Fresh Fridays 
May 30, 2014 
  Vol. VI, No. 11       

Brunch and Sunday seem to go together. Though brunch is not a tradition from the Mediterranean, the foods of the Mediterranean region lend themselves perfectly to a meal that combines the best of breakfast and lunch.  

Traditionally, the mid-day meal on Sunday in Mediterranean countries was a time for family and friends to come together for a larger, long, languid lunch. This would be the biggest meal of the week, perhaps with more meat than on weekdays and probably plenty of liquid refreshments. The meal that followed in the evening was much lighter and more casual. Sure sounds a lot like brunch to us, even if that word wasn't used until very recently in countries around the Mediterranean Sea!

There are several theories about how brunch became a popular meal in recent times. Smithsonian magazine reports "some food historians think that the meal has its roots in England's hunt breakfasts--lavish, multi-course meals." Others believe that brunch had its roots as a post-church meal, particularly for Catholics who fasted before going to mass.  

There does appear to be agreement about the first time brunch appeared in print. It was in 1895, in an article in Hunter's Week by British author Guy Beringer, in which he suggested a lighter mid-day Sunday meal. He wrote, "Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."  

Stanford University professor Carl Degler wrote about the birth of the American brunch culture in a 1980 Chicago Tribune piece. Degler hypothesized that Sunday brunch became more popular after World War II when more women entered the workplace, and therefore, "needed a relief on Sunday, thus the rise in popularity of Sunday brunch eaten out."  

Whatever the reason for its popularity, whatever its origins, or whether it's eaten at home or at a restaurant, brunch is an overwhelmingly popular event. And, once the province of only Sunday, it is now slipping forward into Saturday as well. 

With plenty of delicious and healthy brunch offerings, why don't you make your next brunch a Mediterranean Brunch? Instead of Eggs Benedict (first made for a Mrs. Benedict at New York's Delmonico Restaurant, according to The History Channel) or Belgian Waffles (a medieval dish first promoted as Belgian Waffles at a World's Fair in Brussels in 1958), move into a magical Mediterranean Brunch using the dishes suggested below, or others from the Oldways website, or from one of the deliciously fun cookbooks noted on the right.  

Articles cited:
"The Birth of Brunch: Where Did This Meal Come From Anyway?" By Jesse Rhodes,
Smithsonian, May 6, 2011
"The Goods on Brunch" by Stephanie Butler, History Channel, March 7, 2014.

Click on a photo or recipe title below to link to the full recipe :  

This classic is updated and made Mediterranean with the addition of the ever-popular whole grain quinoa and sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes are healthy and convenient. Because tomatoes have a high water content, they deteriorate after being picked. Drying the tomato helps preserve it while also retaining the full flavor.     
Recipe, content, and photo courtesy of Mooney Farms. 
If you're looking for a light brunch salad with great flavor, this Mediterranean Sun Kissed Salad is a great way to use a variety of different potatoes--red, white, purple, fingerlings, or russet. The result is a colorful, healthy salad with the added punch of tomatoes and feta cheese--truly Mediterranean!

Recipe, content, and photo courtesy of the US Potato Board      
Whether you believe pasta's origins are Etruscan (4th century BC) or brought by Marco Polo as he traveled along the Silk Road, in today's world leftover pasta is universal. This recipe, perfect for brunch, is a simple and incredibly delicious way to use leftover pasta--no matter the flavors of the pasta dish or even the shape of the pasta (although spaghetti is a wonderful shape for this dish).  

Recipe courtesy of Fausto Luchetti. Content and photo courtesy of Oldways.  

Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be. 

To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:     

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)        





Let the old ways be your guide to good health and well-being.       





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In this Issue
Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sun Kissed Savory Salad
Spaghetti Tortilla
Join Ana Sortun and
Oldways in Turkey for
a week-long journey
from Bodrum to Izmir
and on to Istanbul.

Contact Abby Sloane at
617-896-4875 for more information.
Oldways Bookstore.
The menus you'll find in
The Oldways 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan are designed to take you on a 28-day journey through many of the delicious and satisfying tastes of the Mediterranean Diet.    

By Susan Herrmann Loomis 
Recent studies extoll the healthful properties of nuts, an essential ingredient of the Mediterranean Diet that's perfect for a Mediterranean brunch. This book will inspire you to use nuts in ways you never imagined!

By Martha Rose Shulman
New York Times columnist and cookbook author Martha Rose Shulman celebrates the vegetarian dishes of the healthy Mediterranean Diet.   More than 500 recipes, many suitable for brunch ideas.

Cook This Now
By Melissa Clark
New York Times columnist and cookbook author Melissa Clark's cookbooks are always full of delicious and easy-to-prepare dishes. This one was a favorite of National Public Radio in 2011, and will be a favorite of yours, too.