• Mediterranean in the Morning

    Breakfast and brunch menus around the country have a sunny Mediterranean spirit these days, with more seasonal produce, fresh herbs, extra virgin olive oil, and whole grains. Diners know they need a nutritious start to their day—even when they’re eating out—and they view the Mediterranean diet as delivering the smart choices they seek.

    If you already have Mediterranean-themed options on your morning menus, bravo. But more is more. The enthusiasm for Mediterranean flavors continues to grow as diners discover ingredients like pomegranates and pomegranate molasses, Greek yogurt and lebne, lavash, and za’atar.

    As you expand or revise your morning menus, keep the Mediterranean in mind. Customers continue to have a hefty appetite for dishes with a wholesome Mediterranean bent. Here are a few tips on how to up your Mediterranean game:

     

    Highlight whole grains.

    Make multi-grain toast the default for egg dishes.

    Replace flour tortillas with whole-grain corn tortillas for breakfast burritos and chilaquiles.

    Try polenta on the menu, with a “put an egg on it” option.

    Add steel-cut oats to the cereal selection. They’re a more nutritious choice than rolled oats.

    Showcase seasonal vegetables.

    Add a seasonally changing frittata. Incorporate asparagus or artichokes in spring; zucchini, cherry tomatoes or roasted peppers in summer; mushrooms in autumn; chard, mustard greens or leeks in winter.

    Offer a strata or savory bread pudding to showcase farmers’ market vegetables. Make it contemporary with abundant fresh herbs, trendy Mediterranean seasonings like Aleppo pepper and local cheeses.

    Stock your kitchen with the Mediterranean ingredients that make improvisation easy.

    A few breakfast and brunch ideas that you can execute quickly with ingredients at hand:

    • Warm whole-wheat pita with scrambled eggs and Aleppo pepper
    • Baked feta with roasted peppers and a baked egg on top; served with flatbread
    • Fried eggs with a pomegranate syrup drizzle and walnut toast
    • Omelet with roasted peppers and mozzarella
    • Frittata with ricotta and zucchini
    • Poached eggs on wilted spinach with yogurt and brown butter

    Egg Strata

    Featured recipe: This Mediterranean Egg Strata with Swiss Chard can be a template for your own inspirations.