The Mediterranean’s strategic geographical location, resources, temperate weather and multiple religions have been a motivation behind thousands of years of colonialism, occupations and trade. These have resulted in a deep historical and cultural interconnectedness of the Mediterranean. Now, Mediterranean living, food and travel have become the interest of individuals from all over the world.
"To me Mediterranean food can be anything as long as it stays simple, fresh, organic and humble"
However, what makes this area special is a secret beyond its strategic location and amazing weather. It is the shared values of the people living in it, represented by solid family relations and heritage. It is also the fun and festivities in celebrating holidays and harvests brought together over natural, simple and wholesome foods made with lots of love. These elements are what I call the Mediterranean Secret: The F words; family, festivities, fun and most importantly FOOD. To me Mediterranean food can be anything as long as it stays simple, fresh, organic and humble.
Mediterranean cuisine is a very broad term, as it includes very unique dishes from very unique places like north African e.g. Egypt and Morocco. Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, south of France and where I’m from, the middle east, mainly Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. All these places may seem very different. However, they all share the same core ingredients; most importantly olive oil.
Which reminds me, Its October! Which means olive harvest season in the Mediterranean region. Freshly harvested olives are finely pressed to extract a beautiful green liquid called olive oil. And while we’re at it here are some important health benefits of olive oil. It is a fantastic source of antioxidants, it decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the good cholesterol (HDL). Consuming more olive oil could decrease the risk of heart disease.
Now to the main part of the article which is an easy recipe to share with your friends on a weekend inspired by the Mediterranean!
Syrian Kebab with Aubergines (Kebab Halabi)
This recipe originates from Aleppo, Syria. It has a very unique shape and taste. This is completely different than an ordinary kebab that you get on a Saturday night. This could be a good replacement for your traditional Sunday roast.
1 kg ground lamb
1.5 kg aubergines
1 kg tomatoes finely chopped
2 bell peppers
2tsp tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
2 medium onions
1 tbsp. Allspice
1 tbsp. Nutmeg
Salt and pepper