Dine Like You're On The Med

Dine Like You're On The Med

As we approach September and the summer sadly begins to draw to a close, we all hope for one last hurrah with some last minute warm weather.

Many of us will still be looking back fondly on our summer getaways to sunnier climes, and with some warm evenings potentially still on the horizon, there is still time to dine al fresco once again and keep those fun-filled days alive!

With outdoor dining proving to be really popular, we’ve put together our favourite tastes of the Med, alongside some top tips for entertaining friends and family.

 

Fresh and Tasty

The three basic ingredients that define Mediterranean cuisine are wheat, olives and grapes. From this, some of the most familiar foods we associate with the region are made, including breads, olive oil and wine.

Of all the areas bordering the Mediterranean Sea, we are probably most aware of the cuisines of France, Italy and Spain. As a nation, we have embraced many dishes from these areas, such as paella, risotto, pizza and many pasta dishes, all of which are common in our everyday diets.

For those wanting to try something a little different, The Maghreb, Levant and Ottoman regions also border the Med, with each offering some interesting dishes to try. Souvlaki is Greek-style grilled meat served on a skewer or wrapped in pitta bread with onions, tomatoes, tzatziki and fresh tomato sauce.

Another firm favourite is the Moroccan tagine, which combines meat or fish with vegetables, spices and sometimes dried fruits, and tastes delicious served with couscous.

Some of the most popular dishes from the Levantine region include small meze dishes such as hummus and tabbouleh, which is finely chopped tomatoes, onion, bulgur, parsley and mint. Another tasty dish is baba ganoush - aubergine pureed with olive oil that is sometimes mixed with diced onion, tomato and herbs. Meze are a great option if you’re entertaining guests al fresco, as most of the dishes can be prepared in advance and the sharing style of this cuisine is great fun.

 

Taking the inside out

Gone are the days of plastic plates and paper napkins, and the most stylish way to dine in your garden is to treat it as a true extension of your home.

If you are entertaining guests, a Mediterranean inspired centrepiece – such as a mini olive tree, always looks fabulous, and needn’t be complicated. Alternatively, you could simply cut some stems and greenery from your garden, and loosely arrange them in a large glass vase.

Bright colours always look great in the garden, but instead of investing in a whole new set of crockery, buy some beautiful, bold napkins to bring some zing to your table. Alternatively, seek out some colourful, grown-up plastic goblets that complement your chosen scheme.

As with all Mediterranean dining, it’s based on simplicity – often less is more, so don’t feel the need to over do things.

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