Fish is abundant in the Mediterranean and has been enjoyed by Mediterranean people for thousands of years. Mediterranean fish recipes are plentiful, delicious and healthy. Fish is filled with Omega-3 fatty acids and is rich in vitamins and minerals, which is why most experts recommend eating fish at-least two times per week. There’s one tradition among descendants of Mediterranean people that celebrates Mediterranean fish recipes like no other…
The “feast of the seven fishes” is an Italian-American tradition that happens each year on Christmas Eve. The feast traces back to the Romans who abstained from eating meat the day before Christmas. Instead of meat, they prepared dishes of fish and seafood. Today, many Italian-American families celebrate the feast of the seven fishes by preparing 7 different Mediterranean fish recipes. Common fish and seafood include: baked cod, shrimp fried in olive oil, pasta with clams, pasta puttanesca with anchovies, fried calamari and much more!
Below you can find our picks for the feast of the seven fishes. All of these recipes are easy, delicious and follow the Mediterranean Diet. We hope you enjoy. Happy holidays!
Mediterranean Living’s Feast of the Seven Fishes
1. Sizzling Lemon Garlic Shrimp
For all the shrimp lovers! If you try this recipe, we assure that you will make it time and time again. We love to serve this with crusty bread for dipping.
2. Salmon Cakes with Potato and Fire-Roasted Corn Salsa
The middle of summer makes me think of my time in Crete when I ate fritters of all sorts including fish fritters that were out of this world! Our friend Michaelangelo Wescott, who is the chef and owner of the Gypsy Apple Bistro, has provided us with a similar flavor with these salmon cakes with potato and fire roasted corn salsa.
3. Baked Cod with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives
I reverse-engineered this recipe after ordering the dish at Pera Mediterranean Bistro in Williamstown, MA. In it’s most distilled form, beside the fish, the ingredients include olives, sun-dried tomato, pepperoncini, basil, feta and of course, good olive oil. I’ve added some ingredients here, and I encourage you to improvise with whatever you have that fits the palette of flavor created by these condiments.
4. Pasta with Clams (Spaghetti Alle Vongole)
Spaghetti alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams) is simple and absolutely delicious. This is a very traditional dish of southern Italy. It is quick and easy to make and full of flavor. Spaghetti and clams are the two main ingredients, and you can add a variety of spices and other foods to make it your own.
5. Tuna Salad with Egg and Potato (Spain)
This country salad, also known as a summer salad, is a simple and perfect preparation for dinner, but it is also a common tapa (small plate) dish that is served with many other tapa dishes along with bread, olives, beer and wine.
6. Pan-Fried Scallops with Hand Chopped Pesto
Pan-Fried Scallops with Hand-Chopped Pesto is my favorite Mediterranean Diet recipe creation of the summer. It is a decadent mix of seafood, fresh basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and a lot of extra virgin olive oil. It’s the ideal dish for romance or a dinner party where you want to impress your guests.
7. Baked Halibut with Lemon and Rosemary
Nothing goes better with baked halibut than lemon and rosemary. By substituting meat with fish, we up our intake of healthy fats, which is a keystone of the Mediterranean Diet. This traditional recipe for halibut with lemon and rosemary is brought to you by Crete native Koula Barydakis.
Bonus Mediterranean Fish Recipes
1. Sheet Pan Salmon with Asparagus, Lemon and Dill
Now I know a lot of you think salmon isn’t a Mediterranean food because it wasn’t traditionally eaten in the Mediterranean diet. While that may be true, times are changing and diets can change! Salmon is widely available in the Mediterranean today and while it may be imported, it just goes so well with Mediterranean flavors!
2. Mediterranean Fish Stew
This Mediterranean fish stew is perfect using any white fish. I have tried it with both halibut and flounder. It is so simple to make that even a novice in the kitchen will find making it to be a breeze.