Mezze table

Yield: 8 People

Measure Ingredient
-Mideast
Pita; whole or wedges
Paperthin Lavash; whole or wedges
Olives, black
Cheese; goat and/or yogurt
Herbs, fresh; mint, chervil, cilantro, tarragon, & dill
2 Breads
3 Salads
3 Dips; or sauces
Baked Bulgur Patties
1 Bread; filled or flavored
3 Meats, grilled; or other substantial dishes
Bulgur Bread
Paperthin Lavash
Bedouin Barley Bread
Fenugreek Corn Bread
Moroccan Anise Bread
Afghan Homestyle Naan
Afghan Snowshoe Naan
Pebbled Persian Bread
Uighur Nan with Cumin & Onio
Lamb and Tomato Breads
Thyme Bread
Olive Salad
Bread Salad
Chickpea Salad with Spearmin
Sweet Onion Salad
Grilled Vegetable Salad
Hazelnut Spice Blend
Thyme and Sesame Blend
Pomegranate and Walnut Sauce
Grilled Marinated Chicken
Baked Bulgur Patties Stuffed
Marinated Lamb Kebabs
Chicken Street Kebabs
Georgian Walnut Sauce Casser

FLATBREADS & FLAVORS; ALFORD

BASICS

APPETIZER TABLE, ADD

MEZZE FEAST, ADD

BREADS

SALADS

SAUCES, CONDIMENTS, & DIPS

GRILLS & SUBSTANTIAL DISHES

Mezze, maza, meze, mezeler, mezedes, mezza, mezethakia, meza, al mezah: There are as many different names for mezze as there are languages along the eastern rim of the Mediterranean, and there are as many different mezze dishes as there are cooks to invent them.

Mezze is a way of eating; as with tapas or antipasti, almost anything that is small and tasty qualifies as a mezze dish, even main dishes if they can be served in small portions. Mezze dishes are often served as hors d'oeuvres to accompany drinks, or set out as a first course. But when served with plenty of fresh warm flatbreads, even the most humble array can instantly become a meal. And the mezze table is one of the all-time great ways of giving bread a central role in a meal, whether a simple home-style supper or a dazzling festive spread.

A basic mezze meal can be as simple as a basket of warm pita, a plate of fresh herbs, another of feta cheese or yogurt cheese, a dish of olives, and a pitcher of iced water. Add a dip or salsa, a salad or two, and a grill such as Grilled Marinated Chicken, and a simple light meal becomes a more elaborate dinner.

Keep in mind that whatever is served should be easy to pick up or to eat with flatbreads. Place all the breads and dishes on the table at the same time. There are no courses in a mezze meal, no rules about what must be eaten first and what later. Think of a long summer night on the Mediterranean with plenty of time to eat, to talk, and to eat some more. A mezze meal should be as informal and relaxing as it is delicious.

To give a mezze meal the status of a mezze feast, simply increase the number and variety of dishes, including perhaps a few heartier choices like kebabs or one or two bean dishes. When making your selections about what to serve, think also about how the table will be arranged, about colors and shapes, contrasts and complements.

Place a rich red salsa beside a pale cream-colored dip, a white feta next to the black olives, an orange or a carrot salat near a plate of fresh green herbs.

Nutritional information per serving: xx calories, xx gm protein, xx mg cholesterol, xx gm carbohydrate, xx mg sodium, x.x gm fiber, xx gm fat ( x gm sat, x gm mono, x gm poly), x.x mg iron, xx mg calcium, x% of calories from fat.

Tyops courtesy of Sylvia Steiger, SylviaRN (at) CompuServe (dot) com

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