14 Vegetable-Friendly Side Dishes for the Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean Grilled Vegetables
"These Greek flavored vegetables are grilled and seasoned to perfection," says ilise19. "Perfect side dish for a busy mommy."
Italian Grilled Eggplant with Basil and Parsley (Melanzane Grigliate al Basilico e Prezzemolo)
"This Italian side dish (aka 'contorno') couldn't be easier! We make this often during the summer, when we have an abundance of basil and parsley growing in our garden," says Kim's Cooking Now. "Works well with zucchini, too!"
Grilled Broccoli Rabe
"Broccoli rabe, also called rapini, is known for its slightly bitter and peppery taste," says France C. Blanching it before grilling helps tone down the bitterness. Squeeze lemon wedged over top when serving, if desired. It is excellent served alongside grilled Italian sausages and thick crusty bread."
Creamy Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
"Lively and refreshing, this cucumber salad has beautiful, fresh herbs and lots of crunch," says Bibi. "Try it this summer when your garden is bursting with cucumbers, and your lettuce has said goodbye. You can toss it with some romaine, if you have some, or just simply enjoy the simplicity."
Grilled Radicchio with Blue Cheese
"These grilled radicchio wedges make a colorful side to accompany most any grilled main dish," says France C. "The sweet, acidic flavor of the balsamic and creamy blue cheese tame the natural bitterness of the radicchio."
You'll steam fresh kale and then toss it in a bright, lemony dressing with minced garlic and a dash of soy sauce. "Absolutely loved it," says Roni. "I added a teaspoon of agave nectar as well and thoroughly enjoyed it."
Mediterranean Zucchini Boats
"Tender zucchinis stuffed with Mediterranean goodness make a great side dish and are a pleaser at every party," says smparks.
Vegetable Birdseed Pilaf
This savory veggie pilaf combines chopped spinach, peas, garlic, onion, and tomatoes with protein-rich millet, rosemary, and white wine.
Sheet Pan Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
"These roasted Mediterranean vegetables featuring cherry tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, and garlic make a delicious sheet pan dinner with an easy cleanup," says BigDaddy.
Sicilian-Style Broccoli Rabe
"This is the way broccoli rabe was meant to be cooked," says iMakeItRainInTheKitchen. "This goes great with a nice steak or fish. Serve with crusty Italian bread and some good vino. The best part is dipping the crusty bread in those juices. Buon appetito!"
Easy Mediterranean Orzo Salad
This orzo salad combines olives, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, roasted red peppers, pine nuts, and ricotta salata with a light lemon-olive oil dressing. "This salad is an incorporation of a variety of Mediterranean ingredients with a light lemon sauce to bind it all together," says thedailygourmet. "Feel free to substitute ingredients for a more customized salad. Due to many ingredients I've listed having a naturally salty flavor, I've refrained from the addition of salt.
Sicilian Blood Orange Salad
This simple, savory blood orange salad is refreshing, delicious, and healthy! "This is one of my favorite summer dishes, refreshing and deliciously healthy!" says Rochelle Brooks Thompson. "I was given this recipe by a Sicilian friend while living in Sicily, Italy. My family adores this dish.
Maroulosalata (Greek Romaine Salad)
"The simple ingredient list shouldn't fool you — it's such a light, crunchy, refreshing salad that is full of flavor," says Diana Moutsopoulos. "In Greece, maroulosalata is one of the most common salads. I particularly love it alongside roast or grilled meats. The key to authenticity is to almost shred the romaine lettuce (marouli), rather than tear it into large pieces as we normally do in the States."
Halloumi, Chickpea, and Tomato Salad with Mint
When tomatoes are ripe and in season, you just can't beat this Mediterranean-inspired salad, which features pan-fried (or grilled) halloumi cheese, fresh chopped tomatoes, mint, and chickpeas.
You might also like: