17 Mediterranean Diet Recipes That Showcase the Best Summer Produce
There’s a reason the Mediterranean diet continues to trend. It’s a delicious way to help with heart health, diabetes prevention, and more. Now is the perfect time to try it, since garden-fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers are at the center of these dishes. Add whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, and sail off into healthy waters.
This simple salmon recipe makes it easy and delicious to load up on heart-healthy fats and hunger busting protein. It's an all-purpose main that pairs with any summer vegetable dish.
"Searing the salmon adds a lot more flavor than a traditional baking method," says jkw321.
Karla marie dombrock adds, "I doubled the sauce and used some for leftover veggies."
Veggie Bulgur Salad (Kisir)
If you love tabbouleh (a parsley salad made with couscous or bulgur), you'll likely love kisir. Many traditional versions of this bulgur-based salad call for tomato paste and either chili paste of spicy paprika to lend reddish color and a little heat. This version uses fresh tomatoes and crushed red pepper.
You'll use less last when working with ripe summer vegetables, bright lemon and balsamic vinegar, and zippy dill. Hello, heart-healthy!
Muhammara (Red Pepper and Walnut Dip)
Muhammara [moo-hahm-MRAH] is a popular dip made with peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses. Sprinkle it with sumac, a spice made from dried and ground berries found in Italy and the Middle East.
Mediterranean Zucchini and Chickpea Salad
Crisp zucchini and bell peppers and aromatic rosemary and basil pack in flavor and freshness for the ultimate summer salad.
"Briam is a traditional Greek roasted vegetable dish with potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, and red onions with lots of olive oil. It is a typical example of Greek cuisine where a few simple ingredients are turned into an utterly delicious dish with little effort. It can be served as a main course. With olive oil as the only source of fat it is a quintessential example of the Mediterranean diet, and it is vegan to boot. If preferred, serve with a hearty chunk of feta on the side." —Diana Moutsopoulos
Spinach and Feta Pita Bake
Heatherbee says, "This is great as a party appetizer or a full meal. Tasty, full of flavor and good for you. The crunchy crust is what I really like! You can play with the veggie toppings and cheeses for a great meal that is fast and delicious! Our favorite quick meal!"
Good for You Greek Salad
Fresh tomatoes and cucumbers are tossed with red onion, Greek olives, feta cheese, oregano, and olive oil.
"Excellent salad," says Sarah Jo. "Stirred in just a couple heaping tablespoons of nonfat Greek yogurt. I darn near ate the whole bowl."
Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach with Garbanzo Beans)
"This recipe can be eaten as a side dish or as a light meal. It's great with a grilled pork chop and some crusty bread. Its origins date back to North African cultures and is one of the very popular choices of tapas in Seville's bars." —Vanessa Moore
"I've been making this one for a while and I always LOVE it," says dburdenbates. "I typically don't use flounder but instead use orange roughy just because that's usually what I have on hand. I love topping this with a bit of feta cheese as I put it on my plate."
"Being born & raised in Lebanon I would say this recipe is the closest to the one that my mom & sisters used to make except that they did not have cucumbers in it. I love it," says reviewer Zeerome
"I have made this once before - the first time we had tuna steaks. Very simple yet very flavorful. I will be making this again tomorrow. We love it. I just throw the steaks on our gas grill and they come out perfect." —Skeater
Mediterranean Zucchini Boats
Use up that bounty of summer zucchini with these easy stuffed zucchini.
"I made these with mozzarella cheese instead of Asiago and cooked them for 20 minutes. The boats were still a little firmer than al dente, but still good. I might cook them for a few minutes before adding the stuffing next time." —Hawksmate
Greek Island Chicken Shish Kebabs
Shish kebabs (also called souvlakia) are the ultimate summer meal. You get big smoky flavor all on one skewer. Dip these into tzatziki, a refreshing Greek condiment made with yogurt and cucumbers.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
"This light and refreshing cold pasta salad is loaded with the flavors of the Mediterranean, and pairs well with grilled proteins, such as fish, pork, chicken or steak. If you make this in advance, reserve a bit of the dressing to add right before serving, as the pasta has a tendency to soak up the dressing as it sits over time." —Kim's Cooking Now
Sheet Pan Ratatouille
The sheet pan makes quick work of ratatouille, the classic vegetarian French dish featuring eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, and olive oil. "I made ratatouille in one pan in no time and got the most caramelized and tender vegetables," says Fioa.
Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Vegetables
The recipe calls for mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, garlic, spinach, and tomatoes. But it's a great recipe for chucking in all the fresh summer produce. "This is my 'kitchen sink' pasta dish, you can use whatever veggies or cheeses you have on hand," says Kayla Kinney. "The combo sounds a little odd but you'll be surprised of the amount of flavor you get!"