Mediterranean food often conjures up thoughts of olive oil and tomato—staples of the cuisine, to be sure, but hardly the whole picture. Representing countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, this style of cooking features a wide swath of regions, from North Africa to the eastern Mediterranean and southern Europe. Rich soil, dry summers and mild winters yield lush produce that takes center stage, including olives, onions, garlic, eggplant, artichokes and cucumber. Legumes are also a key staple, in addition to yogurt, seafood and grazing animals such as lamb, sheep and goat. Combine with traditional spices like parsley, basil, dill, oregano, fennel, mint and cilantro, and you've got a rich variety of heady flavors to mix, match and feast upon. To jump-start your culinary adventure, we've culled an assortment of modern dishes that showcase regional flair while using ingredients common in Mediterranean cooking, so get ready to savor some amazing coastal flavors.
Turkish Meatball Pitas
Mediterranean Fish Stew
Moroccan Grilled Lamb (shown above)
Spanish Garlic Shrimp
Photographed for Landcruisers by Anastassios Mentis.
Mezze Platter (shown above)
Greek Country Salad
Fruited Whole-Wheat Couscous
Photographed for Landcruisers by Tara Donne.
Orange Olive Oil Cake with Orange-Cranberry Compote (shown above)
Honey Greek Yogurt Fillo Cups
Photographed for Landcruisers by Jonny Valiant.