For years, it seemed that Mediterranean cuisine was synonymous with Italy or maybe Greece. But Mediterranean recipes are just as varied as the countries that border the Sea, from Croatia to Cyprus, Lebanon to Libya, Morocco to Montenegro, Turkey to Tunisia. Luckily, thanks to chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi, other Mediterranean cuisines are getting their time in the sun. To explore the vast diversity of these cuisines, we've chosen four of our absolute favorite Mediterranean recipes for Meatless Monday.
Fattoush is a Levantine bread salad popular in Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, and Jordan. This Lebanese recipe for fattoush combines an assortment of veggies including romaine, cherry tomatoes, and radishes with a flavorful, slightly acidic dressing of lemon, pomegranate molasses, and sumac. The refreshing flavor of mint and the crunch of pita chips seal the deal. The salad should not be relegated to a simple side -- with so many colors and flavors going on, it's deserving of main dish status.
Hummus image via Shutterstock
Hummus is a classic mezze popular throughout the Middle East. The secret to an exceptional hummus is peeling the chickpeas before blending, which will make the dip smooth and creamy. Serve hummus with an assortment of other mezze like baba ghanouj, or simply accompany it with warmed pita and raw vegetables for dipping.
From the Organic Authority Files
Image: Minimalist Baker
This may not be the most traditional of falafel recipes, but these falafel burgers are absolutely worth the deviation from the classic recipe. Baked falafel patties are served with an assortment of fresh veggies, two flavorful sauces, and a Swiss chard wrapper taking the place of the traditional bun. The resulting sandwich is a great gluten-free, vegan option for a barbecue.
Tabbouleh Salad Image from Shutterstock
Tabbouleh is a salad made in Arab and Turkish cultures, often consisting of just as much grain as fresh, green herbs. As a result, it's a filling and refreshing option perfect for a lighter Meatless Monday meal. Use buckwheat in place of bulgur wheat to make this salad gluten-free.
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Top image: Foodie Crush