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Mezze

Small plates to share

Written by Ghillie Basan

Published: 13/08/2015

About the author

Ghillie Basan has worked in many parts of the world as a cookery writer, restaurant critic, and journalist. She has written a number of highly-acclaimed books on classic cuisines of the Middle East and South-east Asia. Her food and travel articles have appeared in the Sunday Herald, Scotland on Sunday, and BBC Good Food Magazine. Ghillie lives in the Scottish highlands.

A mouth-watering collection of dips, bites, salads, and other small plates to share from the Mediterranean and Middle East, to enjoy as appetizers or light meals.

Mezze features a mouth-watering collection of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dips, bites, salads and other small plates to share, to enjoy as appetizers or light meals. An ancient tradition, mezze is the heart and soul of modern culinary life in Turkey and the Middle East. The word ‘mezze’ (‘meze’ in Turkey and ‘mazza’ in Syria and Lebanon) is thought to have derived from the Persian ‘maza’ meaning ‘taste’ or ‘relish’ which is exactly what is—something tasty—designed to be savored with a glass of tea, wine or beer, a fruit sherbet, or a yogurt drink with the aim of pleasing the palate, not to fill the belly. At its simplest, mezze can be represented by a bowl of gleaming olives marinated in lemon juice and crushed coriander seeds, or a mixture of roasted nuts and seeds tossed in salt and dried thyme. At its most elaborate, it can be presented as an entire feast comprising a myriad of little colorful dishes, each the bearer of something savoury or sweet but always utterly delicious. In this book, you’ll discover such exciting recipes as Orange and Date Salad with Chiles and Preserved Lemon; Vine Leaves stuffed with Aromatic Rice; Hot Hummus with Pine Nuts and Chilli Butter; Savory Pastries filled with Feta and Herbs; Baby Saffron Squid stuffed with Bulgur and Zahtar; and Stuffed Dates in Clementine Syrup—nothing beats the magic of mezze.