This Mediterranean platter is a favorite of mine. It’s a great dish throughout the year, but I really start craving it in the spring and summer. It incorporates several items that get quick and easy, fresh treatments. The beans on the platter are sometimes served on their own as an appetizer, although I use them mostly as a side dish. They are called Fażola bajda bit-tewm u t-tursin. Basically, White beans with garlic and parsley.
We serve this dish with loaves of fresh baked bread. If I was in Malta, a loaf of Hobza would be my pick. Here in the United States, I use a loaf of bakery Italian bread or a soft French baguette. The slices of bread are topped with any or all the items on the platter. Just serve the dish with plenty of serving spoons and let everyone enjoy making their own plates. I personally love putting the potato, beans and tuna on a slice of bread.
When I was little, my mom made this mostly in the summer. I loved it as a kid, because it was like being at a little buffet . I also loved the endless amount of bread that I was allowed to eat for this dish. Seriously, when else is it ok to top bread with a potato! Beacause there is such a variety of food, it works well for a family where each person may have their own diet. Someone avoiding carbs can still enjoy the other elements of the dish.
In my own family, I have started the tradition of making this our Good Friday meal. Since we fast all day, we look forward to breaking our fast with this dish.
This dish uses a lot of olive oil. Since I like to watch my calories, I like to go as sparingly as possible when using the oil. Just drizzle enough to your liking.
The first thing that I make are the beans. I make this first so it has time to chill in the refrigerator. I love eating them cold.
white beans with garlic and parsley
In a bowl, combine a can of white beans with 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 2 green onions, 1/4 cup fresh parsley (I love parsley so I add this much. You can reduce this amount), and drizzle this with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper . Use a spatula to mix together until evenly coated.
Now for the potatoes. I use fingerling potatoes or small Yukon golds. You want a small potato with skin that you enjoy eating. Just boil them and drain them. Put them back in the pot over a hot burner and roll them in a TBS of melted butter. Add salt and pepper. 1/4 cup of parsley, and a drizzle of oil. I sprinkle these with a pinch of onion powder and a pinch of garlic powder. Once they are coated, nicely place them on your platter.
The next item is shrimp. Honestly, I usually only use the tuna. If I have guests over, I add the shrimp for some variety.
Just steam the shrimp or buy already steamed shrimp to save time ( I did).
Now the extra easy parts!
The tuna comes right out of the can and onto the platter. Be sure to buy tuna in oil. You can sprinkle with salt and pepper. Next place some olives on the platter and some some beats cut into wedges, add olive oil and salt and pepper to them. You can use the canned beats for this as well. I will show you how I roast beets in a future post. I don’t have pictures of that at the moment. The last item on the platter are wedged tomatoes with (you guessed it) olive oil, salt and pepper with some cut romaine lettuce and next to that is a cut up cucumber.
There you have it. Super easy. Fun to eat. Great with a glass of white wine and a loaf of bread. Maybe two loaves if you have a family of bread lovers! Have fun assembling your platter.
Here is how we arranged our platter.