Thursday 11 September 2014

A mezze platter

After the bread at Ember Yard almost left me weeping at its beauty, Paul challenged me to up my game with mine. But actually, I really like my normal flatbread, so my big lesson from that meal was a reminder of how much I love a meal of snacky nibbly things. Yum cha, tapas, meze or zakuski, I just love a spread of highly-flavoured bites.

Of course, the style of flatbreads I like to make do lend themselves to being dunked in Mediterranean/Middle Eastern-style dips, so my platter drifted sort of Greece-wards and around North Africa. The breads, sprinkled with dukkah. Some home made taramasalata (with no added food colouring, so it was a delicate coral pink). Some Greek-style yoghurt, flavoured with garlic, parsley and dill. Figs, cherry tomatoes and some spicy little lamb merguez sausages. A thick omelette of courgettes, feta and herbs.
Choosing something thematically appropriate to drink with it was a bit of a challenge. We did discover that Marks & Spencer are stocking some Greek wines and had quite a pleasant white, the name of which I failed to write down. What I wanted, though, was something a bit more fragrant and evocative. While not being in any way ouzo. I settled on rose lemonade, spiked with Hendricks gin. Hendricks has rose among its botanicals, so it works well. Iced mint tea would be good too, if you didn't want booze.

One of the things I like the most about this way of eating, is that the leftovers are a pleasure to find in the fridge (although actually, the taramasalata is now an exercise in whether it freezes - it was a very large quantity). You can add more bits to feed more people - some olives, some dolmades or other stuffed vegetables, maybe some lamb kebabs or pickles. Flexible and lovely.
Courgette, Herb and Feta Omelette (serves... many?)

1tbs pinenuts
1tbs butter
1 shallot, finely sliced
2 large courgettes, coarsely grated, excess moisture squeezed out
5 eggs
handful parsley, finely chopped
handful dill, finely chopped
bundle of chives, finely snipped
black pepper
200g feta

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Toast the pinenuts and reserve.

Melt the butter in a flame-proof shallow casserole (or skillet with oven-proof handle) and gently soften the shallot and courgettes in it.

Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, stir in the herbs and season with black pepper and nutmeg. While the pan is still on the heat, pour the eggs gently over the courgettes. Crumble the feta on top and sprinkle over the reserved pinenuts.

Place the dish in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until set, puffy and golden. Serve just-warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.


Barbara said...

Love that last photo! I could eat a plate like that every night for dinner. Would much rather have a "tasting" menu than a full course meal.

Bettina Douglas said...

I love mezze - yum!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Barbara - me too! So many exciting tastes and textures.

Mother - Reminds me, I haven't had a Lebanese mixed plate in years!

Bettina Douglas said...

Funny thing: I had a craving yesterday and got Bill to collect a meat and a veg mixed plate from the *new* place at Rosalie. Just what I needed :-)delicious! and then your post. We had a chardonnay but your drink is pretty and inspired.

grace said...

delicious plate of food! i could snack on grub like this all day every day! your bread looks fantastic. :)


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