I am a a lover of mezze, which is defined as “a selection of small dishes served to accompany alcoholic drinks as a course or as appetizers before the main dish in Greece, Turkey, Azerbaijan, the Near East and the Balkans.” The word is from Turkish meze (“taste, flavor, snack, relish”) which itself is a loan word from Persian. The serving of mezze is characteristic of all the regions which formerly made up the Ottoman Empire, but in terms of function, mezze are not that different from Spanish tapas. Both make extensive use of New World foods like potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers.
Of course, I opt for the vegetarian versions of these dishes, of which there are plenty to enjoy. Cleveland’s Anatolia Café serves a very beautiful platter of vegetarian mezze which includes rice-stuffed grape leaves seasoned with pine nuts currants, and mint; lebni (yogurt dip with walnuts, garlic and dill), tabouli (bulgar salad with parsley and scallions); eggplant in tomato and bell pepper sauce; pilaki (white beans in a spicy-hot tomato sauce); and babbaganoush (eggplant dip with garlic and tahini).
I have resolved to try making the pilaki at home, as well as a similar Greek dish: Giant Beans!
Enjoy with a Sauvignon Blanc!
Sylvie G said:
You are making me hungry again 🙂
I am always hungry for mezze 🙂
oh yum! nothing better than mezze!! good thing i at least have some humous in the fridge as i’m starving after reading this
Mmm, I can make a meal off some hummus, bread and olives. With a glass of SB 🙂
bingo! i have some white wine around need to put it in fridge first though 🙂 And i have roasted peppers and radishes too, meal done!
Yummy – I love mezze!!
I made gigantes just a few weeks ago…the real trick is finding the beans in the US. I picked some up at a tiny market in Greektown when I was in Chicago in April.
The finished product was great after I revived from paying $6.50 for a pound of dried beans. (Note to self …stop at the supermarket while in Greece!)
Oh, I’m planning to make gigantes soon. We can get them here, but yes, they are expensive!
As a Macedonian Canadian, I am very familiar with mezze! And you’ve made me very hungry!
Mission accomplished 🙂