Mediterranean – the word alone is evocative, conjuring up warm winds blowing gently across sun-kissed isles and platefuls of simple, delicious, life-giving food.
What’s not to love about Mediterranean cuisine? Entice your customers through the door this summer with a Mediterranean themed evening. Whether it reminds customers of a holiday they have enjoyed, or gets them in the mood for their next, serving Mediterranean cuisine is a guaranteed customer pleaser. The versatile style of food makes for a relaxed and informal dining experience to suit all tastes.
What to serve
Pizza and pasta are always going to be right at home on a Mediterranean menu. However, why not make it more authentic by serving lots of delicious and nutritious fish, seafood and vegetables. The healthier twist will appeal to those customers who have adopted vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyles as well as encouraging others to try something new.
No Mediterranean diet is complete without olive oil! However, organic, good quality extra virgin olive oil is the recommended one to use.
• Use as seasoning – just dress your cooked dish with a splash at the end
• Butter is not traditionally part of Mediterranean cooking, so replace it with olive oil
• Extra virgin olive oil has a high smoking point, which means you can fry at quite high temperatures – great for sautéed potatoes, fried eggs, omelettes and pancakes
• Add a splash of oil into the boiling water when cooking rice
Vegetables are an important staple of a Med diet. Served as an appetiser, main or side, vegetables should be a huge part of your menu. Ideas include courgettes with tomato and feta, potato salad (minus the mayonnaise) with cherry tomatoes, olives, roasted red peppers and fresh herbs, courgette and quinoa-stuffed peppers and a stew of summer vegetables.
To be truly authentic, fish and seafood should feature heavily on your menu.
• Mussels – a popular choice, they make a great starter or sharing dish. Serve moules marinière, or to make it slightly healthier, opt for tomatoes and chilli. For something a little different why not serve crunchy mussels baked in their shells with garlic, parsley butter and breadcrumbs.
• Salmon – a whole baked salmon fillet studded with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and basil will make an impressive centerpiece and is ideal for sharing.
• Anchovies – a central ingredient to lots of Med dishes. These are popular in a salad nicoise or Caesar, and as a pizza topping. Or you can get creative and mash some drained anchovy fillets with the juice and grated zest of a lemon, extra virgin olive oil and a finely chopped shallot to make a vinaigrette to pour over grilled, steamed or baked fish.