Mixed Middle Eastern Mezze

A couple of weeks ago H. and I had my cousin P. over for dinner. Instead of one big main I decided to do a mezze of different smaller dishes, something I had been wanting to try at a dinner party for a while. As it happens a lot of the recipes are from Ottolenghi, but I didn’t really plan it that way. Overall I was really happy with the food. It was mostly quite healthy (lots of vegetables) and not overly heavy which was nice. If anything I think I could have had one more substantial dish, maybe something with potatoes, more for the boys though!

Here was the menu:

Toasted pitas & hummus (plain & roasted red pepper) I have made hummus loads of times before but never with roasted red peppers. I was really pleased with the result! We used our food processor to make both and I have to say, unfortunately I would not recommend this particular model. We’re becoming increasingly frustrated with it. It has some serious design flaws, the most serious of which is the non-existent locking system for one of the blades. Hummus was everywhere.

Spicy carrot salad (from Jerusalem, similar to this) This is a mix of chopped carrots, onions, and spices — I also added mixed greens. The spiciness comes from harissa paste and really adds a kick. I enjoyed the salad but because it has so many onions in it (regular readers will know that onions are not my favourite!), it wasn’t my favourite.

Roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce (based on this dish from Jerusalem) I adapted this and chose to roast the cauliflower instead of frying it. This went over very well and is really easy to prepare if you make the sauce in advance. I would describe tahini as an acquired taste but personally I love it and think it’s quite versatile.

Pearl barley, parsley, & marinated feta salad  (Jerusalem) I was really pleased with this dish. The pearl barley is a nice departure from couscous and quinoa which we eat more regularly. There’s not much of it in there though, so I’d recommend upping the quantity of barley. The marinated feta is delicious. All in all I think this is a really different and creative salad – typical Ottolenghi.

Meatballs with a cilantro-lemon sauce. I made the same meatballs I made at Christmastime except I used beef this time. This time they were a little dry for me because the beef was too lean. As usual, the sauce always goes down well though.

Mixed green salad with chicken This was the most cobbled-together dish of the night. I’d originally planned to do a fennel & saffron chicken salad but at the last minute switched to this because I couldn’t get any fennel. I poached the chicken and then made a simple quite lemony vinaigrette.

And for dessert, a chocolate krantz cake (coming in a separate post!).

A few (quite random and not very good-quality) photos below.

Red pepper hummus.
Red pepper hummus in the cursed processor.
It wouldn't be a dinner party without a toppled plant! (Thanks ahem to the WIND
It wouldn’t be a dinner party without a toppled plant! (Thanks … ahem … to the WIND!) And yes, we have lights in our floor. Don’t ask.
Chicken salad
Part of the chicken salad
Carrot salad
Spicy carrot salad
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2 thoughts on “Mixed Middle Eastern Mezze

  1. KJ 27/03/2014 / 8:39 am

    I love doing mezze/tapas for a dinner party!! Remember one at our house in Briandstr.? *sniff* Makes me slightly homesick!

    • K.M. 28/03/2014 / 10:48 am

      Yes! That was brilliant. Lots of fun. 🙂

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