What's For Dinner: Salt-Crusted Branzino And Tabbouleh Salad

Refresh your summer meals with this herb-packed menu

Not feeling inspired by your usual dishes? Here's what's for dinner.

Maybe it's something in the beautiful, crystalline blue water, but the people of the Mediterranean are living longer, and scientists are taking notice. The food has often been pinpointed as the cause, with its focus on fresh seafood, a variety of vegetables and generous herb usage. So we've created this menu of branzino, tabbouleh and Turkish chocolate cake. Now whether or not you reach a wizened old age, Mediterranean food is still a top summer dinner choice. And it all pairs perfectly with another Mediterranean lifestyle secret: indulging in a generous glass of red wine every night.

① Main Course: Salt-Crusted Branzino with Agrumi Sauce

Don't take this fish with a grain of salt—you'll actually need two pounds of the stuff. This recipe relies on the centuries-old method of salt baking, which amps up the flavor and moisture of the buried meat and fish. Once it's baked, you're rewarded with ceremoniously cracking the outside to reveal perfectly cooked fish.

② Side Dish: Bulgur Wheat with Cherry Tomatoes, Yellow Squash and Summer Herbs

If summer is Batman, tabbouleh salad is Robin. When triple-digit weather and sticky humidity get in the way of summer fun, this tabbouleh swoops in to save the day with its plethora of soothing herbs and refreshing pops of juicy tomatoes.

③ Dessert: Chocolate Turkish Coffee Cake

The grounds are normally left in Turkish coffee, but we're throwing them into the mixing bowl. This cake has all the usual baked-good suspects (eggs, flour, cocoa powder), but pomegranate molasses and cardamom give it a decidedly Turkish edge.