Escape to the Mediterranean with These Five Book & Recipe Pairings

There’s nothing like getting pulled into a good book, especially when you long to be somewhere else. Somewhere warmer, on a beach with crystal blue water, perhaps? Yeah, us too.

That’s why we’ve curated a summer reading list of books—new and old, fiction and nonfiction—that’s sure to transport you to some picturesque places. Save yourself the airfare and dive into one of our favorite Mediterranean-inspired reads. Then whip up a dish that pairs perfectly with the pages. Reading has never tasted this good! 

ONCE UPON A VILLA: Adventures on the French Riviera by Alexander Kaplan (2024) & Lemon and Herbes de Provence Tuna and Shaved Brussel Sprouts

You’ll laugh—and savor—your way through this expat American’s witty and true account of life on the French riviera. Given Once Upon A Villa’s setting, our Lemon and Herbes de Provence Tuna and Shaved Brussel Sprouts was an obvious recipe pairing. In fact, Herbes de Provence is an essential component of French and Mediterranean cooking, and this fresh and hearty salad is full of bright flavor and playful texture, just like Kaplan’s warm-hearted stories.

ONE ITALIAN SUMMER by Rebecca Serle (2022) & Tuna Caprese Salad

Set in the magical cliffside town of Positano, this powerful novel paints a vivid picture of Italian culture. And what’s Italian culture without its iconic food? We recommend pairing this book with a Caprese Salad, but with an extra ingredient. By adding mouthwatering Genova Yellowfin Tuna to this classic Italian dish, you’ll be instantly transported to the turquoise waters of the Amalfi Coast. Prepare to be transformed, just like Katy.

THE ISLAND OF MISSING TREES by Elif Shafak (2021) & Mediterranean Tuna Salad Flatbread

Readers will agree that the food descriptions in this book, set in Cyprus, left them hungry. Satisfy that hunger with our Mediterranean Tuna Salad Flatbread. It’s piled high with ingredients that are common in Cypriot cuisine: tuna, lemon, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, black olives, shallots, dill, artichoke hearts, and feta. It’s important to note that Cypriot pitta is different from Greek pita bread. Cypriot pita is stuffed, oval in shape, and baked, whereas Greek pita is rolled, round in shape, and usually cooked in a skillet or pan.

THE SUMMER HOUSE IN SANTORINI by Samantha Parks (2019) & Tuna Spanakopita Pie

Escape to a little slice of paradise with main character Anna, then serve yourself a slice of Tuna Spanakopita Pie. Our take on this Greek classic combines perfectly flaky layers of phyllo dough with a rich spinach, tuna, and feta filling. It makes a great side dish for large dinners or potluck parties or you can serve it as a main dish at your next book club gathering.

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas (1844) & Garlic Tuscan Herb Tuna Penne Pasta In Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

Pairing this literary classic with our Garlic Tuscan Herb Tuna Penne Pasta In Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce just made sense. The real island of Montecristo is located off the coast of Tuscany, and just as you’ll be captivated by this epic story of adventure, justice, treason and treasure, you’ll be captivated by this quick and easy pasta dish.

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