Are you planning to host a Christmas or New Year’s dinner with your family and friends? If yes, then this blog is for you. Often, when it comes to hosting a get-together at home, it can be tricky to create a unique menu that will appeal to everybody’s taste buds.
To help you avoid the last-minute rush in planning the menu and make things a bit easier, we have come up with a list of wholesome and authentic Mediterranean Dishes that everyone will surely fall in love with
From vegetarian appetizers to nonvegetarian delicacies, desserts, and everything in between, there is something for everyone to relish and have a jolly good time with!
1) Replace Sauces & Cheese Dips With Mediterranean Dips
Processed sauces and cheese dips contain tons of saturated fats. Also, processed food is just not healthy. The best alternative is serving Mediterranean dips. Not only are they freshly prepared without any preservatives, but they also taste delicious, have good fatty acids, and are rich in antioxidants. Listed below are some dips you can choose to present at your dinner table
Hummus - This tasty dip needs no introduction. Your guests will surely relish this creamy chickpea dip that is blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic.
Moutabel - Prepared with roasted eggplant, this dip is prepared with tahini, olive oil, garlic, and topped with pomegranate seeds to offer a unique burst of flavors
Labneh - This dish is prepared with strained yogurt mixed with garlic, herbs, spices, and a generous dressing of olive oil.
Muhammara - This dish is a hearty walnut and roasted red pepper dip that is blended with bread crumbs, pomegranate molasses, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Once you have a taste of this yummy dip, there is no going back to store-bought dips.
These dips go well with thin breadsticks, pita bread, and pickled vegetables. You can also scoop them up with some yummy Mediterranean appetizers. More about them ahead.
But first, let’s go through some appetizing salads that can provide a healthy option to your guests and make your festive dinner look more vibrant.
2) Add Some Healthy Salads to Your Festive Meal
A holiday dinner consists of plenty of side dishes. However, many dishes may be cooked with oil and some may contain more carbs. An excellent alternative is adding salads with seasonal vegetables to your menu. Listed below are some delicious salad dishes that will keep your guests wanting for more.
Fattoush Salad - This popular Middle Eastern salad is made of freshly chopped greens, vegetables, zesty lime vinaigrette dressing topped with pita crisps..
Barley Salad - This simple and healthy salad has all the necessary ingredients for a refreshing meal. It is prepared with barley, pomegranate, lettuce, walnuts, and is finished with a flavorful balsamic dressing.
Tabbouleh - This dish will bring the perfect balance of nutrition and flavor to your Christmas or new year’s feast. Made from finely chopped parsley, lemon juice, tomatoes, mint, bulgur, and a dash of olive oil, this light, and zesty dish will counterbalance the feeling of overindulging.
Beetroot & Feta Salad - Prepared with beetroot, and feta cheese, with the addition of fresh veggies and fruits such as spring onions, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and pomegranate, this dish is bound to appeal to both foodies and health-conscious guests.
3) Indulge in Scrumptious Appetizers & Kebabs
Now, let’s move on to some yummy appetizer bites which will serve as the highlight of the festive meal. In fact, the best part of dinner parties is indulging in interesting and unique appetizers that serve as the perfect conversation starter and spark socializing. Mediterranean appetizers largely consist of protein-rich lean meats and fresh colorful vegetables that are cooked with olive oil.
Batata Harra - A popular Mediterranean food, Batata Harra is a flavorful and spicy dish prepared with crispy potatoes, garlic, chilly flakes, parsley, and is topped with spices and herbs. This dish will get even the most avid meat lovers switching over to this vegetarian alternative.
Broccoli Fritters - It would be a sin to not include this tasty appetizer on your festive meal lineup. The dish is prepared by tossing barbequed broccoli in authentic Arabic spices. It is best relished with freshly prepared creamy garlic sauce (Toum) or hummus.
Za’atar Chicken - This lip-smacking dish will disappear almost instantly once it hits the table. It is prepared by marinating the chicken in a unique ingredient called Za’atar, which also means “wild thyme”.
Adana Kebab - For mutton lovers, it just can’t get better than Adana Kebab. This dish is prepared with minced mutton that is mixed with Turkish spices and then skewered onto a grill. Don’t be surprised to see your guests licking their fingers and asking for more after tasting this.
Turkish Spiced Mushroom - A sureshot party hit, this dish is prepared by tossing mushrooms in traditional Turkish spices and topped with a generous drizzle of butter.
Shish Taouk - If you are aiming to please your non-vegetarian guests, having Shish Taouk on the menu is a no-brainer. The dish consists of perfectly tender and juicy grilled chicken skewers marinated in yogurt, spices, lemon juice, and garlic.
Jawaneh - Another chicken appetizer alternative is Jawaneh - a classic Lebanese dish that consists of barbecued chicken wings tossed in a marinade of herbs, Middle Eastern spices and grilled to perfection.
Mixed Non-Veg Grill Platter - If you want to toss in all the famous Mediterranean appetizers in one big plate, then the Mixed Grill Platter will get the job done. The platter usually consists of an array of appetizers such as Shish Taouk, Jawaneh, Lemon Garlic Wings, Grilled Fish, Adana kebab, Za'atar Grilled Chicken, and Spicy Wings
4) Don’t Forget to Add Rice Dishes to Your Menu
Known as the party food in the Middle East for gatherings and get-togethers in the holidays, Kabsa rice or Arabic Rice is a must-have dish on the menu. This popular dish has its origins in Saudi Arabia and is widely eaten all over the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern regions.
The fragrant dish is prepared by cooking basmati rice in chicken stock. This helps retain the flavors of the chicken in the dish. Next, authentic Middle Eastern spices and seasoning are blended into the rice to bring out the aroma of the dish. Kabsa is best relished with tomato chutney and slaw.
You can opt for Vegetarian and Mutton alternatives of Kabsa rice as well. Rest assured, the rich flavors will leave your guests in awe.
5) A Party is Incomplete Without Desserts
The perfect way to end the Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner party is by indulging in Baklava. This savory and light dessert will create the perfect satisfactory ending to your lavish Mediterranean meal. If you haven’t heard of Baklava before, it's a thin and light Turkish dish with layers of buttered filo that is filled with nuts and soaked in sweet syrup or honey.
We hope you have had a good time reading this blog. With Christmas and New Year’s Eve right around the corner, it’s best not to stress and add too much pressure on yourself to prepare these dishes. The festive spirit is all about relaxing and enjoying your time with family and friends. So, if you are planning to pamper your loved ones and throw a dinner party, then order from Toum.
We will gladly cater to your needs and prepare delectable Mediterranean dishes for your dinner. At Toum, we are known for housing some of the most authentic and traditional dishes, and we feature all the above-mentioned dishes and some more on our menu.