‘Tis the season to think about gathering friends and family around the table for a shared, international holiday meal. An international meal offers an exciting way to bring the world to your plate, excite your taste buds, and provide an array of new flavors and textures. From aromatic, fragrant curries of India to the garlic-filled dishes of the Mediterranean, there are endless options for a delicious international holiday feast. Below are five international holiday meal ideas for you and your loved ones to gather around and enjoy:
1. Greek Mezze Platter—A staple of Greek culture, mezze is traditionally a shared assortment of small dishes. Start with classic Greek dishes like tzatziki (yogurt, cucumber and garlic) and hummus (chickpea and tahini), then mix it up with olives, feta, roasted vegetables, and handmade pita. Serve with a bottle of Greek Retsina (resinated) wine for an authentic Greek experience.
2. Japanese Bento Box—The Japanese bento is a complete, single-person meal of small dishes in a decorated box. Make each bento box unique with a selection of dishes. Start with classic Japanese favorites like teriyaki chicken, tempura vegetables, and sushi, then mix and match to customize each box with onigiri (rice balls), miso soup, and pickles.
3. Indian Thali—A traditional thali is a platter of several dishes arranged around a central bowl of steamed rice. Start with the centerpiece of basmati rice or naan, then continue with a selection of small dishes like tandoori chicken, dal, and yogurt-based raita. Add a side of hot green chutney, then top it off with a sweet, chilled mango lassi.
4. Moroccan Tajine—Tajine is a classic dish of slow-cooked meats and vegetables, often cooked in a special clay pot. Start with a tomato-based stew of pork or lamb, then add hearty vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and celery. Spice it up with a few shakes of cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Serve it with couscous for a delicious holiday meal.
5. Caribbean Rice and Beans—Rice and beans is a staple of Caribbean cuisine and a great option for an international holiday feast. Begin by soaking the beans overnight, then mix them with long-grain rice and a few spices like allspice and garlic. Simmer the mixture until the beans are soft, then top it off with a savory slice of bacon. Serve with fried plantains, a colorful mix of vegetables, and grilled papaya for an authentic Caribbean experience.
No matter what international cuisine you decide to pursue, a shared meal is the perfect way to bring friends and family together this holiday season.