There are people who love desserts and there are people who love Mediterranean cuisine – who says you can't have the best of both worlds? If you happen to be a fan of both, then you’re in for a treat with these mouth-watering Mediterranean diet-approved desserts! These recipes make for the perfect reason to invite some loved ones over for dinner and impress them – just don’t forget to leave some room for the sweet stuff!
1. Honey glazed peaches with hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup toasted and skinned hazelnuts, chopped
- 6 firm ripe peaches
- Peel the peaches, slice them into half and pit them.
- Mix the lemon juice, sugar and salt in a bowl then toss the peaches in this mixture.
- Lay the peaches cut side up on a broiler-safe skillet and pour water around them.
- Move the oven rack to six inches from broiler element and put the skillet into the oven. Broil the peaches for about 10-15 minutes until they become slightly brown.
- Mix the honey and oil in a different bowl and warm it for 20 seconds in the microwave.
- Remove the peaches from the oven and coat them using half the honey mixture. Return the peaches back to the oven and continue to broil for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the peaches when done, coat with the rest of the honey mixture and move them to a different plate.
- Simmer the leftover juices on the skillet over medium heat for a minute, whisking constantly to make it thick. Pour this syrup over the peaches and serve.
2. Figs with honey and goat cheese
- 8 figs, halved lengthwise
- 45g goat cheese
- 16 toasted walnut halves
- 3 tbsp honey
- Place the oven rack in the middle position and heat to 260°C.
- Add a heaped half teaspoon of sugar onto each fig half and arrange on a lined baking sheet. Bake figs for about 4 minutes and transfer to serving plate.
- Garnish each fig half with a walnut half, drizzle with honey and serve.
3. Stuffed apricots with rose water and pistachios
- ½ cup plain Greek yoghurt
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp rose water
- 2 cups water
- ½ tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 green cardamom pods, cracked
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped finely
- 24 whole dried apricots
- Mix the yoghurt, one teaspoon of the sugar, lemon zest, rose water and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Keep chilled in refrigerator.
- Add the water, cardamom pods, lemon juice, bay leaves and the rest of the sugar in a saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the apricots and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, transfer the apricots to a plate and let them cool.
- Remove the cardamom pods and bay leaves and bring the rest of the mixture to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick enough to fill about 3 tablespoons. Let it cool.
- Transfer the filling into a piping bag and carefully fill the apricots. Dip the exposed fillings into the chopped pistachios and transfer to a serving platter.
- Drizzle with syrup and serve.
Applying the Mediterranean approach to desserts is perhaps one of the best ways of bringing them to the next level. If you have a sweet tooth, give these desserts a chance! You don't even need to be apologetic about indulging in them; just enjoy all that healthy goodness!