Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. This month's theme is Mediterranean Food and is hosted by Megan Myers who blogs at Stetted. Try something new for the New Year; a mix of appetizers, salads, main dish and desserts all featuring recipes with a Mediterranean look and feel.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
I am so excited about this month's Progressive Eats Dinner! The theme, chosen by wonderful Megan of Stetted, is Mediterranean, and once again, I think this group has outdone itself! We scoured all the corners of the Mediterranean to bring you such a feast! I'm so excited about the menu as a whole, I'm sharing it now before I share the drink I made (but do stick around for that too!) Everything is just sparkling with Mediterranean flavor!
- Spiced Chickpeas with Feta and Preserved Lemon from Healthy Delicious
- Roasted Greek Lemon Cauliflower and Potatoes with Feta from Jeanette's Healthy Living
- Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Eggplant from Lana's Cooking
- Vassilopitta (New Year Wish Cake) from girlichef
- Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Marble Cake from Life's A Feast
Hibiscus Rose Sharbat
For my offering this month, I wanted a light and refreshing beverage that was also full of flavor. I looked to Turkey for my inspiration where sharbat, a concentrated drink syrup made from steeped fruit and/or flower petals, is diluted with water and served over ice. Technically, sharbat is enjoyed in India which is not so much Mediterranean. But, in Turkey they serve serbet, which is basically the same thing. Do not confuse it with American sherbet which is a frozen fruity dessert containing dairy.
This hibiscus rose sharbat is light and refreshing, a bit tart from the hibiscus with a lovely floral bouquet from the rose water I added. Diluted with water, it goes nicely with a light dessert such as angel food cake. Dilute it with sparkling water or club soda and you have a vivid deep pink non-alcoholic celebratory cocktail. While adding it to alcohol would most likely not be done at all in Turkey, I don't see why you couldn't add a splash of the syrup to a flute of prosecco or Champagne to ring in the New Year with a global, if slightly inauthentic, flair!
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3-5 teaspoons rose water, to taste
- Cook the sugar and water together, stirring occasionally, until the water just comes to a boil and the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat.
- Crush the hibiscus flowers and lime juice together with the back of a spoon. Use a mortar and pestle if you have one.
- Stir the flower mixture and the lesser amount of rose water into the sugar syrup.
- Taste to see if you like the amount of rose that comes through, and remember that you'll be serving it diluted. Add up to another 2 teaspoons of rose water if you think it needs it.
- Cool to room temperature then refrigerate for several hours.
- Strain and dilute with water (1 part syrup to 3 parts water) and serve over ice.
I hope you enjoyed this month's Progressive Eats meal as much as I enjoyed participating in it. I also hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a bright, shiny new year in just a few days. Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. Have a lovely day.
The glasses are really pretty, aren't they? It's a Turkish tea set I ordered through Amazon. the glasses hold about 5 oz each. Click the photo (amazon affiliate link) if you'd like some of your own: