Last month, we spoke to you about how you can travel vicariously through travel vloggers, and as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rule travelling out for more of the world, we wanted to show you how to bring a part of the world to you. Well, to your kitchen, actually.
The Mediterranean is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, and, for good reason. The beautiful culture, amazing landscapes and of course, the decadent cuisine. The Mediterranean is situated in one of the best locations in the world for growing ingredients and as such, even the simplest dish here tastes divine.
Although you cannot travel there now, you can bring the Mediterranean to you in the form of its cuisine. In this article, discover some Med dishes you can cook at home.
We spoke to Eugenia from Eat Yourself Greek, a blogger who shares her passion for Greek food online. She spoke to us about Mediterranean cuisine: “Mediterranean dishes rely on a handful of fresh, good quality ingredients. These sun-kissed dishes are often very easily put together. In Greek home cooking, olive oil is, of course, a must ingredient. So much that there is a whole group of dishes cooked with olive oil, called latherá, very similar to the modern one-pot dinners.”
She told us more about latherá, her recommended dish to cook: “In latherá recipes, you have seasonal vegetables taking centrepiece such as spinach or cabbage, often some freshly grated tomato and a generous helping of olive oil. The principal is easy to adapt to just about any seasonal vegetable from summer string beans to wintery heads of cabbage. Of course, you can have some meat or seafood thrown in if you like.”
Eugenia recommends two latherá recipes:
If you are looking for something a little lighter, a wonderful lunch option is an Italian salad. Inspired by the colours of the Italian flag, this dish may be simple, but it harnesses the flavour of fresh Italian ingredients. Although you may not be in Italy if you are able to get some fresh ingredients to make this you are in for a treat.
Light, fresh and surprisingly moreish, you can serve this for a light lunch or alongside another meal, and it’s sure to be a hit with whoever tries it! Quick and simple to make, it’s a recipe you’ll come back to time and time again.
Image Credit: The Bean Bites
Amber blogs at The Bean Bites and is a food and travel writer. Amber’s love for beans, legumes and pulses drove her to want to share amazing recipes using these ingredients for anybody who might think they are boring, and wow does she succeed. She spoke to us about the beauty of Mediterranean cuisine: “From Portugal and Spain in the west to Greece and Turkey to the east, the food of the Mediterranean has one thing in common, a dedication to freshness. Only the freshest seafood, produce and spices will do. The Mediterranean region produces a yearlong bounty of delicious fresh ingredients. Ensuring you're eating what’s in season.”
Amber recommends French lentils, a light dish that is the perfect accompaniment to a meal. She told us: “The French region of Provence, where this dish gets its inspiration, benefits greatly from its proximity to the Mediterranean. A seasonal summer dish, it is light, healthy, and best of all, easy to make. It’s the perfect side dish for grilled meat or fish.”
Spanish paella is a signature dish and something everyone should eat in this European country. And, if you’ve had Spanish paella already then recreating it in your own home is sure to bring back memories of past trips. Although you may not have enough room for a large traditional paella pan, if you are able to stick to the low and slow method that is used around Spain you can fill your home with the scent of the Spanish coastline.
This is a wonderful slow-cooker meal, as it can be left to let the flavours strengthen all day. It’s also super easy to customise, so whether you want to swap seafood for chicken and chorizo or create a vegan paella so long as you have rice and rich paprika flavours it will be a success.
Image Credit: Pratesi Living
Gwen from Pratesi Living has been passionate about food ever since she was a child, and has always found inspiration around the Mediterranean. She spoke about how dishes from this region inspire her: “Mediterranean cuisine comes from the regions in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While they share a common seacoast, the types of cuisine vary greatly from French and Italian cooking to Middle Eastern and North African-style dishes. Known for their fresh ingredients and spices and herbs, traditional Mediterranean dishes offer a wide and interesting range of flavours that inspire most of my cooking.”
Gwen told us about one of her favourite recipes from the area, Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Green Olives and Preserved Lemons: “It has a wonderful combination of fresh and dried spices and herbs. I love the intense flavours that are created when they are combined with the briny olives and tangy preserved lemons. I serve this with a couscous that’s made with toasted pine nuts and golden raisins.”
When the time comes, we hope you can take advantage of our cruise deals to visit the Med for yourself and explore the culinary scene there, we assure you that you will not be disappointed! Until then, give these dishes a try in your own home and bring a slice of the Mediterranean to you.