Few cuisines are quite so evocative of warm weather as that of the Mediterranean: green olive oil, fresh vegetables and herbs, bursts of acidic lemon juice -- it's hard to go wrong. One thing we love so much about Mediterranean recipes is how many of them are meatless or vegan. Here are just a few of our favorite Mediterranean recipes that are positively perfect for bringing a bit of sunshine to your Meatless Monday table.
Tapenade is a southern French staple, and for very good reason -- it's packed with flavor. Choose the very best olives you can for this vegan tapenade made with black olives, capers, parsley, lemon, and extra-virgin olive oil. It's excellent served with crusty French bread and a variety of crudités or lightly steamed vegetables.
Photo by Ally-Jane
This Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad showcases flavors you would naturally associate with a Greek salad: feta, onion, olives, and parsley all play a role in this gluten-free dish, made with brown rice pasta and bulked up with protein-rich chickpeas. This salad is delicious both hot and cold, so consider doubling the recipe and taking the leftovers to work for lunch the next day.
Avgolemono image via Shutterstock
From the Organic Authority Files
Avgolemono is a delicious Greek soup that's flavored with lemon juice and is usually thickened with egg. In this vegan version, the richness of the soup comes from a combination of miso, nutritional yeast, and tahini, which round out the vegetable and brown rice base. You could also use whole wheat orzo for a more traditional version of this soup.
Photos by Ally-Jane
These vegetarian grape leaves are stuffed with a super-flavorful filling that includes pine nuts, shiitake mushrooms, golden raisins, and olives. With all of those different flavors and textures going on, it's no wonder that the feta cheese is optional -- you hardly need it, and by leaving it out, you make these tasty morsels entirely vegan.
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Tapenade image via Shutterstock