Forget pre-made seasoning blends. Make your own. You will save money and have less waste. Use on meats, seafood, vegetables, dressings and spreads. It’s very versatile and you can easily scale this recipe to whatever you are making.
The Flavors of The Mediterranean
The Mediterranean includes over fifteen countries with varied cuisines. Each country overlaps their spice and herb profiles so there is some sharing between countries. Today’s Mediterranean seasoning blend includes the common herbs and spices you can find in any of these countries. It’s perfect for meat but can also be added to vinegar and oil to make a robust vinaigrette. Just be sure to add a little more salt.
Below are common herbs in the different regions. The uses of each depends on the country and regional cuisines. There is a lot of crossover as people move around and bring their preferences with them.
All of these spices are common to U.S. markets with the exception of sumac. It is becoming popular so you will start to see even this one on your local market.
- black pepper
Herb & Spice Substitutes
BASIL substitute – For dried herbs, many of them are interchangeable. The Italian and Greek herbs are pretty close in flavor profiles so you can easily change out one from another. A close flavor profile to basil is oregano. You can also swap in thyme, parsley or sage.
CUMIN substitute – Caraway, cumin and coriander are all in the parsley family. Caraway is similar to cumin but lacks the heat. If substituting caraway, add half caraway and half paprika. This should come close to cumin in your recipe. You can also sub in coriander but the flavor will change a little.
ITALIAN seasonings – If you are making a recipe and you are missing one of there herbs, simply substitute in an herb that is already in the recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for one teaspoon of basil and one teaspoon or oregano and you don’t have any oregano, just add in two teaspoons of basil. It will keep the same flavor profile of the dish.
GARLIC substitute – Garlic is a member of the allium family. You can substitute any of the other members to help with your flavor profile. These alliums include chives, onions, shallots and leeks.
SAFFRON substitute- Saffron has a very unique flavor profile. You can substitute in achiote or turmeric for the color but the flavor is hard to replicate. I think pomegranate molasses comes close. Try adding achiote or turmeric together with pomegranate molasses. If you have any other ideas, leave a comment. I would like to know.
SAGE, SAVORY & Tarragon – These should be interchangeable with each other.
CINNAMON, CLOVES & NUTMEG – These are interchangeable if they aren’t the main spice in the dish.
How I Use Mediterranean Seasoning Blend
I use this seasoning blend on any meat, including ground beef. It works great to liven up burgers, on skewered meat, fish, pork loin and chicken.
This also works great for roasting vegetables. Simply toss vegetables with olive oil, seasoning blend and added salt. Toss and roast in the oven on a baking sheet.
You can make a vinaigrette out of this by adding to olive oil, vinegar or citrus juice and some more salt to taste.
Add to marinades.
Add to butter to make a compound butter.
Make as little or as much as you want.
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