Mediterranean sides ideas?

Meaning to take a special veggie Mediterranean-type stew with cous-cous to my ex’s place on her birthday, with her fiance (long story…). I don’t think she hankers after meats, so I am grasping about for ideas about a side, preferably something of different texture. And not last-minute prep, ideally, as they don’t have lots of gear. Ideas?


I like this one quite a bit, and I believe it fits the criterea:


Maybe a marinated bean salad?

Which veg are going into the stew?

Would an eggplant dip (melitzanasalata or babaganoush) with pita/ flatbreads, or another Mediterranean dip/spread work?

Or tirofefteri/ kopanisti.

Personal sized spanakopita, boureka or fatayer.

Vegetarian stuffed grape leaves


I regularly make a vegetable tagine to eat with cous cous (or freekeh). I’d usually include peppers, courgettes, aubergine, carrot, onion and baby turnips (if available). It doesnt need anything else to accompany it - in fact, I think anything else would detract from the stew


Sicilian caponata.


It’s my own creation, so far as I know: diced tart apples, onion, garlic, red and yellow peppers, currants, and a mix of toasted spices that is delicate and just tailored to the on-hand ingredients for a sweet/savory balance: notably cumin, a hot chile, maybe chili powder or cayenne, perhaps some allspice and cinnamon, various fresh and dried herbs. I might try Pimant d’Espelette or Zatar this time. Whatever smells best. It simmers in chicken stock after saute for about thirty minutes, as the currants (or raisins work) get plump with time .

Of all my conconctions, it’s the one that requires the most attentive adjustment as you go along. Depends on your ingredients. Sometimes I’ll add some sugar or honey; the apples and the flavor-balance is what makes it special.


Reasonable point. There’s really nothing lacking in this dish, unless you’re dying for a chunk of meat.

Thanks for the thoughts! I’ve also started to wonder about roasted, and sliced beets, perhaps with some dairy topping.

I reckon my veggie tagine is possibly better than my lamb tagine. Seems to bring out the flavours of harissa and ras-al-hanout.

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That sounds good.

I’d maybe go with a beet and orange salad, with Moroccan spices.

Moroccan beet salad.

Moroccan carrot salad.

If your ex and her fiancé like tuna, could do a tuna salad based on Tunisian caisse croute/ Tunisian tuna salad. Tuna, hard boiled egg, cilantro, harissa ,etc.


Roasted and sliced (or diced) beets are great with good feta, olive oil, s&p & oregano.

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I think this is a winner! Different color/texture, bit of protein, and not too much added labor. Thanks!

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Thanks! Great thoughts!

I’ve never heard of a beet/orange salad and am uncertain as yet how that’s executed. Sounds interesting.

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In the UK, orange is quite a common flavouring to pair with beetroot. Here’s a salad:

By the by, I think many of the ideas already posted sound lovely. I would happily eat most of them as a starter before the veggie stew, but they seem odd to me as a side to be served alongside the stew unless, of course, the meal is turning into a multi-dish mezze affair. But then, I’m a Briton not a North American so may have different views on what goes with what (it wouldnt be for the first time).


The stew seems to skew sweet, so I’d go with a savory / spiced roasted vegetable side.

A possible mix could be cauliflower, potato wedges, and maybe eggplant tossed in harissa and supplemental powdered spices (cumin, coriander, garlic powder, maybe some garam masalal), roasted till caramelized.

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I assumed mezze approach. I do most entertaining mezze/tapas style, family style or open buffet approach.

Here is another Beet and Orange Salad recipe.

And this one

And another. I’ll stop at 3 :rofl:

I also adapted a recipe from a beet and orange soup to a beet and orange side dish. Let me see if it’s on my old blog.

Served at room temp I presume? Fresh oregano?

I would use good quality dried oregano — think buds over leaves — there’s some good Greek oregano out there to order online if you are not in a rush. The link is just an example, though we have ordered Daphni before and it’s pretty awesome.

I’d keep the beets on the cooler side for a refreshing feel, but the feta should be room temp like all cheeses :slight_smile:

We expect photographic evidence. Pics or it didn’t happen :wink:

I think I only have dried Italian oregano handy. Never seen buds around here. I do have fresh thyme, tarragon, parsley, maybe sage.

I’m suppoing might best to toss the herbs (especially dried ones) a bit with the feta before topping…

Event is tonight.

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