Christmas time is when tables decked with great food are a must-have, no matter your beliefs or origins. Whether celebrating the end of the year with friends or going all out for your family Christmas event, there is nothing better than a Mediterranean-inspired Christmas dinner. A drizzle of Texas olive oil will make all the difference when creating the perfect Mediterranean menu.
From the freshest flavors to the most exciting, comforting dishes, there is a Mediterranean treat for everyone. The meals are usually rich in vibrant flavor profiles and a wide variety of foods, from finger pickings to wholesome meals.
Everyone Can Enjoy a Mediterranean Christmas
Creating the ultimate Christmas menu can be tricky – especially if you have a family with diverse dietary needs. The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the most versatile and compatible with several nutritional requirements. Catering for gluten-free, vegan, and heart-health-conscious guests is much easier when opting for a wholefood-based diet – such as the Mediterranean.
The diet is built on whole foods and very few processed meals, so you can easily customize it to suit any restrictions while offering full-flavored meals. The basics to creating a Mediterranean menu are to keep it fresh, with little red meat and an abundance of vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and selected starches!
Plan out your meals based on dining style – if you are opting to go for a complete Mediterranean spread, have a collection of meals that guests can help themselves with and a selection of snack platters.
Delicious Drizzles of Texas Olive Oil
Fresh and vibrant salads accompany most Mediterranean meals. Whether you like a hearty salad with rashers of crispy bacon, a grilled chicken breast, or something a little simpler, the flavor lies in the dressing.
Try experimenting with different herbs and varieties and infused oil in your favorite dressing recipe replacing all the oil! Blood orange and caper dressings, for example, go well with any salad! Try roasting root vegetables in rich Texas olive oil and including them as toppings for salads too.
Sultry and Savory Snacks using Texas Olive Oil
What is a Christmas spread without pre-dinner snacks? While the adults crowd around the kitchen, throwing together last-minute bites, children run through the hallways, and everyone builds an appetite as the scent of food starts arousing hunger pangs. Snack platters with an assortment of fresh vegetable sticks, delightful dips, and mezze platters are all excellent choices. These options are a great way to ensure that while you tuck into food over the holidays, it is still healthy and responsible.
- Babaganoush – This smokey and flavorsome aubergine dip is a Balkan and Mediterranean classic. It features the best in flavors, from smoked paprika to the addition of a robust and powerful Texas olive oil.
- White bean dip – Protein-packed and always a hit with the plant-based crowd; this dip is perfectly paired with crackers and other antipasti such as marinated artichokes!
- Hummus – Going all out with a selection of different hummus dips is a simple and delicious way to include EVOO in your meal – this classic can handle a robust and herbaceous or a lighter and more buttery variety.
- Olive Tapenade – Homemade tapenade is one of the best parts of a Mediterranean spread – it is the perfect topping for fresh bruschetta!
Hearty but Wholesome
One of the most impressive benefits of Mediterranean cooking is that it is a heart-healthy diet that is packed with flavor and health benefits! Heart-healthy meals don’t have to taste like cardboard if you have a heart-conscious family or prefer to keep your meals as healthy as possible while in the middle of the indulgence season; this is the perfect diet! Texas olive oil is the ideal replacement for butter and mayonnaise while never compromising on flavor.
Here are some heart-healthy meals you can include on your menu:
- Orzo Salad with Grilled Shrimp – Grill artichoke hearts in a healthy glug of a delicate olive oil and add them to an orzo salad with butterflied shrimp, freshly roasted cherry tomatoes, and peppers for a great addition to your year-end spread. It is hearty and tastes like a cheat meal, yet packs a world of heart-healthy ingredients. For this meal, stick to a delicate EVOO oil as it won’t overpower the other ingredients and will give them the limelight to shine!
- Turkey pot-pies – As one of the most heart-healthy meats, turkey is an excellent choice. When braising the ingredients, stick to a robust oil that has a strong herbaceous and peppery note – this will uplift and create a flavor foundation for your pot pie!
- Stuffed peppers – Roast root vegetables, gently fold them into orzo, and stuff the mixture into peppers before roasting them. This is an excellent heart-healthy vegan meal that the entire family can enjoy; opting for smaller sweet peppers cut lengthwise is a great way to condense this dish to side size! When roasting, use a strong Kolonaki or Greek-style oil, as this meal can handle the robust flavor profile!
The Art of Giving Gifts
A hearty helping of food and a sense of comfort surround any Mediterranean meal. You can capture this comfort by making homemade gift jars for your guests to take home as a memento of the meal!
Jars of feta and sundried tomatoes suspended in your favorite Texas olive oil or homemade pickles. These tiny jars can be made as you prepare each Christmas meal, which means less work for you and the opportunity for guests to take home their favorite parts of the meal!
Final Thoughts on Planning Your Christmas Spread!
When planning your meal, ensure you include several different options. You can create a menu based on family favorites such as pasta, seafood, and roasts while still sticking to your health needs! The most important part is to enjoy every mouthful!
Try it for yourself! Gear up for the holidays with deliciously crafted products from TexasHillCountryOliveCo.com