Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Mezze is defined in my "Food Lover's Companion" as Greek hors d ouevres, and it is spelled meze with one z. Wikipedia has some other spellings as well, some containing a's. In a cookbook "A Book of Middle Eastern Food" by Claudia Roden it is spelled mezze and defined as hors d ouevres. So there is really no clear definition, but they seem to be a food phenomena throughout the Middle East including Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, as well as the Balkans.

I made baba ghanoush, which is an eggplant spread, flavored with tahini, lemon, garlic, and olive oil. It is incredibly delicious and so simple. Start by grilling a whole eggplant over medium coals until the skin is charred and the flesh soft-very similar to raosting peppers. Scrape off the skin and let the eggplant sit in a strainer to drain off the juices, which can be bitter. Puree the eggplant with some tahini and garlic. Flavor to your liking with fresh lemon juice and olive oil. I also added some fresh chopped parsley. You eat it spread on pita bread.

I also made hummus, which is a chick pea puree flavored again with tahini, garlic, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. I added some fresh tomato wedges and purple onion slices. Again, heaped on little pita triangles-so refreshing to nibble on a hot Sunday afternoon with a glass of wine.
I also got some fresh figs and stuffed them with Camembert cheese-this was a misstep, the rich cheese sort of drowned out and overwhelmed the the figs-I should have let them stand on their own.
The two spreads look pretty similar, the top one is the baba ghanoush, and the bottom is the hummus.

1 comment:

Almost Vegetarian said...

Oh, how we adore baba ghanoush. I have a bag full of Japanese egglants in the house, right now, and after reading your post, I just know what I want to do with them.