photo by Satisfying fried eggplant combines with fresh dill and cucumber in this protein- and fiber-filled salad.
  • Serve this mayonnaise-free tuna salad in a pita pocket or atop sliced tomatoes, a bed of greens or a slice of whole-grain bread.
    Photo by Suzy Karadsheh
  • This satisfying salad is packed with nutrients, protein and healthy fats.
    Photo by Suzy Karadsheh
  • Vegetarian and gluten-free, this hearty dish is perfect on a buffet for a group meal, or serve it with rice for a nutritious, meat-free dinner.
    Photo by Suzy Karadsheh
  • Savory chorizo, sweet cornand bright tomatoes make a perfect flavor combination.
    Photo by Suzy Karadsheh

Here’s How every dinner started in my mother’s Mediterranean kitchen: A large bowl was filled with chopped vegetables — usually tomatoes, cucumbers and onions — and then tossed with fresh herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. Sometimes mom’s salata (village salad) was transformed into dinner by adding a side of feta cheese and warm pita bread.

To many, salad is served as a means of stimulating the appetite, a meal’s introduction but not the meal itself. A pile of greens and a few cucumber rings doesn’t quite cut it for dinner. But, by following a few simple principles adapted from the Mediterranean diet, we can build perfect — and perfectly satisfying — supper salads.

Follow this basic framework to add flavor, texture and color to any salad:

• Approach your salad as a complete meal in a bowl. Build it mostly around quality vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Carnivores can add a small portion of chicken or fish — even Spanish chorizo, if you’re feeling feisty.

• Next, bring in the bold Mediterranean flavors: aromatics such as onions and garlic; warm spices such as sumac and Za’atar; and lots of fresh herbs.

• For the dressing? Olive oil and citrus or quality vinegar. Then play with ingredients that add heft, like tahini (sesame paste) or harissa (chili paste).

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