to The Oxford Companion to Food; Mezze (sometimes spelled meze) an interesting
word which came originally from the Persian maza, meaning "taste, relish".
A mezze is basically a banquet of food.
have found a mezze a perfect way to introduce ethnic cuisine's to my friends.
It's a fun and relatively stress-free
way for me to enjoy their company. I like to keep it simple. I make the appetizers
a day or two before. Most are better after the flavors have time to meld together
- the exception being yogurt dishes which are best served
Here are pictures of some
of my favorite mezze dishes;
Moroccan Honey Spiced Eggplant, Moroccan
Couscous Salad, Moroccan Tomato & Green Pepper Salad (taktouka), Grape Leaves
with Egg & Lemon Sauce (dolmas and avgolemono) , Mashed Eggplant & Tomato
Salad (zaalouk), Moroccan Yogurt Dip (spiced labneh). You can find all these delicious
A meze starts with lighter dishes, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs,
cheeses, olives and nuts. Then breads, dips, and salads are served followed by
A lot of mezze plates include foods that don't need much preparation. Many of
the suggestions below (dried fruits, nuts, pickled
vegetables, grape leaves, fruit pastes and tapenades, olives, cheeses and some
be found locally in high-end supermarket chains and ethnic markets and online.
Quick Meze Plates:
Grapes, pomegranates, orange slices, cherries, apple slices, peach slices. Feta
and watermelon salad - quick recipe below.
Dried fruits such as dates, figs, plums and apricots.
or pickled vegetables. Cherry tomatoes. Sliced cucumber. Radishes. Fresh herbs
such as parsley and mint. Stuffed grape leaves with lemon and egg sauce. Steamed
or marinated artichokes. Roasted
of cheeses. Quince paste. Fig and Walnut Tapenade.
and black olives. Olive Tapenade. Pickles.
Lavash. Naan. Pita. Sea Salt and Sesame Roasted Pita
Chips - quick recipe below.
ghanoush. Eggplant dips. Tabbouleh Salad. Shrimp and Caper Salad. Couscous salad.
meatballs). Pies stuffed with cheese or meats such as Spanakopita.
Lamb meatballs. Kabob meat, lamb,
chicken pork or beef. Yogurt and mint sauce. Meat pies, such as a Kibbeh.
More pictures of mezze dishes;
Baba Ghanoush, Lebanese Lamb meatballs
(daoud basha), Persian Cheese and Walnut Dip (nan-o panir-o-gerdu). You will find
all these delicious recipes below.
best part about a a mezze is that there are no rules.
Today many regions have small ethnic groceries where foods can be found.
Stores like Wegman's and Trader Joe's also have ethnic food offerings. Any ingredient
or food product you can't find locally can be easily found online.
fun addition to your Mezze table would be these sugar coated fennel seeds known
as "sonf". They are an Indian mouth freshener and are available from
some spice companies and Amazon.
& Watermelon Salad: Mix 1 cup of cubed Greek feta with 3 cups of cubed
watermelon. Toss with thinly sliced red onion and 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar.
Garnish with mint.
Salt & Sesame Roasted Pita Chips: Cut pita into triangles - brush with
olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and sesame seeds - bake at 375 for about
10 minutes or until they're light brown - single layer, on a baking sheet. Bake
them a day ahead, let them cool, then store in a ziploc.